Thursday, October 25, 2007

Cultural Literacy

The ability to interact successfully within any culture requires a familiarization with its dominant figures, belief systems, and vocabulary. My children are privileged to study Egypt, Greece, Rome, and the Middle Ages up to modern times, at our leisure.

We can delve as deeply as we like into the construction of pyramids, gaze uninterrupted at mummies in all stages of preparation and excavation, and we can skim over the lineage of pharaohs until we get a better understanding of the system of governance.

Currently, Greek mythology is our fancy, a subject I faintly recall being dangled in front of me in one of the "gifted" classes I was forced to attend. The characters and their stories had little significance to me at the time, as I hadn't been told how they figured into the scheme of things. Years later, as my daughter colors and covets the god and goddess "trading cards" she pulled from our History Pockets, I'm so glad I have more time to explain.

Usborne Greek Myths and D'Aulaires' Book of Greek Myths are casual reads that pump names like "Aphrodite, Heracles, Eurystheus, Arachne, and Persephone" into her mind's eye. Two headed dogs, women with snakes for hair, labrynths and melted wax wings are associations she'll make for the rest of her life.
Already she dislikes mean Hera. The stories, woven together, teach us about archetypes, that floating fabric of circumstance we keep stepping into. But beyond the stories is the simple, low key transference of knowledge that is the delight of homeschooling. Learning is never a chore.

She beams at me as she connects the names to the stories, picks them out of movies and cartoons that also flash before her evolving consciousness. Hannah Montana, Suite Life of Zack and Cody, and the mistold story of Pocahontas are as relevant as the rest. We don't live in ancient times, we study it. 2007 is where we reside full-time, seeking castles, no less.

I differ from many of my fellow homeschooling mothers, whom I deeply respect for the world they create for their children. Classical music in the background, tv's turned off, they're not numbed, but horrified by the media spewed forth today. While the classically homeschooled children I know will have a special ear for harmony in music, fluidity in art, a vision for order in society above all, I'm not sure they'll survive the chaos they'll need (in order) to perform.

My vision encompasses all realms, walking away from the garbage effects no change, defines reality as hopeless. One small measure of genius is the ability to gather the reins of all the lost horses, and whisper their spirits back into line. If my children grow up unable to tame animals, I'll consider my efforts a failure.
In consequence, they must fit into society seamlessly, Eds, Edds, and Eddys, and all. Their vocabulary will match that of their peers, yet their cores will resonate differently. Solid family base, strong relationships carried forth into the world, a solemn embrace of life speaks volumes. We are not just socialized, we're literate, so there.

Monday, October 15, 2007

Everyone who's anyone

Hallows here.

Thursday, October 11, 2007

To our sweet cabin we go

Friday, October 5, 2007

My Barnes and Noble loves me

We entered a drawing to win Julie, the newest American Girl doll. Her story takes place in 1974, just one year after my own birthdate.

I'm an official historical figure.

To my daughters' great delight, WE WON!

Now, when the line of American Boy dolls, books, and video games comes out,

I will be OVER THE MOON!

Tuesday, October 2, 2007

Madison's 1st b-day

was at a favorite Dairy Queen

Everybody came to celebrate!

Aunts Susie and Patti got in on the silliness.

And, the cartwheel-a-thon...
Cole scored 206 forward rolls

Lauren did 152 cartwheels.

I could hardly believe their dedication and performance.
I'm a very proud mom!