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Entries in life (179)


Away from home

I dropped him off at camp this morning. The real kind of camp, where he has to take a sleeping bag and pillow, and toothbrush which he will have to remind himself to use (along with the shower, let's hope he reminds himself to use the shower, too).

I didn't do very many sleep away camps when I was little. Once. I remember going to horse back riding camp when I was in elementary school. It might have been a Girl Scout camp. I remember helping in the mess hall, and mucking out stalls. I remember that of all the girls for some reason I just couldn't get the hand of the trot, or maybe it was the canter. I remember the frustration. And I remember the fun, but I also remember being very, very homesick at night. That feeling lasted for me long into high school, when spending a week at band camp was a delightfully magic time for me every summer, but with nights that left me feeling bereft of my own bed and family. I even cried sometimes when I was away for simple overnights at friends' houses.

So you'll forgive me if I was a little worried for Calvin. Logically, in my forethinking brain, I have no real concern. Calvin is more easy going than I think I was as a kid, and I think he'll take these first two nights away from home and family (ever!) like a champ. In fact, if anything he's likely to be sorry when the week is up (which is a feeling I also remember very well, especially at the close of band week every summer), but that didn't stop me from worried just a teeny tiny bit somewhere in the back of my uncontrollable reptilian brain. So we all talked about it a bit the day before I dropped him off. We told him that when I was young I suffered terribly from homesickness, but that his dad not, and I told him some of the coping mechanisms I had used when I was young to get through a long week.

Then in the car on the way to drop off, eary on Wednesday morning, Calvin told me that he was really, really going to miss me, and he asked me to take care of his animals for him. I asked him if he was starting to get worried, but he said that no, he just thought that would be a sweet thing to say so that I wouldn't feel sad. He was using my own coping mechanisms on me.

Wisdom is sometimes lost on the old.


Day 83: Run-down

Running right on down our list of errands, that is. New tires, new books, (cow in a purse), fresh cupcakes.



Fall weekends

Michigan football on Saturdays

Family biking on Sunday mornings, followed by doughnuts and cider at the mill.

And, on occasion, wildlife in the neighborhood (although that has nothing to do with it being a least not with this kind of wildlife)


Still not in school

I realize that recently my blogging has become more of a “where have we been” display throughout the summer months. Jon said last night that it looked a bit like Vladimir Putin Action Man: “here is us in Stratford”, “here we are with ice cream”, “and here in front of Mt. Hood”, etc., etc.

The truth is, it was a crazy, whirlwind of a summer. We were gone more weekends than we were home, and even our longer respites in town were filled with various community activities. It wasn’t planned that way; things just kept coming up, and what started as a summer with two trips planned quickly got a tad out of hand. The last few weeks have been our longest stay at home in months, and they've allowed me at least a little time to try and catch up in the garden and the house, but we have one more trip up our sleeves.

In the past we've been year round schoolers, but this year was a little different. When we first started homeschooling we were aiming for a very unschooling environment, and our summers were little different from our falls, winters, and springs, excepting, of course, for the weather. But in the past few years, as our methods have undergone a slow but decided evolution, have found ourselves more on the side of classical schooling. Now, in the fall, winter, and spring, our mornings are often spent at the kitchen table or a like place, studying or creating together. In the summers we continue to start our days with a little dabble of math and Spanish, but the rest of the day is often spent outside doing one thing or another. I guess you could call the cooler months our classical time, and the warmest months our unschooling time.

The truth being, though, that we still live the life of home learners who find "education" in everything we do.

So this fall, with one more trip still waiting in the wings, we are waiting until October to begin our classical learning months, and we are using the first couple of weeks of September to review a bit, and to plan the months ahead. Rather neatly, Calvin is right at the end of several books—Spanish, math, science, and grammar—meaning that when we get home and pick up classical lessons in October, it will be like a fresh start.

But until then, finishing up, reviewing, previewing, and planning ahead.


Eleven wonderful years