Archive for June 16th, 2006


June 16, 2006 @ 2:08 pm | Filed under:

“I did NOT hit you! I threw something at you and IT hit you!”

Live and Learn: The Curriculum Post, Part I

June 16, 2006 @ 10:50 am | Filed under:

A ClubMom mom wrote me with a couple of questions:

I am trying to figure out a starting point with curriculum. Could you give some suggestions?
My other concern; do you have any insight into how colleges are accepting homeschoolers. I have this overwhelming fear that I’ll ‘mess’ up their chances of getting into decent colleges.

I’ll address the college question soon.* For now: curriculum. You’ve decided you want to educate your children at home; now what? How do you choose between the truckloads of curriculum possibilities—let alone define your “homeschooling philosophy”?

My first piece of advice: Don’t rush into anything. Don’t shell out a fortune for materials. Don’t map out a daily schedule crammed with ten or twelve different subjects. Take some time to read and think about how people learn. Watch your children; notice what makes them light up, what draws them in deep. Listen to them; let them tell you about the things they’re interested in.

And while you’re doing that, take this quiz. Unlike most internet quizzes, which are purely for fun, this one is a useful tool for taking your own pulse as a mother, a learner, and a facilitator of your children’s learning. (GuiltFree’s Learning Styles Quizzes are helpful too.) Take the quiz, then come back here, and we’ll discuss the results. I’ll tackle the nitty-gritty of curriculum-choosing next week, but first let’s begin with this survey of style and tone.

*And about the college question: I’ve been collecting links to posts on this subject for some time, but I’d also like to encourage input from readers who have already experienced the college admissions process with their homeschooled students. If you’ve got stories to share, we’d love to hear them.

Curriculum, Part 2 is here.)

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And for That New Baby, a Poem

June 16, 2006 @ 4:24 am | Filed under:

It’s Friday, after all.

This is the final stanza of Samuel Taylor Coleridge’s loveliest (in my opinion) work, “Frost at Midnight.” Please do go treat yourself to the whole poem. For now, for you, little cottage child:

* * *

Dear Babe, that sleepest cradled by my side,
Whose gentle breathings, heard in this deep calm,
Fill up the intersperséd vacancies
And momentary pauses of the thought!
My babe so beautiful! it thrills my heart
With tender gladness, thus to look at thee,
And think that thou shalt learn far other lore,
And in far other scenes! For I was reared
In the great city, pent ‘mid cloisters dim,
And saw nought lovely but the sky and stars.
But thou, my babe! shalt wander like a breeze
By lakes and sandy shores, beneath the crags
Of ancient mountain, and beneath the clouds,
Which image in their bulk both lakes and shores
And mountain crags: so shalt thou see and hear
The lovely shapes and sounds intelligible
Of that eternal language, which thy God
Utters, who from eternity doth teach
Himself in all, and all things in himself.
Great universal Teacher! he shall mould
Thy spirit, and by giving make it ask.
Therefore all seasons shall be sweet to thee,
Whether the summer clothe the general earth
With greenness, or the redbreast sit and sing
Betwixt the tufts of snow on the bare branch
Of mossy apple-tree, while the nigh thatch
Smokes in the sun-thaw; whether the eave-drops fall
Heard only in the trances of the blast,
Or if the secret ministry of frost
Shall hang them up in silent icicles,
Quietly shining to the quiet Moon.

There Is Nothing Better Than a Birth Announcement

June 16, 2006 @ 2:44 am | Filed under:

Especially when it’s Alice’s baby. I am thrilled to pieces to announce the arrival of another beautiful blessing to her cottage. Alice gave birth to her seventh child, a baby girl, on June 13th. I’ve been bursting with the news ever since. Everything went smoothly, and mother and child are doing very well. They came home yesterday and were received with immense joy by five doting big sisters and one proud big brother.

I can’t wait to get my hands on that scrumptious little one…in the meantime I will have to make do with hourly reports from her mother. Dear Lissa, the baby just turned her head to look at me.—Dear Alice: Not enough information. Which WAY did she turn it?

God bless you, little one. We are so glad you’re here.