The Next Thing

This summer has been a doozy.  I lost a grandmother, rode the rails of the cancer train with another grandmother (still riding), had a grandfather fall and break his hip–and this while he suffers from late-stage Alzheimer’s.  I’ve been on an extended family vacation, finished a manuscript, tried to sleep at night (and found myself unsuccessful).  I’ve done my level-best, along with millions of other Americans, to ignore our political candidates and their latest absurdities, but found myself horrified anyway when I peaked through my fingers.

All in a few weeks’ time.

DSC_0690This summer has been a doozy, yes, and I’m almost ready for it to be over, but that doesn’t mean it wasn’t necessary.  Everything we go through, each day that passes, is, in its own mysterious way, a necessary part of the whole that makes up our lives.  Our experiences shape us and we shape them (which is what writing is, in the end, the shaping of events into stories we can tell until we begin to understand them a little).  God helps us with the shaping, and that’s a good thing since he’s the one who holds everything anyway.

Still, I look forward to the coolness of fall, the reassurance of routine.  I prepare to kiss summer goodbye this time without a hint of nostalgia.  It’s almost time and I’m ready.

 

 

In Which I Pretend There’s No Such Thing As School

It’s summer.  Oh, how I’ve wanted it.  We’ve only just declared ourselves done with school because we were sort-of waiting for Daddy to get done (he’s a teacher).  Now he is and we’re finished with our school year.  We’re so, so finished.

The kids swim every, single day even though it’s been unseasonably cool for June around here.  I sit by the pool and write or read and the kids splash, dipping into the ice water and emerging with the shakes.  Pure happiness.

I’ll be popping in here about once a week or so throughout the next two months.  I can’t promise when, exactly.  If you want to keep up with new posts and haven’t already you can follow this blog via email (see the sidebar).  Or not.  Whatevs.

Part of the reason I won’t be blogging a ton in the months of June and July is that I’m editing my book, taking it through its painful second draft.  This is sucking the life out of me but also proving to be highly educational.  (I am stretching, people, and if you could just see my mental stretch marks you’d think the ones on my stomach were nothing at all).  In September the book goes out of my hands and into those of an editor.  This is terrifying.

So, there’s that.  And there’s the fact that I write a lot about motherhood and home education here and, the truth is, right now I’m trying not to think about school much at all.  I mean, I’m a nerd at heart, ok?  But I just got done sitting through part of a home educator’s conference and my friends were there and there was coffee.  Everything about it was supposed to be ‘just my thing.’  But I fidgeted like a toddler during a sermon, and my brain was so far away from anything that was actually happening that I knew.  I knew.

It’s summer.

This One Book

Summer is just around the corner (notice how I keep saying that?  Somebody’s, uh, ready).  If you’ve been thinking “educational thoughts” lately or have had questions about schooling options for your kids, summer is a good time to read relevant books, ask questions, do a little research, etc.  If your mind is made up about the fall and you’re comfortable with the path your kids are on, cheers!  That is a good place to be.  But, let’s say you’re not quite at ease with the way things are going at your kids’ brick-and-mortar school and you’ve creaked the door of your mind open to the possibility of teaching your kids at home.  In that case, I have a book recommendation for you.  I tell everyone who’s in your shoes to read it.  In fact, I read it myself when I need to be reminded of why I landed on this side of the educational fence.  There are other important books you might read on this topic, of course, along with poorly written and weakly argued ones.  There are Christian worldview books about home education (a worldview I share), secular tomes, how-to’s, manifestos…All of them have their place, I’m sure.  But this book is the one to start with, in my humble opinion.  It’s the first step down the rabbit hole of Doing Things Differently.  You could even read it with sand between your toes, if you’re lucky enough to have sand between your toes this summer.  In any case, if you’re asking questions about why the trend of teaching children at home is exploding across the nation and abroad this book will shed some light on the subject.  Who knows?  Maybe you’ll discover that homeschooling is right for your family, too.