This life of learning…

Dressed in a random assortment of clothing,

she balanced on the board outlining the sidewalk, half singing, half chanting to herself.
I listened closely.
And smiled.

 “E, F, G. Ich, J, K… Q, R, S, T and movie…”
It’s her own rendition of the alphabet song.
I delight in it. Not because it is perfect,
‘cause it isn’t.

But because she absorbed it without me even really trying to teach it to her.

I was working with Weston, actually, and she overheard.

Tirzah is learning so many things so fast right now it’s quite breath taking.
“Hey kiddos!” she calls out, and I stare at my two year old.

 “Actually,” pause, “it’s mine,” she will say out of the blue.
Gulp. All these big words out of a small mouth. Whew, it really shocks me now and then.

Last night I did something for the first time.
I ordered used books for Weston’s preschool. I have long since drooled over “whole book” curriculum since I learned so much by losing myself in books. But the unit price tags are high, and so I am delighted to be gathering my own library from Goodwills and book sales. Thriftbooks.com was my ticket last night. Oh, the glories of used books with discount codes on top.

Oh yeah.

I was quite a late reader, a trial to my parents who both diligently tried to help me decipher the world of letters and sounds. But tears and agony were all that resulted till we landed in Houston, Texas where there was a “Book It” program. A list of books was made by the parent and when the child completed the list, Pizza Hut would award the student their very own personal pizza…

My older sister Shanna could have learned how to read out of the classified section of the newspaper. I, on the other hand, needed illustrations and incentives. But the “Book It” program was just the thing. Suddenly, I was reading EVERYTHING. Bill boards, magazines… Mom couldn’t get my nose OUT of books.

 Through them I bent over cotton plants in the south, with the slave master’s whip stinging my back. I glared at Nellie Olsen with Laura. I climbed the Mountains  of Spices with Much-Afraid. I trailed Anne to the Lake of Shining Waters. I lived and breathed what these people did.

The Holocaust and the slavery era will always feel very real to me because Mom read aloud and impersonated Uncle Tom’s Cabin and The Hiding Place. I don’t know if she will ever know what a gift those hours of reading were to me. History made the leap from musty old textbooks to a living, breathing experience.

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I am grateful that on all sides, my children are surrounded by adults that value learning and treasure good books. Weston is constantly cuddled up to his dawdy on the couch, listening to lively stories…

Daniel’s mother is my role model. A grandmother now, she is still embarking on new skills and delves deep into new subjects. A walking library, quite knowledgable and ever ready to learn more. She has taught me that learning does not end at graduation, but is rather the beginning to a full and rich life.

 That is one of the things I anticipate about homeschooling our children. Getting to relearn things I’ve forgotten and to learn for the first time things I missed.

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Weston has been soaking up our walks lately,
peddling his trusty trike, pausing to pick blackberries,
and take in the detail around him.
I am excited to make these mundane excursions live science lessons.

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I lay in bed last night, mulling over ideas of how to illustrate the life from a seed to a plant to a new seed.

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The garden will be a perfect science classroom.

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Not to mention the work ethic he is learning when he helps me weed and hoe. 😉

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Weston just woke up and walked a bit dazed into the living room, his hair on end and his eyes barely open.
The first words out of his mouth were, “When are the books coming?”

I think we are going to like this adventure of learning.

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