I wish I could say it was rainy enough to warrant the amount of time I've spent inside today, sorting through old boxes of stuff. It needed to be done. I'm trying to cram boxes and bags of my stuff and the kids' stuff under the guest room bed. The time had come to address two huge boxes of school records and old family documents. Just stuff.
Happily, I reduced it all down to one bin!
Through it all -- illness, many moves, friends found and lost, laughter and anger and despair -- I taught school. I educated so many children. If I wasn't homeschooling my own children I was teaching full-time in a school. How did we do it all? How did we cope with the constant waves of gaining and losing in life? It wore me out.
For a great teaching experience, I must say that my best year was probably our year in Massachusetts. Not that I didn't love teaching at Cono in Iowa, where I learned to be a teacher, nor that I didn't appreciate my years in Statesville. But that one year in Upton, MA I had more freedom to teach what I wanted and how I wanted. I gathered about me all the American literature and history and all the ancient literature and history that I loved. And with a small group of students (maybe 13 total?) we fleshed it all out. I chose my own textbooks and compiled many documents from public domain. We studied more, and more deeply, than any other year.
I homeschooled for ten years ... eleven (I think) if you count what I did with Julia this past year. I've kept only a smattering of books from all those years with Christian Liberty.
I want to share one more very special thing with you, for those of you who love creative writing. The woman whose classes I inherited at Cono Christian School, Jean Belz, gave me a writing assignment she'd used, and I've loved it ever since. I wish I could find the original light blue page she wrote on, but it's tucked away somewhere unknown. But I made copies for my students, and here is one:
The finished product is a perfect whole, and my students produced some fun paragraphs using this exercise. It's useful for beginning writers who don't think they can write; it gives them enough guidance to bring them along, and always produces a satisfying result.
Why don't you give it a try? Leave your paragraph in the comments, or you can do a short blog post about it on your own blog, and leave a comment or link so we can follow along and read it. Okay? Ready ... set ... go!