Oh, this cowl. It is described as a ‘one night’ knit. Ahem. It is pretty easy and almost mindless, except for when you forget to mark your rows, and you get three before you goofed, and you have to frog it back, and then you start on the wrong row so you get another two before you realize your mistake, again. Everything is now properly marked, and I hope I’ll make significant progress on it this week. Nothing else has formed and disciplined my habit of attention like knitting has.
I finished Home Grown: Adventures in Parenting off the Beaten Path, Unschooling, and Reconnecting with the Natural World this weekend. Two weeks ago I said I was coming to it with a bit of trepidation. I am really quite wary of homeschooling memoirs and books lately. Perhaps it is because I am second generation homeschooler. Perhaps it is because I have seen homeschooling families collapse under the weight of it. Perhaps it is all of that and none of that, but I really am disappointed when I read a homeschooling book that basically states that if and only you do a, b, and c, you too can have an amazing family life and genius children! It doesn’t work like that. I brought all that to the table and challenged Ben Hewitt to give me realism. He did. I appreciate his candor more than I can say. He openly acknowledges what he doesn’t know, what mistakes they’ve already made so far and how they’ve adjusted to them, and things he thinks about in the wee smas at night. It is not a homeschooling book. It is a story of a family and what they are learning and un-learning and the story of a place that allows it all to thrive. I doubt few homeschoolers have an educational life that resembles Ben’s family, but it will not prevent the enjoyment of the book. I would gladly hand this to someone considering homeschooling their children, not for the hows and wherefores, but for the whys. Ben is not going to tell you how to homeschool your children. He’s not going to tell you how to parent them, either. But he will tell you what they’ve learned together, and why, and that is all you need to know to get started on your own journey. I would gladly hand it to homeschooling parents who are burnt out and weary. It brings gentle joy. I would hand it to parents who are perfectly happy in a public school system and will remain so- because it’s not a homeschooling memoir. It’s a family memoir. Everyone will walk away with something to think about.
One quote I underlined from the book:
It reminds me that the assumptions we have arrived at regarding education are just that: assumptions. They are stories born of a culture, and like all stories, we can choose to believe them or not. We can choose to listen or not. We can choose, even, to write our own stories. (pg.71, The Early Years)
Speaking of stories, I finished The Hunger Games. It’s the first time that I’ve listened to an audio book for myself. The kids and I have listened to a few, but I’ve never actually thought to pick one up for myself. Chores go so much faster. I don’t know why I am on a dystopian fiction kick lately, but there you go. I was startled by some of the similarities between Panem and our own country at the moment. The historian (and Christian) in me was fascinated by the clear references to the Roman games. Like Enders Game, you won’t like where the story takes you, but you need to go. I will definitely be reading the rest of the series, either by audio book or in paper. Interesting side affect of audio books- you can’t read ahead and you can’t rush. I tend to be a book-eater. The audio book forced me to slow down and savor.