a Really Weird Year

on 30 April 2014


I know I haven't been writing as usual, quantity nor quality.   I have found myself in the midst of a really weird year.  Just when I think, "ok, surely things will normal out now..." the next Wave of Weird hits and I just try to keep my head above the Weird Waters.

So what's so weird?  Well, some of it you know:  my Grandma died, I live with a 2 year old who barely speaks English and a 5 year old who memorizes Shakespeare.  We went on a cruise at the last minute and I had surgery.  I freelance, so that whole part of my life is decidedly unpredictable.  Some of it I can't really talk about, at least not here; my father-in-law retired and sold the family business, which is great for him, but feels so weird...like he sold a somewhat contentious member of the family.  And now we're down to the wire and house hunting again, which means we'll probably end up crashing with my family for a bit while we go through the purchasing process.

I don't normally wish away the days, I try to enjoy them.  But lately, I'm so tired and so overwhelmed by the Weirdness that I'm living with, that I find myself looking longingly ahead to June and July (really WEIRD for me, I know), when the calendar is absolutely empty and I'll be able to just sit still and process this bizarre year.  But then I get this slightly nauseous feeling wondering what in the heck is coming next?

For now, I'm putting my head down and going to work.  There's plenty to do and these two really cute distractions make it harder but also better.

My Boy and Shakespeare

on 14 April 2014

Do you ever have those months that just completely ATE your whole life?  March pretty much did that to us.  I had a couple of intense freelance projects, and then we had a last minute family vacation and we were home for all of one day before I had to have minor surgery.  And then BOOM it was April.

The hard part, is that all of this "other" stuff happens and real life doesn't stop happening, so I end up feeling like I'm drowning.  But in the midst of drowning, some really cool things happen.

Like my Boy asking to memorize Shakespeare!

(That we home school, you already know.  That we do classical education, you already know.  That memorization and recitation is a part of most classical curricula you may not know.  But it is!  And it's wonderful.  I've NEVER understood why people have such antipathy for memorization and recitation.  It's entertaining and good for your brain.  Suck it up.)

So back in February, after my Boy had finished memorizing the 50 states and the Articles of Faith, I asked my Boy what he wanted to work on next.  I gave him a short list, we could do famous people through history, we could do states AND capitals, or we could do poetry.  Well, for him that was a no-brainer!  He chose poetry right out of the gate.  So I rattled off some poets we could concentrate on:  Robert Frost, W.B. Yeats, Shakespeare, Seamus Heany...and before I could get further he shouted "SHAKESPEARE!"  (He lives his life in all capital letters.)  So Shakespeare it is.

I sifted through my favorite plays and pulled my favorite monologues and then scaled them back to something I thought would be reasonable for a five year old.  In addition to working on phonics, math, and handwriting, we work on memorization.  In other words, we go through the selection together a few times every morning and after a week or so...well, you should see this to really enjoy it.

I know that I'm his mother and therefore totally biased, but how awesome is THAT?!