Friday is here again – I’m going to party it up like usual (shaking head no) – the baby, husband and I are planning a camping trip with my family next week. If all goes well, I will have an adventure to tell you about next week.
Wash your hands, keep your hands out of your mouth and don’t use public toilets because they are gross.
The name of the Admiral on base while we lived in Pennsylvania sounded to me like a combination of the words “Flamingo” and “Cadillac” it was fun to say.
I’ll let you imagine what his last name sounded like.
The admiral pretty much scared the other kids that lived near by, but I called him my friend. Admiral F., who is retired now, had a large plot right next to my mom in the naval officer’s community garden. Home school for us sometimes required helping mom work in the garden harvesting massive zucchinis that only mom ate. Occasionally, Admiral was in his garden at the same time as mom and the kids and that is how we met. He would ask mom why her husband didn’t help her with the garden and she would tell him dad was still at work (makes dad look good to the boss man), Admiral F. would offer me green beans from his plot to snack on.
Admiral’s house was near the garden plots and was a wonderful maze of trees and shrubs that I used to play make-believe in after school. One day, during some game, I touched the sun dial in his yard and my friend about died from fright thinking he was going to catch us….silly girl, silly silly girl.
I looked forward to playing outside as soon as morning school was over.
Morning school consisted of: song, prayer, journal writing, World history, American history, read a few chapters from a book (Animal Farm, When Hell Was In Session, etc..), work on Math, practice the piano…. you get the picture?
My mom taught our lessons as if we were all intelligences. I loved George Orwell’s Animal Farm, and to have her describe the Bolshevik Revolution in terms of animals on a farm was brilliant. I do remember struggling to comprehend the stock market crash of the 1920’s.
“How does money disappear? How are people rich and then poor? How did banks crash if they were full of cash?”
Mom explained investing as best she could to a fourth grader, but it wasn’t till I was older that her explanation made sense. But I remember what she taught.
WIth school concentrated in the mornings and the occasional lesson later in the day, there was more free time for creativity and exploring.
Exploring usually led somewhere near the community garden where I would eat fresh green beans out of the Admiral’s plot of vegetables, just because I knew I could.
The majority of my three years (3rd – 5th grade) in homeschool were spent in and around the home. My mother introduced me to David Copperfield and Atticus Finch. It was my mother who taught me the joys of reading. Before being brought home to be schooled, reading felt like work to me. Until my mother read aloud books that resonated with me, I could never understand why anyone would enjoy reading.
Then my mother, with her education in nursing, helped me appreciate the human body – it’s function, intricate design and purpose. I drew the outline of my tiny ten year old frame and proceeded to draw the entire nervous system.
My mom wanted to learn as much as she wanted her children to learn – so it only worked out too well, that she brought us to some of the most interesting places within a days drive to our home.
We lived in Pennsylvania at the time, so visits to Lancaster to see and mingle with the Amish, Philadelphia to see the historic place where our Nation’s government was framed, Washington, D.C. our Nation’s capital full of museums and other historical sites, Baltimore, Maryland and it’s aquarium (love, love), and nearby Harrisburg to see our state capital. We even made the trip to New York to visit Ellis Island and the Statue of Liberty.
The summer before sixth grade, my mom asked me if I wanted to continue home school or return to public school. I love adventure and new things, so of course I jumped at the chance to start something new.
I had to ride the bus – the only time in my life I had to ride a bus – the longest semester of my life. I saw vulgar things on the bus, things I know any good parent would die knowing existed and the few children on the bus who had been taught manners – seemed to congregate with one another. Gratefully, my brother’s friend Lisbon, always made me feel safe on the ride to and from school.
I ended up staying in public school the rest of my education, until I attended university and graduated from a private school.
With all of my education and experience in life, I may homeschool my children too.
This morning as I passed through the living room, where my mother sat in the leather wing backed chair in her flannel night gown (royal Stewart in white) home-schooling my two younger brothers.
They were talking about the Civil War – I know because she was talking about General Longstreet and General Jeb Stuart – so, barring some distant relatives I’m unaware of, I’m assuming they were discussing the Civil War.
Mom stops to mention, “oh, that was the year my Great Grandmother….” making history personal for her sons by talking about relatives who lived through the nightmare of the 1860’s in America.
Why does this feel special to me?
I was home schooled third, fourth and fifth grade. NOW, you know why I am a terrible speller. No, not true – I attribute my terrible spelling to my Kindergarden teacher in San Diego who was teaching twenty years past retirement.
Do I think there are Pros and Cons to both Home Schooling and Public Schooling?
Absolutely, but you’re going to have to wait till tomorrow because I need to scan more old photos from my home schooled days.
There is a big ice storm coming through and I may or may not have internet. If that’s the case, I’ll just have to busy my mind from books off the shelf over my internet reading. I’m am forever home schooling myself.