Church Again
Book/Movie Recommendations - June 8, 2006

Poppins Classical Academy

I've bookmarked a lot of weblogs as I've insomniacally wandered the internet.  Last week, I started going through them, deleting some that didn't turn out to be as interesting as I thought, and moving others in the list up where I'll read them more often.  So, I'm going to mention a few in the next few days.

I've really enjoyed reading Poppins Classical Academy - written by "a Canadian, feminist, secular, relaxed/classical homeschooler with a flippant sense of humour, an eclectic taste in links, and a tendency to use this virtual space for clearing my head."

My favorite post so far is "Loving the Mothers We Are":

The one of the hardest jobs we face is learning to appreciate the mothers we are. Like thieving quilters we steal bits of other mothers, from dreams, books and playground conversations, and stitch them together into an ideal mother. We hold it up to the light and admire its colours and patterns and despair that we will ever match its splendour.

We see Susan's patience, Beth's outdoorsy nature, and Caroline Ingall's virtures. We envy Jan her homemaking skills, and Hannah her playful spirit. We steal these facets, but never the whole. Do we see that Susan's patience is countered by permisiveness, or know that Beth worries that she'll never teach her children math? No, because that realism is counter to the crazy quilt we seem driven to construct.

I love her image of the quilt. 

Some others I've enjoyed:

"Feminist Homeschooling:"

In many ways, it was Women and Gender Studies that pushed me along the path to homeschooling. I was already on the path, with my critical-thinking upbringing and horrible experiences in school. But WGST and sociology taught me to look at the institutions of our culture, to examine how they produce and alter our self-definitions and our definitions of others.

"Small Town Esso and the Aha Moment about Medieval Marriage:"

I am a romantic.  I grew up reading and rereading the Anne of Green Gables series. I met my true love when I was 13. I am also a closet medievalist married to a part-time medievalist. I could understand much of the era, but I had a mind-block about medieval marriage.*

and (for homeschoolers) "Conveyor Belt Mentality:"

You can only be Behind under certain circumstances: you are racing a better opponent on a set path or you are travelling at a predetermined pace. If we 'educate' children by putting them on a conveyor belt and require them to learn, say, 5 bits of the educational scope and sequence every month, no more, no less, then falling behind does mean you are Behind and it signals the possibility of never catching up. The school has to teach this way. It's not its fault.

But if you are in a system that isn't a system, if you learn and live at the pace of human - sometimes faster and sometimes slower and sometimes leaping over whole steps - you're not Behind. Behind doesn't even exist. You're simply on a path, your path, and you are where you are. It's a Winnie the Pooh Buddhist insight: "Wherever you go, there you are."

My kids aren't marching to a preset pace. They're not on a conveyor belt. They're not even on a path. They're trekking through the Highlands, meandering over the prairies, hiking through the woods. They're not on a schedule, the journey is the destination, and their graduation does not mark a change from learning to living. We're on a dizzying voyage and the sooner I detox all my baggage, the better we'll travel.


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