Monday, October 15, 2007

I recently picked up some new books...

Doesn't that sound lovely! New books! Have I ever mentioned that I like books. I particularly like sitting down and reading books that I find interesting. Most of the time however, I read books that are at best amusing children's books. On average they are children's books that I found amusing at one time before I read them hundreds of times (literally). At worst, they are terribly dull. Every now and then, I get to read something that interests me. I have many interests, however, and little time. So, my selections usually involve some area of my life that is of everyday importance. In this case, homeschooling our oldest daughter (and eventually the other kids). I had a chance the other day to spend a few minutes browsing at our local homeschool supply store (just at the edge of our neighborhood!). I decided to pick up the following volumes:

First Language Lessons for the Well-Trained Mind, by Jessie Wise. This is a lesson book on teaching the language arts (minus spelling) to first and second graders. I've already looked through it a good bit and think it will be very useful when I want to start teaching the Pillowfight fairy grammar. I think it is a good blend of structured instruction and casual kid-friendly teaching. I think it will probably work for us.

Drawing with Children: a Creative Method for Adult Beginners, Too, by Mona Brookes. This is something that will require a bit more of a leisurely read. Ideally, I would need to do the lessons in the book myself, before trying to teach them to my kids. Since I have never really considered myself very artistic with drawing, it might be a bit of a challenge to rethink the way I do art. However, I like the ideas used in the book (such as everyone can improve from their current ability and people do learn to draw better with some actual instruction whether or not they show any aptitude). This book presents art instruction for kids as young as two and all the way up to adults. In encourages taking it slow, following the development of the artist. It is basically a book to teach the teacher how to teach drawing. Considering how much the Pillowfight Fairy loves art, I know we need to do some kind of art instruction to keep her advancing. Natural ability will get you only so far, training will help her take it as far as she can.

My opportunity to read these books is not just research into what is coming up for our homeschooling in the future. It is carving out time for Mommy to do something I choose. There are so many things that need to be done. I am behind in so much of the housework and paperwork. I hate clutter and all of the surfaces are piled up again. So, I am fighting the good fight against clutter. I am starting to slowly get those "behind" jobs caught up again. Yet, in the midst of it all, I need to do something for me, too. Sometimes that is an afternoon nap when I need it. Sometimes it's getting out my needlepoint project (which has been in progress for more than a year now). Sometimes it is getting to read a new book. I am learning to put a little something for me into the day. It helps me relax, improves my mood, and helps me cope with the never ending problems that keep coming up (the latest of which are a dying water heater and repairs on the minivan after a collision). I have hopes that I will get better at finding time for rejuvenating things in my life. Because we all know that the problems will keep coming no matter what we do. But, anything that we can do to help the burden seem lighter or to improve our own outlook is a worthwhile endeavor.

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