Go where you will throughout the noble woods of the Sierra Nevada, among the giant pines and spruces of the lower zones, up through the towering Silver Firs to the storm-bent thickets of the summit peaks, you everywhere find this little squirrel the master-existence. Though only a few inches long, so intense is his fiery vigor and restlessness, he stirs every grove with wild life, and makes himself more important than even the huge bears that shuffle through the tangled underbrush beneath him. Every wind is fretted by his voice, almost every bole and branch feels the sting of his sharp feet John Muir on the Douglas Squirrel
So much for blogging daily!
( I’m taking the roundabout road to the Douglas squirrel bit)
When I am not blogging, it’s usually because something is mentally stuck. Right now I think it is two things. One is that we are not really doing much homeschooling, or even what you might call unschooling. Two is that given that this is a homeschooling journal, and given my #1, I am having a hard time thinking of things to write about that suit the topic.
These two seem connected. I will try to solve the second one first, given that it’s easier to untie a tangle by starting at an outside end.
Homeschooling is more than just what you do during certain hours of the day. It affects everything you do and even how you plan your day, month or next five years.
So it would seem that everything in our day is “homeschooling”.
In that case, nothing would be completely off topic. Homeschooling is part of our family identity. Even if we stopped homeschooling, after 18 years if would still be somewhat a homeschooling story. “What happened to the homeschooling family when they all went to school.”
If I talk about what we had for dinner, ontologically, it is one particular example of what a homeschooling family has for dinner.
Then I should let go of my concern about what is related or unrelated. Still, just for the sake of setting rules (a delightful way of enhancing any playful activity) I will try to actually MENTION homeschooling in the vast majority of posts. Homeschooling in the broad inclusive sense , not the restricted sense of sitting down to a 4th grade workbook or producing a portfolio sample.
Now this might also help me with my first problem. Every now and then I get into traps where I define homeschooling as something I’m NOT doing right now. Say, during summer vacation, I am “not homeschooling” because we aren’t dealing with lesson plans or attendance records. But it’s always a danger thinking that way, because pretty soon it feels like we are “not doing anything” and that others are “doing more”. Even if it were true, it’s a reductionist way of thinking.
So maybe journaling here, and thinking about how our activities relate to homeschooling, will help me get a wider view and avoid this “doing” trap.
Just for the time capsule element of this, we are (mostly) all at my oldest son’s apartment in Oregon at present. My daughter is at college and my second son stayed home to foster a pair of Douglas squirrels. They dropped out of a tree in our yard the day before we were to leave. They had been crying for their mama for 2 or more days before that, but we couldn’t do much as long as they stayed treed. We don’t know what happened to their mother, or to their other two siblings.
The young seem to sprout from knot-holes, perfect from the first, and as enduring as their own trees. It is difficult, indeed, to realize that so condensed a piece of sun-fire should ever become dim or die at all John Muir on the Douglas Squirrel
See, this is about homeschooling, though the son at home is a college student now, and fostering squirrels seems to have nothing to do with homeschooling (I’m a public school grad and I can care for squirrel babies, too). But it was during his homeschooling years that he became fascinated with the flora and fauna of our corner of the Sierras, and that now his major is forestry.
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