GWS :: thirty-one

it takes a long time to develop good habits.
…so it takes just as long a time to develop bad habits.
…what this means for us a s teachers is that
instead of always being in such a big hurry to correct our students’ mistakes, we can afford to give them the time to notice and correct them themselves.

–John Holt in Growing Without Schooling Issue 23

archived here

to celebrate easter :: a beginning

2377135957_761d05f1ef_owith the procession of the palms, Jesus enters Jerusalem, and we enter Holy Week.  Lent is coming to an end.  just because it happens every year doesn’t make it less startling.  a new thing is about to come.  not yet, but soon.  we’ve kept the fast–imperfectly, haltingly, grumbling all the while.  and, as is often the case, it was difficult in unexpected ways.

but how will we keep the feast?

the 40 days of preparation open onto 40 more days from Easter until the Ascension.  and further on another 10 days to the coming of the Spirit at Pentecost.  a full 50 days of Easter!

one of my favorite posts from a few years ago was a list of ideas for celebrating the 50 days of Easter.  i want to give flesh to these ideas: to write more, experience them more.  i want to put my hand to the task of living Easter, of practicing resurrection.

so join me for simple saint day celebrations, reflections on nourishing homeschool and housekeeping routines, and favorite posts from the archives.  in each we’ll endeavor to make straight paths for our feet.


sabbath rest

Christ's Entry into Jerusalem by Hippolyte Flandrin c. 1842

There is melancholy, but also peaceful acceptance.  There is insight into the fickleness of the human heart, but also immense compassion.  There is deep awareness of the unspeakable pain to be suffered, but also a strong determination to do God’s will.  Above all, there is love, an endless, deep. and far-reaching love born from an unbreakable intimacy with God and reaching out to all people…There is nothing that he does not fully know.  There is nobody whom he does not fully love.

–Henri Nouwen, Show Me the Way: Readings for Each Day of Lent

poetry and prayer and essays not on friday

i’ve been on a bit of a Mary Karr kick of late…ever since AP told me that she’s who first recommended the wonderful prayer resource Pray As You Go.

i started with the poetry collection called Sinners Welcome.  this slim volume also contains the essay  from Poetry Magazine about her conversion to Catholicism.  in the essay she records a conversation she had with the poet Thomas Lux:

Back in Lux’s pool, i honestly couldn’t think of anything to be grateful for.  i told Lux something like i was glad i still had all my limbs.  that’s what i mean about how my mind didn’t take in all reality before i began to practice some regular devotions.

this idea–that our practices can change and shape and influence the way that we see–has taken hold of my imagination.  it figures large in what i am planning for Easter.  here’s a poem not quite about Easter.  it’s a facsimile from the Poetry Magazine archive, one more reason to make me love the internet.

GWS :: thirty

The structure of learning is not in the curriculum guidelines,

nor in the teacher’s plan book,

nor in the workbooks.

The structure is in the world.

As the children learn about their world, they are understanding its order…

And the first time an adult believes that, whether they’ve used a big blue plan book or not,

the sun breaks through.

–Karen Cox in Growing Without Schooling Issue 23
archived here.

from the stacks

14358834 we recently got Show Me a Story: 40 Craft Projects and Activities to Spark Children’s Storytelling by Emily Neuburger from the library after seeing it mentioned on *someone’s* blog.  was it yours?  i can’t recall! but it looked like something we would like to look at even if we never actually did any of the projects.

sure enough, it’s a lovely book.  Mabel spend a few evenings flipping through the pages.  then she talked about a few projects she might like to do: a storyboard background made from cloth, painted rocks.  i started to slowly gather supplies.

IMG_1833then, completely on her own, she used the ideas presented in the book–making props for storytelling–but in her own unique way.  she made this tiny playset of Angelina Ballerina and her friend Alice.  it all fits inside a tiny, magical matchbox.

there was a time when these stories loomed large in our days.  but it’s been a while.  she’s sort of moved on from ballet as well.  but still the stories have hold of her.`


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last Saturday as i was complaining about my lot and feeling out of sorts, ap of my heart got busy and built a garden bed for the front yard.  it’s the one place that’s a bit less boggy and less shaded by great big doug fir, horse chestnut, walnut, and maple trees.  we aren’t going to feed the family with this door-sized garden, but i do hope to greet a few new, green things in the coming season.