Saturday, September 25, 2010

Nature, I miss it so...

Here I sit in  my sealed home. The weather outside is fabulous at a sunny 75F. And we? We are sitting inside. In the days before I never closed a window and the chirps of birds and chattering of squirrels were my background noise.   When I grew up I mostly lived in the country. The hills, dales, forest and orchards of southern Germany were my playground as a child. And later on my parents had a small hobby farm with about 6 cows, sheep, goats, pigs, all kind of fowl and a dog. And through all of this I grew atuned to nature. I understood her. I could feel the changes in the wind, the angle of the sunlight streaming through the trees. I knew every tree and shrub in my surroundings.  Every summer my parents and I spent countless bugbitten hours plucking all manner of berries and in the fall we harvested mushrooms and apples. What wonderful times these were.  Now this has all changed in my life and I feel so sad for my children for this. A connection to nature is priceless indeed and it's one my children don't have. My daughter's allergies to countless trees, grasses etc confine her to a life spent indoors. She is getting better and we were able to spend some time outside this year compared to the previous years where her time outside was usually the amount of time it took her to get from a building to the car and again in reverse.  I firmly believe that her improvement is primarily due to the fact that she is homeschooled and the shots which she's been getting for a year now.  We know she'll always have allergies but she was able to go outside in the garden this year.
I love reading blogs like 'BuntBlume' formerly 'BuntGlass' and  'Untrodden Paths'. The connection to Nature which these mothers forge would have been similar to mine. Maybe I should simply take a leap of faith and try a bit more now that Sissy reacts less and recovers faster.  How can my children become good stewards of a world they have no connection to.

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Me? Like Science? Since when....? I failed Chemistry......

One of my major I-am-homeschooling- panic attacks came when I recognized my daughters unbridled enthusiasm about starting Chemistry in 5th grade. She was so excited.  And I was like, whoaaaa there Nellie, hold on a moment, I can't do that.....
You see, several circumstances in my life happened and so, when I switched schools (among other things) in  8th grade, I went from a 'artsy' school to a 'science and math are crucial' school. The kids who were my new classmates had two years of science already under their belts. Me? I was screwed. I picked up in math, eventually figured out physics, did brilliantly in biology, and failed, I mean abjectly failed chemistry. It was pathetic. So, the prospect of victimizing my daughter and screwing up her future because I can't understand chemistry left me worried all summer long.
Well, we've been studying chemistry for a few days now and have to say we are having a blast. It's all simple right now of course, elements, substances, compounds, molecules, atoms, ions,  electrons, protons, neutrons, and so on. We are studying the differences between physical properties and chemical properties and it's amazing..... I understand it all. Oh, yeah, my little smartypants daughter is breezing through it.
The moral of this story...enjoy homeschooling for what it really can be. A journey through the world WITH your children.

We, thank you very much, are having a grand time!