Books: My Not So Secret Love

books and carMy not so secret love affair began when I was just a girl.

Short stories, diaries, articles, quotes, novels, poems, journals, monologues, plays, blogs, letters – Style and form are irrelevant. I love them all.

Dick and Jane | See Addison learn how to read.

I didn’t always have this deep abiding love.

Times are different now than they were then. Now a days, attending preschool is normal and often expected, but it wasn’t when I was a child. A child’s education didn’t begin until kindergarten, but education was important to my parents. They wanted to give me and my sister every advantage. Enrolling me in preschool, they hoped to start my education off on the right foot. And it did. Preschool taught me everything a kindergartner needed to know.

My school didn’t quite know what to make of me and my advanced knowledge. Worried that I’d languish about and be bored in kindergarten, the teachers recommended I skip kindergarten and start the first grade. Hesitantly, my parents agreed.

Sadly, this leap seemed to halt any progress I’d made. Struggling through the first grade, I quickly fell behind the other students. Seeing my frustration, Mom took matters into her own hands. Every day after school, she’d sit me down at our Formica kitchen table, and we’d read out of her old Dick and Jane books.

I hated every agonizing moment. It was my own torturous hell. The last thing I wanted to do after a long day of school was more work. No, I wanted to be set free to run and play and eat cherry flavored Popsicles. Instead, I was forced to sit side by side with Mom reading about Dick, Jane, and their dog Spot.

Delving into the pages of a story, I live a thousand lives.dr seuss

Attending a tea party with queens and kings, I sip on tea and sample sweet cakes. Crouched down in a corn field, I silently pray that I’m not discovered. Slicing through the warm waters of the Caribbean, I swim among the fishes. Heartbroken, I’m wracked with gut-wrenching sobs at the sudden death of my mom. Journeying to the farthest lands, I camp out under the stars and desert moon. Tying on an apron, I learn how to make candy from snow. Hanging upside down from a tree branch, I hold court with my friends, discussing the true meaning of friendship.

If only I’d known the wonderful world reading would open for me, maybe I wouldn’t have put up such a fuss to learn.

Isn’t a library supposed to be available for everyone?library

I’m at the high school with my two of my best friends. We are in middle school now, but we’ll be starting high school next year. We thought it would be fun to sneak into the school to see what it is like before we start attending here. Walking along the hall, we come to the library. It is twice the size of our school library. I’m in awe. There are so many books. Books run from floor to ceiling along all the walls and the seats are plush. Selecting a book from the stacks, I sink into a plush chair and begin to read. My friends aren’t as impressed. Quietly talking and giggling, they soon attract the attention of the librarian. We are asked to leave. Sadly, I put my book away, promising to come back another day.

Fun in the sundandelion

Summer stretches out before me. Holed up in my room, I’m surrounded by piles of books. Now that it is summer, I’m free to spend every waking moment with my nose buried in a book. Long after I’m supposed to be asleep, I use a flashlight and read late into the night.

My Mom helped me replenish my stockpile of books by regularly taking me to used book stores, second hand stores, and the library.

Spending so much time inside, I began to grow pale. Watching this go on day after day, my dad implores me to go outside and get some sunshine. Not a reader himself, he has a hard time understanding my fascination with books. One day, he finally had enough. Picking me up, he deposited me outside. Locking me out of the house, he told me I could come back after I’d spent the afternoon getting some sun.

Pounding on the front door, I beg for him to let me in. He stands firm. I need the Vitamin D. Finally, I give up, and ask him to at least let me have the book, I was reading. A few minutes go by…before he opens a window tossing my book out to me. Happy again, I snatch it up before he can change his mind. Heading off, I find a soft grassy area in our backyard before loosing myself back in my book.

My not so secret love affair began when I was just a girl.

 

 

 

 

 

Road School

We did it! We successfully completed our first year of road schooling.

There were several components to navigate when we first decided to give up our stationary lives to adopt this mobile nomadic life of travel,  but none were as important as the education of our children. Delving headlong into the home school/road school process, I educated myself on the various methods and philosophies before deciding to use the eclectic approach. Compiling our curriculum could have been an overwhelming and daunting experience had it not been for the grace of families like our own who helped to pave the way and the informative world wide web. Meeting the ever changing needs of our children, we cater to their individual interests while adhering to our state specific requirements.

Looking back at this last year, I’d like to share three opportunities and experiences my children have had that they normally wouldn’t have received within the confines of the typical classroom. I hope this may help those out there who are trying to decide if home school/road school is right for them or who may have just started out.

  • Wood Working and Remodel Unit

One of the first things we needed to do was find an RV. It needed to be diesel, affordable, and able to accommodate our family of five. Wanting to avoid costly monthly payments that would detract from our monthly budget, we planned to buy our RV outright. We were ecstatic to find a used thirty-four foot RV that met all our needs nicely.

Investing a little sweat equity, we would make it comfortable and distinctly ours. This was a perfect chance to have a unit on woodworking and remodeling.

The Bathroom:  Remodeling the bathroom floor, we had to first start by pulling up the old hardwood floor. There wasn’t enough room for two people to work on this together, so the kids took turns prying up the boards with a crowbar.After the old wood was replaced, we tiled the floor and replaced the old worn toilet with a new one. Scraping the old wall paper off the bathroom walls, we finished things off with a fresh coat of pain.

The Living/Dining Room: Pulling up the carpet in the living room and dining room area, the kids took needle nose pliers And eliminated the hundreds of staples that had been left behind. Next, we laid down the foundation and the new hardwood floors. Having pulled out the dining room table to complete our floor project, we decided to forgo it completely in favor of more comfortable sitting and sleeping arrangements.

While this was very much a family project, the kids learned first hand to appreciate the hard work that goes into making any house a home.

  •  Commerce and American Ingenuity

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At first glance, Wall, South Dakota, appears to be nothing more than a road side tourist attraction with its many souvenir shops, the statue of the giant jack rabbit, the restaurants, the traveler’s church, and the various other attractions. However, it is so much more. It is a flourishing town built on American ingenuity. Wall, South Dakota is one of America’s most well-known tourist attractions thanks to the business acumen of Dorothy and Ted Hustead. Settling on the edge of the Badlands in Wall, South Dakota, the Husteads opened Wall Drug Store in 1931. They hoped to put down roots and to make a nice living for their family. Unfortunately, business was bad. They struggled along for nearly five years, quietly hoping business would pick up when Dorothy had an ingenious idea that soon had their business flourishing. Free ice water. It was an economically brilliant idea. Dorothy and Ted Hustead had plenty of water and ice, but they needed customers. Travelers going through the hot desert of the Badlands would surely be thirsty and in need of refreshment. Putting up signs along the highway route advertising their FREE ICE WATER, the Hustead’s store was soon extremely business with the traffic they attracted from their road signs. Standing in Wall Drug Store reading Dorothy and Ted’s story brought to life what two hard working people with a little American ingenuity can do.

  • United States History and Art

CZWR0211Home to over forty memorials, museums, and art galleries, there is no other place quite like our Nation’s Captiol when studying the history of the United States.

We spent two weeks here, but could have easily spent several more. There is so much to do and see it can be a little overwhelming. However, with a little thought it is easy to plan your time here. To make the most of our time, we splurged and took a city tour which allowed us to see many memorials within a day. Knowing we didn’t have enough time to see and do everything the city had to offer, we decided it was only fair to divide and conquer. Taking turns, we each chose a museum or gallery the family would visit. This seemed to be a fair method that appeased us all. Complementing what we saw with reading and writing assignments, the history of our country was brought to life.

 

Ninety percent of the memorials, museums, and galleries are free to the public making it much easier for families to enjoy.

  1. The National Mall
  2. The White House
  3. The National Museum of Natural History
  4. The Smithsonian Institutions
  5. The United States Capitol
  6. The Lincoln Memorial
  7. The National Zoological Park
  8. The National Air and Space Museum
  9. The National Gallery of Art
  10. The Washington Monument
  11. The Vietnam Veterans Memorial
  12. The National World War II Memorial
  13. The National Museum of American History
  14. The International Spy Museum
  15. The United States Holocaust Museum
  16. The Newseum
  17. The Washington National Cathedral
  18. The John F. Kennedy Center for Performing Arts
  19. The Korean War Veterans Memorial
  20. The Smithsonian American Art Museum
  21. Ford’s Theater
  22. The Franklin Delano Roosevelt Memorial
  23. The National Portrait Gallery
  24. The United States Botanic Garden
  25. The National Museum of the American Indian
  26. Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden
  27. The National Archives Building
  28. The National Building Museum
  29. The Lincoln Memorial Reflecting Pool
  30. The United States National Arboretum
  31. The National Postal Museum
  32. The National Museum of African Art
  33. The Freer Gallery of Art
  34. The Folger Shakespeare Library
  35. The Arts and Industries Building
  36. The Corcoran Gallery of Art
  37. The Arthur M Sackler Gallery
  38. The National Museum of Women in the Arts
  39. The Martin Luther King Jr Memorial
  40. The Arlington Cemetary