Southern poetry

Houston recently completed this poetry lesson, which stressed the usefulness and fun of adjectives, and was supposed to be about America. As you can see, he chose a different topic. That’s my boy! He also typed it up himself, got to choose the fonts, and then illustrated his final product. Raising unReconstructed kids is super cool.

The Endeavor of Columbus

In an effort to get stuff onto the blog (I mean, we do pay $100 a year for this domain name), I’m going to post some of Houston’s Essentials papers that he’s written over the past couple of years. Essentials is the grammar and writing portion of Classical Conversations for kids approximately ages 9-12. For writing, we use a curriculum called IEW (the Institute for Excellence in Writing).

IEW encourages what is called “hand holding” – a parent taking lead in the early stages on some to many aspects of an assignment but with the child remaining fully part of the process. The methodology asserts that the student will learn to emulate the skills through modeling the adult. And slowly but surely, the parent does less and less while the child eventually does more, until he’s confidently and independently crafting his own essays.

Houston will be starting his third and final year in Essentials this September, and Gabriel and Zeke will be launching into the first year of this amazing three-year journey of parsing words, and growing in a deeper knowledge of language and writing – the dialectic stage of the Trivium. And interestingly, little ol’ me will tutoring Essentials next fall, as well.

That means I will be the “lead learner” in class, guiding students through the rich material. I’m nervous, since I’ve never before tutored at our homeschool co-op, but I’m trusting God on this one. I’ve been called to fill this role because my director, many of the other moms, and Stephen all think I was tailor-made for the gig. So, I’m considering it a “calling,” and not a job.

Plus, my good pal, Adair, says she’ll sit with the 3 Amigos during class, since parents are supposed to be right beside their kiddos, simultaneously learning the information and absorbing in the process. Parents are, after all, their children’s lead educator, not tutors. We’re simply facilitators in the amazing pedagogy of Christian classical education.

Anyhoo, here’s the first of many history-based writings to come. I hope y’all enjoy. And please be sure to comment, if you feel so inclined. I know Houston would love to your read praises and critiques.

The Endeavor of Columbus
By Houston
8 September 2017

In the 1400s, Europeans were fully resolved to increase their prosperity by sailing to the East Indies. Christopher Columbus knew the earth was round, but he foolishly figured he could get east by sailing west. He coaxed the king and queen of Spain to make him three Spanish ships, so that he could boldly sail across the ocean. Some people thought he would fall of the edge of the world, or be viciously devoured by sea monsters, but on October 12, 1492, the crew excitedly spotted land! Ashore there were men that were vastly different. Columbus mistakenly called them Indians because he thought he was in the Indies. But he had reached land that Europeans knew nothing about, the Americas.

Zeke’s black eye

Gabe and Zeke’s baseball team (the Tigers) was playing Houston’s team (the Angels) last night. We had been anticipating the game all season. But the 3 Amigos’ big bro-down had a 20-minute rain delay, so both teams horsed around on the field as it barely drizzled and thundered way off in the distance … and then this happened.

Egad! First, let me say, Zeke is okay now, but it was frightening as all get out when we spotted him. He was crying, the kid who accidentally hit him in the face with a (luckily underhand-tossed) baseball was crying, the parents who saw it unfold were nearly crying – it was chaos! This pic was taken about four hours after the injury occurred.

By this time, the swelling had gone down immensely, and his vision, and cheek and eyebrow bones seemed to be fine. He was even a bit peppy before bed, having eaten popcorn and watched for the first time “The Wizard of Oz.”

I assured Zeke that he survived TTTS, being a preemie, and having a CCAM removed via lobectomy, so we weren’t gonna let some stray baseball bring him down. But honestly, I was scared to death. Thank you, Lord, for protecting my sweet boy, helping Stephen and me make wise decisions regarding his care, and giving Zeke two brothers who care so much about his well-being!

Here’s Zeke this afternoon. We decided to take him to an urgent care, just to make sure his orbital bones weren’t fractured. His x-rays checked out fine, as did his vision tests, physical exam, and even an ocular test that numbed his eye and turned it green so that the doc could make sure his lens and iris and other necessary seeing parts weren’t scratched or damaged.

Zeke was seen by the same lady who treated Houston during his shoulder trauma a few months back. She’s extremely thorough and competent, so we left feeling relieved of his “he’s one lucky dude” diagnosis. I mean, if he had been hit 1 mm differently in any direction, it could have been so much worse. Lord have mercy.