Wednesday, January 25, 2012
Gathering the Good
Heather and I started back into home school today. It's late in January for a first day back and Heath has been worried that perhaps we're delinquent in our schedule-keeping.
The last few weeks have been (fabulously) filled with brothers (and a brother's girlfriend) for various lengths of time in over-lapping stays. For Byron, there's been plenty of work included in the schedule, but Heather didn't know how to recognize her work (that of gaining an education) in the midst of it all.
Mindful of this, we started our day by looking back over January. Marker in hand, I asked H to tell me about the things she's been up to. Turns out, it's been a pretty awesome few weeks of 8th grade. Pardon me as I elaborate...
This month, Heather's had 3 separate sessions of "outdoor ed." in 3 dramatically different environments. During these she camped, hiked, snorkeled, swam, caught, held and released ostrich chicks, spied on a couple of very shy hippos, observed fabulous birds, swung on vines, watched the always beautiful colobus monkeys and spent time in Maasai homes. She also read, baked, played piano, pursued new craft projects and prepared for and participated in a 2 day equestrian event. The event saw her complete her first ever cross country course, place in a novice dressage test and take first in her class for show jumping. More impressively, she faced down her nerves and rode competitively in front of other people. The School of January has stretched her on many levels.
If we hadn't taken the time to review this morning, would what she's gained have been lost? Would the warm, loosened muscles of her being have receded back to their pre-January selves? Probably not entirely. But I've come to believe that looking back gathers the good and helps us carry it forward. Forgetting to remember reduces the harvest. Before our pause to reflect, Heather was stressed that we might somehow be "behind." Piling the good up before us reminded her that life is filled with gifts and learning, and school has most definitely not been closed.