Wednesday, September 23, 2009

A good day

Today was one of my favorite types of homeschooling days. We didn't have to be anywhere until late afternoon, and we spent the morning doing our own thing and coming together after lunch for some group work.

We laughed through my off-the-cuff writing/editing lesson, where my kids fixed my "crappiest story of all time, Mom." I can't imagine why they said that. Here, I reproduce for you my story in its entirety. I'm sure you'll agree it's prize-winning material:

bob wanted to spend the day at the beach on his vacation so he loaded up his station waggon and drove down to the beach at the end of island where there was a nice sandy quiet beach with alot of nice white sand once he was there he set up his umbrela and chair and cooler and decided to swim so he went into the water and started swimming because he thought it would be nice to have a swim he went out as deep as his knees and then thought that would be a nice place to start swimming he started swimming and saw that a big shark was heading his way he got very upset when the shark started swimming his way and then bit his legs off he got even more upset when the shark bit off both his arms bob then realized that he couuldnt swim any more he was upset when he realized that he wouldnt be able to swim back to shoar this incident made him realize that he was appropriattly named since he was bobbing in the water bob was so boring and tasteles that the shark vomited up bobs arms and legs where bob was surprised to see that they magicly reattached themselves the end

Okay, so maybe it's not great. Maybe it's not even good. Okay, okay, it stinks. That's the point. They're supposed to make it into something decent, even if the finished product doesn't approach greatness. Unfortunately, I'd made the story so very bad, so horrible, so completely without merit that we ran out of time fixing it. Poor bobbing Bob will have to wait another day to have his story written in gripping prose.

Next on the agenda was reading together. Today we read in Discover magazine"20 Things You Didn't Know about Eclipses." The 20 Things article, found at the back of every magazine, is a favorite read-aloud of ours. The highlight of today's article was when we were talking about symmetry, and S misheard me and said that symmetry was this place where people were laid out in rows after they'd died. Huh? It took me two beats to realize that she was talking about a cemetery. We rolled on the floor laughing about that one for at least five minutes.

But the best part of the day was one of those in-person learning experiences. Those are the best kinds, because the kids see the learning in real life, rather than just reading it in a book or seeing it in an educational video.

The display in my friend's beautiful house. It was splendid.

Today we visited the home of my gracious friend, R, who invited us to visit for Navaratri, a special festival in India - nine nights and ten days of celebration and dancing. (We were only there for an hour of it.) Our mutual friend, Deepa, sang traditional songs in the most beautiful, melodious voice. The entire house - adults and children alike - were entranced. The kids came home talking about the dolls that were displayed, the delectable food that R cooked, and the rich culture of India. She even gave me dinner - home-cooked Indian food, no less - to give to H.

G talked about how India was one of his favorite countries to study because of its incredible history and culture.

What was S's favorite thing? Well, the adorable little wooden elephant that was our gift from R, of course. It's now gracing the lock on the back door.

S's favorite part of our day.

Thank you, my friends, for making our day so special.

If you enjoyed this post, you might like Dangerous Books.


  1. October 3rd our place. Lunch! And maybe they'd enjoy topping this experience off with a visit to the local temple, to see Ravan (representing evil) being burnt in effigy. It's a very big deal in North India. SOme excerpts for a website for your family:

    Dusshera & Ramlila
    Dusshera, as the name suggests occurs on the “tenth” day following the Navratri. It is a festival to celebrate the triumph of good over evil, and marks the defeat and death of the demon king Ravana in the epic Ramayana. Huge effigies of Ravana are burnt amidst the bangs and booms of firecrackers.

    In northern India, especially in Varanasi, Dusshera overlaps with “Ramlila” or “Rama Drama” – traditional plays in which scenes from the epic saga of the mythical Rama-Ravana strife are enacted by professional troupes.

    The Dusshera celebration of Mysore in southern India is a veritable extravaganza! Chamundi, a form of Durga, is the family deity of the Maharaja of Mysore. It’s a wonderful scene to watch the grand procession of elephants, horses and courtiers wending a circuitous way to the hilltop temple of Goddess Chamundi!

  2. The reason Dusshera is celebrated in North India, is different from why it is celebrated in South India. In North India, it's about Rama defeating Ravana. In South India, it's a form of Durga Ma (Goddess) defeating another evil guy. In Eastern India, it's also a celebration of Durga Ma (and it is a VERY big deal). There're atleast 3 distinctly separate ways to celebrate the same festival (and many many more local variations).

  3. OH my goodness! I laughed so hard at the Bob story that I nearly spit out my toothpaste! Had to run to the sink while Tim's curiosity was aroused. He came to read for himself and we both had a good belly laugh together. The cemetery thing was the frosting on the proverbial cake. If that's your crappiest story ever, I would love to read some of the good ones! ROFL!

  4. That was actually a fun story, and what a great way to reinforce the principles of editing.

    What?! You mean Raji didn't tell me that you would be visiting on Wednesday? I would have loved to meet you. *sigh* we'll have to arrange another time.

  5. Ooops, found Raji's evite for Wed. in my spam folder. Don't know why it ended up there. She did tell me.