Saturday, October 06, 2012

Saturday morning

Blogging commitments (though always self-imposed) never work well for me.

We do homeschool, after a fashion, pretty much every day, but I don't seem to have a notable homeschool moment every day.  Or, if we do, I tend to miss it.

I do read, but I don't keep my 2012 Reading page updated very well.  (I did update it today - with 3 months worth of books.)  I tend to do more of my book talking on Goodreads now, so come see me over there.

But it's Saturday morning and both my kids are out, my husband is sleeping and my dog is waiting patiently for me to let him out the back door. But I can't, because it's nut-gathering season, and squirrels are all over the place.  And he barks at them.  They never come down to play, but he can't stop insisting they do.

My girl is on a church youth group retreat.  Our junior high group is small - only two girls and three boys - but they have great leaders and enjoy themselves.  Two of the boys are new to the group this year, having moved up to 7th grade.  Last year there were three girls and one boy, so I wondered how it would go when that dynamic changed. I was happy that my girl said the boys were a lot of fun and that she was happy that last year's sole male had some cohorts now.  They will be home tomorrow afternoon.

I was up at 6am with my boy, who is off on a Scout event.  It's amazing how a boy who can sleep till 10 am with no trouble will jump out of bed at 6 am when he needs to. Mommies of late-sleeping kids, take heart! They can get up when they need to.

As always, I have a lot of things I'd like to write about.  But now it's time to go have a cup of coffee on the  back deck.  The husband has arisen.  The dog can't wait to get outside anymore. 

Have a lovely Saturday.

The Flight of Gemma Hardy

The Flight of Gemma HardyThe Flight of Gemma Hardy by Margot Livesey
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

I'd been looking for something to take me to another time and place, and this did it pretty well. Well, the time isn't so exotic - 1950s and 60s - but the place is Scotland, specifically the Orkney Islands which have long fascinated me, and Iceland. This has been called an homage to Jane Eyre, and I probably should have reread that first, but I knew the basic story - orphan girl becomes a governess (or the more current au pair) for a mysterious man with a secret. Chaos ensues.

All in all I'd say this is a very good book with some infuriating moments. First, it's got that first-person narration that I am really tired of. The main character, Gemma, was frustratingly stupid and naive at times, but I suppose that might be expected of an orphan with nasty relatives and a bad boarding school experience.

But the story was engaging and had me hiding from my kids to snatch bits of reading time. The ending was no surprise, of course.  But it wasn't a satisfying ending simply because there were too many loose ends left undone. Gemma had left a few people behind in her flight, and I wanted to know what became of them - or rather, what became of her relationship with them.  I suppose my desire to know what happened to all those other relationships means I was more engaged with the book than I had thought. 

The scenes on the Orkneys reminded me of our visit to Lewis in the Outer Hebrides, seven years ago. I loved that part of it.  I doubt I will ever get someplace so remote again, but... maybe.

I'll be looking for more books by this author. But first I need to go read Jane Eyre.

View all my reviews

Monday, October 01, 2012

Homeschool Moment: Haircut

My homeschool moment for today is:  leaving my kids home alone with their work, and walking out the door to go get my hair cut.  Alone. 

Sure, moms who send their kids to school get to do all sorts of things on their own during the school day.

But with young teens in the house, I get the best of both worlds:  I get to homeschool my kids and hang out with them most of the time, but I also get to walk out the door - alone - for a haircut.  Or a cup of coffee with a friend.  Or a trip to the library.  No, never mind the last one - the kids want to go to the library with me anyway.

Sometimes it seems that as homeschoolers, we are trapped at home with our kids. But once the teen years hit, they can be home alone. 

And they even - mostly, anyway - do their work!