Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Carnival of Homeschooling: Gratitude after Stormy Weather edition

The little things I'm thankful for after going through two storms, Hurricane Sandy and Nor'easter Athena....

I'm thankful for light.

Power outages this time of year bring the complication of less daylight to work with. I found myself scrambling to get as much done as possible before the sun set. After two nights, three of our flashlights had lights dimming from overuse. Halloween night was lit with candles and Jack o'lanterns to save bulb life. I'm thankful we had light after the third day.

Some waited even longer for light. Many of my neighbors and relatives spent at least a week in the dark. But good things can come from that, too. Many shared electricity with those who needed to charge their gadgets or opened their doors to those who needed a warm place to stay. That's a good example to set for our children. Kathi describes her experiences in Hurricane Sandy.

There are reasons to be thankful for the dark as well. It's amazing how quickly our bodies adapt without our technology and artificial lights to keep us up all night. We all went to bed earlier and I began to wake with the sun shining through my east-facing window. It's important to help our children learn to be thankful even for the dark moments in our lives. Laura Grace Weldon offers a different perspective on gratitude in Grateful for the Dark Stuff Too.

I'm thankful for batteries.

I try to always keep a stock of batteries in the house. Useful tip: buy your batteries before you actually need them, because the days before the storm, everyone panics and buys batteries. The store shelves were empty of batteries two days before Hurricane Sandy hit.

Living on batteries is a good way to learn energy conservation. You are much more aware of how quickly that energy is eaten up. And as the homeschooling parent, I know what it's like to feel my own batteries running low. When that happens, it's nice to find an alternative energy source. Mrs. White has a creative way to take advantage of your children's energy as she shares Free Presents for Mother.

In an emergency, take care of yourself and your family first.  Remember, batteries can be replaced. Proclaiming God's Faithfulness reminds us there are even blessings in a dead car battery in her post, Some Things Aren't Broken -- Really!

I'm thankful for books and libraries.

I had said before the storm hit that it would be nice to have some unplugged time, should our power go out, since I could catch up on some reading. Not only did reading aloud help us ride out the storm (our read aloud was the latest in Derek Landy's Skulduggery Pleasant series), it helped fill the quiet dark hours between dinner and bedtime. Our library had became very popular as the days grew colder. Over a thousand people filled the library each day following the storm. Many of them simply wanted a warm place with an outlet to plug in their electronic gadgets, but it showed how important libraries are to the community in a time when they are usually the first to suffer budget cuts.

Homeschoolers have innovative ideas for supporting their favorite libraries. I help sort donations for our library's book store. Other families might read. A lot. Tea Time with Annie Kate shares Our Annual Reading Week.

Reading to each other is such a wonderful way to help our children develop a love of books. Eclectic Momma reminds us Don't Give Up on the Read Aloud!

Reading can help our children learn to see things in their own unique way. It's nice that homeschooling can accommodate them instead of forcing them to choose a "right" answer. "Homeschool" is Not a Typo shares Thinking Outside of the Box.

Good reading skills can lead to good writing skills. Letters from Nebby discusses Some Research on Writing.

Writing skills will help when putting together a child's high school transcript. 7 Sisters Homeschool answers the question, What Good are Transcripts, Anyway?

I'm thankful for ice and snow.

The Nor'easter Athena hit us hard about a week after the hurricane. Lucky me, I was driving during the heaviest snowfall, picking up my daughter at the college. The college is about two miles from us, typically a five minute drive. Getting home that evening took an hour and fifteen minutes. I turned it into a lesson for my student driver, explaining how I put the car into low gear and took my time driving along the narrow, snow and ice covered road that curves steeply down toward our house. It's an exercise in patience. We passed many cars that took the hill too fast and skidded into the side of the road where they ended up stuck.

There are great lessons to be learned from the real world. My daughter learned about safety in hazardous road conditions. Barbara Frank's daughter learned lessons on the basics for independent living in Preparing for Adulthood Without College.

Happiness is a good thing to learn, as well. Being able to stay upbeat and optimistic helps us overcome life's challenges. Homeschooling in Buffalo shares an interesting review in Happiness as an Educational Goal.

I'm thankful for homeschooling/unschooling

There are many reasons for my gratitude for our life without formal education. When storms blow through or tragedy strikes, I'm simply thankful I do not have to worry about things like "make-up days" Schools in our area are already taking vacation days away for the week--or more--of missed time. I don't worry about how to keep them occupied and out of my hair. Whenever kids are out of school, our newspaper prints ideas for activities and places to go. I'm glad we are able to simply be with each other.

And anyway, homeschooling is awesome. Home School Dad agrees as he addresses a question, Should Homeschoolers keep a low profile?--A response.

It's good to take the time to remember what we are thankful for. I've found it helps me get through the little inconveniences a storm can cause.  Golden Grasses took the time to make her own list in I am a Grateful Homeschooler.

I'm so thankful that Janine and Henry Cate decided to start blogging seven years ago. Through their leadership, the Carnival of Homeschooling became a forum for sharing a multitude of views on home education. Why Homeschool shares Thoughts about homeschooling and blogging.

Just a note, some lost so much in this storm. My heart breaks for the people who lost their property and especially those who lost their lives. If you haven't done so, consider donating to the victims of Hurricane Sandy. Go to http://www.redcross.org/hurricane-sandy.

Thank you for reading this edition of the carnival! And thanks to all who sent in submissions, there would be no carnival without your support. If you would like to participate in next week's Carnival of Homeschooling, hosted by Notes from a Homeschooled Mom, send your submission by 6pm PST Monday to CarnivalOfHomeschooling@gmail.com. (Check submission requirements here.)


jugglingpaynes said...

Oh goodness. I can't believe I forgot to say Happy Thanksgiving everyone!

Shirley said...

Thank you for including me! Great Carnival, as always!

LaughingLioness said...

Cristina- what a lovely carnival! You did a fantastic job in a time of difficulty for many. I am looking forward to reading the posts!
2nding the thank to the Cates!

Inner Elder said...

Wonderful post and lessons learned in the dark and cold. I am so proud of you. Love, Mom

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