Tuesday, September 6, 2016

Volunteering and Healing

Over the summer I completed training to become a Court Appointed Special Advocate for children displaced through dependency, neglect, or abuse.  I became a volunteer because my mother and her nine siblings were taken into state custody in 1945.  I've seen the result of a broken system and have personal scars as a result of effects on my mother.  The ten children were separated.  Some were adopted, some lived in orphanages until high school graduation.  I met several of them, but only knew two, and them vaguely.  I met a couple cousins once.

Today I sent in my first court report for a hearing later this month.  I felt the tears welling up as I hit send.  I felt the weight of the responsibility.  I wonder about the long term effects of what I recommended and will later have to testify to in court.  I didn't realize how difficult it would be.  How heavy the weight would be.  Fifty years from now I don't want the children of the children I'll be appointed to along the way to say I screwed up and they bear the scars as a result.

I am assigned one or two cases at a time.  Social Workers have 30, 40, 50?  I'm sure she was diligent and did what she could in good faith and in the best interest of my mother, my aunts, and my uncles.  I think it's time I let up on the social worker who did what she felt was best for my mother.  Maybe it's time to let that pain go.

Monday, August 22, 2016

New Week, New Composer

This week is Frideric Handel and the oratorio.  I adore Handel.  Every time I hear the Hallelujah Chorus I cry.  It is one of THE most beautiful pieces ever written!  Handel declared, "I did think I did see all of heaven before me and the great God Himself!"  I feel that way when I hear it.  I always have, even as a child, without being told anything about it, I felt it.  Now that I'm an adult, I can almost see the the Messiah Himself surrounded by seraphim and the rest of the heavenly hosts singing His praises.  I share with you today the most famous chorus of the most famous oratorio ever written.  Don't forget to stand.  The little guy and I did.

Friday, August 19, 2016

Let Children be Children!

My husband calls it "Academic Bullying." And he's absolutely right. Kids are pushed so hard these days that there is little down time. Little self time. Little time to be the children they are and just play. And that includes teenagers! Too many adults have forgotten that their children have only a small period in their life to be children, to play, have fun, and just learn to RELAX. Children should NOT be busy all the time! They should NOT be studying all the time! They should NOT be under so much pressure with so many expectations on them that they are on medications for anxiety and/or depression. Mom! Dad! Stop trying to live vicarious through your children. Listen to your children. Let them be kids. Let your children ... PLAY!!!

"Anyone who looks honestly at the experiences of students at Sudbury model democratic schools and of unschoolers—where freedom, play, and self-directed exploration prevail—knows that there is another way. We don't need to drive kids crazy to educate them. Given freedom and opportunity, without coercion, young people educate themselves. They do so joyfully, and in the process develop intrinsic values, personal self-control, and emotional wellbeing. That's the overriding message of the whole series of essays in this blog. It's time for society to take an honest look."

The Decline in Play and the Rise in Children's Mental Disorders

Tuesday, August 9, 2016

As child #5 has chosen to attend the high school and will begin this Thursday, I found myself back to homeschooling a little one!  Day two of official Kindergarten for #6. Aside from the normal reading, math, and science, B-Man is studying music.  He takes piano lessons every week from an amazing teacher and friend, practices every day, and really enjoys classical music and learning about the composers.  For the next few weeks we are studying the Baroque Period (1600-1750) and three of the most famous composers.  This week is Johann Sebastian Bach.  Bach signed all of his compositions, "S.D.G." - Soli Deo Gloria - "to the glory of God."  We listened to Invention in A Minor on the CD that came with the book and then we watched a video of  Toccata and Fugue in D Minor being played by Hans-Andre' Stamm on the Trost Organ in Germany.  It was built in 1730 and 70% of the pipe organ is the original material.  The artistry of the organ itself is enough to move me to tears!  Then to think that there is a very good chance that J.S. Bach himself played on this magnificent instrument?!  It's been a good homeschooling morning!

I hope you enjoy it as much as we did.

I have said these things unto you, that in me you may have peace. In the world you will have tribulation. But take heart; I have overcome the world.
~John 16:33