September 2007

IMG: Ancaster Fair at night.

IMG: Ancaster Fair at night.

IMG: Ancaster Fair at night.

We’re into our 5th official week of schooling now. As Jordan gets older, we move further away from unschooling and he most enjoys the work he does independently. For example, he comes to me on Fridays so I can give him a spelling test, other than that, I don’t see his spelling work at all. He does all the exercises on his own through the week, even managing to adjust when there is a missed school day so that he still finishes a section every week. He is simply flying through his math course and enjoying it all round.

I will declare it publically: It was HARD to take the advice to lay off the academics until Jordan demonstrated he was ready. Not until some certain age. Or until people (who are not me or Mark) had asked a hundred times what grade Jordan was in. And not until the eleventy-billionth person asked me wasn’t I worried about His Future. This is, and has only ever been, about Jordan. Not schedules, not other people, not appearances. Jordan. So I shut up, put the workbooks away and concentrated on what was important (hint: it wasn’t spelling). And then last year, we did almost no other academic work except reading. It was time. And in a few months, he went from not reading at all to reading at “grade level”. Because, duh, he was ready. And now, he *wants* to do academic work. Schedules, notebooks, pencils and text books… the whole shebang.
It has been a natural progression, and this year, like every other, is a brand new experience.

We went last week to a warehouse booksale in St. Catharines. I have to say that it was a good thing that we had The Baby with us and that we had to leave to feed him, or Jordan and I would have been there for hours and hours. hehehe :P Jordan picked up several books from a new (to him) series he wants to read, a technical guide to Lara Croft: Tomb Raider (pretty girls and geek stuff all in one book! Heaven! lol), and HUGE book on the history of the US Navy. I picked up a few books that I had on my Oh, Some Day I’ll Read That list. In the end, we filled quite a large box for only $30.

Very hot today and tomorrow (but cool nights – yay!), but we’ve had some cold enough nights that some of the leaves are started to turn. Perfect :)

IMG: Ancaster Fair at night.
On Saturday night, we went to the Ancaster Fair. I’ve been going to this fair since I was five years old. I was about Jordan’s age when I first went at night and I was amazed and enthralled by the change in atmosphere. The lights are brighter and in the cool air, the smells are even more delicious. And the air is thick with the shrieks and hormones of teenagers, out after dark, unsupervised, wearing their best jeans and standing around in groups trying not to get caught staring at each other. These are some of those few evenings as Summer turns to Autumn where you can wear a warm wool sweater and flip flops.
IMG: Ancaster Fair at night.
Jordan didn’t believe when I tried to explain to him how different it was at night. But he got once we were there. There was the Smash Up Derby. And fudge. And quilts, crafts, crops, animals and farm equipment. Pizza and funnel cakes and deep fried Mars bars (that still stuns me. ew.). And of course, the midway. The baby couldn’t get enough of the lights and the music. And Jordan couldn’t get enough of the games and prizes. He came away with a whole whack of stuffed animals, including a Wile E Coyote that is nearly as big as he is.
IMG: Ancaster Fair at night.
In the end, we closed the place down and all came away feeling really good about the changing seasons and especially about the box of fudge in my bag ;)
IMG: Ancaster Fair at night.

IMG: Baby in bonnet

This morning, Jordan’s thermometer out on the porch read a mere 8C. Chilly. So there was a delayed start as I dug around for hats and mittens. For the baby, I pulled out a set that had been Jordan’s when he was a baby 11 years ago (ELEVEN?! *gulp*). Generally, I avoid shopping at the Gap – ok, I avoid shopping in general – but one day, as Fall approached, I saw a commercial on tv. It was a baby, crawling and wearing a hat that was so cute that I melted right into a puddle of omgtehCUTENESSSS!!11! right there on the floor in front of my tv. Immediately upon recovering, I packed the baby into the car, drove to the next city and marched rght up to the cash desk at the Gap, demanding to purchase that hat.
They had never heard of it.
WHA?! I was insistent and the manager came out and said Wellll… there is a box in the back that I haven’t unpacked yet. Oh, I’ll wait, I reassured her and in minutes she was back with four of the hat and mitt sets. I claimed one, she another and two of the staff claimed the last two. They never even made it to the floor. Of course, when Jordan outgrew them, I carefully packed them away, digging them out this morning, a decade later.

IMG: Jordan and baby

This afternoon, we went to the annual not-going-back-to-school picnic with our homeschool group. Jordan had a great time playing with the friends that he hadn’t seen over the summer. They played in the river and in trees and in a field … The baby had fun making faces at people and getting dirty playing on the ground. And I had a great time catching it up with friends I hadn’t seen for weeks. There were two drawbacks: I have a wicked cold (caught, I suspect, from mingling with all those filthy – but wonderful – knitters at the Knitters’ Fair last weekend), so I felt crappy and considered skipping the event. And, the air was thick with hornets as it always is at that location at this time of year. Being allergic to hornets (in that you’ll die within minutes of being stung kind of way), this is an issue to consider. In the end, I packed lots of tissue, and, clutching my epipens, we went to the picnic. I’m glad we went.

IMG: Morning walk.

This is where we walk every morning. It’s beautiful and it’s a wonderful thing to see the subtle changes of season as the weeks go by. After our chilly walk this morning, Jordan and I are both looking forward to our first walk in the frost. We are so ready :)

So.. that Big Project we’ve been so preoccupied with this Summer? Here it is:

This is The Baby and he came to us for good in July.
He is beautiful and perfect and funny and just slid so easily into our family that it is like he was always here. We are so blessed to have him.
Jordan is an amazing big brother. He has made it his personal mission to make the baby the most spoiled kid on the planet. heheheh :D

Life is very different, but much the same …while being so much fuller. It’s a wonderful thing.

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