Originally posted on The World in Six… So, it’s been nine months since I last posted to this website. You’re probably thinking, “Why, that’s enough time to have a baby!’
No. I did not have a baby. What I did do was finish my very first novel. It’s 61,000 words, and I am currently shopping for an editor (I’ve proposed, but I’m still waiting to hear if she has accepted). While it is a monumental accomplishment, I still have a long ways to go. I am cautiously optimistic that this book will eventually see print, but the print literature world isn’t particularly robust for novels that contain neither a vampire nor a child fighting the evils of worlds mystical or dystopian. My book is neither of these things.
However, one book does not make up for the neglect of this particular blog. I am still hoping to get to the eventual goal of Wwoofing with my son (more on this below). I’ve also been working on my other blog a lot this summer (it’s a food blog, so summer is a key writing time for me). I’ve also been trying to monetize more of my writing efforts because after several more interviews, I’m still one job short of a job with benefits. The only way around that is to do more of what I’m doing (i.e. writing) for better (or additional) pay.
With regards to homeschooling and travel, the closer my son gets to middle school, the less I want him to be taking a traditional path. What he most remembers from his spring semester of third grade is stressing out over test prep and the really cool trip we took to Washington, D.C. towards the end of the school year. His sister (my daughter) was a Presidential Scholar in the Arts and was performing at the Kennedy Center. We wanted to support her, but it meant that Yuri would miss two days of school. The solution was to turn our long weekend in D.C. into a learning project. We toured all the monuments, saw the White House, visited several of the Smithsonian Institute museums, and took a (free, of course, it’s Washington, D.C.!) ticketed tour of the Treasury Department. We also paddled around in a boat in front of the Jefferson Memorial.
Armed with a digital camera, Yuri had a genuine interest in what he was doing. He planned to give a PowerPoint presentation to the class when he returned, but I wasn’t sure how he’d take to it: My daughter is the performer; Yuri often clutches up when he has to stand and present to a crowd. I helped him set up the program, but he loaded the photos he wanted and did the captions himself (very short but to the point). His teacher said it was the best work he had done all year; he had no problem fielding questions from his classmates. What surprised me was how much he enjoyed going to the museums, where even I was starting to get tired after cramming so much in to a couple of days!
It just reinforces what I think is wrong with education today, at least for some kids. My son doesn’t want to learn to take a test. He wants to observe and interact with his “lessons.”
For what it’s worth, I am in the process of trying to streamline my blogging efforts. It’s all about rebranding myself, but I hope the result will mean more than two posts a year on this site. Thank you for your patience and for hanging in.