I have been reading of how other homeschooling families discuss the books they are reading, the topics they are learning, the ideas they are encountering. I have also been lamenting that we don’t do this in our home. We are not discussers, grapplers or ponderers. We are just readers.
Read it and be done with it.
But this past week’s Morning Time has shown me that I am wrong. I have seen glimpses that exposing my kids to poetry, Shakespeare, the Great Books has not all been in vain. We have had a delightful week of Morning Times.
Yesterday is a perfect example. We started our time with scripture reading. This week we are reading of Jesus’ crucifixion. We moved into our Shakespeare reading of The Twelfth Night. We read just a bit because I had high hopes of what we would get accomplished for that day’s MT. The kids asked to play a game. They told me that if we played a game then I could chose it. That was enough for me and I quickly changed my plans. We played 4 games of Extreme Q-Bits (oh, how I love that game.)
We have been reading Medea by Euripedes for our Great Book selection these past two weeks. Knowing what I know now, I probably would not chose to read this with an 11 and 13 yr. old but it’s too late to change that so we just go on from where we are. Even though it was a bit of a dicey read, it was also one of our better reads. Emma enjoyed reading and delving into the character of Medea. We have had more discussion about this book than we have had on any other Great Book that preceded it. We have now finished Medea so yesterday was discussion day. We talked about how, in this play, Jason fell from being a hero to being a weak-spirited, selfish man. I introduced them to the device, Deus Ex Machina, a device that Euripedes is supposedly to have invented. We talked about where we have seen this device applied in recent books and movies. When I told Emma that this device was used in the television series, LOST, her face broke out in a smile; a connection. We had a fairly lively discussion springing from that book. We also discussed how Medea fit the profile of a tragic hero.
We, then, attempted to watch a library DVD on the life of Tchaikovsky. This was not at all what I had thought it was going to be which taught me to review DVDs before I let my children watch them. We stopped it after 5 min. of watching. I then turned to reading a book on Tchaikovsky.
It was here that I felt a need to give the kids time to ruminate and ponder on all that we talked and read about that morning. I put on some music by Tchaikovsky and told them to find something quiet to do. The two youngers found something quiet to play with while The Nutcracker suite played quietly in the background.
This past school year has been a very difficult one for me. It has been full of doubts, second-guessing and pain. But our time together yesterday soothed the sadness. It was a time of beauty, a time of truth and a time of goodness. It showed me that we need this time together. We don’t just need it to make my children better educated nor to make them stronger in the Lord (although these are some of the benefits to Morning Time) but, more importantly, we need it to heal.