"Perfectionism is slow death." Hugh Prather

Do you believe that perfection will make you happy? Do you subject others to your ridiculous standards? Do you "do nothing" because it won't be perfect? This blog is in dedication to the ridiculous lengths I go to in search for perfection, and the insanity I encounter along the way.

Monday, May 9, 2011

Used Furniture & Mother Goose

I have spent the last few weeks trying to get changing table drawers out of my living room as we make the switch to more "mature" furniture.  I finally decided to use the dresser mom got me when I was like, 12?  Yes, I still have my bedroom furniture from then!  Wesley said, wow, this is really sturdy and in good shape?  Maybe now he'll get it....

I spent 2 Saturday's ago in the Dallas area looking at resale shops for furniture.  I saw everything from showroom to "this survived a fire".  I stayed in the same vicinity and was pretty impressed.  My taste is, of course, showroom.  My budget, garage sale.  I feel like I got a good mix at these places.

I should probably break this entry up...but I'm not.  So here it goes!

Kiss It Goodbye - 150 N. Main Street, Grapevine (leave Historic District and cross over Northwest HWY, it's on the right)

These were all within a few city blocks driving:
Consignment Heaven - 2901 N. Henderson Ave, Dallas (ask for the Dallas Resale Shopping Guide)
Again Consignment - 2003 Henderson, Dallas
Again & Again - (next door on the corner) 5207 Bonita @ Henderson Ave., Dallas

The Consignment Solution - 1904 Skillman @ Live Oak, Dallas
Lakewood Consignment (across the street) - 1909 Skillman @ Live Oak, Dallas
There is a coffee house tucked down the facing street to your left out of Consignment Solution that had GREAT coffee, also for sale.

Saturday I went to the Arlington Book Fair.  Have I mentioned I am considering homeschooling my kids?  GASP!  I know!  Believe it or not Wesley and I discussed this before we got married, and like many things, I said "Hey yeah sure" because I had no idea what that really meant, and then hoped it might get forgotten. Fast forward almost 10 years, which now seems like 2 minutes, and here we are.  Not forgotten.  But I am a little wiser now.  And I am taking it one year at a time.

Back to the book fair.  I had been researching Charlotte Mason, an 18th century educator, and was interested in her methods.  So I got what I could on Amazon used and started pouring over her work.  When the book fair came around, I saw seminars that actually listed her as part of their presentation, so I decided to stay focused and it was a good idea!  So many curriculums!  That alone would send you back to public school!  After the first class, I settled on My Father's World for Pre-K.  I just wanted something to do with them for 15-20 minutes a day, mostly to get a schedule and not feel like too much time was spent in front of the TV.  Their curriculum, if used all the way through, incorporates:

Classical - Accumulate/Knowledge, Inquisitive/Understand, Wisdom/Confidence & Debate
Charlotte Mason's: Narration, Copy work, Nature Notebooks, Fine Arts/Music Appreciation, Languages, Living Literature,Time Lines/Century Books, direct contact with the bible and short subjects
Unit Studies: Adding knowledge by layers, puzzle bible and history together, fun outings

That seems a bit oversimplified, but I guess you had to be at the workshop!  I really fell in love there.  Now, I know the day to day drone of education.  I have been through it once and my memories are not exactly fond.  I enjoyed project work, creative writing and reading.  I also enjoyed..what was it called, Political Science?  Something like that, American and foreign political history?  Weird huh?  But I really did like it!  So I decided for today, I would focus on what I love.  Books.

So my kids are 3 & 4.  Three and four.  Well, I love to read, so we made our first unofficial trip to the library (outside of the reading program).  Here is where the real story begins.  I love to read.  I do not know a single person on both sides of my family, who does not love to read.  I remember the library and almost every book my mother brought home, if I were to come across it again.  I was armed with a copy of "Honey For A Child's Heart", which is a www.simplycharlottemason.com recommended reference for reading to your child.  They also have an early years book list on the site and dates for other book fairs too.  Normally I would skim these "reference" books because of time, but decided to actually read some chapters.  I was reminded, because I need not be convinced, of the GARGANTUAN importance of books, and reading to your children.

This may seem like a silly thing to blog about, but let me tell you, when you have your FIRST EXPERIENCE with your children, in a way that is even remotely intellectually engaging, the sense of relief is enormous.  It isn't just "changing diapers, stop that, do this, be nice, brush your teeth, if I have to tell you ONE MORE TIME, and on and on..." I had a moment.  Realizing that it has been maybe 35 years since I have sat in a library surrounded by books.  Maybe for you it will be Monster Trucks, who knows.  But I kept fighting back tears, remembering the ONE THING my mother and I never fought about.  And that was books.  Remembering everything she explained to me through the eyes of good literature and illustration.  I would choose a book over a movie, given the time, any day!

We checked out the limit, 20!  Here are a few of the titles:

The Snowy Day, Ezra Jack Keats

Planting A Rainbow, Lois Ehlert

The Runaway Bunny, Margaret Wise Brown

Peter's Chair, Ezra Jack Keats

Mother Goose, If Wishes Were Horses, Illus. by Susan Jeffers

As a side note, we are also starting to teach Samuel to ride a bike, yea, fun?  Not so much.  Eh, it's can't all be Tom Sawyer right?

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