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?