Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Cognitive dissonance at age 8 and 9

It's been a while since I've posted on the books that we are reading.  This one has been so good that I had to write about it. 

Roll of Thunder, Hear My Cry by Mildred Taylor is a difficult, beautiful, sad and wonderful novel.  Set in pre-civil rights era Mississippi, it follows the story of a black family as they navigate the waters of second class citizenry.  The Logan family is different from many of the share cropping families around them.  They own the property that their family farms.  This fact gives them the strength to question the atrocities of everyday life.  Cassie, the narrator and only girl of the family, struggles to reconcile the things that her mother tells her about who she is and what the whites in her community tell her.

Reading this with the boys has been great.  It has opened their minds to a terrible world of which they know nothing.  It has given me so many opportunities to tell them about the fallenness of the world that we live in.  We have also spoken of the privilege that we have simply because we are white.  Pastor John spoke on racial reconciliation on Sunday (as he does every MLK weekend) and it was another good chance to come back to these topics with the kids.  When the the "N" word came up for the first time in the book, I stopped and had to tell the boys about this terrible word.  This is why we homeschool.  I want to be the one to walk my kids into the darkness of our world.  I want to be next to them the first time that they see things that make them cry and make them angry and make them question.  I won't always be there, but it is a wonderful thing to be with them at first.

If you're looking for a book to read to expose your kids to issues of racism, segregation and a past that was not so long ago and that has huge modern ramifications, then I highly recommend this novel. 

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

If you've ever been a grade school boy . . .

then you've spent a few evenings like this.

The boys have been hoopin' it up in their room a lot lately. Joe and I passed lots of time on our Nerf hoop in our bedroom. The technology has advanced bedroom basketball ages. No more orange spongy ball with a cardboard basketball. The hoop the boys just got is plexiglass with a blown up ball and everything.

Can you name the sound track?

A new year

There have been many changes for us in this new year. One of those is that Shirley is all moved in next door. The picture above is proof. One of the benefits of having her close is her ability to help Amanda in the kitchen. Tonight they made America's Test Kitchen's chicken and dumplings. It was delicious. We're looking forward to what the coming year will bring to Providence Farm.