Thursday, August 18, 2016

Winds of Change

There have been times in my life, especially in recent years, when I have felt the beginnings of the winds of change at my back.  This is a subtle feeling, rather like seeing something in your peripheral vision, only to turn and not be able to see it.  Such has happened again recently.

I have homeschooled one of my granddaughters and she has done well, so well that this year she is working an above-grade curriculum. Our first day was yesterday and I was dismayed as I reviewed, at the gaps in knowledge she exhibited.  She can write better than most adults I know.  She can format her paragraphs with good topic sentences, good details, good conclusions.  I have taught her to think on paper.  That is what I value.

Yet yesterday, when she could not reliably identify the parts of speech (!) or the sentence subject/predicate, I was dumbfounded and not a little angry.  How can I have schooled this bright child for years, turning her into a skilled writer, and managed to miss such fundamentals?  She felt so bad she cried.

I made my lovely granddaughter cry.

Sigh.  And there is also the matter of my finances.  June wiped me out: a car repair, a broken TV, lost eye glasses, a waterheater replacement, and computer replacement.  Then in July the IRS billed me an additional $400 for last year's taxes.  All of which has left me without savings and facing property taxes.  Argh.

Then there is my book.  Only one of the four professionals to whom I have given it for review has gotten back to me.  Her review was encouraging but it is not enough.  Now I must noodle the others all the while I continue to research and write and also begin to seek a publisher.  And this is work that does not pay me a cent.

Toss in my inability to make pottery and my inability to pay for the surgery I need in order to get back to it, and I am left scratching my head.  Should I liqudate my pottery studio?  I have thousands of dollars in equipment and materials.  Should I leave my large home? Would I even be able to sell it?  And what then?  Move into some rental? How would that help?

Yes, it's getty breezy here.

1 comment:

  1. When I was in the fourth grade (and reading well above my grade level) we moved from a rural school system to a fancy-dan city school in Massachusetts, which adhered to strict rules for teaching and learning. Somewhere between my rural fourth grade and my city fifth grade I missed out on the parts of speech; I could identify nouns and verbs, but the 'ads" (adverb, adjective) were beyond me. "What agrees with what." Huh? I never did comprehend the need for diagramming a sentence, and subject/predicate is still, frankly, beyond me.
    But like your granddaughter, I can write a clear sentence and have all the surrounding sentences come out right.

    Don't be too hard on her; she apparently, as I do, writes what she reads. As long as she reads above her (proscribed) level, and the good stuff, she will never lack.

    Knowing what agrees with what is lovely, but it's really really not a deal breaker. She will gradually slide into understanding it, even if she never can put it into words.
    And if she does what I think she does, she has learned how to determine the way a sentence should sound, just by hearing it. And she knows, because she reads the good stuff. =)

    You're not a failure, and neither is she.