Thursday, November 13, 2008

Homeschooling cranky, convalescing children

We're just spent nearly 2 weeks in the Silverberg home battling the crud. Each child had a high fever for around a week, of course, there was very little over lap so it felt like it was never going to end.

Ben is now well but Shira, while her fever has broken, is still not feeling great and is very, very, very, very delicate. Did I say she was delicate? Perhaps I understate things when I use the word "delicate". She's my child who cries at the drop of a hat, who becomes frustrated at the drop of a hat and who beats herself up at the drop of a hat. That's when she's well. Take this behavior and multiply it a thousand fold and you have Shira when she's not feeling well.

We had half a dozen eruptions before 8am. I then decided that school was just not going to happen today. Instead we're listening to Patricia Wrede's, "Dealing with Dragons". Review
Cimorene, princess of Linderwall, is a classic tomboy heroine with classic tomboy strengths--all of which are perceived by those around her as defects: "As for the girl's disposition--well, when people were being polite, they said she was strong-minded. When they were angry or annoyed with her, they said she was as stubborn as a pig." Cimorene, tired of etiquette and embroidery, runs away from home and finds herself in a nest of dragons. Now, in Cimorene's world--a world cleverly built by author Patricia C. Wrede on the shifting sands of myriad fairy tales--princesses are forever being captured by dragons. The difference here is that Cimorene goes willingly. She would rather keep house for the dragon Kazul than be bored in her parents' castle. With her quick wit and her stubborn courage, Cimorene saves the mostly kind dragons from a wicked plot hatched by the local wizards, and worms her way into the hearts of young girls everywhere.

We're having such fun. While we're listening, Shira's drawing dragons, Ben's building dragons with legos and I am having peaceful times blogging and futzing around in the kitchen.

Every time Cimorene tried to do an activity she enjoyed, she was told that "girls did not do that", when she questioned it, she was told, "because that's the way it is". This was a great springboard for a discussion about perceived roles and societal pressures.

Our children are being brought up by parents who make choices that don't fit the mainstream or their extended family's preconceptions of what is right and proper. It's good for Ben and Shira to read literature that deals with these issues.


Anonymous said...

hi, I hope Shira feels better soon. When you finish Dealing with Dragons you'd probably enjoy Bruce Coville's the Dragon Slayers.

Shez said...

Thanks for the recommendation. The kids LOVE Coville's books. They've just read the "Moongobble and Me" series and are reading the "Magic Shop Series". He's such a prolific author that they'll be busy reading his stuff for ages. We listened to "Thor's Wedding Day" on our way home from Myrtle Beach. It's a great listen. We have "Half Magic" by Edward Eager waiting in our queue. That should be fun

Kim said...

Now that sounds like a great way to spend a 'sick' day. I let my subscription to Audible lapse and we've already enjoyed all of the audio book on CD at our local library. Too bad all of my old tape players broke--then we'd have hit the proverbial gold mine. I'm jealous.

Mama Monkey said...

Drawing dragons ... Lego dragons ... reading about dragons ... that's my kind of day! I hope everyone is well soon.

christinemm said...

Glad to hear you like the book. My older son just read all three of the Inheritance (Eragon) series. He LOVES dragons. Wrede's books were on my short list of "what's coming up next" but I didn't know much about them.

He diverted to "City of Ember" series becuase I said he has to read it before we see the movie, is on book 3 now. After that, back to Inkheart then he'll do the Wrede books.

Oh and he did another little diversion with "The Invention of Hugo Cabret". I read it too the other day and hope I can blog that soon.