Saturday, May 23, 2015

Spring Handicraft Fair 2015

Years ago during a planning meeting for our old nature group, one mom talked about her reading about growing pumpkins for a county fair in Farmer Boy and one thing led to another and the result was a Handicraft Fair where our kids could bring the things they make during the year and display and sell them.

For four years since that meeting, local CM groups and individual families have participated in these biannual Handicraft Fairs by coming together at a large park and setting out their creations. It's become an exciting event for many and a wonderful coming together of the larger community.

It can also be challenging to get it all together in time and work with the kids to help them through the ups and downs of planning, creating, preparing, setting up, etc. My daughter forgot one of the things she spent a lot of time working on this year and that was a sad moment of realization. So it is also a learning experience for each family through their experiences with it.

You can browse posts from previous fairs here:





And here are the pictures from this past week's fair:

Delicious Almond Butter

They really work!

Lovely paintings ;)

My favorite booth at the fair - Yum!
Someone brought Free Cotton Candy run on a generator! A+ on the report card this year for this family :)

Boys organizing sparring matches with their newly purchased wooden swords.

Littles watching the mock battle about to start that ensued shortly after the sparring matches.

Girls doting on a friend's baby girl

Girls now putting their handmade headband on baby girl :)

Friday, May 1, 2015

Scaffolding Towers of Glory and Excellence

I read this article today and it struck a chord that has been ringing at me for some time now. It's not anything unique to the CM community, it happens wherever humans are, because we are just that. But the nature of CM homeschooling really seems to scaffold this tower of glory and excellence in a way that draws us well-intentioned moms to often stumble at its feet.

In our pursuit of the very best education for our children - what mother doesn't want that?! - we read the CM's series, books, articles, blogs, attend meetings, conferences, follow CMers on Facebook, see their perfect lives on Instagram, their creations on Pinterest, Join groups, forums - to learn it all, do it all, keep up on all.

We trek out for nature study, research the BOC, institute the common place book, and wonder about mnemonics knowing we haven't even scratched the scratch of the scratch in notebooking. Throw in science journal, composer study, music lessons, art, and don't forget Swedish Drill, handicrafts, math, and the list goes on and on. Every corner you turn presents hours of reading and researching, because there is just so much and so little out there, and of course trying to access the one bit of information that is going to answer your question in the CM archives... won't open! on your computer because of some browser extension pdf glitch.

Add to that every reading must be narrated, audiobooks are a crutch, and we must be done early enough so their afternoons are free. You turn back to CM for encouragement only to find her referencing "perfect" execution, "perfect" exams, and "perfect" narration. And just when you begin to wonder if any human can possibly learn, implement, and achieve all of this with as many kids as you have, we find they do, with double the number of kids - completely, simply, no problem, hands tied behind their backs - PLUS blog, facebook, keep up on latest news, make and drop off meals, run their church's sunday school program, speak at conferences, write books, and brew their own kombucha.

Can we ever get anywhere near the tower of glory? It seems to have no end. Will we ever be good enough? have time enough? be mom enough?

For the children's sake? ...for our sake?

Is it any wonder we see women, friends fall by the wayside - given up, too hard, not smart enough, not good enough, unmet expectations, discouraged, exhausted, shame, depression...

In the article, Michael Lawrence says this about people filled with shame...
They’re hiding, hoping that others won’t see them. They might hide in reclusiveness, but are just as likely to hide in perfectionism, success, activism, or even brazenness. But like Adam and Eve, who after the fall tried to hide their shame with fig leaves (Gen. 3:7), our strategies don’t work because the shame remains. No matter how well we cover it, we know it’s still there.
In Ourselves CM talks about our soul...
What is there that baffles the understanding of a man, or that is out of the range of his thoughts, the reach of his aspirations? He is, it is true, baffled on all hands by his ignorance, the illimitable ignorance of the wisest: but ignorance is not incapacity; and the wings of a man's Soul beat with impatience against the bars of this ignorance; he would out, out, into the universe of infinite thought and infinite possibilities. How is the Soul of a man to be satisfied?
What is it that baffles the understanding of us CM moms, or that is out of the range of our thoughts, the reach of our aspirations?

The theme of Augustine's life...

You have made us for yourself, and our hearts are restless, until they can find rest in you.
Only the sweet balm of truth can set us free to truly find peace in this CM journey and in life...
Where, but in our God, the Maker of heaven and earth, shall we find the key to all knowledge? Where, but in Him, whose is the power, the secret of dominion? And, our search and demand for goodness and beauty baffled here, disappointed there––it is only in our God we find the whole. The Soul is for God, and God is for the Soul, as light is for the eye, and the eye is for light.
Good news ladies - "Christ removes our shame and gives us His righteousness."

It is done.
For freedom Christ has set us free; stand firm therefore, and do not submit again to a yoke of slavery. ~Gal. 5:1 
Set the tower aside, start where you are, do your best to learn what you can, implement what you can, seek truth, knowledge, wisdom, good counsel, and trust that CM is for you, and me, and your kids, and for the wise, and unwise, the smart and the ignorant, the capable and the not-so capable.
It may be that the souls of all children are waiting for the call of knowledge to awaken them to delightful living.