June 16, 2008

Stitches of Life

What do you get when you avoid your computer for a week? Over 200 blog posts to read, library fines (because you didn't get the e-mail reminding you the books are due), and lots and lots of e-mail and junk mail. I keep 'winning' gift cards, lotteries, and ipods. I'm convinced that if I'd really won all that stuff, I'd have enough money to pay my parents' medical bills for them.

Ok, moving on. After much debate, I've decided to expand this blog to include stories about my life and pets and anything else that strikes my fancy. Think of it as 'stitches of my life'. If you're wondering what all this is leading up to....

My Mom and I went to the NYS LEAH Homeschool convention's exhibit hall last month. Thursday night they open the exhibit hall for several hours so you can browse without having to miss any of the sessions on Friday and Saturday. The vendors range from colleges, to used curriculum, to brand new curriculum, to books. I was hoping to find an interesting study guide to work at, but the ones that caught my attention (Chronicles of Narnia) were for grades 4-7 - that would be way too easy. At some point Mom and I got talking about my success (or lack thereof) in arithmetic. (And spelling - what would I do without spell check??) Anyway, I mentioned that I wished we'd been able to get into geometry a bit, and we decided to start looking for some geometry books. (Preferably used.) I rather quickly narrowed it down to two - the expensive new book that made a lot of sense, and the cheaper, used A Beka book. Having inherited my mother's sense of frugality, I went with the A Beka book. So far, it's gone well. Hopefully it will stay that way, because Mom doesn't remember much about geometry, and what is taught has changed drastically over the years.

Among other things, we also bought a book called Do Hard Things. Although it was written by teens for teens, anyone could benefit from reading this book. Alex and Brett Harris started therebelution.com in 2005. Their official definition of the word 'rebelution' is "a teenage rebellion against low expectations." Even before reading this book I had realized that many young people have extremely low expectations placed upon them, and that they frequently excel at meeting those low expectations. By consistently doing hard things, and rising above the expectations of irresponsibility, low expectations can become the exception, rather than the norm. Doing hard things is different for everyone. For myself, sticking to a schedule is my hard thing. I have always enjoyed making lists and schedules, and from years of practice can make them very strict (minute by minute) or very broad (to do today or this week) or anywhere in between. The trouble is following them. As a result, I waste an incredible amount of time doing fun things rather than the things I know I should be doing. That is not to say that I won't allow myself any fun, but right now I have too much fun.
I highly recommend this book to anyone dissatisfied with the low expectations of society. Some more reviews of the book can be found at the following blogs:
How Great is His Faithfulness
Maidens of Worth
If you would like to be added to the list of reviews, leave a comment with a link to the post or web page.

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