Sunday, April 14, 2013

HomeSchool Cool

I have posted ad nauseum about our oscillation from homeschool to public school and back to homeschool, covering the attendant pitfalls of HSW (HomeSchool Weird)ness. I have not, though, justly balanced the weird factor with the particular brand of wonderful that can only be designated HomeSchool Cool (HSC!), a category of awesomeness that we, as a family, trip into from time to time. Consider, for example, an afternoon misadventure at a local park, a local park with no available restrooms. Taye, of course, had a full bladder immediately upon noticing the lack of facilities, so I ushered him to the back of our minivan where, with all the discretion a four-year-old can muster, he dropped trow and began to take care of business. After he had finished, he pointed proudly to the puddle now trickling toward the parking lot's low point and announced, "I made BRAZIL!!!! Look, Mom, I pottied Brazil!" That, my friends, is HSC! Choosing THE BEST audiobook as your contribution to the Latin, Science, and Logic Club Christmas Gift Exchange -- definitely HSC. Mastering the steps at our annual, tri-county, homeschool square dance --- HSC! Lest you conflate HSC with HSW (a common misconception), please remember that HSW eventually boils down to the slippery slope of parental intensity that I still scramble to avoid -- a twitchy, self-important, ego-driven focus on performance instead of process -- a drive to measure up that entirely eclipses the joy of education. (Again, while this imbalance clearly pervades public school as well, the close quarters of family/school life make HSW a pitfall that can shake loose some anchor points of our most crucial relationships -- waters I am not proud to have tested). HSC, on the other hand, unabashedly celebrates the peculiarities of personality and a passion for learning that sometimes get muffled by the fast-flowing current of mainstream culture. And if HSC were a range of mountains, then my Olivia enjoyed her moment on Everest's peak this past weekend. Have you ever seen videos of tween girls in line for Bieber tickets, all giddy and blurry, moving too fast even for digital shutter speeds? Lock in on that image. Now, replace Justin Bieber with Dr. Christopher Perrin of Classical Academic Press, and superimpose my daughter's face on the effervescent preteen girl. Voila! My daughter's 15 minutes in the HSC spotlight. For the past two years, we have been using Classical Academic Press's Latin curricula, starting last year with Song School Latin and leaping forward to Latin For Children in the Fall of 2012. In order to get the most out of the program (and take some of the pronunciation pressure off of their grossly inadequate mother-teacher), we purchased the whole LFC package with video clips included. And twice a month we meet with a handful of other friends who join us in watching the videos and reviewing vocabulary. This all sounds rather benign and unrelated to our brush with fame unless you know that Dr. Perrin appears in every video segment, first as grammar instructor and often in goofy segments as comic relief (I'll be honest, the comic part is definitely a relief! The grammar drills are tough on this middle-aged mind!). When Olivia learned that Dr. Perrin -- in the flesh -- would be at this year's homeschool convention, she agreed to join me for a day out together, provided I would take her picture with Perrin should they happen to meet. And they did. And I did. Honestly, I'm not sure who felt more HSC last Friday, my daughter or Dr. Perrin. He was flexing his Latin declensions for a couple of maternal admirers when Olivia and I politely imposed upon him for an autograph and photo op. Perrin graciously wrote a couple of sentences in my daughter's book and posed for the above picture, but not without a little bit of classical swagger! I'm not sure what other venue carves out such a high-profile niche for someone with a Ph.D. in what? Latin, maybe? or Classical Studies? I doubt the tween crowd regularly swoons. So my daughter gets to spend a week as Queen of the Co-op (HSC at its finest) and Dr. Perrin gets an anecdote for his dinner table -- a magister honored by his loyal discipula. What could be more HomeSchool Cool than that!?

1 comment:

RachelT said...

Amy, I did not hear about this exciting photo op! How HSC is that?!