"Dogtown" was an early 17th century settlement that became a haven for witches, fortune tellers, and prostitutes when it was abandoned in the early 19th century. Locals don't go there, as there are still sightings of strange things in the area.
Middle Street is also full of little shops and cafes, including our favorites: Mystery Train Records, Virgilio's Bakery, Toodleloos! Toys, and The Bookstore.
The undertow of the waves tumbling the rocks made the coolest sound. I took a little video so you could hear it.
Gloucester is one of our favorite places. We hadn't been there since March, and it was a really lovely outing--the best part is that it is only a 35 minute drive from our house.
Look at Mr. Lucky all stretched-out on the carpet. Currently, every animal in my house is shedding. The vacuum is in almost constant use, and still there are fur and feathers everywhere.
Last Sunday at the flea market, I found a new head vase for my collection. She has little earrings as well as sparkly polka dots on her hat and dress. I love her rose corsage and the ruffle on her glove.
The scented geranium is in bloom, along with many of my roses including 'Munstead Wood' aka Baby Groot. The color of his blossoms is deeper, less purple and more velvety than it looks here.
I don't know what're better, summer evenings or summer mornings. Both are pure bliss! I am reading the story of Mary Anning, an early 19th century fossil hunter in Lyme, England. It is a quiet book; just right for my current mood.
If I have birds and roses I have everything I need. If they are the color yellow, I am rich indeed.
My teeny tiny garden is full of raspberries, tomatoes, peppers, and zucchini. The August harvest is going to be grand!
Next week I have to work on putting together my end-of-year home school report, as well as my next-year-plans for the school district. To be honest, I have serious doubts as to whether the powers-that-be ever look at it, but it is a requirement nonetheless, so it gives me anxiety even though I have been doing this for nineteen years. A school report card to a parent is a skimpy thing compared to the reporting that a home school parent must provide to the school district.
I've spent my entire adult life thinking about education and practicing it with mixed results. If you home school, everyone in your life is going to judge how your children "turn out" (whatever that means) based on that single decision. If one of my children struggles in any aspect of his education (or in every aspect of his education) it is my fault. If I send that child to school and he still struggles, the school bears little to no accountability for their results.
There have been sleepless nights in which I have wondered if homeschooling has been a horrible mistake. What am I doing to my kids? (Are school superintendents, principals and teachers losing sleep about their decisions in our kids lives?) I remember meeting a homeschooling mother in Texas some years ago who said to me, "If you do nothing but keep your kids at home, they will be better off than kids who go to school." I spent a lot of time pondering her statement and wondering if it was true. I honestly don't know. I can't say that homeschooling is best for every kid. However, I do not have any confidence that our public school system is best for most children (although, at one time, it may have been one of our country's greatest strengths)--there is too much money and politics involved.
My only solid conclusions about homeschooling my children are:
- my children's education has been different from other children's
- they have had a lot more freedom in their learning--time to experiment and explore and just be
- they think critically and understand a lot more about life than I did at their age
- they are not peer-dependent
- they are creative, resourceful, and responsible
- they are hard-working and helpful to others
- their personalities are well-developed and intact
- they have the confidence to follow their own path