Tuesday, September 9, 2008
Haystack Full of Needles
Somewhere in the lineup of daily blog reading, I ran across Alice Gunther's new book Haystack Full of Needles, A Catholic Home Educator's Guide to Socialization with a foreword by Laura Berquist. If you know me at all then you know that I quickly clicked on the link and got out my credit card. I'm notorious with books that way. And it's okay- especially this time.
I devoured Alice's book. I earmarked pages that I want to go back to and jotted down ideas that I loved. This book is perfect for me on my second year of home educating but it's also a good fit for veteran homeschoolers, too. Haystack will be more of a reference for me in regard to my children's social life. Alice gives a long list of ideas that are simple and budget conscious, yet serve purpose for both child and mommy. I just adore the St. Francis Nature Club in which families meet on the same day of the week for six weeks (no pressure whatsoever) and picnic together before they go off with their field guides and armed with their nature journals. With just a little prep work prior to the first meeting, Alice bought St. Francis pins for the children and holy cards to tack into their journals. The book offers many great tips on starting clubs, what to look for and how to divvy up time. Most of the suggested group activities take place over six weeks so as not to be too long of a commitment and to fit into the the season both weather-wise and liturgically.
Most inspiring in Haystack is the Shakespeare play. From costumes to set design to how to cast this event- I am in awe and admiration. I would absolutely love to be able to put something like this together. But for the meantime, I think I'll tackle the Feast of Guardian Angels.
What a blessing this book is to all of us. Now go grab one for yourself!