Monday, July 20, 2015

Learning in the Margins

Carmen has a soccer game about an hour and a half away today. Two kids are out to lunch and a movie with Abuelos. One daughter is out working. There are three more soccer games this week. Did I mention its hot? Super hot.

Still, this morning, before I jumped into my day, I sat to eat some breakfast and drink my coffee. John snuggled up under a mountain of pillows on the couch next to me. I put on a podcast from the BBC, a science show called In Our Time. (Soon I will write about how much I love science podcasts. Love.) This episode was about neutrinos. Apparently John was listening because he suddenly sits up and says, "That's true right? Everything is made of particles. Everything." This got a small discussion going. I told him about atoms, and the even smaller particles that make up atoms. Then I remembered that I had grabbed this book, Albie's First Word, at the library. So, I pulled it out. Mara, who loves being read to, snuggled in to listen. And Ella for a brief moment. The book is a great introduction to Albert Einstein. No physics, no science at all. It speaks beautifully to the idea of giving children space and time to think, to ponder, to daydream. We read it. We talked about thinking about things and being creative. We talked about asking questions as we learn. 

It was a brief moment in a busy week. But it was a powerful reminder for me of what this learning at home is really about for my children. It is about space and time to ponder and daydream. It as about the freedom to go at their pace. It is about asking questions and finding answers together.

Monday, July 6, 2015

World Cup Thoughts

How about I just jump right in here and pretend like I've been faithfully blogging. Here goes.

Four years ago I wrote this post about the Women's World Cup. As I reread it before linking, I see how much is still true. The only big difference is that the little girl pictured there will turn 15 in just ten days. And her hair is very short now. Very short. Because she still plays soccer. She doesn't ever want to worry about doing up her hair or wonder if it looks just right when she steps on the pitch. This summer she is playing with the academy team for the Washington Spirit, the local pro team. She knows the coach. Really. He evaluated her when she tried out. He just showed up at her game a few weeks ago. It is a great program for aspiring young women. We're thrilled she is a part of this team. This fall she joins a new, highly competitive team. It is playing on a level that is challenging all her skills and fitness. She loves it. Every second of it.

Carmen's little sister Aggie is following in her footsteps. The joke (that Carmen doesn't always laugh about) is how soon Aggie will surpass her big sister in skill. What do you expect from a kid that was on soccer sideline pretty much from the day she was born.

What I didn't know four years ago is how much that game captured my husband. You will not find a bigger promoter and supporter of the women's game. His enthusiasm inspires and encourages his daughters. It is a beautiful thing. You will not find a bigger promoter and supporter of his daughters.

It was a thrilling game last night. A magnificent achievement. But please know, my favorite soccer players, I make them dinner every night.