About this Blog

Here you will find information and writings by Carrie Dalby, both fiction and nonfiction, as well as the ups and downs of life.

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Turning a New Page in Life

My somber previous post has scared me away from blogging. But there's now a (leaky) cap on the gushing BP oil well, so that's a bit of an improvement. Enough said, there isn't much Pollyanna in me about that issue. But here is a link to a haunting song by Mithril, inspired by the oil spill. The images on the video are all from better days gone by on local beaches. (My three kids each have a picture included.)


This week marks my first attempt at homeschooling my twelve-year-old son. He has a Neuro Immune Dysfunction, which causes autistic behaviors and has been receiving special services through the public school system since he was three. But there is no way I am going to send my sweet, innocent boy into the whirlwind of middle school. I've known I was going to homeschool him for the past year—and have been studying all I can on the subject and networking as much as possible for this socially awkward mother—but I spent most of my free time (amid numerous events and sick children) last week charting out an actual weekly planning page—a hybrid of a dozen I've looked at—and choosing the first week's goals. And, I must admit, I also zoned out on Free Cell several times. I wrote absolutely nothing on my WIP and barely logged one journal entry in my notebook.

There is a time and a season for everything, and right now I need to restructure my day to fit it all in. I need to decide if I'll write in the morning before the kids wake, which has been my exercise time, or attempt writing at night, when my mind is mostly mush, since quiet time might need to be used for one-on-one with the eldest. It's a good thing Laurie Halse Anderson's WFMAD is next month—I need some motivation!

Back to the homeschooling experience. Day One=Field trip!
Community experiences at the post office, pediatrician's office, pharmacy, and mall. Walking the mall was the fitness time for the day, too. At home, we took turns reading two books about farmers and pigs, and I let him flip through a third. Our unit study/theme is farms, which is something he loves. He copied twelve spelling words (taken from the farm books) three times and did thirty-five addition problems as part of a math review. And there were no meltdowns—success!

I praised him throughout the day and before bed I asked him if he liked doing work at home. He said yes and smiled. A warm fuzzy!

On a personal note, I've finally gotten around to some lighter--but deep--reading.

as well as

Still many more books on my library list and on my own shelves to read.

In honor of the fiftieth anniversary of To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee I'm closing with one of a series of five poems I wrote for a freshman high school report. Each poem had to be from a different character's perspective. Give me a break, I was only fourteen....

Personal Guide

Watching you grow up,
that's what it's all about.
Teaching you,
watching you learn.
No matter what you do,
I'll always be here for you.

I was put on Earth to guide you.
So come, little children,
stay close to my side.
It's a wicked world
and I don't want to lose you
to its powerful influence.

But don't be afraid,
I'll help you..
If there is any doubt in your mind,
just stay close, my child.
That's what I'm ere for;
a parent is a guide.


  1. Good luck with your homeschooling. Middle school can be a whirlwind alright. I left 25 years of teaching high school for 15 in a middle school. Guess I needed some excitement in my life. I loved it though. :)

  2. Wow! I love that you are so committed to learning and stretching yourself. Cut yourself some slack with the WIP - know that it's there, a part of you, and you will get back to it! xoxo

  3. You're awesome! And I'm sure your son will thrive in this learning environment because he has you to teach and guide him--the person who loves him most in this world! Way to go, Mom! :)

  4. Congratulations on making it through the first week - and getting rewarded along the way! You're such a wonderful Mom and set a great example. Don't forget to take that time for yourself, though - you need to take care of you so you can take care of your kids. I don't think you need to compromise the exercise time or the writing time. It was a great call to include exercise time as part of school! Keep at it - great restructuring and problem-solving at the same time! :) PS - I'll be in New Orleans again in February. Will you and the fam come visit?