Thursday, September 23, 2010

Dance, Theater, Karate, a Birthday, and the War of 1812

I have been very busy the past couple of weeks.  This is the first year that each child has an extra curricular activity.  What was I thinking?  I'm worn out.

Princess Pink started dance classes last week.  She says that she hates dancing and never wants to go back.  I'm going to make her stick with it a few more weeks.  Hopefully she will start to enjoy it.
This is the Crafter's third year of Christian Youth Theater (CYT).  Her class will be performing Cinderella in January.  She hopes to get the part of one of the mice or the cat.  Her audition was last Saturday.   She sang The Battle of New Orleans.  More on her song choice later.
Wild Thing is taking karate.  I have hopes that it will help with his focus and coordination issues.  He says hates it, but I can see some positive results.  The Crafter is also taking the class, and she enjoys it.  We will continue at least through December.
The Crafter turned eleven this week.  Time seems to move faster and faster.  I'm proud of the young lady she is becoming.

We are continuing to take our Tapestry of Grace studies at a slow pace.  We finished up week 6 on James Madison and the War of 1812 today.     I continue to be appalled at the dismal state of my own history education.  We learned about Tecumseh, William Henry Harrison, James and Dolley Madison, and the Battle of New Orleans.  We hope to make a trip to see the Dolley Madison exhibit in Greensboro soon.  On a less serious not, we discovered Johnny Horton's version of The Battle of New Orleans.  The Crafter enjoyed it so much that we found the background music for it and she used it for her audition.  Here is the lego version.

Thursday, September 9, 2010

Grimm Is Truly Grim

Wild Thing's literature in Tapestry of Grace has been Grimms' fairy tales.  My knowledge of fairy tales consists largely of Little Golden Books and Disney versions.  This has been my first exposure to the originals which were collected by the Brothers Grimm in the early 19th century.  They are much darker than the sanitized versions of popular, cartoonish  story books.
The versions that TOG recommends are beautifully illustrated and true to the originals.  There are some disturbing elements though.  That's why you must ALWAYS preview reading material.  Did you know that Rapunzel was expecting twins when the witch threw her out of the tower?   That caught me off guard.  I ended up slightly editing the story.  Hansel and Gretel contained gruesome descriptions of how the old hag intends to butcher and boil the children.   I had to do a bit of editing here, too.  I wasn't able to get the suggested book for Rumpelstiltskin from the library, so I used to find an audio version.  Rumpelstiltskin literally tears himself in two with rage.

And here is where the trouble started.  After we listened to one story, the kids wanted another and another.  We listened to Rapunzel and Hansel and Gretel.  Everything would have been okay if we had stopped with these, but curiosity got the best of us, and we listened to The Red Shoes.  Oh my!  The poor girl asked someone to cut off her feet to be rid of the endlessly dancing shoes.

The moral of this story is always preview.  Always.  We have handled these dark stories by discussing how life was harder when the stories were written and trying to discover a lesson to learn.  I'm glad that TOG puts cautions for parents into the weekly preview, but there is no substitute for parental vigilance.