Wednesday, December 03, 2008

Hands, Head, Heart, Books

"A book reads better which is our own, and has been so long known to us, that we know the topography of its blots, and dog's ears, and can trace the dirt in it to having read it at tea with buttered muffins." --Charles Lamb (1775 - 1834)

I haven't really been blogging much about what I am thinking and reading these days, because well, it is like those games of Tumbling Towers or Pick Up Sticks, or like opening an overstuffed closet. Once I grab one piece, no matter which one, I'm afraid the whole lot will tumble out, and I already have enough trouble keeping my posts short.

The other thing is my hands-to-head retrieval process. I have been doing a lot of hand-work of a sort, recently. And I've noticed before that I can do hands-on type things, or mental processing, but apparently not both at the same time. I am not sure why that is. When I'm engaged in work, I can't think. When I'm thinking, I can hardly do anything else. For that reason, I've never had the house, the homeschool and my mental and spiritual life run smoothly all at the same time. I have to pick one or two. (and in the first draft of this I started a sentence and published the post without finishing the sentence, which sort of illustrates my point).

So to try to pick out a more peripheral stick or block, I thought I would try to do something I have been thinking about for a while. I liked Melissa's at Here in the Bonny Glen idea of taking "One Shelf at a Time" and describing what it contains. The idea was adopted by The Bookworm. I would like to try this too sometime but not right now. Our usual Book Order is in its maximum state of entropy right now because we all keep pulling books off the shelf to look at them or read them and then they get put back wherever. Stacks of them are in a temporary spatial folder because I am trying to plan ahead for the next section of US history. So I don't think it would be very useful to describe my shelves. They are a jumble and if the past is any indication, they won't be back in order until June.

Here -- take a look!

Since I do keep picking books off the shelves, though, poring over them, browsing through them and deciding whether I should do anything with them, I've been thinking of starting something like a "From the Files" only with books instead of cyber-articles, and maybe a bit more scattered and random. I was thinking of calling it A Book at a Glance or Book Look or something like that. Or maybe Book View. ... on the right you can see the book view from my laptop : ).

I'm going to try that in the next day or two. I am thinking that the books on the bedside are usually good indications of what's going on in someone's mind. So that's the theory -- I can pick out one block at a time.

Right now, I am running out of time, so will just mention that I have been getting into Montessori because those manipulatives are so very appealing to Aidan. And because there is a vortex in our house that makes away with manipulatives -- the kids think it is a sort of leprechaun that hides in our walls, and have given it the name of Bilbo Bagpipes --- I have been making paper manipulatives so if I REALLY can't find the blocks or wooden letters I need, I can just print out the equivalent. Plus, for Aidan, I think the paper manipulatives are helping to transition him from reliance on the concrete to a slightly more abstract level. So basically, what I've been doing, over at Schola et Studium is to try to learn Montessori through my hands. I guess in the long run I do process it, that way -- it just takes a little while to get to the verbal part of my brain.

1 comment:

lissla lissar said...

Sounds great. I look forward to your pick-off-the-shelf musings. "Maximum state of entropy" (Looks around at house covered in toys and books) Yes, indeed.

Actually, I was thinking about a line from one of my favourite fluff novels today, describing what the main character did as she waited for something.

"I mopped floors. I scrubbed sinks. I baking-soda-ed the teapot. I rearranged the hip-high piles of books to be read immediately..."