Tree Riding


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My father writes a column for the Suffolk News Herald. A couple of times a month, he calls and recites it over the phone to me, while I type it out, edit it, and email it back to him. He then, calls me again, to return it to his voice (instead of mine). Back and forth we go, until a finished article is printed alongside his picture.

On our first field trip yesterday, walking precariously across a tight rope 36 feet in the air, I was reminded of an opening sentence, from one of his stories. He stated, “I climbed the tree on Chestnut Street, but landed on North.” Although, simplistic in form, the sentence is wonderful, and I giggle each time it comes to mind.

Growing up, my siblings and I were tree climbers, but Dad was a tree rider. There’s a big difference. He’d spot the tree swaying the most, as a storm approached, climb to the top, and ride it out. When he climbed the tree on Chestnut, the top snapped off, he hung on, bouncing through the branches, before  landing on another street. Miraculously, he survived with only a few cuts and bruises.

I liken regular school to tree climbing, and homeschooling to tree riding. We are hanging on with all our might. The storms of assignments blow our way, and we are swaying back and forth, so much so, there are days, my boys are reduced to tears. I signed on thinking there’d be more time to teach the boys in a creative way, but instead we face a tree high pile of books on a daily basis.

Yesterday, on our field trip, the boys enjoyed home school, as they conquered the ropes course at Wonder Works, yet upon our return at 2:30 pm, they were ushered back to the study room for a 3 hour session, and today, on Saturday they have 3 hours left. I do recognize the teacher’s cut us a break on the normal 8 to 9 hour day.

I don’t know where this ride is going to take us. We may snap off and land on another road, but we are riding it out for the year, after which, we will decide if we want to continue, or get off all together. Until next time…

September 2010

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