My oldest daughter has been doing a segment on the middle ages. Our nightly reading was a few chapters from Crispin: The Cross of Lead, by Avi.
The story's setting is well done. The authenticity of the book's medieval language, customs, and culture was brilliant. We learned a great deal about life for a medieval English serf. I learned some new terms too, like compline, . Or mazer, a drinking bowl usually made from hardwood.
I was speaking to a retired teacher several months ago. She asked me how old my children were, and after I told her, she smiled and said, "Those are good ages--the children still have their own colors. When they start leaving primary school, they become gray."
Of course, this is paraphrased into English from my really bad understanding of Spanish, but the idea of gray children ping-ponged in my brain for months after, especially as I watched my daughter "fit in" yet again to a new school year.
Taking my kids out of school was a hard decision, but seeing the color come back into my daughter's personality has helped me feel at peace. In fact, I think we've all regained a little color.
I've certainly livened up my usual day with gusty renditions of The Ants Go Marching On and B-I-N-G-O (complete with actions), not to mention our morning poetry recitations. Shel Silverstein is my children's current favorite.
Oh how I've missed his poetry. And for that matter, all the poetry I didn't know was happening all around me.
Thus far, the middle ages have been good. And perhaps if I'm lucky, my middle ages will be followed by a Renaissance of my own.
Have a great week.