Sunday, September 2, 2007

Requiring everything I have

I haven't been very inspired to blog at all this week. I've been busy organizing, moving stuff around, gathering up supplies, and stressing a little bit about "officially" starting our homeschool next Tuesday. Today I sat in a slump wondering how to make a book that I started reading to the kids more interesting. I want them to enjoy it, and I wasn't sure how to do it. I quickly thought of Jim Weiss, a professional storyteller, who sells his sound recordings of classical stories for young and old. And then I thought, "If I could just be a storyteller" when I was transported back to second grade.

Back in Texas, I grew up doing fairly well in school and for those of us students who weren't being challenged enough, we were encouraged to participate in U.I.L. (University Interscholastic League) competitions put together by University of Texas at Austin. All the schools in the state would receive criteria and study materials for competition in several different areas from grades 2-12. In second grade, I started participating in Storytelling. I was read a story, left in a room with other students for about 15 minutes, and then we were called out one by one to retell the story as descriptively as we could in front of an audience and judges. We were judged on projection, enunciation, creativity, and our accurate retelling of the story. I actually wasn't competing in second grade, but I trained and took a ribbon in third grade.

I loved participating in U.I.L. I learned a lot every year I participated. What we were exposed to was amazing...I didn't know it at the time, but it was. We learned poetry and prose interpretation in third, fourth & fifth grades; spelling, science & mental math in middle school, picture memory (very cool...we had to memorize famous works of art, the artists, year of production, and the country of origin) in fourth; and then typing, literary criticism, and one act play in high school. It was truly an enriching experience.

As I sat thinking, I thought, "This is going to take everything I can recall, all I can muster, and it still won't be enough. God alone can see us through this next adventure." I know what I have received was for a reason. Now it's time to give it all I can knowing that my best efforts will be blessed. We may not feel successful at homeschooling, but we will probably have fun learning and re-learning together.

No one is ever really qualified; they're only willing to take up the challenge.

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