Friday, March 15, 2013

This morning on Town Lake

I intended to do a lot of schoolwork with Melva and Jean during spring break, and we did.  Melva does two online Math courses through The Art of Problem Solving, (pre-algebra 2 and competition math), and they did not stop, so we had a good incentive to just keep on going.  I am enjoying the history that we are listening to at the moment.  Jean read a book about "bugs", the first book that really caught his attention and had him running to his room during breaks to continue reading.  I am so grateful for kindle editions - without kindle editions he would simply not have been able to read that book.  If you are going to be visually impaired, this is a good age to be visually impaired in.

I read a similar book about mammals to the twins, that taught me more than I ever learned in biology.  I sometimes wonder what we did in school, how it all became so fragmented, and why I retained so little.  I guess it had a little bit to do with the fact that we were training for tests rather than learning for the joy of learning, but I do not think too much about that.  I homeschool because it is a lifestyle that suits us, with all our special needs and abilities, just so well. I love it.

Today we went to the park with friends. We spent the whole morning on the lake.  The twins made me very happy by repeatedly calling out "this is just like in Make way for Ducklings!".  (Yes dears, except this is Austin not Boston, and you are feeding the coots not the ducks. Bread, not peanuts.) Jean did a great job rowing on his end of the boat, I am glad to see that some of the training last summer carried over.  Melva and her friend spent 90 minutes unsupervised out on the lake, and saw swans, herons, egrets and American Coots.  We only saw the coots, and two different types of turtles that we still have to identify.  I also found an Acacia tree in bloom - apparently there are native acacias in Austin.  What a beautiful sight, the puffy yellow flowers, so completely out of place!

After 4 years in Austin I still got lost on my way to Zilker Park, but I blame it on the GPS.   I really knew where we should have gone, but listened to the silly machine instead of just driving there.  I have never driven to Zilker Park without losing my way.  If you know anything about Austin, you will know that that is really inexcusable, the park is like the heart of the city.  There is a hike and bike trail next to the lake, where cyclist might yell "there are way to many children out here!" in your direction now and again, but apart from that it is one of those places where I am happy.  I went there when we just came to Austin and we were still running on adrenalin.  I went there with my mother and my sister. I have gone there with dear friends.  Just a happy place, full of hipsters that I kinda like. (very handy hipster translator here)

And the weather? This is the time to visit Austin. Just perfect.

(Pictures taken with my iPhone, Hipstamatic app, Jane lens and Ina's 1935 film)

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