In between homeschool meets and events, it can often become isolating and I forget how many resources are out there, waiting for me to take advantage of them. It is often a delightful moment when I realize just how many willing other non-homeschoolers are to step forward and answer questions, give information, and more.
I ran into this the other day when Emily accompanied me to a cleaning. At the edges of the Plaza, my cleaning client Hideko lives in a high-rise condominium. She is a Japanese and math teacher, and she emigrated here from Japan as an adult. Every four weeks we show up to clean her little condo. She lets us in, then leaves, and Emily soon begins to wander about.
“What’s that?” she asked, pointing at the shrine.
“That’s part of her faith, she prays at it.” I explained. My client has two in her home – one seems devoted to those who have passed on (her parents and husband), and the other to possibly the living, day-to-day type prayers.
More questions followed and I explained the best I could considering I’ve little or no experience with Japanese culture and religion. Later she stood by the tea service and pointed to the different parts – a wooden stick with a scoop on the end, a round-handled short wooden whisk of sorts. “What is this for, Mama?”
“That’s for the tea ceremony,” I answered rather assuredly, I had seen Karate Kid II, after all! (the original Karate Kid series, NOT the newest movie) I did my best to explain how or what a tea ceremony was and then the realization hit, I needed to go to the source.
So I sent an email to Hideko asking if she would mind sometime explaining to Emily the tea ceremony and, if she was comfortable, the shrines in her home. I was a little tentative about it. I didn’t want to offend her, or violate some unknown cultural taboo, but I didn’t have to worry. She promptly responded and offered to have a “cultural day” with Emily the next time we came by to clean her condo.
What About You?
Has your child asked you something you don’t know the answer to? (Mine does this at least twice a day every day) Where do you go to get the information? Is it ever a person? How do you approach them for assistance?
Any Interest in Bees or Chickens?
If you ever have questions about beekeeping, chickens (their eggs, internal parts, or even butchering), gardening, herbs, and lots more – then check out my other blog – The Deadly Nightshade – for more info and also to pick my brain or take a class. I’m happy to help.
Sustainability Class w/L.E.A.R.N.
The call came out from L.E.A.R.N. for anyone interested to teach a class. And while it might seem a bit odd, I decided to teach what is important to me right now – sustainability. I did this for a couple of reasons.
- I’m interested and knowledgeable in the topic
- I like to talk about all the time.
- I know that the best way to get this city, state, country and world interested and motivated in sustainability is to encourage the young, the up and coming, the future movers and shakers of our world to care about it.
So I’m really hoping I will get some young folk who are interested in taking the class.
It is still in the planning stage, but I hope that we will have the following format:
1st week (9/26): Introductions, what we hope to get out of the class, review of what we will be covering.
2nd week (10/3): Growing your own food and herbs
3rd week (10/10): Organic, companion planting, the 3 sisters, and natural pesticides
4th week (10/17): Recycling and upcycling
5th week (10/24): Water conservation and collection systems (including graywater)
6th week (10/31): Keeping backyard chickens
7th week (11/7): Beekeeping
8th week (11/14): Living within our means economically and environmentally
9th week (11/28): Review, taking the next steps, making it pay for itself, planning a practicum (chicken slaughtering, perhaps?)
If I don’t get enough interest, I’ll tone it down and see if I can make it into more “bite-able” chunks for next L.E.A.R.N. session.
It seemed strange and alien for me to ask others for things. I guess the lessons of youth (don’t bother anyone, be nice, be polite, don’t ask for anything, don’t be a nuisance!) are still with me – but I’m learning to overcome them.
I’m learning to ask for what I want – or what we need – and realizing that is what living in a community is all about.
So I guess the lesson for today is…just…ask.