A month ago Shakespeare was a really good prop, but it had been a while since I had dusted off the Lamb's volume. The little boys hadn't heard the stories I admit. I didn't have a real driving urge to fit them in. I admit that too. They were on the educational bucket list but that list is pretty long and we have been ticking off line items at a ferocious pace the past couple of years.
When we arrived in Germany we inherited a group of close friends. Jen was on her way out as we were arriving and she smoothed the path for us in so many ways. She introduced the girls and I around, helped us find extracurriculars. We were off and running in no time.
Arriving in England was different. We had work friends which was wonderful. The children knew no one however and living in the country meant no neighbors as built in playmates. While I was relishing the quiet community of the farm I knew the children needed more, at least some of the time. As the weeks wore on I, too, missed the comraderie we left.
The solution pushed all of us out of our comfort zones.
The best way for a newcomer to meet new people? Volunteer to be the offical meet and greeter in the homeschool group. : ) They needed to fill a board position. Doing that introduced me to some wonderful women, one of whom happened to have been stationed in Germany herself just before we got there. We have mutual friends it turned out. These women have there bearings here. They know the transit system and have older children for whom they are teaching older children classes. They welcomed our current set of olders in and we are happily pooling our energy and skills to meet each other's needs. It's awesome.
I have been reading a home management series and the author mentioned how her system has changed over the years but that each method used was perfectly suited to that particular stage of their lives. Homeschooling is like that. There are many constants in our journey. The specifics flex a bit from year to year, from pregnancy and nursing times to teen years. From good health and great energy to recuperation and quiet times. Books read to children in a hospital bed or a body cast and later seeing that same child posing before the Olympic rings. It all works over the course of the years spent together.
So, that is the long story of how on this day the older children and their Dad learned to navigate the system to get to the Globe and the Golden Hinde to highlight their Shakespeare co-op class. The little ones and Alannah and I baked and read at home. No doubt the roles will be reversed before long. I look forward to that too. Meantime, here are some of the pics from the field trip. They got a guided tour of the Globe:
The children got a full hands on demonstration of costuming, complete with the dressing of one of the students in all the layers a female part would require. Their impression was that it was very, very heavy!
Then the walk to the Golden Hinde.