Sunday, February 7, 2010

Websites and printers and deadlines - OH MY!

It's been a quiet month here at Lake Book-Be-Gone. We've enjoyed some wonderfully heavy rains which have begun rejuvenating our aquifer while giving us some wonderful downtime by the fire. We've had some beautiful days at the beach and hiking the green hills. We've enjoyed visits from family and friends. We've had time to read some wonderful stories from Aztec and Maya cultures, not the least of which has included some of their mythology. The girls forge ahead on their math and spelling, read voraciously and have taken in a performance by the Moscow Circus. We're looking toward the Superbowl this weekend, then will begin a unit study focused on the Iditarod.

Why bother with the Iditarod, you ask? Who needs to know Alaskan geography, the history of our continent's far northern reaches, the math of the world's most famous dog sled race? My answer: why not? The race and all that surrounds it provide opportunity to study in depth a portion of our country, our world. And it's as relevant to kids in California as study of any of the other 48 states outside their own. Plus, V, our youngest, loves anything that involves animals, so the tie to dogs should help pique her interest. The fact that a cousin has a cabin on an Alaskan island also gives the girls a heightened sense of personal value in this information. We'll study the state, its history, geography, biology, its people past and present, its weather. There will be ample opportunity to explore the science of snow, animals, weather, cold and ice, planetary movement all in the context of an exciting and unusual event which kicks off in 26 days. In researching the unit, I've already learned a lot, and I really look forward to sharing it with them. (Did you know there's a Junior Iditarod? Starts in only 20 days!)

In other news:
After one tough year of putting the results of our research to paper, designing, formatting, laying out and ultimately completing work on "Best Family Adventures: Santa Barbara County," the book files have been sent to the printer. WOO HOO! That means free time now, right?

Well, there were some other things to be done: rebuild the website both to improve it and to reflect the new title, catch up on things at home, catch up on volunteer work for my chorus, begin lining up publicity and find a distributor covering Santa Barbara County. Not to mention the daily work of raising a family, homeschooling, and trying to find some time for exercise.

Then the book proof came back with some surprises. Chiefly, the text on the pages had shifted so they no longer aligned with photos and so some entries' titles no longer shared a page with the entries' details. It all seems to have come down to running our computer system with an entirely different computer system - miscommunication isn't just a human flaw.

I'm aiming for a Spring Equinox release of the new book - what better time to help spread the word that there is a LOT to do in Santa Barbara and San Luis Obispo counties. I learned SO much about this area I've called home nearly all my life. My girls have learned that, while we tend to wander, there's really more to do in these two counties than a person can possibly master in a lifetime. And we haven't even hit the wilderness yet.

Enjoy the rain and the green bursts of life it brings, the wildflowers that are bound to pop in the next couple of weeks and each other. Life is most certainly wonderful.

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  1. Wow. The Iditarod ! We have always been fascinated with Id and MANY times watched it on the discovery channel.
    You pick the neatest things for them to study. Very impressive I think! they will and already are very well rounded in their education.
    Keep up the good work, they will thank you so much when they are grown and able to realize how much of the world you opened up to them.

  2. We have followed the Iditarod for a couple of years. One year we made a giant map of Alaska. My kids loved it. Have you ever watched the start online? We did last year. My kids always make a poster for their 'team'.

  3. We started today with the giant map of Alaska. Well, actually we started with a dot-to-dot. It was the "hint" re: what we'd be studying today and in coming weeks. The 7 year old and 9 year old both knew it by its dot-to-dot shape. A good start!

    Then we worked on making the big map. We talked about scale, and using the grid method managed to make a pretty good larger rendition of the original map. I've never actually DONE that because teachers always had it finished before we could get to it. SO it was fun for me, too, to see it actually work out.


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