When we were at Prairie Home Companion, GK kicked off the pre-show with a crowd sing-a-long of the Star-Spangled Banner. Did Violet know the words? No.
Then during “halftime” we had an extended sing-along of lots of songs — Amazing Grace, I Will (Beatles), As Time Goes By, and America. Did Violet know this last song? No.
So I am setting out to remedy that. It occured to me that a public school child would surely pick up such information as part of our “cultural heritage,” another little item to put in her suitcase of cultural literacy. In this case, it seemed to me that the girls ought to know things like the Pledge of Allegiance, the national anthem, and common American folktunes. Sure, Victoria loves to sing Frank Zappa’s “Dancin’ Fool,” but I hope someday she can also sing some American tunes from memory.
I think I’ll splurge and find a big easy piano book of these (for me to play, kids to sing) but until then I’ve downloaded some free sheet music from 8notes.com. The .gif files are free to print, but the .pdf files require a subscription — I don’t think I need that yet, but who knows what it might take to make these poor, homebound children aware of the world around them! *wink*
I’m also planning to incorporate various prayerful/mindful activities in our day, experimenting with guided visualizations and maybe chanting or memorized prayers too, and tai chi. Tomorrow I’m trying one called The Magic Box that I just googled up from a site called Learning Peace. You imagine your most peaceful place, then shrink it down into a magic box you can carry with you, so you can take out that peaceful place and let it fill your imagination when you need it. I may even try helping Violet learn to use her rosary, if it doesn’t send the rest of the (non-Rosary-bearing) family into a swoon!
My short-term educational goal with this is to work on focusing attention. I also hope it will give Violet a comfortable way to connect with her feelings and her inner life — Victoria seems to be more naturally comfortable with this. In the long-run, obviously, I hope that a daily practice of relaxation, prayer, or meditation will make us more peaceful, pleasant, and compassionate as individuals and as a family. And that is what I call proper socialization!