~ Two of my favorite things are knitting and reading, and the evidence of this often shows up in my photographs. I love seeing what other people are knitting and reading as well. So, what are you knitting or crocheting right now? What are you reading? Take a photo and share it either on your blog or on Flickr. Leave a link below to share your photo with the rest of us! ~ Ginny at small things

Yarn-along: May 22, 2013

Yarn-along: May 22, 2013

Good morning! I don’t know if it’s allergies or a wicked cold, but I feel lousy today. That, however, will not keep me from a) knitting or b) reading or c) writing about both. Yes, I’m VERY brave.

First the book-front: as the home-school year winds down to nothingness (altho, truth be told, I do have them doing bits of math, reading, writing and science-with-Dad all summer just to keep them from being B-O-R-E-D!), my thoughts turn toward next year and schooling only two of the three (as HamBone heads to the Catholic diocesan high school). I was thrilled to find the two books on the library shelf: The Year of Learning Dangerously by Quinn Cummings and The One World School House by Salman Khan.

The one by Cummings (childhood actress and now mom to “Alice”) is excellent. It’s a highly readable (and enjoyable) explanation of how Cummings came to homeschool her only child … the memories and mistakes … the joys and sorrows … the whys and why nots. This is one of those books that is provocative from the get-go and the reader doesn’t notice how deep are the thoughts while reading since the text is great fun and highly accessible. Cummings (who I thought was a snit as a child-actress) has a great story-telling sense while revealing great truths (and fears) of teaching her daughter at home. A great read to get my “mojo” for planning next year.

Now, the only similarity between Cummings’ book and Khan’s is that they’re both talking about radical education — neither particularly likes the main-stream, NEA-endorsed way of education. Cummings is less against than Khan, who has devoted his life and personal fortune to creating the Khan Academy, an online site for free education at every level. The one thing I particularly like about Khan’s idea is that we need to go back to ensuring mastery of subjects before pushing the student onward and upward; we need to allow self-pacing to dictate what the student will learn. Khan’s book is a bit more dense, a bit less accessible than Cumming’s. I’m a bit leery of national curriculum, let alone international (“one world”) curriculum but the idea BEHIND it is good. I appreciate that each learns at their own pace and in their own place. This one will take longer to get through … but I’m thinking the adventure is going to be an interesting one.

On the knitting front, I’m working on a shop-model of my popular Season Spanning Cardi pattern. I’m going to be teaching a class on working this sweater in July so I want to have a model in the shop to stir interest. This is a great pattern done in worsted-weight cotton (the shop model is done in Plymouth’s Fantasy Naturale). I’m just about done with the body (done in one piece) and will then work the bodice and the top-down/short-rowed sleeves that are knit in.

I finished the Ultra Pima shawlKnittin’ Love came out beautifully, yes?

Knittin' Love ... a shawl to show just how much love you have in your heart!

Knittin’ Love … a shawl to show just how much love you have in your heart!

So what’s on your reading table and needles? Wanna come play over at Ginny’s ….

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