As Charlotte said to Wilbur, salutations!
It’s been a year since I last posted on this place filled with sweet memories of life in America. I’ve recently decided to dust off this corner of the internet and begin writing a bit more about our life here in France and what our family rhythms and school look like.
Note: since we did archive this blog, a lot of the photos on older posts have either been removed or reduced in size, so if I refer to a photo in an older post it may not be there.
I’ll catch you up to speed on where we’re at before I write anything new. We’ve lived in France for over a year and have been (mostly) happily abiding in a small town outside of Lille. Michael works with refugees and asylum seekers, and I stay at home and take care of all five kids.
That’s right. Five.
We’ve added a new little boy since I wrote here last. He’s now three months old and, by all outward appearances (including drool output), the family pet. The older siblings all dote on him excessively, and he loves the attention until he doesn’t. And then he lets us ALL know.
We are wrapping up our best school year yet, and I’m in full-fledged planning mode for having four full-time students next year: two in first grade, one in third grade, and one in fifth grade.
Life here has its own unique set of challenges but also many moments of beauty that I am so grateful for. Nature study is a different beast on this continent, as we have flowers blooming all year round. It’s been heavenly for my daughter and me specifically, but all of the children have loved tromping around the dunes near Dunkirk and the forests of Belgium.
In dusting off this space, I’d love to find ways that I can help you all. Due to the current global pandemic, I’ve been getting a lot of questions about home education and what that can look like, should a parent not feel comfortable sending their child back to a public school next year. I’ll address those questions as best as I can.
I know that some of you are also just curious about what our family is up to, and let me just tell you how much I miss you. How I would love to sit down with you and a cup of coffee or tea and catch up on life.
And others of you are strangers, and I want you to feel warm and welcome here. Our family can be unconventional. I think one of the things I love best about our particular brood is that we’re (usually) not afraid of failing and that we’re constantly learning. We fail often, actually, and it keeps us pretty humble.
So again, salutations! I’m so glad you’re here.
Wilbur jumped to his feet. “Salu-what?” he cried.
“Salutations!” repeated the voice.
“What are they, and where are you?” screamed Wilbur. “Please, please, tell me where you are. And what are salutations?”
“Salutations are greetings,” said the voice. “When I say ‘salutations,’ it’s just my fancy way of saying hello or good morning.”
-E.B. White, Charlotte’s Web