Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Encyclopedia Car-tannica

The couple sat a few tables away, nestled snug against the backdrop of open beams and whitewashed walls.

The sunbeams dancing across the wooden table were warming me, the coffee was par exsalonce`, and my toddler son sat "reading" a novel gingerly snatched off a nearby bookshelf.

Read, read, read . . .

Keller jibbered and jabbered his way through page after page of big black on cream words designed for adult consumption. The afternoon whiled away, and soon it was time to go.

Gathering ourselves, a pause for this sleeve, then another into the tiny jacket, the woman spoke.

Her words were warm and endearing, her demeanor pleasant as she chatted. We were about to part ways when she said the most profound thing:

"I used to keep an encyclopedia or two in the back seat of the car. The kids would devour them, read them word for word as we drove."

I was struck by simplicity of this genius idea. Immediately my mind retraced my steps as a girl, pouring over the dictionary for a leisurely read; my husband's description of reading encyclopedias from cover to cover for fun as a lad.

I suppose veteran homeschooling parents the globe wide have already employed this simple measure. Me? Perhaps I will find myself purchasing a set at Good Will for the purpose of being our Encyclopedia Car-tannica.


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