Our year begins with a visit by the Homeschool Fairy, who fills up Zarf and Klaxon's back packs with school supplies, text books, toys, treats, movies and clothes.
We've set a pretty leisurely pace for lessons, easing into the routine with science documentaries, multiplication drills, grammar worksheets, copywork, read-alouds, and star gazing. The biggest detriment to productivity has not been the boys' attitudes (they're quite keen to start up since they've been on summer break since June) or curriculum selection (our material came in weeks ago), but the sorry state of the homeschool room. Until Wednesday morning, I'd forgotten the school room was our de facto junk room.
While cleaning up (and cleaning out), I came across a book my grand-dad gave me at least twenty-five years ago: Little Women, by Louisa May Alcott.
There's no copyright date listed on the title page. At some point a fourteen-year old girl named Joan Henderson practiced her signature on the empty pages at the end of the book.
The last time I read this book was in 1994, upon returning home from the movie adaptation starring Winona Ryder. I'd gone with a group of friends during winter break from university. I enjoyed it. Right up till Beth died. According to my seatmate, this was not a complete deviation from the source material. But I had no memory of it. I raced home, and checked my copy. Beth was very much alive on the last page of my copy. Only much later did I learn that Little Women was published in two volumes. In addition to there being no publication date on my book, there is no indication there's a sequel.
To this day, I've never read the second part of the narrative. In my head, Beth is still very much alive.