Saturday, January 1, 2011

Home businesses and Home schooling

So, after my incredibly preachy last post (apologies everyone) I thought I'd give in and do a less thematic and more rambly blog post. You know, the kind I'm known for?

Christmas break has me going absolutely crazy. A month off doing nothing is way more time than I need. I like school so much that I would be perfectly happy if there were no breaks at all, and that has me thinking about what I am going to do when summer break comes, which is quite a few months.

Because Mike's school will take longer than mine (mine is over in two years, his in four) I would like to do something in the meanwhile. The jobs available to me here in Halifax are limited, there's really only one wardrobe to speak of and it's a pretty difficult club to get into. If I could, I would in a heartbeat. However, I'm thinking that I will start my own business in the meanwhile, beginning when I'm off school. My concept is that it will be mostly for historical re-enactors and weddings. I thought about making myself available to theatre companies that don't have their own wardrobes, but realistically I don't think I could take on the production of a cast's wardrobe myself, no matter how small. I want to get down to the details, the nitty-gritty, and have time to really focus on authenticity. This is what I see lacking in the market. And I know my market very well. For years I have stalked the websites of pretty much every big name online in historic re-creation. The main problem? A lack of authenticity. It seems that re-creators are willing to deal with a few iffy bits for an overall look, but a trained eye immediately sees something is off. I can always pick it out. Often it's the fabric (synthetics hang wrong, and upholstery fabric usually has a pattern too large to be authentic) or the closures (how hard is it to make a thread covered button?) or something as simple as an inaccurate cut, and foundation garment. The best re-creation garments are being made in Europe, mostly the netherlands. I'm not sure why, but I do know in this time of e-commerce I have a real chance at breaking into a market and being known for quality. My education is really quite priceless, in that regard.

That's the dream.

There are hold backs, of course. One of which is space. Mike has dominated the guest room/studio, with his stuff, and we have to face the reality that room will one day be Ender's. I don't have a table to cut on (essential) and the lack of space makes the smallest projects very difficult to execute. Not to mention a four yard Victorian walking skirt. So there are logistics to consider. One solution may be rearranging the studio space in the summer when Mike will be using it less, another may be renting out some space to do my work. Either way, this is what is on my mind.

The other thing that is on my mind is school. Not for me, but for hte little man. He seems like he is growing up so fast, hitting new and more subtle milestones. He sleeps through the night, uses a potty, and for all intents and purposes, is not a baby anymore. The thought of sending him to a public school just jarrs me in a way I can't explain. Sure, you can dismiss it as mommy jitters that everyone has, but I know it's more than that. I don't believe in institutionalisation. I don't think it's a good thing that we teach our children to arbitrarily follow figures of authority, simply based on their age and occupation. I believe in the power of rational discourse. I think that children should be allowed to justify their actions, and be involved in the discussion that surrounds their education. Their education should involve real world experience, taught by various people of various backgrounds, rather than a pack of children their own age who have little to teach eachother aside from confusion and bigotry. So...where does that leave us? Alternative schools (which exist only in big cities, like Toronto), private schools (expensive), home schooling (time consuming) or ideally, a schooling circle. This is what I'd like to find. Some like minded moms who each take on a little bit of their children's education. We all would have something to contribute, and it gives such opportunities for unusual learning opportunities. I think having a kid work at a cash register at a bakery for a week teaches them more about science, math, and sociology than anything they could learn about in school. And what about travel? For a third of the price of private school, we could take Ender to see some of the best museums in North America.

Just a few thoughts jumping around in my brain. I really shouldn't blog when I've had too many glasses of wine, though.

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