My name is Tana – pronounced like Donna except with a T.
Sometimes my life feels like an episode from the beloved picture book Caps for Sale – monkeys and all! Here are some of the many hats I wear:
I was homeschooled for one year before formally entering school in the 2nd grade. While I attended good schools and had a good experience, the year I was homeschooled was the most fun year of school I had until I reached college. During my elementary school years, I was often the only kid in my grade (in a multi-grade classroom) and finished my homework for the day often before lunch, which meant lots of time spent sitting in my desk being quiet waiting for the school day to be over. I wanted my kids to be able to go outside and play once they were done with their schoolwork, so when Ben reached school age, I began homeschooling.
I homeschool our three children using the Charlotte Mason method. We follow the path laid down by AmblesideOnline. When I was in school, I loved reading (which is how I filled my days after my schoolwork was done). But even in college, I struggled with the classics, especially Shakespeare. Not my kids! Ambleside begins with great literature in year 0 and has kids reading Shakespeare plays directly in year 4, which I now find so easy to read myself that it amazes me.
Along with homeschooling comes reading. The Charlotte Mason method focuses on primary texts rather than using textbooks. History, literature, geography, science – the many books we’ve read for school have brought about a renaissance to my own reading life. In addition to reading ahead through upper years of AmblesideOnline, I am a member of a local Well Read Mom book group, follow the Close Reads podcast hosted by the Circe Institute, and love participating in the Modern Mrs. Darcy Book Club.
Before Caroline was born, I played the piano for church. Then Steve (my husband) said three kids was too many for him to handle alone in the pew so I stepped back from that role while our children were small. A couple of years ago, I took it up again, and in the spring of 2017, I transitioned to playing the organ – it is much easier than I thought, and I so love organ music at church.
In the fall of 2016, after about a 20-year hiatus, I resumed playing the flute. Ben was taking drum lessons and needed to some band experience, but our local public school required that he be enrolled at least half-time in order to participate. A friend had mentioned she was playing in the Waverly Community Band, directed by Arch Hill, so I inquired there. I volunteered as a flutist first and then asked if Ben could play in percussion as well. When I was in high school, my parents were so excited when I had a chance to play in band, but I wasn’t thrilled with it like they were. After playing under the direction of Arch Hill, I now understand what my parents were so excited about.
One of the flutists in the Waverly Community Band invited me to join Coro di Flauti, Lincoln’s community flute choir. Choir features flutes, piccolo, alto flutes, bass flutes, and now even a contrabass flute which is taller than I am. Many of the members are music teachers and perform professionally while others, like myself, play only as a hobby. Playing with this group has taken music to a whole new level for me.
Our kids would not have great extracurricular activities if it were not for the many volunteers who help run the programs we love.
My first volunteer role in scouts was Assistant Den Leader. That was followed the next year by Den Leader. From there I jumped to Committee Chair, an administrative role where I oversaw all aspects of a Cub Scout Pack with about 45 Cub Scouts – a very demanding volunteer position. During my tenure in that role, I did Wood Badge, an advanced leadership course for adult volunteers in Scouts (go Eagles!). I’ve served 4 years as Popcorn Kernel – two for our Cub Scout Pack and two for our Boy Scout Troop. Currently I serve as Unit Commissioner for the Cornhusker Council and Merit Badge Counselor and Committee Member of our Boy Scout Troop. Ben and I also serve as Ushers at Nebraska home football games. I cannot say enough about what a well-run organization Scouting is and the many good, quality people I’ve met through our involvement with Scouts.
Scouts has served our boys well, but we weren’t sure if Girl Scouts would be the same great match for our daughter. A few leaders I enjoyed working with in Cub Scouts were facing the same dilemma, so we began our own 4-H club – the Ash Hollow Explorers. Our reason for running the club is our girls, but our boys participate and enjoy it as well. I am the official leader of our club, but I rely heavily on the parents of our club to host meetings and lead projects as well. It is a great team effort, both the the adults and for the youth.
When Ben was a baby, I taught myself how to knit so I could make wool cloth diaper covers for him. My hobby turned into a job as a technical editor. Over the years my clients have included Interweave Knits, Twist Collective, Knitter’s magazine, Alana Dakos of Never Not Knitting, Hannah Fettig of Knitbot, Kate Oates of TotToppers, and many others. In 2013, I took up spinning which has greatly expanded my knowledge of how yarn is structured and behaves in various projects. As a technical editor, I specialize in streamlining patterns for clarity and simplicity and grading sweaters for adult sizes up to 5X as well as children’s sizes. If you are interested in my services, please contact me at tanaDOTpagelerATgmailDOTcom.