Hi, I’m Andrea LeDew
What You Will Find Here
Welcome to For Random Learning Comes! I have been writing here since 2017 and my post count now tops four hundred. Here you will find longer and shorter fiction, versed and unversed poetry and thoughtful essays. Their subjects runs the gamut from homeschooling to parenting to public policy to the weather.
The stories here attempt to get inside the minds of people and understand why they do what they do. Some of the poetry seeks to preserve events under glass for easy critique, or condemnation. Other poetry attempts to mirror emotion and thought as vividly as words will allow. The essays in these pages gently explore the experiences of parenting, homeschooling, disability, and being a citizen of the world.
I have been writing here since 2017 and my post count now tops four hundred. Click on one of the listed topics below to begin exploring. Or, if you have something specific in mind, try the search bar up top. My Latest Ramblings will lead you to my current work.
See below for more on my background and the origins of this site.
Many people ask me, why I named my website as I did. “For Random Learning Comes” doesn’t exactly trip off the tongue.
In 2016 this site began its life as a homeschool coop journalism class project. I set up the site so that kids could show off their writing skills to the rest of the coop. At that time, all the settings were private and posts were available by link only. The posts from that time have since been removed, to preserve the privacy of those very talented kids.
When the kids lost interest in writing on the site in 2017, I took it over, and began publishing on my own. Unfortunately, the predetermined URL, was based on the acronym of our homeschool coop. I tried to think of a phrase, using those letters, which would encompass my outlook on life and learning, in general.
“For Random Learning Comes” seemed to fit the bill.
Because we humans, of any age, find ourselves having to learn random things all the time and everywhere. Random learning comes, like it or not. And so, we must be open to it. The post Changing Names helps explain further what I mean by the phrase and why I chose it.
At that time, I believed I was writing primarily for homeschool parents, or for parents of students with disabilities. My own son, now an adult, has autism. So I have written a fair bit about our homeschool and how disability helped to shape it. This way, to my posts on Homeschooling. I also wrote on subjects such as travel, philosophy, or parenting in general. For my work before 2018 look in the Archives. This site has since expanded to house more of my creative pursuits.
I also had to think of a logo.
I created my logo from a photo I took in a beautiful garden my daughter works at. It is a closeup of an apple hanging from a tree. Considering the apple’s connection to education (an apple for the teacher’s pet) and the connection Biblically to the Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil, and the absolute absurdity, of apples being able to grow anywhere in Florida, this symbol perfectly embraces my purposes.
For, Random Learning Comes to a child in a school classroom or at a homeschool kitchen table, just as it came to poor Eve, long ago, and as it continues to come, to us all, whatever stage in life or GPS coordinate we may occupy. Whether we like it or not.
For a deeper look at our rather rude introduction to disability, and to learn how my attitude toward education and parenting grew from it, see Our Stems are Fragile.Andrea LeDew
In 2018, my mother, a fine poet in her own right, passed away. It was then that I began to focus more on creative writing. I began to share my new flash fiction (100 to 150 word stories) longer fiction, poetry and essays.
Joining an online flash fiction group really upped my game. For about a year I churned out 100-word stories every week and posted them here. The feedback of the other writers was invaluable.
To see what others have said about individual posts and visit those that intrigue you, visit my Comments & Compliments page.Andrea LeDew
More importantly, participating helped to make my writing more concise. My father’s illness and death cut that short, and I found myself writing more to please myself and to process the events around me.
I now write longer short stories, such as the eight-episode-long homeschool-themed story Resilience. But I can’t completely ignore the flash fiction angel on my shoulder, who reminds me to keep it short and sweet.
Though it may seem a bit conservative and old-fashioned, I tend to write in rhymed verse. My subject matter, on the other hand, is very up to date. My poems track both my moods and the whipsaw of current events. Sometimes, I even dare to get political. When I do, my opinions tend to hover just left of center. I critique our failures as a nation, and measure the toll COVID and partisanship have taken, on our unity. I also explore more down-to-earth topics, such as parenthood, technology and the loss of loved ones.
When I can’t resist weighing in, on controversial issues such as school openings during COVID, or school shootings, or Confederate monuments, sometimes only a long essay will do. I’m sure you have these moments, too, when you simply must unleash your tongue. The more we discuss these problems, the closer we will come, to finding a solution.
Now that my homeschooling days are winding down, and the sting of losing my parents has begun to dissipate, I hope to write even more. This year’s attempt at joining 2021 NaNoWriMo was a bit of a bust, but I am independently working on a few longer pieces. I will keep you posted on my progress in my weekly newsletter, which you can sign up for below.
I live in Northeast Florida, but like many Floridians, I haven’t always done so. I already had four moves under my belt by age sixteen, when we headed from the Midwest to Florida. I have lived somewhere in this state, not counting a ten-month hiatus in Germany, ever since. For the past 25 years, I have lived in Jacksonville, FL.
My life has included, in order, earning a degree in English, traveling to foreign parts, studying and practicing law, being a mom to four children, maneuvering through the special education system, homeschooling two boys for ten years, and losing both my parents.
All along the way, I have found time to write.
I have always been an avid reader, as well as a writer. In college, I majored in English, focusing on British literature. I’m a big fan of Masterpiece and the usual British mystery and period or manor house productions. In this site, my creative writing lives under the category For English Majors. My reading limps along rather slowly these days, I’m afraid. But I am inching my way through a very good history book at the moment.
I also studied German during high school and college. Upon graduation from college, I had the good fortune to win a year-long scholarship to a German university. This experience helped broaden my view of the world.
On my return, I put my nose to the grindstone and managed to survive law school. I worked as a lawyer for a few years, but when my first child was born, I began my second career as a full-time wife and mother. A job that I’ve somehow managed to keep, to this day.
For the last ten years, I’ve been busy homeschooling my sons and running a family of six. My older daughters went through public school. Our lives have been full of art, robotics, anime, and gardening. Not to mention lots of cooking, cleaning and laundry. I also dabble in the WordPress Community, helping our local group in Jacksonville with social media.
My favorite avenues of escape are reading, traveling, watching mysteries, savoring good milk chocolate, and visiting beautiful gardens.
Hope you enjoy your time lingering on these pages!
Sign up for my newsletter in the form below and I will email you a weekly selection of my new work. You can find previous editions on my Newsletter page.
(For more comments on my writing, please visit Comments and Compliments!)
December 15, 2021…
Thank you for this wonderful holiday gift: your special newsletter. That‘s a treasure to be read many times. On this morning‘s first reading, my favorites are the ones with most connections to my past (and yours): Chopin‘s Tristesse on the Fire Escape (with your mother’s “mon dieu” in my ears), Eiswein—the memory of my first sip of that miraculous creation, and then one of my favorite flowers, Camellia—beautiful even in death. And finally, that delightful Snow story with the orangeball fight! Made me miss both Minnesota and Florida here in our green Missouri December. Happy Holidays, dear Andrea!
MargritMy dear friend who taught me piano and German
For more on me, see Welcome!
Estimated reading time: 8 minutes