Although I’ve always known we’d be on the path to homeschooling, this year we really got down to business and made a commitment to this way of life. Our kids Luca (age 7), Rose (age 5) , Remi (age 3) and a wee one in the oven (due in July 2017) explore life and learn every day through reading, imagination, play, and time spent together and with our community. We are documenting our experience here. Enjoy!
As I write this it is March and life in winter (in Canada) is looking up! March has that calendar date that says “First Day of Spring”, there is March break to look forward to when we get to see Sandy all day every day for a whole week, seed catalogues to dream through and hopefully some real warm weather before too long! But back in the midst of February we were all feeling a little like a ship lost at sea. The kids were bouncing off the walls or walking around like zombies repeating over and over “I’m bored, I’m bored, I’m bored… “. I on the other hand felt deflated, uninspired and unmotivated to get us going on anything. As a homeschooling mother this is a pretty hard place to be in. We put a lot of pressure on ourselves to help our children be productive, to nurture their emotional state, to help them accomplish something worthwhile every day. As homeschooling parents, we are accountable for not only the health, happiness and well-being of our children, but for their education as well. We knew from the beginning that this was what we were signing up for and made that choice with a happy heart! But living with this choice on a day-to-day existence can be a pretty big weight to carry. I especially feel that weight if I’m feeling uninspired myself. That in turn seems to easily transfes to my kids and our household. When I’m in that place I try and remember that the hours upon hours of unstructured time are incredibly beneficial for the kids and that their free play is a huge part of their education of becoming a human. The key (I think!) is attempting to maintain balance, while not beating yourself up for “unproductive” time. This so called unproductive time may instead be a time of ideas germinating, ideas bubbling under the surface and a pause before the next flurry of production – and all of this is good and needed in our lives. From these pictures I realize that we did more in Feb than I thought we did and I want to honor those those moments that felt so hard at the time. We didn’t do much math, we didn’t do much writing or spelling in Feb, but we did plays games, make things and had many hours of freedom. It was a good month.
Here is Remi trying out the interior of our Shadow Puppet Theatre. We led the Library Friends program for a week in February – our theme was Ground Hog Day. We created this little box theatre at home, took it into the library and had a wonderful time making shadow puppets together. All of the kids seemed really into it and it felt magical to turn off the lights and light up the little theatre and see their creations come alive. These are the moments that feel right. There wasn’t a lot of direction (the kids were choosing body/animals parts for their puppet, adding extra arms or accessories, gluing them together on popsicle sticks and then heading across the room to check out their creations in the theater. I’m always trying to find creative thinking projects for the kids that aren’t all about following directions and creating a cookie cutter experience. This project seemed to be just right for creativity to flow.
Here is Rose painting the Stage Right door
Remi exploring the paint!
Adding some column detail
Whoa! They both fit inside!
Trying out the puppets!
Valentine’s Day crafting!
We wove some Danish Hearts
We also made Danish Heart Baskets with fabric
And attempted paper roses… I had a vision of gathering a bunch of branches and decorating a table tree with the paper roses, but they were pretty delicate and rolled out of their shape easily. Hopefully we will do this for another celebration – when I was little I remember making lots of these centerpiece trees celebrating birthdays or holidays.
The kids and I made a fabulous snow fort in the back yard
We played lots of games! This is the all time favorite Labyrinth
Rush Hour is one of our newest additions and Luca has already zoomed through all of the levels!
Set was one of my childhood favorites and it is still wonderful!
Just like his Papa, Luca is a Monopoly master
Winter at the cottage was a highlight!
Snowball fight in short sleeves!
Always building Lego!
Here the kids are putting their Sky Quilts together. For about nine days Luca and Rose documented the color of the winter sky and wrote it down in their journals. We then found fabric to match their colors and made quilts out of their observations! I loved how there were lots of different levels to this projects – being outside and observing our winter skies, deciding on colors, writing down their findings, cutting and pinning together fabric and learning to use our sewing machine!