Saturday, September 29, 2012

Time is Flying, and Yes, I'm Having Fun!

Another week has flown by. Everything has fallen into place so beautifully. Science and renaissance art class taught by a Waldorf teacher on Monday, a Michaelmas celebration by the river with our new friends on Wednesday and another one on Friday at the Davis school followed by play practice and we're looking forward to the Vintage Festival in Sonoma tomorrow for the grape stomp! Boredom, not part of the picture in our new homeschooling world. We've begun studying ancient Persia and talked about Socrates and Homer. Oliver picked up the Illiad at the library the other day since he's so fascinated with the Trojan war. Molly drew a picture of the Buddha and wrote the eight fold path in her main lesson book. In trade for using our laundry room, Oliver's teacher from the last three years has offered some tutoring...perfect. Next week, they start martial arts twice a week and finish preparing for the play they'll be performing October 13th at the farmers market. Oliver's the rapping tree and Molly's a carbon dioxide. Not stressed, time is ours, we decide and all is well. Everything I hoped and more.

Tuesday, September 25, 2012

It's Not a Race

So, I plan the day and then let it fall where it may. I used to feel the pressure to complete everything I thought we could accomplish and it often would lead to meltdowns on either my part or the kids. Now I use my plan as a general guideline, letting the mood and interest dictate what we finish. Some ideas get scrapped entirely and other's are born. Rather than crossing off a list, we can take detours when inspiration strikes. Today's detour included the poisoning of Socrates and the familiar plant that was used. Oliver finished his main lesson book entry on the Trojan War and Molly battled through her inability to perfect her lotus flower for Brahma. We practiced the use of verbs and helper verbs, touched in on long division, multiplication, word problems, decimals and percents. I read to them about Greek history and the Buddha's eightfold path to enlightenment. They practiced vocabulary from their journal entries about their trip to Fern Canyon. Now they're playing chess. You know how long this all took? About two hours, no kidding. It's amazing how much you can get done at home and it really can be fun!

Sunday, September 23, 2012

Yay for Autumn!

The grape leaves are turing that beautiful burnt orange while the birds feast on the over ripe grapes. Michael took out the worn down sunflowers and scattered the seeds for next year. Molly and a friend took an "adventure" to the pear orchard yesterday, picking over sixty of the crisp green beauties. Everything is so quiet and contemplative here in the Shire today. Every now and again the silence is broken by birds that rustle the drying leaves outside the window. Remnants of yesterdays Mabon ritual still out to enjoy. Everything is dry, seed-filled, red, orange and brown. There will be a harvest dinner in the Shire this evening and everyone brings such delicious dishes to share. I'm quite certain there will be squash! This week, we'll continue ancient India studies and Greek history. I'm learning to not be SO organized. I'm learning to pay attention to what is resonating and let the children lead me. At the end of the week, we head to Sonoma for the annual Vintage Festival where they get in a barrel and stomp some grapes!

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Letting it Come

Anyone can memorize facts but what about feeling? With our trip up the coast I've watched as the children experienced the beauty of their surroundings. Oliver ran like Peter Pan through Fern Canyon, Molly took over 130 pictures, most of them fungi. They've journaled, they've laughed, they've read and wondered. We had quiet reading in front of the fire and I've read Frances Mayes in bed with Molly. Right now, I can see them running around the beach that sits at the base of this bluff I'm perched upon, I can hear their laughter carried by the wind and waves. It drifts over the pampas grass and finds my heart. It's a school. Their hands can touch what inspires and their hearts are lifted. This is learning. Now we are home but I feel the door has been officially opened. With that trip, I feel so inspired. Education can take place anywhere and in every moment. Today, we will look through some writing they did and pull some vocabulary that they had trouble with. We'll revisit math, play practice at 3 and hit the library. They got a glimpse of what natural learning feels like and they can take advantage of the library with their minds full of those images.
The back yard

Molly in Fern Canyon

The University's Mascot!