Notebooking

Working on covers.
Sitting together
during precious nap time minutes.
Listening to “The Mouse and the Motorcycle.”
Watching a robin flit back and forth.
Admiring clouds.
Noticing that it’s easier for me to sketch things close up.

A Single Shard

“A Single Shard” by Linda Sue Park may have been one of my favorite homeschooling books we’ve read so far this year. The beauty and simplicity of the story and especially the integrity of the characters really captured my imagination. As the girls and I were talking about the orphan boy who works as an apprentice to a Korean master potter in the 13th century, we agreed that we will not be likely to forget Tree-ear and Crane-man.

Beautiful Dreamer

Our beautiful dreamer.

I’m spending more time in June writing and less time taking photographs. I feel a bit like this beautiful sleeping baby: resting in the afternoon air — closing my eyes to the vibrant patterns of light and travelling within.

It’s a bit of a mystery, isn’t it? What lies within a little sleeping soul?

Spring Picnic

The mice went out for an evening drive and came home with a carload of flowers. Then they had a picnic on the dinning room table. Sometimes I wish I could shrink myself down to their size and join them for a day . . .

Book Stack

“Words make worlds.” — Krista Tippett

On my desk this week: Moby Dick (by Herman Melville), Workshops Work (by Patricia Zaballos), The Poetry Handbook (by Mary Oliver), The One-Straw Revolution (by Masanobu Fukuoka), Becoming Wise (by Krista Tippett, and Project-Based Homeschooling (by Lori Pickert). I’m reading bits and pieces of all of them — because that is how my reading happens right now: in little snippets of time in the midst of very full days.

I might be hiding upstairs in my room right now, taking one of these mini reading breaks . . .

The French Lesson

We incorporate French into our days in a few different ways, but the girls have been asking to do more. We read French children’s books, sing songs and rhymes, and use French in our nature journals. Sometimes, if I’m feeling especially inspired, I will do a little “puppet show” with tiny animals who speak French.

I would love to meet other French-learning families out there. How do you teach and use French with your young children? What do your children find most engaging when it comes to learning a new language?

(Yesterday I found baby Wallace sitting in front of the doors with a picture book; just reading some French words to himself!)

p.s. Not pictured is the rest of the deconstructed house around him. Toddlers!

In the Orchard

My sister-in-law, Lara, has been painting in an aging orchard this year — a series of works in different sizes and different media — following the landscape over the course of the seasons. Seasons of weather; seasons of motherhood; and seasons of political change. I admire how she has stayed with her subject, looking at it in unexpected ways and sharing both her process and her finished pieces.

Seeing the landscape through her eyes this year has renewed my own interest in the intersection between a cultivated and wild world.