Studying Japan

In spite of a whole collection of challenges, this has been one of my very favorite weeks of homeschooling — studying Japan in all sorts of ways! We read “The Old Man Mad About Drawing,” a story about Hokusai the famous artist. We painted Japanese characters using a sumi-e ink block and learned to recognize a few symbols. We watched “My Neighbor Totoro” and a documentary about Japan. We read “The Big Wave” by Pearl S. Buck and ate sushi for dinner. Now if only we could squeeze in a little field trip to Japan . . .

Week Three

Cleaning off the table at the end of the week . . . there is much I want to remember and savor here. After two very challenging first weeks, this week was wonderful. The weather. Walks outside. Star gazing. Beach time. Books. Poetry. Writing. Exploring. Wallace’s morning circle. Making wreaths. Shakespeare. Music lessons. Expanding our timeline. Looking at works of great art. Math with Papa. These are the things of my homeschool dreams.


Main lesson today on Seed Dispersal.
Wallace ate crackers and dried cherries on my lap while we read from a few books.
Wallace threw sticks in the fire pit while we collected seeds.
Wallace stood up at the kitchen sink on a chair, while we made charts in our books, and dumped water all over the carrots, himself, and the floor.
Wallace is throughly enjoying homeschooling so far this year!

I feeling so grateful for “Exploring Nature with Children” this week — a simple curriculum that guided us into learning about seed dispersal and gave purpose to our morning lesson during a time when I’m having a hard time finding the energy I would like to devote to our homeschooling. Taking an overhead photo was a way for me to capture and save a moment of beauty in the midst of a lot of challenge and chaos. I share this because it gives me hope and reminds me how resilient we are when surrounded by support. Seeds of hope.

Journey to France

I’m preparing for the “Journey to France” class that I will teaching at our homeschool partnership this fall. The girls have been helping me to gather books, posters, art materials, classroom supplies, and props for puppet shows . . . They are thrilled about setting up our classroom and making it inviting and interesting to all the French students!

For the first few weeks, we will be learning simple French phrases and words, as well as exploring Paris through literature, images, maps, and discussions. I hope to have the class singing in French and rhyming too — in an effort to learn as young children do: through sounds and word play as well as conversation and stories.