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 . . .

Autumn Leaves

The first autumn leaves come inside
in baskets and pockets.
Handfuls of chestnuts, shiny brown and gold.
The smell of beeswax fills the house
as rain falls outside
and a chubby toddler brings fists-full
of dirty carrots, fresh from the garden,
inside to wash off
up at the sink.

Hot Peppers

We now have the makings of five gallons of hot sauce fermenting on our kitchen counters. (Many thanks to a friend for generously providing us with an assortment of peppers!) Jars of spicy peppers are just one of the many brews bubbling in our house. If you are interested in reading more about our fermentation journey, I have an article all about it in this month’s Wild + Free bundle!

Whaleback Trail

We walked up the Whaleback trail this morning and found some of the first autumn leaves. The girls are so eager to show Wallace how to dip leaves in beeswax! Ellen said, “There are so many exciting things for him to discover!” Yes, indeed.

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.

Morning Desk

Soft morning light.
Sun-kissed arms.
Plush, busy baby hands.
Big sister helps him up
on to her lap.
She makes a space
for him
among the many projects
on her morning desk.