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.
He will read the same books over and over again. He is so patient. He is so present. Wallace adores him.
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.
“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.
“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 . . .
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!
“Everything seems more pleasant in the Little House.” — Ellen Marie
leftover breakfast crumbs,
baby on the table,
oil pastels smeared into my fingers and on my bare feet.
This is one of those homeschooling days that feels hard. I’m not sure why. Teething baby? Endless messes? Tired mama? Overworked papa? Too many interrupted moments?
Today, I wish I could call a substitute teacher and take a few hours off. Is there a service out there for substitute homeschool teachers?!
Have you discovered the book “How to Teach Your Children Shakespeare” by Ken Ludwig? I brought it home from the library last fall and it sat in a stack of books, unopened, for three weeks. It wasn’t the right time. Or maybe I was intimated by the thought of Shakespeare? Where to begin with Shakespeare?
Well, I brought it home again last week. And this time I managed to open it up on my lap on a quiet Sunday morning when everyone else was still asleep. The result? I’m hooked! I love it. We’re learning Shakespeare. Memorizing it!
I love Ken Ludwig’s philosophy and his emphasis on the importance of hearing Shakespeare’s poetry aloud and memorizing passages with your children. He writes:
“With Shakespeare, memorizing is the key to everything. . . In order to memorize something, you have to be very specific and very honest with yourself. You have to work slowly, and you have to understand every word of what you’re memorizing. There was a time not long ago when memorization was considered to be one of the basic tools of an academic education. Students were expected to learn hundreds of lines from the Greek and Roman classics, then, later, from poetry in their native tongues. This tradition has faded from our lives, and something powerful has been lost.” (p. 6 & 8)
Reading this I realized how much memorization was part of my own education — and yet I hadn’t thought about it much before. So many choir songs; solos; lines in middle-school and high-school plays; passages from the Bible; and French! Oh, the French memorization I did in college was endless.
But when I studied Shakespeare in high school, it was all in written form. Always read silently, to myself. Never spoken — let alone memorized. And so the thought of learning Shakespeare through memorization, right from the beginning, was completely new to me — and yet it felt absolutely right. And so we dove right in with A Midsummer Night’s Dream:
“I know a bank where the wild thyme blows,
Where oxlips and the nodding violet grows . . .”