The air has turned to that exhilarating cool. The one that fills you with a knowing that something is coming. The kids have been making leaf art, knitting hats, building forts and climbing trees at the park. There may not be the Maple and Oak trees that I ache for, but autumn here is a brilliant yellow dotted with the deep red of crab apples, both of which are nice markers before the starkness of winter.The chill in the air has inspired me to knit mittens, socks, hats, and a Christmas sweater for River.
These kids are insatiable. I have come to conclude that no matter the chosen method of homeschooling, (Classical, Reggio, Montessori, Un-schooling, Waldorf, etc.) there are some things I must do to ensure their continued success and love of learning:
- Keep in mind the type of learner I’m dealing with, ie: auditory, visual, etc.
- Keep out unhealthy distractions
- Fill their environment with high quality resources
- Be outside as much as humanly possible
- Set a good example*
- Let them lead when possible
- Be adaptable, and stop or change when things aren’t working
* This point doesn’t only apply to things like self dicipline and organization. I sometimes think that pursuing my own interests and passions can be selfish because it takes me away from necessary work, until I frame it in the context of their experience of watching their Mom achieve goals and be a lifelong learner. Then, it becomes not only alright, but necessary. Things like getting lost in a book, taking a course in Greek history, painting a picture or learning a new language are all very valuable not only to me but to my children. I want them to live every moment fully, and not settle for the status quo. I hope to still be studying and learning new things when I am in my 80’s & 90’s learning along side my great grandchildren and my great-great grandchildren, sharing ideas about classic literature, politics and art.
We have just begun our 2nd block, which is Math, Science, History/Geography & Spanish.
Math: Hana is doing a lot of review work of the four processes while Elijah is beginning to understand the value of each number. Throughout the day, he keeps running up to me saying things like: “I know what else six is – eight minus 2!”.
Geography/History: we are at the time when hominids Left Africa, and we are mapping out where and when they went, and who “they” were at what times; Homo Habilis, Homo Erectus, Cro-magnun /Neanderthal or Homo sapien. To better understand how information is gathered about these ancestors, we have been modelling fossils and artifacts out of clay.
Spanish: We are currently beginning greetings and basic conversation, ie: “Hola, Buenas Dias”, and beginning basic vocabulary and numerals. Strangely, they don’t find it confusing to switch from French to Spanish as I thought they would. It almost seems as if it has made it easier. Even Avery is counting in three languages, understanding that it all means the same thing. Two, deux, dos.
Science: we are exploring Autumns effects on nature, discussing anthocyanins, caratenoids and the loss of chlorophyll in leaves.
For our afternoon crafts we have done tissue paper stained glass, water colour, started a rainbow braided rug for circle time, and worked on our knitting.
Extracurriculars: Hana is currently in jazz ballet and acro, and Elijah is in karate. They would say their highlight of the month was sleepover night at a friends place in the middle of the week.
I LOVE the fall.
Hana and her friend
Hana with a friend