It's funny. As the nicer weather approached in October and football season got into full swing and our living got so expansive, I started talking about taking a "break" from "school" and how we naturally "school" better come January.
I am realizing more and more that it is just about my mindset.
We don't have to have school and no school.
It's all me. I work on plans and schedules and spreadsheets and then when our life-learning starts to get in the way of all of that, I feel like we aren't "doing school" and so I call it a "break".
In reality, it's not like that at all. We simply aren't following my carefully laid plans. Instead of following arbitrary plans devised by me, we're following the interests of those being educated. Even me. Because, I want to learn, too. And so I do. And I share that with the girls and we all get excited about it. Isn't that what life is all about? Learning continually, learning what we are interested in and learning it well?
So, we are schooling, just in a different way. It's me who needs to change the way I think about it. So, rather than thinking of it as "school from January to October" and then "break for the fall and holiday season", I need to remember that it is really learning all the time, but in different ways. We may have seasons of dedicated writing instruction and seasons where we are more into science experiments. There will be times when we are excited about fractions and times when we just want to study nature all day. There will be months when we learn math in a more methodical way. There will be times when we get excited about a country and want to learn all about it. There will be times when we do nothing that looks very schooly at all.
And that is perfectly okay.
What does that look like right now?
We've been reading about the adventures in Narnia and loving it!
The Hippie has read Marco Polo by Graves.
We've been learning fractions and how to divide them in our head.
I've read aloud classic picture books at bedtime to lull my little one to sleep after a rough day.
The girls have spent some time making reindeer out of acorns and sticks and cork.
We've played at the park on more than one occasion.
The Princess has played some word games and enjoyed many a session of writing and drawing in her journal.
The Princess has played with wooden trains.
We've looked up Irish names and their meanings because the Hippie wanted an Irish name for one of the little people she made.
We've sung hymns.
We've enjoyed a lovely Nature Walk to collect pine cones and acorns for crafts and sat and drawn a dandelion.
The Hippie looked up Budapest on a globe after learning that Nanu will be traveling there on Thanksgiving.
Both girls have spent lots of time making rings out of colorful soft rubber bands.
The Princess examined the bone we found on our nature walk to determine if she thought it was real. Her consensus ~ yes, it is real. She guessed a rabbit or raccoon.
The Hippie typed up directions for the game she made up on the driveway last week.
The Princess has spent time drawing ~ she is such a natural!
The Hippie re-read Odd and the Frost Giants in about two days after getting interested in Celtic culture again.
We've enjoyed some Celtic heritage and music by attending a Celtic Festival and then looking things up online the next day.
The Princess read Gilgamesh the King.
We've listened to lots of classical music and attended Beethoven's Eroica at the Symphony.
The girls have had several marathon Lego sessions. I am not kidding. Like, building and playing with them all.day.long.
I've read aloud Over the River and Through the Wood, Squanto's Journey and Thank You, Sarah: The Woman Who Saved Thanksgiving.
The Princess has kept working on Charlotte's Web and read a bit of Squanto, Friend of the Pilgrims.
The Hippie has done some sewing, making clothes for the doll that she made for the Princess a while back, Lucinda.
The girls have listened to Geography Songs over and over. They just love these! We need to get some more audio memory cds!
The Princess and I looked up Big Ben on the computer after a dream she had about going there.
We've enjoyed an amazing Nature Day with our favorite home school peeps!
The Hippie has revisited Megan's Year: An Irish Traveler's Story.
The Hippie has spent some time curled up with James Herriot's Dog Stories.
We've spent time online listening to Aaron Copland's Rodeo and then watching "Beef: It's What's for Dinner" commercials from the 80s and 90s to hear the same tune.
The girls have listened to some of our Your Story Hour cds over and over. These are *so* amazing. We only have five, though. We really need to get some more!
We've written in our Gratitude Journals and studied Psalm 100 together.
The girls have played for hours and hours with the boy down the street.
The girls spent the windiest day exploring wind science with Daddy. They worked on making kites and making a sail.
The Princess has been reading some of the Thanksgiving books.
The Hippie has read most of the books in our Thanksgiving book basket. She's also been reading Pilgrim Stories by Margaret Pumphrey. She loves it!
We've slowed down and learned to eat like the French. Momma spent two days reading French Women Don't Get Fat and perusing French Kids Eat Everything and became fascinated. We are practicing eating slower and really focusing on the pleasure of the food itself.
We've sat outside and observed tiny birds in our tree out back, watched a woodpecker and watched as it "snowed" leaves.
We've played Headbandz on Family Game Night.
Now, it's time to get into the Holidays. We went last night and got our tree. This week we will be cooking and cleaning for Thanksgiving and getting everything ready for Advent. I've started requesting our favorite Christmas books from the library. The girls had their first cups of Sugar Cookie Sleigh Ride tea this morning.
The season has begun!
What have you been up to this month?
Until Next Time,
~ Irie Momma