Well, we are officially homeschoolers for real! I can’t believe we ever lived any other way! No commute, no tortured good-byes. A rhythm to the day that’s right for us — simple, simple, simple! Being around less people, less activities, less sight and sound, and just plain being together, has made such a difference for this mostly-introverted family. We have the little chiguiro to keep us social and out there.
We finally took a vacation after so long, thanks to the generosity of friends. Here we are at Donner Pass near Lake Tahoe!
And subalpine Tahoe Meadows, at 8700 feet. *Almost* as high as Quito! You can feel how sacred this place is, echoes of our familiar coastal prairies. A magical, singing brook winding its way through golden grasses. But with snow!!! The kids were ecstatic. Real snow that you can walk in, make into snowballs, touch, taste, melt in your hands.
We are going very slowly with first grade Waldorf-style curriculum, just form drawing, stories, and drawing. Here we looked at leaves and took apart pine cones and threw them off of the porch to see how they flew. Our form was reminiscent of a winged pine seed floating to the ground. And our story was about two squirrels who find a golden nut.
Floating tiny boats in a lakeside pool at Lake Tahoe for hours and hours.
Reviewing all our of our forms so far in the sand.
At the start of our school year, P and I made these two plans. Our seasonal plan for the year: the images and activities with our learning goals, for each season.
And our weekly rhythm and activities, a collaboration.
I’ve found this to be a collaboration between the two of us in many ways. I am the teacher, I know what I want us to work on and learn together. But the goal really is for her to be her own learner, her own person, able to find her way to her own education, down the road. I can’t coerce her to sit at a table and “Learn!” or do what I want her to do, arbitrarily. It has to feel right to both of us. So when things go wrong, it is obvious, and I can tinker right then in the moment. Sometimes I’m surprised at which things really make her light up.
This tongue-twister, for example, we did tossing a bean bag, for the LONGEST time —
“En la forja forjaremos, Hierro fuerte fundiremos.”
We both needed a little strength of iron, at this time of year when Michaelmas and meteor showers bring us the cosmic iron of shooting stars. My doctor said to me recently, “You are so anemic, I can’t believe you are doing what you’re doing!” An auspicious moment to make sure I am strong, too; mom is always the last one whom I attend to and take care of. So I’m joining the gluten-free craze, doctor’s orders.
And so our homeschool year continues on into the Fall.
Shanah Tovah to everyone! A verse from Traditions for first grade:
Mother took some honey
And an apple, too.
Then she said, “Come here, my child;
I have a gift for you.
Let’s begin the New Year
With this little treat.
May the year be happy!
May the year be sweet!”