Friday, September 30, 2016

Shakespeare and Mozart in the Back Yard

This was a day where we took the books and the baby outside and read some literature in the back yard. We started a picture book version of A Midsummer Night's Dream (illustrated by Bruce Coville). We had also been listening to Mozart's Magic Flute in the car recently.

The play that ensued was a mix of a knight batting The Queen of the Night and a feisty disagreement between Oberon and Titania, the fairy king and queen. Ivy took it all in and just generally enjoyed the fresh air!


Friday, September 23, 2016

First Day of School 2016!

We officially started school on Monday! Arden was quite excited to be starting Grade 1.

We got the week off to a good start with a nice mix of activities - harvesting Arden's first yellow pepper from her garden, new colouring books, poetry, money math, an introduction to the orchestra, new paints, and a few good stories.

Highlights of the day were learning the fun poem "Ooey Gooey" (Jack's favourite) and discovering "How the Whale Got His Throat" (Arden's favourite - she did not forget the suspenders, Best Beloved).


Tuesday, September 20, 2016

Florence Nightingale and the Value of Play

Stories are powerful. We read one about Florence Nightingale last week, and today the kids are busy setting up their own army hospital! It's all very organized.

This sort of thing reinforces my belief that children needs lots of time for unstructured play - time to process and engage with the ideas they are taking in. Through play, ideas can truly take root in a child's life. 

For those who are interested, this is the book we read:

It's a good introduction to Florence Nightingale and the issues of her time surrounding health care. While it's not the most compelling narrative I've ever read, the story was interesting and easy to follow. (Both my 4 and 6 year old were happy to sit through the reading.) Demi's illustrations are lovely. The image of "The Lady with the Lamp" really stuck with my 6 year old. It could also be a great springboard to discussion and more research. 


Friday, September 16, 2016

Getting schooly

We haven't officially started school yet. We've had a wonderfully full and busy summer with lots of family visiting, and I'm still finishing up some of the planning details and gathering of materials. I'm really looking forward to getting back into routine!

That being said, we're having somewhat of a schooly day today. We kept close to home because there are colds brewing. The kids went outside after breakfast, and noting how chilly it was, decided to pick all the ripe tomatoes for me, because they remember how we usually try to pick them all before a frost hits. Then we all sat down with the watercolour paints for a little while, and I had fun experimenting with colour. (I think I need some new paintbrushes.) Arden and Jack made pictures to send to our sponsor child in Guatemala, and Arden did some of the writing on the card and dictated the rest to me. Energy was low, so we had a Magic School Bus break while I sorted and sharpened pencil crayons. After lunch we sat down in the sunny living room and each picked a library book to read. One book sparked a question concerning the best way to get from France to Sri Lanka! (Any guesses as to which book we were reading?)

Now, all three children are either sleeping or quietly playing upstairs, and I'm drinking hot cocoa and thinking that I really love this kind of togetherness and learning. Even though I have a whole school term mostly planned out, I don't want to lose this sense of gentle exploration, of the natural ebb and flow of learning and living.

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