Tuesday, April 17, 2012

The goings on

Pesach is over and  it's time to get back to a routine.  I have many grand plans as usual:)  Since we've started Pesach cleaning, I've been on a decluttering, simplification and healthification compaign.  I am really trying to get rid of all the things that we don't need, don't like, don't use, etc. and replace the things that need replacing with healthier choices.   This site has been very helpful to me in aiding me with the ideas for the process.  I am hoping to get back to our regular learning schedule and add some things like history-probably using some older in the public domain living books, geography - map drills, possibly using Geography Trails, more read alouds for big kids, more projects of the concocting type, more art- still have to figure out the best way to do it, basically getting back to a more Charlotte Mason like mode.  The weather is getting more and more summerlike.  The kids have been spending  A LOT of time outside, whether playing, riding scooters and bicycles, jumping rope, swinging or just sitting on the fence socializing or observing.  Our tree turned out to be a chinaberry.  It's currently in bloom, looks absolutely lovely and makes the whole yard smell like perfume. There are so many different flowering trees and shrubs around the neighbourhood, as well as lots of different interesting plants both wild and cultivated, so we've been doing some nature study.  It's hard not to.  I've been reading up on medicinal properties of various local native plants, a subject I find fascinating, and pointing some of them out to the kids.  The little ones just enjoy the flowers and the birds and the sunshine.  I've spotted some interesting birds around here too.  I really should start a nature journal like I've wanted to do for a long time, there is just so much material that would we very interesting to record and perhaps it will inspire the children to do the same. I really enjoyed this book by Claire Walker Leslie about nature journal keeping.  I wanted to do some sort of chemistry with the big kids this year, it didn't happen though but I think I will change the focus somewhat and try out different things with them in the kitchen like making sourdough, growing a kombucha scoby, infusing vinegars and making salves and healthy probiotic drinks.  Hopefully there will be posts to follow up on these soon.  All of them sound like great, practical projects to try out and are something that kids can easily participate in.  We have some birthdays coming up, so I would really like to make at least something for the birthday kids, we will see.  Dh has been doing a great job with his usual casual history, geography, and general, anything under the sun informal lessons.  He is really good at that.  I am better at more sructured lessons, but the art and the language and life lesson type of thing comes to me more naturally and spontaneously.  Also, I am trying to do something every day, one thing to do or to make from my very long list.  We are slowly catching up on all the things that have waited for the past year.  I also need to keep on with all the basics, work with the older ones on some areas of weakness in their studies, spend more quality time with the smaller ones and give the smallest ones what they need too.  A tall order. B"H, it's a very full and busy life that we lead.


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