Sunday, September 17, 2017

Scenes From Nature School






The first week of nature school is done, and all in all, it was a great week! There has been a slight shift in the days here on the homestead brought on by an increase in the children I have joining me, and the range in ages. It became clear to me late last spring that it would be difficult to have a formal main lesson not only because of the variety of ages, but mostly because all of the children are only here one or two days per week and homeschooling in such varied ways at home. So, I shifted and decided to move to a nature school format, and it's amazing. As we always have, we start our day in the woods, but now we spend a bit more time there. We wander, climb trees, build forts and stop to get a closer look at anything that captures our attention. Then back to the homestead for a snack and journaling before lunch. After lunch free play, read aloud and craft time, with a little more free play before heading home. It feels good, flows well, and so far the children are loving it.

I have loose themes for each week....last week and this coming week are all about mapping. Mapping the homestead and the forest we walk, using old maps for our crafts, learning the directions and more. We will then move on to four weeks of gardening where it will be a little more hands on....meaning the kiddos will be in the garden with me harvesting, cleaning, prepping, planting garlic and bulbs, and learning the ins and outs of seed to plate. And the weeks move on in that way, with a theme and activities and crafts based on that theme.

Of course I'm sure you are wondering when my little man does his lessons. We are bookending our days with more formal lessons. So before the children arrive we do some math, and language arts, and after they are gone we do a little more. We are both enjoying that rhythm so far, and will see how it goes. I think what we both love about it is that this is the first time since we started homeschooling that it is just him and I for lessons. He loves the attention, who wouldn't, and I love really focusing on him during this time. Right now we are doing lots of review and read aloud, and will continue for another week before moving into some new things.

So, here I am, first week done, about to move into the second week. It feels right, for this time and place. I have lots of ideas and dreams about the path forward with nature school, but for now I am taking it one day at a time, focusing on the present and keeping those ideas and dreams alive in the back of mind.

Has school or homeschooling shifted for you this year? How is it going?

10 comments:

  1. So lovely...AND I love your space. A bit envious even (but in a good way ha ha).
    I like the bookending bit...probably makes it more practical...good idea.

    Homeschooling has shifted a bit for me as I am waiting to give birth, so I will start in Oct/Nov.
    It's only me and my almost 4 year old this time, plus the boy on Fridays, so we will see.

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    1. Aw, thank you! Practical, and so nice for my little man and I. We are enjoying it.

      Oh, how wonderful, congratulations!!!! I am sure it will all go just wonderful. Enjoy the arrival of your new little one. xo

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  2. What lucky kiddos! To be together in nature, all of you learning from it and each other :)

    I won't get into our school stuff. Sometime I'll send a real note and begin to hash it all out. Till then, I'll be inspired by watching you finding the right path for you, your family and these kiddos! Blessings on a new adventure!

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    1. Lucky kiddos, I feel pretty darn lucky too ;)

      Aw, I'm sorry to hear things aren't going so well. I look forward to the email, and to be a sounding board as you hash it all out...always here my friend. xo

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  3. I love that you are starting and ending your school day with him, it sounds just right to me! I am babysitting twice a week and i've been incorporating that into my schedule while trying to get my stuff done around here. I do love babysitting :)

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    1. It feels just right, Karen. It makes up both pretty happy. I noticed that, and just today noticed you are going to the little one's home....that is amazing, and I bet you are just amazing with the little one. So glad you are enjoying it. xo

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  4. I think your nature school looks wonderful. I'm sure they're learning a lot. I enjoy reading about your home schooling. It sounds like you both get a lot out of it.

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    1. Thanks Jennifer. It's been fun so far. We both enjoy it, and this new routine seems to be working well. Hopefully that continues :)

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  5. Wonderful Kim!! I would love to be closer to be able to see what you do :)
    Have a lovely week!

    Luisa xx

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    1. Thanks Lluisa, if we were closer I think we'd be spending a lot of time together :)

      Wishing you a lovely week too. xo

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