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?