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“Every part of nature teaches that the passing away of one life is the making of room for another…” – Henry D. Thoreau, Journals
Last week’s sadness rested upon me like a veil for days on end, and I knew enough to be gentle on myself and my family in the wake of our loss. I set aside the majority of our normal curriculum in favor of gentle, seasonal crafts and extra free time outdoors. The medicine of fresh air and working with our hands was effective and swift and by the end of the week, we were starting to smile and laugh again. We also decided to rescue another pup and bring them into a loving home, thus changing the energy in our home dramatically in a matter of hours.
The Healing Power of Handicrafts
I decided to pause our regularly-scheduled academic subjects for the week and dedicate our homeschool time to handicrafts and activities from the September issue of Rooted Childhood. This was probably the best decision I could have made. Spending the week parceling together our very first seasonal display, making autumn fairies, and working with our hands was like a healing balm for our hearts.
I’ve never made a seasonal nature display before. I’ve always been rather practical when it comes to decorating our home, favoring portable crates over bookshelves, and baskets for storage rather than show. This week I learned that making a display purely for pleasure and beauty is well worth it–it changes the entire mood of our home. The yellow sunflowers, the careful assembly of acorns and leaves into delicate teacups and apothecary trays, the reverent display of a book filled with seasonal inspiration (A Gracious Space, Fall Edition by Julie Bogart), and the whimsical posing of our autumn fairies all seemed to transform the entire interior of our living space, lighting everything up with a joyful excitement for the transition in progress outside.
I told the girls “The Apple Tree Story” from Rooted Childhood’s September issue, ending with the dramatic reveal of the “star” within the apple. As expected, their faces lit up at the climax and they begged me to tell the story again and again. Being largely inspired by Charlotte Mason, we read a lot (a LOT) of books. But I also love to incorporate storytelling, too–the kind of storytelling when you memorize enough of the story to just engage, with eye-contact and props, as you weave the tale for your eager audience and allow the magic to transpire between you. This was a beautiful story to welcome in the first signs of autumn.
STEM Invitation from Blossom and Root Early Years, Vol. 2
One day this week, I had a lot of catching up to do on projects for work, so I set up a STEM invitation for the girls from Blossom and Root Early Years, Vol. 2. I set out trays of flour and some dried black beans and invited them to create spirals with the materials. The girls spent the morning in quiet concentration and produced two very different, and very beautiful, spiral designs.
The Nature Cure
The majority of our week was spent outdoors–not in deliberate nature study, and not necessarily doing any formal homeschooling whatsoever, but just being outdoors. It was a beautiful week, with a morning chill in the air and clear, blue skies above. The very first yellow leaves are just beginning to pepper the forest behind our home. We wandered, played, read, and stared up at the sky together. I savored the palpable sensation of one season leaving as another was quietly ushered in, the subtle changing of the guard detectable only in the angle of the afternoon light and the slowing of the cricket’s evening song.
A New Family Member
A less subtle change came about this week as well. My husband and I made the decision that it was time to give another rescue pup a happy, loving home. Our two dogs that both recently passed away were rescue pups eleven years ago when we brought them home, and we wouldn’t have it any other way. Meet Ringo–our new fur-baby, and powerhouse of both chaos and cuddles galore. Ringo was rescued from a kill shelter in New Mexico by the Rocky Mountain Puppy Rescue, along with his many siblings and his mama. Of his large litter, only one puppy is still waiting for a home (as of today.) If you live in Colorado and are considering a new dog, please check out RMPR–they do such wonderful work and provide hope for so many animals every month!
The insertion of a new puppy into our lives has been a wild and wonderful ride so far. The girls adore Ringo, and he has a wonderful personality! I look forward to making memories with him in our years together. <3
I hope you all have had a great week!
Coming soon: Summer and Autumn Book Seed Bundles (September 2018); Book Seeds Elementary Years: Profiles in Science Bundle 1 (September 2018)
The Curriculum We Used This Week:
Blossom and Root Early Years Vol. 2
Rooted Childhood: September Issue
Brave Writer: Quiver of Arrows – The House at Pooh Corner
C’est Ma (An Emergent Reader in French) from the “For French Immersion” store on TeachersPayTeachers.com
The Games We Played This Week:
The Books We Read This Week:
Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire by J.K. Rowling (on Audible, during car rides) * We finished it! *
Because of Winn Dixie by Kate DiCamillo (on Aubile, during car rides)
A Gracious Space, Fall Edition by Julie Bogart (for me)
State of Wonder by Ann Patchett (for me…almost finished with this one)
The Signature of All Things by Elizabeth Gilbert (for me–an excellent choice for plant nerd autumn reading!)
Theft by Finding: Diaries 1977 – 2002 by David Sedaris (for me–I am admittedly a multiple-books-at-one-time reader)
Movies We Watched This Week:
The Lion King
Our Favorite Classroom This Week:
The creek and woods behind our house
Get Your FREE Trial Issue of Book Seeds By Blossom & Root!
This FREE issue, inspired by the book The Three Sunflowers by Janet Lucy, includes two weeks of activities including nature study, STEAM, art project, recipe, and exploring language and poetry. Suitable for ages 3 - 8. Grab yours today!