Thursday, January 17, 2013

Hopes of Snow

The forecast is calling for a possible 1-2" of snow.  So, naturally, the school district has already called for a two hour delay.  I'm pretty sure that even if it does snow, nothing is going to stick to the roads - it's been WAY too warm for that lately.  It's all rather silly to Hubby and I the way people around here react to snow and winter weather, but you can't really complain about getting an extra morning to "sleep in".  Ok, that's a joke, the kids get us up just as early whether it's a work day for Hubby or not.

IF it does snow, it would be perfect timing for our homeschooling lessons!  Tomorrow will be our last day discussing snow and ice.  We've kept the same poems and songs during circle time for two weeks now and I love that the kids are starting to say/sing them with me...or spontaneously on their own.  I think I'm going to keep one or two throughout the entire winter season to really help them learn them. 

This was our third week of homeschooling.  I think I should actually say "homeschooling" - the quotations are needed because it's a loose interpretation of the word.  Really, it just feels like we're playing and maybe "unschooling" would be a better word to describe what's going on around here right now.  I've focused on establishing a stronger rhythm to our day and adding circle time...but that's really it.  Everything else is creative learning, playing, and getting the kids more involved with helping around the house.  (Sidenote - they are excellent laundry helpers, table setters/clearers, and sous chefs!)  I feel like we've either had a fabulous week or this added predictability to their days really is as magical as everyone says.  They have played together independently for hours this week, helped around the house, and some of our former struggles around getting ready in the mornings/mealtimes/bedtime have nearly disappeared.  Besides a playgroup/bible study on Tuesdays and gymnastics on Wednesdays, our weeks are free from running around and over planning.  Their little imaginations are running wild and it's an absolute joy to watch.

I didn't do as many planned crafts this week.  We focused more on two stories - "The Story of the Snow Children" and "The Tomten".  I made little chararcters for each (and totally copied that idea from a sweet friend of mine and her tutorial found here.)

I am also trying to add more rhythm in our daily activities.  I have decided to make Mondays painting day - thus on Monday, they just enjoyed unstructured painting time. Tuesday is play-doh day. As they get older, we'll start to use modeling beeswax, but for now we are sticking with the easier to mold play-doh. Wednesday is gymnastics and library day. Today (handwork day) I used their paintings to make sewing cards, which they played with as their handwork activity. Tomorrow (craft day) we are going to make a few more snowflake crafts (borax snowflakes and ...I'm not sure yet...). I'm constantly reminded of how much my children relax and thrive under predictability, so I want our daily activities to offer that to them it makes my planning easier.  We also have specific chores for certain days of the week to help further reinforce this.

This week's chalkboard poem.

Our Tomten, hiding in the hay loft of the barn!

The snow children, Poppy, and the snow princess.

Our sewing cards.  I punched a bunch of holes around each of the shapes.  Then I tied a piece of yarn to one hole and used masking tape to tape the other end of the string (to reinforce it, making it easier to thread it through).  I do have blunt end plastic needles for the kids, but I can't find one and my children don't handle it very well when one sibling gets something that the other doesn't at craft time.  When it resurfaces, we'll go back to using the needles. 

I was so proud of Töchterchen, she did this all on her own!  Sure, there's some craziness going on, but I was extremely impressed that my two year old baby girl stayed focused long enough to do so many good stitches!