Wednesday, 23 July 2014

Seize the day

I had a fairly clear plan of what I wanted to do with the kids for lessons today.  Belle was to start with a couple of pages in her maths text book, Buddy Boy and I with a maths lesson and Pumpkin writing a poem.

The morning unfolded and my plans changed.  It was cold this morning.  Very cold.  I had used all the sheltered wood so I went to the pile near the cutting block to collect more.  When I came inside, we all went to the window to admire how the layer of frost on the wood glistened in the sunlight.  It looked magical coated with sparkles!

When we had all dressed and made beds, we headed out to the orchard where we milk the goats each day.  Belle chose to milk while I fed the chooks and refilled hay nets for the evening.
Buddy Boy wandered around feeding the ducks and geese.  Then he called to me, "Mum, I saw something amazing!"  I expected it to be something very boring like the goose drinking water or similar but wandered over to see.  "I saw spikes!  The goose was chasing something with spikes."  We wandered over to the geese and sure enough the goose had chased an echidna which was hiding in a corner.  Buddy Boy was right.  It was amazing!
Then we lay on our tummies in the sunshine waiting for the echidna to move into a good position so that I could snap a photo of his face.  We lay still, whispering quietly and enjoying the sun on our backs while we waited.  When we grew bored of photographing the echidna, Buddy grabbed some more wheat and tried to hand feed the new chicks.  He had no success but it was lovely to listen to him coaxing them.
We watched the geese and rooster arguing over some food then walked the goats back to their paddock.  Finally Buddy rediscovered a doll he had left out in a pram overnight.  I left him playing outside with his 'baby' and went to help Belle.
She was in the kitchen, finishing up the milking.  She had measured out the milk, placed it in the fridge and was in the process of washing the milking buckets.  She was asking about what she could bake and settled on Anzac biscuits.  I found the recipe book for her and left her to it.   I have found she prefers to cook independently and requests help when she needs it.  I poured some boiling water for her and lit the stove.  The rest she did by herself.
Pumpkin and Buddy dried the dishes while I refilled the fire and then we played a game together.  The morning flowed and felt right.  I couldn't bring myself to spoil their wonderful mood and insist they sit at the table with text books out.  Sometime this afternoon I will probably bring out the books for a short while but right now I'm enjoying watching my children just 'being'. 

They've decided to go and play outside for a while.  I asked Belle to recite a couple of tables before they went and we played a counting game for Buddy's benefit and then they ran off to play.  Some days school work seems to be the be-all-and-end-all but other days life itself seems so good that school work doesn't seem so relevant.
We experimented with this candle we say online.  It's just an orange peel with olive oil and it really works!
I love teaching my children at home because it is so flexible.  I place so much importance on the children appreciating nature, being in touch with their world and learning practical skills in a way that makes sense to them.  As a family, our priorities are somewhat different to many in the general population and, like all families, we would like our children to grow up with our values.  I welcome these gentle days that are full of wonder for my children.  I love listening to them laugh, play, imagine and, yes, argue too.

Tomorrow I may feel differently and be frantic about getting through enough lessons.  We have plenty of days like that.  It's hard to find the balance.  But for today, I'm just going to revel in the beautiful people that are my children!


Kathy said...

Sounds like you had an amazing day and what a find that Echidna...that's so cool. Hope you do some more animal spotting this week. Regards Kathy A, Brisbane

jacqui // dusty country road said...

What a beautiful way to educate your children. I wish there was more of this attitude around. It's so lovely to read about others who think a bit differently from the mainstream.

Robyn said...

What a brilliant morning.Your children are learning to "stop and smell the roses" and it will always be one of their best lessons in life :).

Cheryl said...

Oh WOW what a magic day, wish I was there :)

Kim said...

I have actually had school teaching days like that where we have just grasped the moment. You have so much writing material for lessons now on Australian animals, your daughter did reading when she made the biscuits and she can do a writing exercise on how to milk a goat. A good good day that will inspire them. x

Linda said...

It was great Kathy! He actually lives in our shed but we don't see him often.

Thanks Jacqui, It was a great day!

Robyn, I loved your comment. 'Smelling the roses' How lovely and I suppose they really were!!

We had fun Cheryl but not all days are so good. I cherish the magical ones.

Kim, I think my kids would have loved to be taught by you. And yes, they learn something new everyday, I'm sure.

Maya Beretta said...

Oh it sounds so lovely! I'm experiencing jealousy - I so want to bring my daughter up like that - being able to experience the real world! Beautiful!