Posts Tagged ‘bravewriter lifestyle’

Providing the Perfect Summer Day

organic childhood

It was a perfect day to be nine in an Ohio summer.

Wednesday we had incredible weather – the kind that I took for granted in southern California. I never take it for granted here in Ohio.

My 9 year old daughter had a best friend spending the day and night with us. All I kept thinking as I watched them flit from activity to activity was: this is how it is supposed to be when you’re nine or ten. This is what you’re supposed to do and remember from your childhood.

I felt this enormous swell of accomplishment thinking that Jon and I have managed to provide a childhood to our kids, an organic one, not the prepackaged kind and organized in Y camps.

Here’s how Caitrin and Sarah spent the day:

  • Painted with watercolors on the deck under the shade of big tree limbs
  • Made clay figures and baked them in the oven
  • Played badminton laughing at how few times the birdie got over the net
  • Bounced on the trampoline
  • Raced the dog around the yard
  • Made a lemonade stand
  • Sold lemonade
  • Sold lemonade door-to-door to increase sales (it worked!)
  • Sold lemonade to the ice cream truck driver!
  • Bought ice cream from the same truck driver
  • Made up cheers and performed them
  • Flipped through magazines of girls in prom dresses
  • Played cards
  • Helped start a fire
  • Made s’mores and got sticky marshmallow all over their sweet faces
  • Snuggled up on the couch and watched “Space Balls” until they fell asleep

I peeked through windows, tiptoed outside to watch from behind trees, and provided the refreshments.

The sky stayed blue, the sun shone gently, and the air wasn’t the least bit humid.

By the end of the day, I realized that I loved living in Ohio. And I meant it.

Don’t you miss those days for yourself?

As you live, so they learn.

Homeschool Planning: Finding the Balance Between Scheduling & Spontaneity

Home school planning tips

Do you wish you were more spontaneous? To you think you need to “stick to a schedule”?

Because I’ve been a writing fiend this summer, I haven’t taken the time I usually take to anticipate the start of our fall routine. I like fall because it gets cooler again and we can spend more time outside. One year we worked through a book on how to draw with charcoals and sat outside every day for a couple of weeks drawing!

We also tend to take nature walks in the fall because there is less rain and Ohio has the best trees in the world.

Yesterday my daughter asked me and one of our boys to take the dog for a walk with her. I hopped up from the computer and out the door we went. As we walked, we had this conversation. I offer it as a sample of how to include your kids in your plans. (Sometimes we forget to do that.)

Caitrin hands me the leash so she can climb a tree. Liam walks along with me as Rocky (dog) drags me forward.

Me: So would you prefer a routine this fall, you know, a calendar with activities planned on it, or do you like it better when we are more spontaneous?

We’ve done both in the past and I try to get a feel for what the kids want.

Liam: I like being spontaneous best, but then sometimes we don’t do the things I like as often. But I don’t like schedules.

Me: That makes sense. What if we make a big calendar and add some activities to it sort of like place holders? Then we can decide that morning if we still want to. But at least we won’t forget what we wanted to do at one time when we were planning.

Liam: That sounds good.

Me: What would you put on our calendar?

Our calendar helps us create windows of time for spontaneity.

Liam: I like it when we take nature walks.

Me: How often? Once a week? Once a month?

Liam: Let’s go every other week.

Me: Okay. What about teatimes and reading aloud?

Liam: Every day!

Me: How about we definitely do teatimes once a week and then if other days feel right, we’ll do those spontaneously? And we will always read aloud every day.

Caitrin swung down from the tree and rejoined us.

Caitrin: I want to go to museums but NOT art museums.

This made me sad. She got OD’ed on art museums in Italy and now she’s forgetting how much she loved our Cincinnati art museum.

Me: Good idea. We’ll check out some other kinds. If anyone wants to come with me to the Cincinnati or Dayton art musesum, I’ll be going. I love them.

Liam: I will! I still love them.

Caitrin: Well, I’ll probably come too. Can we go to the library every week?

Me: Yes. We need to do that again.

With bigger kids in the house, we’ve gotten out of the habit of going to the library as a family and she misses that. So I want to make sure the younger ones and I go again each week.

Then we discussed copywork and reading to me and freewriting… for each one, we looked at how they could participate in ways that fit their personalities, skills and desires. Liam wants to improve his handwriting (his idea) but he finds it a struggle to handwrite. He has been working on this alone now for a week. He asked me to put it on the calendar so that he will remember to at least consider doing it each day. 🙂 Nice solution. He wants to remind himself.

Caitrin likes to work on reading but only every other day.

This is how we figured out the fall. It was so nice to walk and chat and let the dog sniff every mailbox in the neighborhood. They are looking forward to the routine and the spontaneity, both.

Image by Todd Anderson (cc Changed to add graphics.)

Brave Writer Online Writing Class Nature Journaling

Write, hike, and draw together!

Our Nature Journaling class turns your aspiration to study nature into a “dream come true”! Fun for all ages!

Click on the flower to learn more about using Nature Journaling in your homeschool!