Homeschooling: It's not what we do, it's how we live.

The Leaves on the Trees… and Owls

So… rather than doing schoolwork today, my kids have been playing outside most of the day. Like they did yesterday. And Monday. And Thursday and Friday of last week.

Slacker mom, much?

I posted a very similar message to one of my awesome homeschooling groups on Facebook (you guys rawk, seriously) and got lots of reassurance that I am not screwing up my kids educational futures by taking some time off. I know it seems like we’ve been taking a lot of time off lately, but those days are well-earned, I assure you.

Darn it all if I am still trying to let go of the feeling that we ‘have’ to do school the way we’re ‘supposed’ to. Who says we ‘have to’, and who dictates ‘supposed to’, I ask? ME! That’s who! (throws devil horns à la Ronnie James Dio and screams ‘Yeah!!’)

We’re taking off next week (DH’s vacation), so I am feeling all guilty and indulgent as I play on the computer (I say play; I’ve been working on our homeschool group’s newsletter, which is not exactly playing. Close though; and adding stuff to my DeviantART page, which is completely indulgent in every way). We only have a few more weeks left in this school year, and the kids are only about 5 weeks away from being done with ‘this grade’s work in grammar and history and their workbook math. Their spelling and regular math will take longer, but since we school all year, one grade sort of rolls into the next in most cases. So lesson wise, we’re good – on schedule; a little ahead, even… and yet still… the feeling that I’m not doing enough is bugging me.

{shakes it off}

I have to say that although we didn’t do any formal sit-down learning today, there was still learning going on. The kids are deeply involved in building a fort in the back of our property. I haven’t been back there yet, but they assure me that it is both safe and awesome. They’ve been hauling stuff out of the house for a few days now, so I can only imagine what I’ll find when I do get invited back to see the results of their labors.

After spending a relaxing morning with some lovely Earl Grey and flipping back through my completed art journals in preparation for posting them, I got all inspired to do crafty stuff with the kids, so I called them in and we worked on this year’s Thankfulness Tree. We made one last year – just out of construction paper and had it taped up to the cabinet door. It was lovely (and kinda bare in the picture – wish now that I’d gotten a picture closer to the end of the month), but not as jazzy as I like, so this year we’re kicking it up a notch.

I’ve been saving toilet paper rolls for ages with plans of making some sort of crafty thing, and since Pinterest is the end-all, be-all of crafting ideas, I checked out what they had to offer and found the most adorable little owls. Ours turned out quite differently than the inspiration pieces, but the kids had fun and I think they turned out great! We also used coffee filters and markers to make leaves. The kids drew on the filters then got them wet do the colors would bleed and we cut out leaf shapes – voila! Fantastic fall foliage! Now to figure out how to attach them to my tree without ruining the branches in the process… and yes, those are Halloween pumpkins in the background there. Those suckers have lasted a LONG time this year!

In any case, he’s what we have so far. More to come when the project is completed (possibly tomorrow – one can just never tell around here). We’ll add things we’re thankful for to the beautiful leaves, then add them to the tree as we go along. The owls will be hung from the branches when they’re dry as well.

What about you – anything crafty you’d like to share to do with toilet paper tubes or other all crafts?

Warmly,

~h

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2 responses

  1. Oh my goodness, those owls are so awesome! Your day sounds absolutely perfect and I wouldn’t change a thing. In fact, I’d let them do it again tomorrow if they want. Kids learn so much through play.
    We had a strikingly similar day. Firefly worked on a mobile of the planets box kit and then he and The Queen Bee went outside and guess what they did? Worked on their fort. Haha!
    They, too, have been building a fort on the side of our house and hauling all sorts of logs and branches and rocks out of the woods behind our house. It was freezing and I didn’t feel like going out so I bundled them up, gave them some hot chocolate, then watched from the window and sipped my coffee. They came in all on their own and asked for warm baths. What a wonderful day!

    November 17, 2011 at 5:15 pm

  2. quaintscribbles

    Love the owls! I would let the kids play, too! I agree with learning lots while playing. There have been numerous studies that support that.

    Joyfully,
    Jackie

    November 21, 2011 at 12:01 am

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