Joyful Childhood

Saturday, September 20, 2014

Why we homeschool

I felt it on September 2nd, the reality that my five year old daughter wasn't one of the children walking out to the bus in an over sized backpack and shiny new shoes. I had no doubts about this decision. That day didn't mark a loss to me, but it became the official start to our new way of living and learning.

Many different factors have brought my family to the decision to begin homeschooling this year. One big factor is our belief that school should be a place that respects each child's potential. Our current system of education is so goal oriented, and focused on the end product: children grown into adults who all possess the same knowledge and skill set in regard to academics so they can be the workers of tomorrow, and through this definition they are somehow deemed "successful".

I remember being a child in the public school system, and how often I felt lost in the school setting. I wasn't a trouble maker, loud student, disruptive or the one with all the right answers, and I was overlooked and ignored. Life at school felt like being in a fish tank just floating, not being heard or known, just watched. I didn't realize then that I had so much more potential, and even before middle school I was doubting my own self-worth. 

I want to create for my children, a space for them to feel empowered as active participants in their own learning. I want them to be know that they are intelligent, that their thoughts matter, and that they will be supported in their efforts to explore the topics they are curious about. My hope in choosing to home school is that they would become addicted to the pursuit of knowledge and enjoy the quest for answers to questions...their questions.

It is with this hope in mind that we move forward day-by-day, enjoying the process of learning, the power of play and the joy of inquiry!




(I found this video over at Urban Preschool, they encouraged that it be passed along! Plus, I just love the Portland Children's Museum!)



Friday, August 29, 2014

Change is in the air

Once a week the children and I take a trip to the library for new books. Then we walk around the park behind it and look at the ponds full of ducks and geese, and little girl goes running through a tunnel there with her brother chasing behind her. We all look forward to this time of playfulness, freedom, and just enjoying being with one another.

Last week we missed our walk because we were on vacation, which was wonderful, and full of family moments that I will always treasure. However, upon returning to our routine, I couldn't help but notice the park seemed to have changed. Autumn is beginning to set in, and the maple trees, which line the paths are changing in the most beautiful ways.


It seemed so strange at first; how could we be here, at this season already? Hasn't the year just begun, and now the leaves are already preparing for their decent back into the earth?


Then I turned my eyes back down, to my two little ones, running, laughing and playing. Little man was a baby when the year started, he was just sitting up and starting to crawl, and here he was running with his big sister.

She was just in preschool, which somehow seems so much younger and so distant from kindergarten to me now that it's starting. Even though we are homeschooling, and she won't be away from home, I still find myself stunned that my girl is a 5 year old!





Life is full of different seasons. I am so grateful to be in this one!

This Moment

{this moment} (an idea from Soulemama) A Friday ritual. A single photo - no words - capturing a moment from the week. A simple, special, extraordinary moment. A moment I want to pause, savor and remember.

Sunday, August 10, 2014

Beautiful Things Everywhere


"Mommy" she called from the swing as she joyfully swayed up and down. " Mommy, I use my eyes to explore and find beautiful things everywhere!" She has this sort of innocent wisdom that I admire.

"I'm glad to hear that you can do that, it's good to find beauty around us" I reply. It's true, we need to look for it, we need to be reminded in the midst of so much ugly in this world that there is beauty. I'm just not always good at it.


We were driving through town, running errands and I was anxious to be done and home. As we came to a red light at a busy intersection I heard her in the backseat say "Aren't those flowers pretty Mom?" She was looking out the front window at marigolds planted in front of a shopping center. I hadn't even noticed them, I was just too caught up in my own world to see what she could see.

One of the greatest things about becoming a parent has been getting to enjoy the privilege of being invited into my children's world, and being granted the opportunity to see the world the way that they see it.

What beautiful things have your children brought to your attention that you otherwise would have passed by?

Friday, March 21, 2014

Welcome Spring!

  
The sun came out to greet the first day of spring yesterday! It was such a beautiful morning, and my little ones were thrilled to be outside playing. We looked at the bulbs that are in bloom, and walked under trees covered in pink! My daughter loves the pink trees!

I saw no point in bringing the kids inside. Who knows when the next time we'll get so much sun here? I had the idea for this learning invitation to present to little girl, and yesterday just seemed like the right day to set it up. I told her "It's just like when we eat alfresco style, this is painting alfresco!" 



This is her exploring the magnifying glass. I like to encourage her to take her time, and look closely at the world around her. 


Little brother painted with us too! For him, I used this wonderful finger paint recipe I found over at Tinkerlab. It was nice having him there to be part of what we were doing, plus it was a fun sensory experience, though, he was disappointed it wasn't food!

We spent the first several minutes in observation mode. My daughter counted the flower petals and then putting her face very close to the daffodil, told me "I noticed there are two yellows on these flowers." After that, she began to draw and then paint her flower. Then she moved onto painting other things, which is just fine, the point here was just enjoying each others company and creativity!

 I liked sitting beside her working on my own little sketch of the flowers. I need a little time to be creative too!

Happy spring!



Friday, January 24, 2014

This Moment

{this moment} (an idea from Soulemama) A Friday ritual. A single photo - no words - capturing a moment from the week. A simple, special, extraordinary moment. A moment I want to pause, savor and remember.

Saturday, September 28, 2013

A look back at our week

My little girl enjoyed a provocation in paint and Fall colors. She liked using the leaves to stamp the paint and create a print. I enjoyed hearing her express her pride in using a real canvas to paint on!









Much to my dismay, by the end of the week it was pouring down rain here in the Pacific Northwest. I found however, some things I see as a curse, my daughter sees as a blessing. 
(Gearing up for a big jump)

As the rainstorm worsened, it became very dark out, but we decided it would be fun to put together an impromptu light table. We created one out of a plastic tub and strands of holiday lights. With as dark as it is, next week should be a great week for more light play!


 
I hope you have a wonderful weekend! Thanks for stopping by!