It is September. On the brink of autumn and crisp days spent outdoors. My favorite season. With the changing season comes a lot of beginnings. Beginning activities and Bible study group. Beginning new routines with a newborn in the family. Beginning a year of Pre-K at home for Plum, my oldest.
With all the changes, I have had to continually remind myself to be flexible and realistic. With a new baby whose needs are not on a clock, tasks that need to be done are often interrupted or fit in when there is a free moment. This season is short. Before I know it, he will be crawling, then walking, then talking. He’s already eight weeks old! I am enjoying the baby-wearing, baby-cuddling baby-nursing stage that we’re in.
Plum is excited to start school! We are doing an easy-going homeschool right now. I can’t be rigid in our schedule, nor do I feel the need to be at her age. School for Plum is about learning good habits, sparking curiosity and wonder, exploring God’s creation in nature, and reading quality books.
This year we are going to be using a curriculum called Exploring Nature with Children for our foundation. We’ll be exploring different topics each week (seeds, insects, trees, etc) and getting outside for some observation. While I have some activities planned, the goal is to foster a love of being outdoors. There is so much to explore, breathe in, examine, and enjoy if we only take the time. We will be outside as much as we can, come rain or shine or snow.
We’ve started the habit of having a “morning time.” At breakfast, we sit down together and start the day with truth and beauty. For us that means we pray together, read a Bible story or devotion, and read our selected books for the school day. (Sometimes we don’t get to everything, due to the nature of having three little people with their own moods and agendas. On those days, we read when we find a calmer moment.) If this is all we do one day, that is good enough for me.
During morning time, we are also memorizing Scripture. This month we are learning Proverbs 15:1. “A gentle answer turns away wrath, but a harsh word stirs up anger.” It is a relevant verse for us these days, as sibling bickering is at an all-time high. It is great to talk about what this verse means, as well as bringing it to mind during the day when the kids (and myself) are feeling frustrated by one another.
We have a huge booklist for the year! The world of picture books is so vast and wonderful! We have found so many unknown, beautiful, educational books. Fairy tales, nonfiction, biographies, math concepts, science and art stories, poetry. Picture books are a passion of mine, and we will be exploring some beautiful ones this year. We will also be delving into some classic chapter books (Charlotte’s Web, Little House in the Big Woods, just to name a couple)! It has been a joy for both of us to share these books together.
Plum has already been learning to read for several months now. We are working our way through a curriculum for reading which will give her a solid foundation. We keep the lessons short and fun. Plum has also been interested in writing. She writes stories and letters on her own accord. We will be doing a bit of fun writing activities this year as well.
I have at least one project each week for Plum, either based off the week’s theme or another concept. Painting, games, treasure hunts, or field trips. Little Bear (now two years old) will usually join in or have his own “projects” to occupy him. It has been fun to engage with the kids in this way!
I want this to be a year of cultivating kindness towards each other, of chasing curiosity in the learning process, and setting up a foundation of routine for when we jump into kindergarten next year. My hope is to post updates on how this year progresses, for those curious and as a record for myself. I hope you enjoyed peeking into our days!
“What we learn with pleasure we never forget.” -Alfred Mercier