Fieldnotes from our Home and School: the May Edition
I'm not sure where the month went but woosh, it went fast. We are in the tension of nearly finished school and thinking ahead to next year. Our life is shifting from inside to outside. I never used to be a plan next year's school in June kind of a person but I planned ahead last year and it made such a difference. I like to jot thoughts down while they are fresh and my perspective is real, rather then in August when we haven't done school for a couple of months and I get distracted by shiny new curriculum. Pam Barnhill's "Put Your Homeschool Year on Autopilot" course was by far one of the best homeschool teacher investments I've made. I highly recommend it to all my homeschool readers!
This year I've sat also with the tension of our homeschool changing. My kids aren't all little anymore, our homeschool days look a lot different then they did, three or four years ago. Our table time often has a laptop for math and someone wearing headphones, and we don't dedicate whole mornings to arts and crafts as we once did. We listen to art history and revel in the connections of the artists we know and love as well as the art pieces that we've been able to see in person. We make connections from all those years of poetry teatime and making art. Math is not just baking cookies although that still happens with independent bakers who need a break from the intense math textbook! We have elementary and middle schoolers in our home and that changes things. As with every season, it's bittersweet. I love the conversations we have around ideas in our Morning Time together. I love re-reading books to my seven year old and have my big girls exclaim how much they loved that book. I appreciate the confidence of being in this game for awhile now, I know better what I'm good at and what my children enjoy and need from me as their mom and teacher.
We always take a complete summer break from our homeschool, summers are short here and we like to soak them up. But life is always happening and sometimes the lines are blurred between what is our regular life and what is school. We'll be reading aloud throughout the summer and we always have some kind of additional learning that we focus on, whether that's a geography focus or learning new skills. We have plans for a garden as we have each year we've lived here, each of the children will be planting their own bed which is great! We've added two sheep and six chickens to our acreage so I guess we can say we have a little hobby farm now which is something my twenty year old self would find hilarious. Let's be honest, my thirty year old self would find it hilarious that I'm geeking out over a garden and welcoming animals onto our acreage, or even that we live on an acreage.
I've been reading a ton as an antidote to all the thinking and researching next year's curriculum choices. This month I finished up several non-fiction titles which always feels good and leaves me with much to think about and journal through.
We are shifting into summer meals and I love it. Lots of main dish salads, and easy, fresh meals are featured now. Soccer season now dictates our evening meals and our weeks, it's a short season made shorter this year by the wildfires but it's a sweet season. There's something lovely about the soccer fields in May, our community has a league and all three of our children play at the same time, same place. I'm also coaching half of the time which is a lot more fun then I anticipated. I love the small town aspect of running into neighbours and friends from church and deepening those community bonds. My thirty year old self would also find this fact hilarious, proof that we can all change and grow and appreciate new things and experiences.
This month felt like it had a more then usual British flair to our days- we watched the coronation of King Charles III, we loved the pomp and circumstance and deep faith traditions of this ceremony. We celebrated Victoria weekend with our traditional Victorian sponge (we always use this recipe) and relived memories from last year's trip to London through photo memories popping up.
I hope your May was full of the sweetness of spring and just enough of the unexpected to bring delight and surprise!