20 March 2015

Shoots


We have been learning about the sun, moon and stars recently.  We started with the sky which we learnt gave us maps and our calendars.  A measurable day with the hours of daylight, the phases of the moon, our months, and the earth's cycle round the sun our year, but what of the seasons?  Nowadays there seems to be an arbitrary change which bears no relation to what is happening outside our doors.  We lament the time it takes for Spring to arrive, perhaps we are trying to ushering it in when it is not ready.  Our ancestors were not slaves to clocks and calendars like we are, they were much more in tune with what was happening around them, the phases of the moon, the lengthening/shortening of the days and all that those changes herald.

So rather than thinking that Spring should be arriving at the beginning of February after Imbolc/Candlemas or at the beginning of March because that makes everything neat and tidy, I am looking forward to Spring from now on after the Equinox of today.  The change in the season often marks a change in our rhythm.  A few years ago I came to realise how important this was to me and the children.  It anchors our days and week with its familiarity.  It isn't the same all year round something that I resisted for a while, in those early days.  I could feel it slipping away from me, a rhythm that worked in the Autumn and Winter was not right for the Summer and vice versa.  We spend far more time outside and are usually a lot busier in the warmer/lighter months balanced with quieter time hibernating during the cooler/darker months.

It is a constant balancing act.  One which I don't always get right.  Its hard work, if I look away or loose my focus it sags and we all lose our way for a bit until I get it back on track.  I have to write everything down, if I don't I forget things I have too many balls in air to keep track of everything in my head, writing it down is what works for me.  I have to make the time to plan the specifics of each week otherwise we start to drift.  I use a diary, one of these, with a diary page on the left and ruled page on the right.  When I am planning ahead or come across an event that might interest us,  I use post it notes stuck to the relevant page which I can move if I need to, and reuse as I write on them in pencil.

Over Advent we found a lovely way to celebrate which focused our learning towards topics or projects.  This really worked for us and we have continued that for this year.  We have learnt about birds, mammals and now were are focusing on the sun, moon and stars.  This topic has been really successful, the children have loved it and I can see this continuing for many weeks to come, after that?  Well, we will see.  Balanced with our learning at home we also venture out and about, some weeks this is every day which I am still pondering over whether this is too much, especially if we are busy at weekends too.  I always need to be aware of the bigger picture and make lots of use of the year planner in my diary to make sure that I can 'see' this, but I don't always get it right.........particularly when I say yes to things without checking my diary first!

I know that last year our late Spring and Summer weeks were far too busy, rushing from one thing to another we lost our focus and our rhythm stopped.  This year I need to work on how to fit in all the lovely things that we like to do outside, especially making good use of the outdoor pool in our village, and balance this with quiet time at home.  The garden needs to be fitted in too, it got rather neglected last year at times.

So in a week where, we have seen the green shoots of Spring in some places*, we have played in snow drifts, we have worn many layers, and shed the coats completely feeling the sun on our faces, the shoots of something new are starting to take some form in the continuous and exciting journey of home education.

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* like different parts of the country and different countries in the northern hemisphere the timing of green shoots can really vary.  This photo was taken a half an hour drive from where I live, the shoots are much bigger than where I live.

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This, blogger tells me, is my 700th post!

14 comments:

  1. That striving for balance happens in our house too. Ensuring the children get enough 'down' time, balanced with the time and energy that school uses up, and other family commitments means it us a constant juggling act. I write everything down too or I would be completely adrift! Congratulations on 700 posts too- what an achievement! X

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  2. We live by the seasonal rhythm of the year, rhythms in our day to day life change as the seasons change, and for us it is always a welcome shift, both inside and outside.

    Balance is always tricky. We are all introverts in our home, so our time at home is important to all of us, and we need it, but sometimes life can take us in other directions, and finding that balance again can be difficult, but is always so important.

    Happy Spring!

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  3. Oh those shoots are lovely--daffodils! At the risk of sounding like I'm rushing spring in before it's ready, I'm really looking forward to seeing some of those pop up in my yard.

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  4. 700 posts! That's some achievement.

    I totally hear you about letting nature dictate the pace rather than the date on the calendar, I try to do that too.

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  5. I think that's the best way to live, connected with seasons, with nature. .. everything makes more sense and everything flows easier :)

    Happy weekend!

    Lluisa xoxo

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  6. I really enjoyed reading this post. Our life whizzes past and we don't enjoy the rhythm of the seasons as much as we maybe should. In spring I always feel like I am in overdrive, so much energy. In the evening, I can't wait for the morning. Have a lovely weekend with lots of lovely activities. x

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  7. your words about balance are a wise reminder, I think we need to find some x

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  8. Your way of learning always sounds so amazing and interesting, though I can imagine it takes a lot of careful planning.
    No daffodil shoots here yet but I did see a crocus yesterday!

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  9. I know exactly what you mean about finding balance. I feel like that area of my life is a constant work in progress, though I am getting better at it lately.

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  10. Happy 700! When the days get longer, I try to walk more and when I walk more, the inside house rhythm changes. I like the way it shifts season through season.

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  11. Congratulations on your 700th post! I think it sounds like you know that you don't want to be as busy this summer so you won't be - although I do like the sound of your village pool, and I can always be busy for swimming!

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  12. Congratulations on 700! While I think balance often eludes me (any many others I would guess) I find it is much more achievable when approached with a rhythmic approach like you talk about here. Living in rhythm with the seasons often results with a certain harmony at home too - I enjoy reading how you find rhythm in your days! xo

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