Saturday, October 26, 2013

Nature Walks: Slow Starts = Better Days

Sometimes, well, most of the time, the list of what we need to accomplish in a day is so long and jam packed that my first tendency is to get the kids some breakfast and get to it.

Those are without question always our worst days. They are guaranteed to end with the girls in tears or frustration and bickering and me wondering what on Earth I am doing.

Slowly, slowly, I am learning that taking 45 minutes - yes, a whole 45 slow minutes - to go find a little corner of nature where we can quietly and peacefully observe and investigate- is the best way to start our day.

My kids, and probably all kids, need that time to just relax, find something interesting and get themselves ready for the day.

 At the start of the year, I bought the kids really nice art-style journals to be used for nature journals, as well as artist quality colored pencils. I bought my 4 year old an artist flip pad because she'd fill up the book by the third day. She loves it and she can draw away to her heart's content.


We looked at examples of art and science journals emphasizing that they could choose to draw one tiny portion of what they are seeing in detail rather than the whole thing in a generic way. It's been another way of working vocabulary into our day. I ask that they write down descriptive words to represent what they observe. My 4 asked me to spell "turning leaves" for this day.

It's working. The kids are loving it and I am cherishing these oh-so-rare-and-precious unrushed times together. This is more of the "good stuff" that comes with all the work of homeschooling.- Becky

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