Human knowledge is never contained in one person. It grows from the relationships we create between each other and the world, and still it is never complete.
― Paul Kalanithi,
studying the characteristics of tree leaves
welcoming April’s bluebonnets
enjoying the negative space in our routine
washing dishes during afternoon kitchen clean-up
reading a vintage comic book, using a pile of laundry for a pillow (hashtag: real life)
discovering a wren’s nest in her rain boot
reading interesting facts from The 50 States
making their own recipe for fresh lemonade
sculpting a human heart for his rhetoric project
making a personal salad from our garden lettuce
reading picture books, napping on the lawn
our one-room schoolhouse
our first garden cabbage
illustrating heliocentric (sun) and geocentric (earth) theories from history in Along Came Galileo
working in the garden, standing in a strong spring breeze
illustrating weather after experiencing local tornadoes, thunderstorms, and floods
more images: #cloisteredaway_homeschooling
I wonder sometimes if slowness is more a state of the mind than the body, as our days never seem to be as slow I imagine them. April and May followed suit with March, eclectic and busy. But then again, spring is always a time for activity. April was cool, cloudy, and full of wildflowers, and we spent as much time as possible outdoors, in the yard, at the park, going for walks in nature or just around our neighborhood. We only planted garden herbs this year, instead of a large vegetable garden. With all of the home projects and changes around here, I needed to simplify what we’re managing this summer. Now that summer is here, I do miss watching the fruit appear on the vine. Next spring.
Like parenting, there is no script for the homeschool life, and I’m learning more confidently each year how to adapt our learning to life’s changing circumstances, instead of feeling paralyzed or guilty about never measuring up to a straight-forward plan. The home is alive, a breathing organism, and so is education. Although we had not planned a major lull in academic studies in May, the children spent the month unusually sick with viral high fevers, bronchitis, strep throat, and so on. While April was beautiful and lived mostly outdoors, May, with rotating sickness and terrible weather, was lived mostly indoors. We used the time to read more, to play, to live more unstructured. I’m grateful for the June sunshine this week.
I left for the Wild+Free conference right in the middle of May, and my mother graciously cared for my sick children and treated them with movie marathons and dress-up and library trips. Thank you again, Mom. Also, for those interested, you can now find the audio from the conference by subscribing here.
As we quickly swing into our summer rhythm, I’m also reflecting on this last year: what I learned, what I loved most, and what to keep and toss for next year. I plan to save that for another post though, as it seems too loaded for this one. As for April and May, here are the books we read. Some of the read-alouds are still in progress.
APRIL + MAY BOOKS
Picture Books We Loved | The Hundred Dresses | The Family Under the Bridge | Make Way for Ducklings | Carl Larsson’s A Farm: Paintings from a Bygone Age (out of print, but consider this one as an alternative) | On a Beam of Light: A Story of Albert Einstien