I just wanted to blog our day. It has been one of those amazing "this is why we do it" kind of days. We haven't done anything special, indeed we didn't make any plans, but somehow it all fell into place and I am left grinning from ear to ear. Some days you just know that you are doing the right thing home-educating your children don't you? That is THE feeling I have right now.
The day started with a trip to the library. We live in a village, and are lucky to still have a surviving library just yards down the road. Today all four children wanted to go along and choose new books, full of enthusiasm which always makes for a good visit. The elder two chose books on World Wars 1 & 2. Where has this interest sparked from? That I'm afraid I cannot answer. All I know is that about a week ago I overheard the two of them deep in conversation about nuclear weapons and their views on war. Today they came home, arms full of books and settled straight down to read them. They each read, swapped books, asked each other questions, told each other various parts of the book that they had found interesting/absurd/funny/amazing, it really was home-edding at its best. By lunch time they had written notes and labelled the pages that they thought were of interest.
Lunch time came and went, and then we all set out to take the dog for a walk. We took a couple of empty containers hoping to fill them with blackberries. It was so very blissful. Two hours of ambling down country lanes, picking (and eating in Callums case) blackberries, strolling through the woods trying to identify various plants and berries, listening out for bird songs, spotting butterflies - it really was so lovely - like something from a story book. The weather was almost perfect, warm but not bakingly so, with a cool breeze to help us on our way. We stroked horses over the gate, and splashed in muddy puddles. We talked about the changing seasons and had easy flowing conversations. Chelsea made me smile when she mentioned how "old fashioned" it felt to be picking blackberries from the hedgerow, but how nice it was to have such a simple family time together. Oh how I love that girl.
We came home and picked apples from our tree in the garden, and made an utterly scrumptious apple and blackberry crumble with our pickings :o)
Dinner was a simple yet yummy Spaghetti Bolognese, made by Chelsea. Then after dinner Chelsea and I took Kira for another walk, this time just around the surrounding roads. It was so nice to have mother and daughter time for a good ol' natter. It's not often I get to spend one-to-one time with her, I really must make more of an effort as it is so rewarding for both of us.
Once home, Chelsea asked if we could sit and look at our Human Anatomy and Physiology book together. This is something I have been meaning to do for a while. So tonight we did - only, we didn't get very far before we went off topic. We were looking at the human body, and talked about how amazing it is. This led on to how we were created, and well, you can guess the diverse conversations that followed. We talked about the "big bang theory" and evolution, and the story of creation. Joseph came and joined in, and basically I sat in awe of the level of intellect and understanding my children showed. Their listening skills, their opinions, their choice of vocabulary, their ability to express their ideas but take on board those of others. The discussion then led onto schools, and the constraints of the National Curriculum, with Chelsea pointing out that there would be no-way you could go so off topic for over an hour in the classroom :oD Instead, we were sat in the Dining Room at 9.30pm "putting the world to rights" to coin a phrase. I sat there with a great sense of pride.
I try to cram so much into my day that I am missing out on so much. I am running a home, being a mum, "homeschooling", trying to be a good wife, etc etc - let alone trying to do all the craft projects I want to do, chatting on support forums, running the local Home-Ed list, designing websites etc. I really need to stop and take time just to "be" with my children. To enjoy their company without feeling we should be doing x, y, or z. Sometimes we achieve so much just by talking, conveying our thoughts into words, and listening to each other. My eyes have been well and truly opened today, I need to slow down and stop trying to squeeze so much out of my time.