Tuesday, August 25, 2009

august two five

Sometimes -rarely- I wonder where particular thoughts of mine belong.
I refer to the pages of this blog (which I think of as my children's) and a different one--my Mama's head and heart blog.
This is one of those times.
The confusion comes when a mama's head butts its way into the homeschooling/unschooling day.
And since there are many more people who read these pages than the personal behind-the-scenes pages, I feel once in a while that I owe an explanation in the name of being open and candid.
Which is the same reason I complain or tattle or exhibit petulance here a bit from time to time.
Don't wanna be accused of not living or reporting it honestly.


Today's thoughts were influenced by the contemplation of rhythm. Not scholastic structure, you understand, as I quickly and vehemently run the other way under such name-calling. Way too rebellious and liberty-loving for that.
But I was contemplating rhythm, and if our days actually contain such a thing.
Turns out (maybe surprisingly to some of you) that they do.
Not in a Children Need Structure sort of way... as I believe that everyone gets to decide for themselves what they need and don't. Not people who follow the rule books from long ago, and have never looked back since. I don't much cotton with that.

But in a "this is the way we operate when we have our druthers" sort of way.
I wake up and get online, check my blogger dashboard, and write for a minute (or much longer - :) - ) if I have the need. Which I usually do. Even if it's just a few comments.
Trev likes to wake up, come to me for a bit of morning loves, and head to the computer.
Maddie likes to head into whichever direction the wind or her dreams blow her. Only she can make rhyme or reason of that one. Maybe we'll ask her some time.

Upon being fully awake and ready, our days are more actively begun with with me cleaning (or reading, if it's just one of those days), computer and then reading for Trev, and lining up her thoughts and plans for Madd.
This is where we make plans... experiments, books, art projects, games, questions, visits, whatever.

Which leads us to today, and our moments.

I said yesterday that we've begun Little House In The Big Woods.
Our library loot (Juice) from yesterday contains all sorts of wonderments.... we have Greek and Roman Mythology Volume I., several interesting reads for Trev (ones that he is interested in and can read alone), The Adventures of Odysseus, Earth Care: World Folktales To Talk About, Pocahontas: Princess of the New World, The Lady of Ten Thousand Names (a Goddess book), and a possibly interesting read, Science Fair: A Story of Mystery, Danger, International Suspense, and a Very Nervous Frog.

I chose most of them.
I doubt that my son would have been captivated by this plain green wrapper,
pulled it off the shelf, and said, "Oh, Mom-- let's get this!"
I have high hopes that someday, you understand, but don't have any such expectations of Today.

But I got it anyway. I got them all, anyway.
They match us.
They match what we're about.
(We being their Papa and I and the world we choose to live, love, and grow in.)
They match our concerns, our politics, our ideals, and the things we think should be embraced in the name of tolerance and education.

So, we read some from Little House today.
And we read an Isis story. And we read Pocahontas. And discussed the difference (and how Unacceptable that was for a small boy) between a book that tries to be historically accurate and the Disney movie.

And Trev has picked up one or two books on his own.

I remembered the corn husk doll of Laura's from yesterday, and how appalled my babes were. (lol) (Mary had a fancy doll, remember.)
And I thought of Pocahontas -Matoaka- and basket weaving.
And ideas began to roll.
And I thought of Native American Sand Paintings, and how they were created for healing, and how the Medicine Man would ceremonial destroy them before the coming dawn.
And I thought of dolls out of acorns and corn husks and the avocado pits that were sitting in my compost basket on the kitchen counter.
And I handed my babes their Harvesting basket.
And I colored some sand.
And I told them of sand paintings and the why of it and asked them to form an idea and plan and to take care and to move mindfully.

And Trevelyn designed his and stated that it meant "Please bring hope, joy, respect, fun, and love to our home."
And Madeleine's meant "Please bring love, respect and love... no wait.... love, respect, and friends coming over."
And whether he meant the question or not, I shared mine with Trev, too.
And later he asked, "Mom. What's five hundred and fifty minus five hundred?"
"Five hundred."
"Were you asking me, or did you figure that out?"
"Well, I've been estimating on multi-pli-ocation on my games. If you have an item that cost five hundred, then you have just enough, and you'll have zero left, but if you have........." his voiced drizzled off as his game commanded his full attention.
I had to smile.
A boy's brain will get the Math in there somewhere, too, it seems.
When you're ready to ask questions, and ponder things, you're ready. It still comes.

And we got to the heart of a couple of carrots brought straight from the neighbor's garden, and opened them up with teeth.

And we talked of hibernation and cacoon living over winter for butterflies.

And we've asked and answered clever riddles.

And watched much pbs kids.

And jumped
and gathered
and eaten warm raspberries off the vine
and talked of things like Rhythm and our ideas about it.

And it turns out that we're doing alright,
that things are Just As They Should Be,
which means for us that all is well.

Turns out that in this life we're living,
the ordinary living and learning feels like poetry and rhyme in motion.

And that will do.


  1. Those are the most wonderful days... When you wake up and just go with the flow - the rhythm.

    Things come easily and naturally, and you say "We're feeling creative, let's be creative" and "We need quiet time, let's have quiet time."

    I like when we can all do what we do, and say, "This is our thing; we're happy with it." :)

  2. Little house in the big woods? We are going to read that series soon; probably in November. Do some Ohio American Indians first, we have mounds all over this part of Ohio....field trips coming up!

    I LOVE the sand paintings. Your creativity over there is so wonderful!

    Lisa ;)

  3. I listen in wonder to tales like yours. I wish I could be more flexible like that but I am a routine girl, and mom, for the most part. I love that you found the rhythm in your day, as un-scheduled as you are. Much as the seasons.

  4. The ways in which you honor your children and their natural curiosity about the world is inspiring.

    I am slowly shedding my need to schedule and my need for some artificial routine.
    I'm listening more and more to my boy, who is so wise about learning.

    Enjoy all those wonderful books together and your sand paintings are magnificent!!!!

  5. Loved the sand paintings. I liked that yours had the eternity sign. Rhythm is a funny horse. It's there even when you don't seem tosee it. Much like habit.

  6. Tara-
    I recognize it's imperative for some people to operate within bounds. Sometimes within tight bounds.
    For me, and for us, living so tied up makes us feel constrained, and it is way too easy for me to be attached to an outcome,and that's from where the disharmony and expectations derive.
    Sitting down and forcing a point or project without joy -with the babes miserable and unhappy, me trying to "just get it done" is the worst for me.
    It feels destructive, controlling, icky, unhappy and ugly.

    I choose something else.

  7. I hate "routine", I love "rhythm". Our rhythm changes weekly here at our house, it's whatever the kids are feeling like doing at the present time or what they would like help with and what I feel like doing or need to do ect... Sometimes I initiate parts of the rhythm being the momma and seeing what they might be needing or wanting, but it all comes down to each of us doing whatever because we want to.

    Love the sand paintings, they are beautiful!

  8. Such a great day you had!!! Myself, I'm having one of those "can't get motivated" days and feel very guilty about it... I love how you wove all of those different things into your day, though. Creativity is essential to homeschooling most days, I think, and keeping things fun also. I want our daughter to see learning as something good, not just as pure dredgery. =)

  9. Just wanted you to know I'm diggin' this post. I've read it about 4 times now. ;)

  10. Oh yes the day will always find it's way....
    and along that way you guys seem to also fill it to the brim with the best living!!...and learning, Mama! ;)


Thanks so much for sharing your thoughts!