On the days when I am at home with the children we slowly rise from our beds, greeting the day usually rather groggily as we awaken into ourselves. As we gravitate towards the kitchen table I usually mark the beginning of the day by lighting a candle and reciting the verse,
shine so bright.
give your might.
Make us strong and make us bold,
turn our word to living gold’.
by M. Meyerkort.
After cups of tea, breakfast, some kitchen tidying, lighting a fire (now as the days are growing colder), and maybe some time for the children to play while I have a bit of time to gather my thoughts, we begin lessons.
I talked to Anusha and Elki about how they would like our days to be formed and they both agreed that unlike last year they would prefer it if Anusha’s lesson was first, and Elki’s lesson second, following lunch. Elki spends much of his morning time reading novels and playing lego, probably his two favourite things to do at the moment.
I share circle time with Anusha to begin her lesson. We usually sing a seasonal song or two, read a seasonal poem or two, and finish with a fairy tale or seasonally based story. After this we move onto the main body of her lesson which this year we have been opening with the verse,
‘I will work with my will,
with my strength and my skill,
and with courage and grace,
all life’s tasks will I face.’
from Eric Fairman’s Path of Discovery guide for grade 2.
I have been giving Anusha a wet-on-wet watercolour lesson once a week, which we usually do before the main lesson work. Then we start the lesson with some movement, perhaps including verses or a song, and sometimes games. We then continue with the rest of the lesson.
To finish Anusha’s lesson we have been saying this verse,
‘Kind hearts are gardens,
kind thoughts are roots,
kind words are blossoms,
kind deeds are fruit.’
again I found this in Eric Fairman’s grade 2 guide.
Buy this time it’s well and truly time to get lunch happening, which sometimes I get help with and other times not as Anusha and Elki play around me. After lunch I clear up and maybe make myself a coffee whilst the children have a short play, and then Elki and I get started on his lesson. During this time Anusha often likes to join in, do some drawing, or play for a while, usually staying close by.
I am using the same opening and closing verses for Elki’s lesson, so we start this way and then often begin with a story, mythology tale, or reading related to the lesson. If there is a more active part to Elki’s lesson this usually follows and then we continue on with the lesson work. I still work closely with Elki for the majority of his lesson but at times he will work on his own as I potter around tidying or start to prepare dinner.
We often finish Elki’s lesson with more reading and then the children might play some more, spend some time tidying their room, or watch a movie. Anusha often likes to help prepare dinner, and I often ask the children to help clear and set the table.
Sometimes we fit a walk or ride into our day somewhere, or I might ask the children to help me more around the house. I have learnt and continue to learn to be flexible and attentive to both the children’s needs. Some days one of them (or both) will be tired or really not feeling up to lessons and we need to take things easier, and other days things run smoothly, or unexpected happenings occur that teach us all a lot more than whatever I had planned!
When we first started homeschooling I think I thought we would find our rhythm and that would be it….but as the years go by we are constantly growing, adjusting, changing, and learning. The flow of our lives is never in a straight, continuous line. It ebbs, goes around bends, up hills and down, sometimes I even feel like we are going backwards! But we are always learning and mostly enjoying the challenges and fun along the way. I just feel so blessed and grateful that I get to flow along with my gorgeous family.