i suppose i dropped the ball on these unschooling posts. i'll try to get back to posting our unschooling activities and resources next month. as usual in our household there has been an abundance of crafting and costumes. this month we focused on the first thanksgiving but, didn't dig too deep into specifics. the kids mostly enjoyed dressing up like indians(no one wanted to dress up like a pilgrim.) with war paint, fighting each other in a pretty epic backyard battle and recreating the first thanksgiving with toilet paper roll dolls. we watched some fun videos on youtube about the first thanksgiving, squanto and some american indian dances. i love that when they get to do the things they love, they retain much more about the topic than if they were staring at black and white text on a page. i also think it makes a difference that they're learning about what's relevant here and now. obviously, in november we focused on thanksgiving as most schools do and in december we'll focus on christmas, etc. but i love having the freedom to do that any time of the year and with any topic the kids are interested in. it doesn't need to be limited to holidays or historical events. the past couple of months the kids learned quite a bit about pregnancy, birth and babies, because that's what was relevant and happening around us. the knowledge and experience they gained from that is something they could never get from being in a classroom. it's important to me that they're learning things that will serve them well in real life. i've said before that providing them with rich experiences and concentrating on developing good character and relationships is a higher priority to us than academics. when they are given the freedom to make choices about their learning, they take ownership of and pride in their learning. when that happens, their self confidence and self motivation increases. and those are the kind of people who are successful in life. i see it happening already and i am so proud of these little learners.
the first few weeks with a new baby always seem to go by painfully quick, don't they? every change i notice with this boy is both thrilling and a little heartbreaking. since we're not planning on having anymore children, unless we adopt someday, i feel desperate to hold on to every moment for dear life. i am happy to say that only one day since jesse finn was born has my house been completely presentable. and it doesn't bother me one bit, because i'd rather be locking eyes with my littlest love and getting lost in those milk drunk smiles of his, than folding the laundry that's been in the dryer for two days.
too often we get caught up in everything that needs to be done and rob ourselves of the priceless moments happening around us. it can be quite a challenge balancing the everyday responsibilities of motherhood and taking the time to slow down and really enjoy our children. i'm sure that balance looks different for each family. for now, i am more than pleased to be weighing in heavily on the slowed down enjoyment side. it's pure bliss my friends. i pray that god will provide me with the wisdom and discernment to strike a balance that works well for our family. after all, i suppose we do need clean laundry from time to time. or maybe we can just hire someone for that...
a little underbite smile that makes me happy. spanakopita delivered to my front door by a lovely greek friend. miss lady with the tummy flu. a thanksgiving wreath. one of two outfits charlie is currently wearing daily. brothers who are always wrestling. napping after a check up at the doctor.
autumn is definitely soup, stew and chili season around here. they are so easy to make and there are endless varieties to try out. soups also work well for busy families who can't always sit down at the same time for dinner. i usually put together a soup like this late afternoon and let it simmer till someone says they're hungry. you can always make double and freeze half for another time. soups hold up great in the freezer.
we're expecting snow this weekend and i'm already thinking about more soups to make. butternut squash, baked potato, corn chowder...yum! have a nice cozy weekend and if you're in for a cold one, eat lots of soup.
1 large onion
4 cloves garlic
4 stalks celery
1 medium zucchini
1 medium summer squash
1 orange bell pepper
1lb frozen corn
2 quarts vegetable broth
4 tablespoons olive oil
1 teaspoon poultry seasoning
1 teaspoon dried italian herbs(thyme, rosemary, parsley, etc)
salt and pepper to taste
peel and chop veggies. in a large soup pot, saute all veggies(except corn) in olive oil until tender. add frozen corn and cook for 2-3 minutes to bring back to temperature. add spices and veggie broth. bring to a boil then turn down to simmer until ready to eat. enjoy!
you know those times when you plan an evening with the family carving pumpkins, drinking hot cocoa, laughing and enjoying each other's company...and then the time comes and it all goes to hell. yep, it pretty much happened just like that. the pumpkin carving got a very late start, the toddler was without his daily nap, mama was grouchy and tired, jack hummed the batman theme song about a billion times despite our many pleas to stop and jesse finn made it clear that he was only here for the milk. the pumpkins did indeed get carved, dinner was served via boxed mac and cheese, hot cocoa was skipped, kids were sent to bed and the night ended rather peacefully. i think we were just glad it ended at all. maybe we were in need of a reminder that having a family sometimes means adjusting our plans and expectations. i think we'll be doing quite a bit of that over the next...twenty or...fifty years. it seems on of those times is upon us now. i planned to get some blogging done, jesse finn planned to eat every hour on the hour. time to adjust and snuggle my sweet boy. -bette *my apologies for the grainiest photos ever.