We had some interesting new things going on at home... first of all Vincent and Luciano decided that they want to learn more about the names of plants and animals that live right here in the area. When they told me, of course I got totally excited for two reasons; first, because that is something that I have been wanting to do for a long time now and never got or made the time to do it, and second, because one year after taking Vincent out of school, I am starting to feel him more interested in guiding his learning , and not to be afraid of saying it out loud. Somehow after school he was afraid to try to do something and fail, I see him not wanting to try to write or read because he knows he doesn't do it perfectly, so I'm glad to see now that he gets that he is not being evaluated or compared to others.. he is Vincent and we love him and support him no matter what. I actually LOVE this about homeschooling, the two boys are not competing about anything, they totally know that they are different to each other and just as Luciano is so good with books and he can be siting down working in "homeworks" for a long time, Vincent can be outside during the same time and be perfectly fine.
Well I got so excited that I got the book "Handbook of Nature Study" by Anna Botsford and a friend of mine in a homeschooling group, sent me the link to a blog about this book,http://handbookofnaturestudy.blogspot.com/ ,and it so neat because they have "weekly challenges" and really nice ideas to go in Nature and learn really gentle in the process . Well of course the day that we got the book, Vincent and Luciano were so excited that they starting going through the pages discovering pictures about things that they know, or they have seen... at the end Vincent took his shell box out and starting comparing his shells with the ones in the book in the section of "invertebrates", and without any class or big explanation from me they got out running looking for invertebrates to bring them home!. First grade and preschool understanding "hands on" about the difference between vertebrates and invertebrates, for me that is priceless.
I also realized that they have learned a lot about herbs and plants around the house because of a game that I got the boys for Christmas called "Wildcraft",(An herbal adventure game),http://www.learningherbs.com/wildcraft.html, this is a cooperative game,so they have to work together collecting herbs, to help each other get out of trouble and get to the end. ... So now they recognize plantain, echinacea, dandelion, chamomile, etc, etc..
Almost every day we try to go in our "nature walks", and in each one of them they find something magic. I have been trying to follow the weekly challenges in that blog, and they have really good ideas, like the last time we went out, I ask the kids to draw what was more interesting for them in our walk, and then close their eyes and say what noises the heard, how was the weather, etc.. seriously, I don't put much attention to details, and it was so funny to see how much they notice just by walking!
Also every sunset we do a family tradition here, we turn on a little fire and we sing some mantras , we stay in silence to feel the end of the day, the birds, the wind, I take this moment to think about the day that is ending... I love this moment of the day, I wait for it, sunsets are really important here at home.
Also this past week we saw how our son Vincent discovered a new passion in his life... Skateboard!!... My husband Ashley got him this present after he saw him getting books from the library about this, and he was totally right, he needed one..! he is a natural in this kind of sports, and with Ashley we are so happy to be able to support him, take him to the Skateboard parks and "see him fly".