We worked puzzles and played games, practiced cartwheels, and had living room dance parties. We sang Skip to My Lou, many times, with all of the verses. (Sheep in the bathtub. Hullabaloo!) We listened to classical music and 80's music and A Capella Science music about string theory. What? This.
Camille and I delved into the Crash Course Biology series, including this one, in which carbon is referred to as a tramp, for its willingness to make and break bonds.
We played Statetris, a tetris-like geography game. Spanish on DuoLingo. We discovered new, simple, fun games on the BeGamer website. Sometimes Camille would be playing a game (like Escape from Yepi Planet) in one room while Sylvia and I would play together in another room, with lots of running back and forth. Did you get past this section, yet? Don't tell me how to do it. Just give me a clue.
We fed the chickens and gathered eggs from the coop. We built with blocks and jump-roped.
We watched Minecraft tutorials on YouTube. FETCH on PBS Kids. Trouble With Sophie on Netflix. The Making Stuff series on NOVA. We looked into what it would take to make a magnetic non-Newtonian fluid at home (also called magnetorheological fluid or ferrofluid).
We re-shaved the sides of Camille's head. We designed a skirt that Sylvia wants to sew and picked out fabric from my stash for it. We hula-hooped in the rain with a magical unicorn.
We harvested and canned tomatoes. We dug potatoes and listened to barred owls calling back and forth from the valley.
We played in the mud. We picked, sauced, and canned more apples.
We read stacks of picture books and continued to read The Borrowers by Mary Norton aloud. Camille read The Giver by Lois Lowry in a day, and listened to The Secret Garden on Storynory. She made several screenshots the old-fashioned way while listening to audio books. She simply taped a piece of paper to her monitor and traced everything, including the ads :).
We doodled and colored and snipped with scissors and decorated with glitter glue. There was watercolor painting, and Jackson Pollock-inspired painting, which somehow turned into body painting at some point. Go figure!
I returned to some knitting that had lain dormant all summer and I looked online for information on photography. I ended up joining the supportive regional community of photography enthusiasts over at Capture Wisconsin.
We ate lots of simple, nourishing food from the gardens and we ate pizza and potato chips.
We marveled at the moon and listened to coyotes howling.
Some of these activities brought us all together and some were a special way to connect with one child at a time. Some lasted for short bouts and were easily dropped. Some lingered and grew and morphed into the next thing.
In this way, we find balance and connection and such a varied lot of goodness and learning in our ordinary days at home.
“May what I do flow from me like a river, no forcing and no holding back, the way it is with children.”
― Rainer Maria Rilke
― Rainer Maria Rilke