Tuesday, March 24, 2015

March goodness

Part of what I love about creating this blog, and why I continue to do so (sporadically, I admit), is to remind myself that the little ordinary moments that make up our lives have value and beauty and joy. We are enough. We don't have to be spectacular or fancy or have huge shows of outward success to be living a life worth enjoying, sharing, and celebrating.

As unschoolers, we spend a lot of time playing, discussing, creating, and exploring. What may look like aimless pursuits to some, looks like learning in action to me. We have more structured activities too, of course, but by choice and intent, not because an arbitrary age-based curriculum mandates it. We watch documentaries, learn Spanish, read aloud, cook together, play games, visit with friends and family, make music, care for animals, go to libraries and museums, interact in the community in various ways, bump up against challenges, and it's all part of a learning lifestyle. Here's a peek into our March days.

 petting Fluff, the hen

 a princess wiffle ball tournament


strolling the bike trail with Grandma and Grandpa

 ice flow

  sling shot

 kitty facepaint and gears, art under the kitchen table

  We each created a work of art on a 6 x 6" stretched canvas inspired by the quote, "In every walk with nature one recieves far more than one seeks," by John Muir. We, along with hundreds of others, donated our art canvases to the Kickapoo Valley Reserve to be displayed and put into an online auction to help raise money for the nature reserve's education program.





After viewing all of the entries, we spent our day hiking on and around the Black Hawk Rock Trail.

wolf track (or maybe a large coyote)

 new growth


 resting along the trail

  tapping puffball mushrooms and releasing their smoky puff of spores

dried puff balls

at Buckhorn State Park on the spring equinox

at the library in their twinsie outfits

Let's explore. Just because it's spring doesn't mean we won't get another dusting of snow.

"Look! There're clam shells in the water. Let's fish them out."

a quiet moment

"I never teach my pupils. I only attempt to provide the conditions in which they can learn."
~ Albert Einstein

Tuesday, March 10, 2015

thawing and happiness

What a difference warmth and thaw and sunshine and blue skies makes around here.

As temperatures inch above freezing, we take to the fields and woods, with friends, or sisters, or animal companions.

Out come the yard birds and the bicycles and the sand pit toys.

Jackets and sweatshirts come off, and snacks and cups of coffee and books of poetry come along outside.

If you can sing, do it. If not

even silence can feel to the world, like happiness,
like praise,
from the pool of shade you have found beneath the everlasting.

~from Just Lying on the Grass at Blackwater, by Mary Oliver

I don't want you just to sit down at the table.
I don't want you just to eat, and be content.
I want you to walk out into the fields
where the water is shining, and the rice has risen.
I want you to stand there, far from the white tablecloth.
I want you to fill your hands with the mud, like a blessing.

~ from Rice, by Mary Oliver

What we saw filled our minds. What we saw made us want to love and honor the world. 

~ from A Blessing, by Mary Oliver.

I walk, all day, across the heaven-verging field.

~ from Upstream, by Mary Oliver
Look, I want to love this world
as though it's the last chance I'm ever going to get
to be alive
and know it.

~ from October, by Mary Oliver

I love March sunshine and mud and Mary Oliver. I am grateful for this sweet life.

* all Mary Olive quotes and excerpts taken from Blue Iris: Poems and Essays