Tuesday, September 6, 2016

more summer days

I often get asked if we homeschool during the summer. It can be a little hard to explain, this life of ours, (if the school-education model is the one that most people imagine we are re-creating at home). The short answer is "we do learning activities year-round, but we don't use a curriculum so, it's a bit open-ended..."

This answer (understandably) leads to, "but if you don't use a curriculum, what do you DO?"

I dislike the idea the education is something that is done TO the child (for their own good, no less). This makes it a stressful, top-down, (get all of the answers RIGHT!) method of educating. That being said, summer is still full of fun and learning in all good measure (as are all of the seasons). We read and watch and question and theorize (and wonder aloud who's hypothesis is the most science-y) and seek answers. We grow and forage and romp and stretch our muscles and our minds everyday. We laze around and watch clouds drift or ants march. These curious children couldn't be stopped from learning anyway. They want to know it all. The what and why for.

Here's my random photo love from August 1 - 15th. 

Ayla and I picked a garden bouquet to give to her friend's grandma.

One of Camille's friends had a sweet bunny that needed re-homing. Naturally, I said yes. Her name is Blue and she is soooooo soft.

Ayla and her friend spent a day at Circus World Museum and they were eager to perform some clown stunts and jumping tricks for us when they returned.

We tried out Sylvia's new flower press with some pretties from around the yard and garden.

zucchini harvest

pool time with friends

boy kitty, Sparks

Blue gets a lot of love (and fresh veggies) around here.

Ayla and her friend even gathered some hay from our field for Blue, before foraging around the edges for wild blackberries. Yummo.

Poor Jupiter Zeus Goose is the only yard bird left after a series of predator attacks on our duck house. He now likes to hang out with us and Carly (our pup).

One day when Sylvia and Ayla were visiting the grandparents, Camille and I spent a day in the city. We got iced coffee and treats at the Chocolaterian Cafe inside the public library and tried to figure out how many small town libraries would fit inside this huge multi-story building. I used to work at this same library when we lived in the city (Camille was tiny), but that was before it was completely renovated and certainly before it contained a fancy cafe!

food cart tacos!

We visited the Wisconsin Historical Museum. It's amazing how much you can read and observe when you visit such a place with just a teenager and no little siblings! I know I've mentioned before how much I cherish spending time one-on-one with each of my kids, but as they get older this time really becomes so important.

not yet too old to play and build a log cabin out of packaging tubes

garden harvest sampler


We spent a day out at Peoplefest, a rural outdoor music festival and on the way home we were graced with a wonderfully vivid rainbow.

Papa, Camille, and Carly-dog strolling the bike path

This pepper from the garden looked so surprised when I cut it to it. I felt a wee bit guilty. ;)

These simple, messy, busy, lazy summer days are the stuff that life is made of. Friends coming and going, meals shared, owies kissed, anxieties soothed. For all of its ordinary presence, it's quite a wonderful life.


  1. poor pepper. love the camping rules!

  2. Mmmm, inspired to get out the plant press, today! ♥
    Gorgeous, that.
    I'm loving the garden goodies so much, hopefully we have a long time, yet!

    1. It was Sylvia's first time using the press. She loved it and I predict many more flat flowers in our future. :) Enjoy yours!


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