Thursday, November 2, 2017

Sept ~ Part V

Here we are in November already, so it must be time to finish blogging about September. I know I'm awfully sporadic in this space, but something keeps drawing me back anyway. I love our days and I love to take pictures. I'm just sometimes too busy living it to get it all organized here. 

Also, it's kinda fun to sort through what we were doing a month ago. Seems like forever already since the weather would allow us to hike in swimsuits and plunge into lake water. We've already had some snow flurries.

Since I retired my beloved flip phone and got a smartie one, I recently joined Instagram too. I know I'm so late to everything. That's ok, I'm happy with that. I'm verde.mama over there if you'd like to look me up. This link might get you there:

Without further ado, our last days of September in random photos (followed  by my rambling thoughts on the sporadic nature of childhood and learning):

September 24
hiking with friends at Devil's Lake

catching and releasing minnows in a sandwich bag

September 25
a collection of tiles from my Monday night art workshop

September 27
the rusty results of our vinegar + metal experiment that we started early in September

enjoying some downtime

September 28
backyard wild asters

September 29
kitty boy Sparks and my man of over 20 years! (both cuties)

sharing their picnic lunch

Cam marching in the high school "Cheesehead" band

Sylvi took this pic of an apple cider slushie from the local apple orchard, 
'cause it's pretty much the best thing ever...

my sweet library assistant

Speaking of random and sporadic, I'm constantly surprised by  the twists and turns of my children's interests, chosen projects, and education. Human curiosity means that learning is an inevitable (and enjoyable) process that occurs during all of childhood and beyond. To think that the only way children learn best is through an adult-directed, linear process of schooling and curriculum with rewards and punishments dangled before them as external motivation seems preposterous to me now. Children learning outside of these parameters (but with active guidance and support) seems ideal and beautiful and natural after years of living like this. 

Yes, it's sporadic. Sylvi doesn't enjoy reading because of dyslexic traits that make sight reading frustrating for her, but she loves history and myths and can almost always be found listening to an audio book. Her comprehension and vocabulary are phenomenal for a 10 year old and she can't wait to get the Iliad on digital audio next through our library system. This incongruence would be difficult to support in a schooled setting where the pace of learning is set for all students regardless of their interest or abilities.

Since Cam actively wanted to attend school for freshman year, I'm so thrilled that we were able to find a nearby alternative public school option where the kids can work and gain credits through research and projects of their own choosing. It's pretty ideal and Cam seems to be thriving (writing a paper on gender identity in different cultures, planning to construct a wind-powered generator, researching ways that plants have adapted to winter conditions, etc.). Sweet 7-year-old Ayla still likes to cuddle every night and sleep in in the mornings. I'm so happy that I don't have to rush her around and out of the house every day. Life isn't a race. Whether a child can read a year sooner or a year later has no ultimate bearing on their long-term ability, but whether a child can creatively express herself, whether she can follow her own motivation to gain skills and knowledge, whether she has a compassionate heart, whether she can confidently say "no" when something doesn't feel right, these things matter.

End of ramble.
Thank you for reading.

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