Shades of green

I've been thinking lately about what I'll do to prepare for the coming year with "preschool at home," as we call it. I don't want to have a curriculum exactly, but I do want to think about the flow of the days and the year as a whole. My goals for this year are to continue to emphasize the natural world and the importance of community service. Everything else is secondary. We've been spending a lot of time just observing nature, taking it all in, and seeing how one thing affects another. Some clouds bring rain, some show the sun. Some seeds make plants that grow food. Bees move pollen from one plant to another, creating more fruit. Plants grow a little bit more every day.

I am really wedded to the idea that observing nature is an important foundation for all else in life. Learning to appreciate the natural cycles and processes, to understand how things unfold, how everything is interconnected, and how it's all part of a larger system is what it's all about in life. Part of our "learning" includes time to observe nature, time to work in our garden, trips to the farm where we pick up our CSA share every Wednesday, and in the fall, we'll be visiting my sister Emily, who keeps bees, to see how she processes her honey.

I'm going to take time to sit down and outline the year ahead and think about ways to observe the natural process during each season. I've checked out the "prefab" curricula for preschoolers that lean toward the natural world (generally any Waldorf-based curriculum) but since it's "just" preschool (which I take to mean "before school") and since I really don't want to be bound to someone else's idea of what we should be doing, I'm going to follow my own plan.

Community service is a lot harder to plan out, and frankly I don't think it's something that should be well-planned at all. I tend to support causes that I happen to come across, things that strike me as important when I hear about them. Just in the past few months, I've supported, among other things, the women in Darfur who need solar stoves and now we're taking in a Fresh Air Fund child, and if you had asked me about these programs a few weeks before had I committed to them, I wouldn't have known what you were talking about. It's simple: I live my life. I find out about someone who needs my help. I do it because I can.

So, in light of that philosophy, I'm not going to make a community service plan, and instead I'll just let the causes "come" to us.

I just checked two books out of the library:

: Heaven on Earth: A Handbook for Parents of Young Children by Sarifa Oppenheimer
: What is a Waldorf Kindergarten? by Sharifa Oppenheimer and Joan Almon

Both are wonderful guides for me, helping me to recognize the daily, monthly and yearly rhythms and the ways that children learn.


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About Me

My name is Jillian. I started this blog as a way to experiment with my camera and it's a become a nice little spot where I enjoy spending time. I'm a mother to 6 and 4 year old daughters, wife to a cool computer guy, and mama to a cuddly cat. We enjoy eating local, organic food; managing several food allergies; homeschooling with love; spending time in nature; and we love to take time each day to be creative. You can also find me over at From Scratch Club from time to time. Welcome!