Wednesday, October 1, 2014

a simple connection...

i recently wrote about connecting simply with our children.  ways to connect that don't require anything but each other and our time.  

no preparation.  no materials.  no clean up.  

and no distractions.

just us.  

simple little ways to be present with our children.

and i've been collecting these ideas on instagram, usually every friday, at #asimpleconnection.

but i'm also going to gather them here, at the end of each month... as a sort of summary.

for more details of each idea, check them out on instagram...

and enjoy!

Monday, September 29, 2014

feeling the rhythm...

after coming to the realization that i crave a little more predictability in our days, we sat down and worked out what seems like a good start.

at first glance, it seems a little overwhelming... a little too structured...

but when we use it as a guide... as a little push to keep the day moving along, i think it's working out just perfectly.

a little rhythm to our days.  a little more predictability.

while still allowing for self-directed learning... child-led interests... slow, intentional days.

most of the times are in blocks... a group of things that we aim to do in that general time.  so we're not bound to a schedule, but sort of guided in our intentions.  so we're all on the same page, and we're all a little more grounded throughout the day.

there are definitely benefits to creating a daily rhythm... and i'm looking forward to enjoying them.

this is what we've created for ours...

learning: our learning times aren't structured lessons.  we let the day flow, and see where it takes us.  if that's to the library, doing some science experiments, going to a museum, creating art, exploring bugs in the backyard... that's what it is.  while it's not sitting down and completing a designated curriculum, my husband and/or i are committed to being completely available during these times.

snack/lunch/dinner: now that things are all given their place in the day, these times are also for learning, and no longer just me or my husband in the kitchen making food and placing it on the table.  our children are in there with us, learning life skills, cooperation, responsibility... given the time, these are just as valuable as learning reading and writing.  

rest: whether it be a nap, looking at books, doing puzzles, or creating with lego... hopefully, the house goes quiet for just a little while.

free play/outside: this is also when some work for me or my husband gets done... whether it be writing, sewing, cleaning... the kids can play on their own, while we do our own things.

walk: or scooter.  around the block, down the street, to the park.  collect some things for our nature class.  just a little bit of time to connect together without any sort of agenda.

table activities: usually writing, drawing or coloring.  sometimes other fine motor activities, like stickers or stamps.  the less-messy kind of things.  either this, or helping in the kitchen for dinner.

adventure day: we try to go to a new place once a week... a beach, a hike, a park, a museum.  most often new, but sometimes a favorite we haven't been to in awhile.

dinner & bedtime: it seems so early to me.  we used to eat a late dinner.  and go to bed late.  which sometimes still happens.  but now, our post-dinner time isn't so rushed.  with an earlier dinner, things can be a little more relaxed as we quiet down for the night.

i think this has satisfied the craving for me... while still preserving the flexibility we enjoy in homeschooling.  

Tuesday, September 23, 2014


storytelling... it's something i'm always amazed by.

i can see how my children are so taken by good stories... and good storytellers.  how little lessons can be planted in stories like seeds... and those lessons and ideas can grow over time.  it might not be right away, but days, months later... when a connection is made.  it's such a gentle way to pass on information.  without pressure.  without expectation.  without judgement.  

i love hearing the storyteller's voice change to fit the story... the pauses, the rhythm, the inflections.  and i'm always amazed at how they have all these great little bits of entertainment stored in their heads, just ready to be told at a moments notice.  to share a lesson... pass on a bit of history... make someone laugh.

it's something thing i've wanted to learn more about... to learn more stories... to become more comfortable with sharing them... to open my thoughts and mind to be able to create stories more easily.  and so i've been doing just that.  and already, my children are requesting more stories.  i'm finding myself becoming more comfortable in telling them.  and i'm even hearing them tell each other stories.  

if you're encouraged to do the same, here are some great sites and books that have helped me find the storyteller in me...

crafting connections has a beautiful post about letting go and simply telling a story and another with some creative tips...

see where all of this takes you... maybe you'll enjoy storytelling as much as we have been!

this post includes affiliate links, but has no way influenced the content :)