Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Harvesting & homeschooling

I feel a burning lack of contemplative thought in my life right now.  I don't have time to read, I don't have time to sit and stare, I don't have time for blogging.  It burns.  I sat down to write a contemplative post today, but realized that I don't have the time or ability to hammer my thoughts into a cohesive thesis.  So I shan't.  I just can't.

Our tomato table is full to the brim, waiting for me to slice plum tomatoes for drying.  I hope to have enough big-juicies to make a batch of tomato sauce soon.  Salsa, too.  I de-stemmed 10 lbs of grapes yesterday, concord grapes from our neighbor Walentyne.  They are such a gorgeous dusky purple-blue, my heart leaps whenever I look at them.  The next step is to separate the skins from the pulp.  I am making grape jam, so I will then cook the pulp, strain the seeds, then add the chopped skins back to the greenish-goo, add a sweetener and vioa-la!, jam.

I looked around the house yesterday and remembered, "Oh yes, this is September".  Of course it isn't September yet, but the harvest has started.  Things are getting wild.  I want to keep my perspective this year, to remember that the house might look like a cyclone hit it, but the chaos is only temporary.  It is worth it.

I am also looking toward the reality that we are starting Year 1 . . . first grade . . . of homeschooling this year.  We will start in October.  I feel fairly relaxed about it as I did most of my planning this past spring (with two year of reading and research undergirding it).  We have cultivated our home and lifestyle as a rich learning environment, so even if we haven't officially done "school", our little fellas have been schooled in many life skills and sciences since the very start.  I am also realizing that I am of the "better late than early" variety. 

I will be following the methods and philosophy of the educator Charlotte Mason using Ambleside Online as my training wheels, though I will be using The Story of the World as my history "spine".  I will be very curious to see how everything plays out.  It will involve a lot of reading aloud, which I think we will all enjoy.  I'm not exactly sure how to re-organize our day to make everything work, but I have read enough about homeschooling to know that it might taking several readjustments before things gel.

Other goals include teaching Diego how to read (which I think he is totally ready for, it should be easy) and teaching both boys how to tell time, as they currently measure time by Mr. Bean episode-lengths.  I think I need a morning board, so I can go hard at it with the season, temperature, date, time, etc.  Any suggestions out there...?  For some reason, I can't muster the inner strength to actually make one (though it must be easy).

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