Everything She Needs to Know

Since Selby started Kindergarten, I've felt a nagging need to keep some semblance of control over the knowledge she's ingesting. I know there are important things she will not learn in public school. They won't teach her how connected she is to the natural world around her. They won't teach her the benefits of eating with the seasons. Or the importance of belonging to a community.

So, I recently began crafting a simple fall itinerary for my time with my gals. (Yes, I know fall is officially 2 weeks off; but I'm very ready). And last week we began using it.

One day, we talked about how produce changes with the seasons. Then we made Lemon-Zucchini Cornmeal Cookies to honor the passing of summer and emergence of fall. As we waited for the cookies to bake, Selby spread out a blanket right on the kitchen floor so we could read a library book about corn.

The cake-like cookies were so good - a cross between cornbread and a cookie - I served them with dinner, much to everyones' delight.

Another day, while munching popcorn, the girls decorated Nature Journals, made from recycled cardboard boxes and card stock. In them, we're recording nature findings from around our home and community.

Over the weekend, we took a nature walk and began filling the journals. We made tree bark rubbings, star-shaped stamps from a fallen star fruit, plant & flower hammerings and leaf prints.

My plan is very loose, but ideally, each week will include a craft project, a kitchen activity and a community outing; plus we'll explore & journal about nature and incorporate resources like library books & field guides. So the girls can have fun collecting leaves and making nut butter, and I can rest assured Selby's knowledge will extend well beyond the ABC's and 123's.

Note: I know there are many wonderful & important things taught in the public school system and I'm confident in and pleased with our decision to go this route. I believe education comes from many sources, including schooling, family, community and nature.


Cath said...

I just have to say how much I love how you raise your children - it is so inspiring!!! Love you!!! Cathy

eringoodman said...

oh my friend you are such an inspiration!!!!

Rose said...

Wow! What great inspiration. I always dreamed of doing stuff like this with my kids, but for now, it's always a disaster when I try to direct things in that way. We just have to be improv around here, otherwise it means great frustration for Mama!

Mothering Two said...

OH I love this! I was just talking to Hal the other day about finding some after school activities I can set up for Max and Bella so when they get home they can keep the learning momentum going. Great ideas, love the nature book.

kate said...

I love, love, love those nature journals! SO inspiring! While we homeschool, I firmly believe in and celebrate both public and alternative routes of education-- it all depends on what works for a family, and what works for each child! Your girls are getting the gifts and benefits of both-- how very lucky they are...and what wonderful moments you'll share:)