This can now be found at: http://earthschooling.info/thebearthinstitute/?p=1846
Monday, April 20, 2009
Friday, April 17, 2009
Before Sofi "decorated".....
Sofi at work....
I should have posted this a week ago - LOL - but the week went by so quickly and was so busy! But I am thinking next year this may inspire some people for spring celebrations so I will put it up now. When the kids woke up Easter morning they found a picture of a spring chick with some plain eggs on the chalkboard. Their job was to decorate the eggs! Just a little "twist" on the tradition of decorating eggs for Easter. I already have next year planned - I'm going to make a really big basket filled with eggs :) Sofi, age-10, really loved the surprise and went right to work "decorating" without any prompting at all.
Sunday, April 12, 2009
Our "Easter Eggs"....
As a healer I always try to find that "perfect herb" that fits the needs of my client's emotions, my clients physical body and my client's spirit. As a teacher I am always trying to find that "perfect task" or "perfect lesson" that fits the needs of the day, the needs of the family and the needs of the child all at one time.
Of course that does not always happen, but when it does - I get that wonderful feeling of harmony. Sometimes I feel my attempts are like the "orchestra warming up" or sometimes they are beautiful too and they are more akin to a soloist playing a beautiful instrument. However, those moments of being able to join and balance so many things at once - we have all experienced them - they feel like the orchestra playing the song. And you get this wonderful satsifaction of having been the conductor. You didn't play all the instruments, but you lead them and the musicians all did their parts beautifully, and the universe did its part beautifully and everything fell into place.
I love those moments.
Today we had a moment like that. It was a gorgeous days so we went out into the yard to rake leaves. It is a holiday but it needs to be done because our yard is very big and with only the children and I raking, we need to do a little bit each day on every nice day we can find or the tiny little spring buds will smother under the heavy leaf cover that was not raked last year.
The task started our joyfully enough because it was a nice day and raking leaves is fun if you feel like being outside and it is a nice day. I also noted that it was a wonderful opportunity for my daughter and I to spend some time together. However, the event started to take on more meaning as we continued. Sofi started talking about our spring plans for the garden so we planned out the entire garden in our minds as we raked. Then I had the idea to tie this into Easter on the off chance that Sofi might feel it was a bit unfair to work on Easter...so I mentioned that raking leaves was like an Easter egg hunt, only this time we were finding buds and new life in the ground instead of in the eggs. We talked about how the eggs also symbolize new life so it was fitting that instead of finding eggs we were actually finding the new life.
Then we decided to take pictures of each "Easter Egg" we found. Some "eggs" were not very pleasant, others were surprises of a different nature. However, in the end the event was so wonderful and joyous. We got a chore done, planned our garden, spent some wonderful time together, and even made it into a fun Easter Egg hunt so we stayed "true" to the holiday as well. All in all - an orchestra of an event :) A definate "step up" from last week when I dragged myself and my daughter out the front door and we quickly raked a bit while complaining we were cold!
Happy Easter everyone! May all your tasks today be filled with Easter joy!
PS: Note that this Easter hunt is the most fun if you have been very lazy the previous autumn and didn't rake your lawn much at all - LOL :) So now we are adding yet another accomplishment to the day - turning something negative into something positive! A very healing experience. My guilt and anger about not raking last autumn are now gone :)
Friday, April 10, 2009
One of the ways we are celebrating spring is by doing a unit study on birth and the animal kingdom in general. We visited a goat farm last weekend and learned a lot about caring for baby goats. This week we visited the Iowa Reptile Rescue and cuddled with snakes and other reptiles. It is amazing how much the kids learn when they are able to interact with animals and their caretakers. The caretakers know so many intimate details about the animals and were very patient and happy to answer all of our questions. It was such an intimate and educational experience! I think the photos do a good job of showing just how "intimate" it was - LOL!
Of course it is always fun for the kids to visit local farms, animal centers and zoos. However, to make the experience as educational as possible (without doing a lot of research or preparation) I do the following:
1. Find small groups, organizations or farms that offer programs our tours for small groups. You can learn more and get more of a hands-on experience if your group is between 4 and 10 people.
2. Find opportunities where the tour leader or host(ess) are the direct caretakers of the animals so they have not only a general knowledge of the animals, but also a more detailed knowledge that comes from daily interaction with them and so they are more comfortable showing and allowing interaction with the animals.
3. Find situations where the children will be able to hold and interact with the animals instead of being told "Ok, now, just use one finger and touch the turtle very carefully" or where they will be seeing them behind bars.
4. Use these tours as a way to support local farms and organizations. By paying for tours or classes or purchasing products at the farms, you are supporting local business and wonderful organizations like "reptile rescue" or ARL.
5. Listen to what excited the children about the visit and ask THEM questions. Usually this gives them a chance to recall some of what they learned and it may also inspire them to look up some of the answers.
I would love to hear about other trips other people have taken. I am always looking for more ideas!
Blessings & Health,
PS: Remember - For lessons and video tutorials you can join the member's BLOG at http://www.herbnhome.com/