Sunday, 16 February 2014

February 2014: Holidays & Gratitude

Monday 3rd - Sunday 16th February, 2014

2 weeks of family holiday bliss!

No electronic media. No computers. No smart phones… well, mostly! ;)

Just simple days, spent together.

Observing our tide and shadow marker over the course of the day.


We didn’t do circle-time as such these last two weeks, and our days have had the relaxed sort of holiday rhythm which you fall in to, when the days are long and the sun is warm, and building sandcastles, somehow seems like all there is in the world.

And it’s just so lovely to holiday with young children!

Their boundless energy and their sheer delight discovering the world around them, and the wonderful thing about natural learning is that, well, it happens. The “best” thing we bought on holiday? A $2 “magma-flying” glass, as our 3 year old calls it! :) It was brought along on all of our adventures.

We also carried with us our dog-eared copy of 'Australian Marine Life', which we used to identify crabs and critters and different sorts of seaweeds. We learned how to tell the difference between regular crabs and swimmer crabs. We nibbled the common seaweed Neptune’s Necklace, once given to Tasmanian school children: “A bead a day, to keep goitre away.” And we found all sorts of interesting jellyfish, pufferfish and shell fish in the wonderful tidal rock pools that surround the area.


{ Handwork }

Handwork this week has mostly consisted of crafts made from treasures from our adventures. We’ve experimented with weaving driftwood and bull kelp and made “nests” from she oak needles. We’ve found shells and rocks suitable for beading and carefully brought those home to make window hangings. We’ve continued our holiday scrapbooking and drawing in our journals.

Weaving with bull kelp, driftwood, leaves and coastal grasses.

Making She-Oak and moss “nests"
Collecting, washing, dying and sorting treasures.
Our nature basket.

As we’ve relaxed, unwound and soaked up family time (and even some couple time!), we’ve been reminded once again of all we have to be grateful for in our lives. We feel incredibly blessed to be able to use this Beach House every summer, but we’ve thought beyond that. Gratitude for family and friends, for health at this present time; and for the generous spirit of others. Gratitude too for this homeschooling journey we have begun and for the support, advice and help of others in this area.

Impromptu maths fun in an organic cafe in Anglesea, on our first “official” day of home learning.
We have begun practising gratitude as a family - every night before we go to sleep we each take in turns recalling the events of the day. We recall the wonderful things, the mundane and sometimes the disappointing things. We restore relationships and reconnect with each other. We finish with gratitude. What were you most grateful for today? It is a practise which brings love, peace and contentment into our lives, and especially happiness. 

We have also decided that we will start a 'Gratitude Jar' which we will add to once a week, and then read through together at the end of the year, wrapping ourselves in the warm, happy memories from the past 12 months. I hope this will become one of our New Year celebrations.


{ Summer Circle Time }

Opening Verse
Good morning dear earth
Good morning dear sun
Good morning dear trees
and flowers, every one.
Good morning dear animals
and birds in the tree
Good morning to you
Good morning to me

* * * * * * * *

Come out, come out this sunny day 
The fields are sweet with new mown hay
The birds are singing loud and clear 
For summer time once more is here

So bring your rakes and come and play 
And toss and tumble in the hay 
The sweet wild roses softly blow 
All pink and white the roses grow 

The nodding daisies in the grass 
Lift up their heads to hear you pass
Upon this happy, sunny day 
When you come out to make the hay.

* * * * * * * *

If I were a Farmer (Action Song)
If I were a farmer, a farmer, a farmer.
If I were a farmer, what would I do?
I would feed the hungry chickens/milk the cows each morning… etc. 
That’s what I’d do!

* * * * * * * *

Long green snakes in the grass are we,
Our tail is far away,
We wriggle and wriggle and twist and turn
As in and out we sway.

* * * * * * * *

Seashell Song
Can you hear the sea’s song in this little shell?
(Cup hands and place in lap.)

Hold it up to your ear and listen, listen well.
(Put cupped hands to ear; listen.)

The seashell’s song is from the silvery sea,
(Lower cupped hands, sway them side to side.)

Where the waves roll in, wild and free.
(Make rolling wave motion with hands, moving in, then out.)

There upon the sand, the lovely seashell lies,
(Cup hands and place in lap.)

Until a little child finds this seaside prize.
(Cup hands to heart.)

So guard this shell, its life-long song,
(Cross hands at heart.)

And remember the home where it belongs
(Cup hands around mouth and voice loudly:)

* * * * * * * *
Here is the Sea (action song)
Here is the sea,
The wavy sea.
Here is a boat.
And here is me.

And little fishes, 
way down below,
Wiggle their tails,
And away they go!

* * * * * * * *

At the Beach (action rhyme)
Build a sand castle to the sky, 
(Pat air; move hands upward.)

Make a moat so when the waves roll by 
(Make a big circle with arms in front of body.)

The castle will stand with its sandy wall 
(Hold arms upright with fingertips touching.)

‘Til high tide comes and then it will fall. 
(Hands crash down)

* * * * * * * *

1,2,3,4,5 (action rhyme)
Once a caught a fish alive.
Then I let it go again!

Why did you let it go?
Because it bit my finger so!
Which finger did it bite?
This little finger on my right.

* * * * * * * *

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