What a change of weather since my last post (which admittedly was a month ago!), it feels like the summer has finally arrived. I promise I won’t spend the whole post waxing lyrical about lovely it is to be living in Devon at this time of year but…it really is!! I’m just loving being so close to nature and even though we are living in a town it feels like a village which I love as well.
We started back at Forest School last week and the woods have changed so much in just two weeks; there is growth and greenery everywhere – you can’t see from one end to the other any more – it’s amazing how quickly it has changed.
Similarly, things have exploded in the garden – our tomato plants are smelling delicious and growing strong, the lettuce is thriving, the sunflowers are getting taller by the day and the potatoes are growing at a suprisingly quick rate. The garlic is doing well and although we didn’t get many carrots, the ones that are there are getting there. I’m not so sure about the onions or squash and I’ve only just moved the strawberry seedlings from the propagator into pots but time will tell. Our Elder tree has loads of florets and I’ve been checking the every day, desperate for them to flower so I can get on with making some cordial! Sophia is very much enjoying the process with me, she got very upset that I planted the strawberry seedlings into pots without her whilst she slept today – oops! Even Isaac is getting on board with watering and weeding (although he has tried to pull up some garlic on more than one occasion so he I think he just enjoys the pulling)!
In fact, observing the dramatic change in the surroundings around us in the last few weeks has helped me to realise and cement what I’d like to be at the cornerstone of the kids education; following the seasons and having a real awareness of what is happening in nature and what impact that has on us. I found a preschool home ed curriculum called wee folk art which does exactly that and I think starting in September I’m going to do it with Sophia. It’s incredibly gentle but I think she’d enjoy the idea of ‘doing school’ and the content looks like it’ll really suit her.
On the ‘academic’ front, she seems to be having a rest from learning at the moment. She still wants to do old reading egg lessons but totally balks if I offer to do any of the previous activities with her that she had been enjoying, from blending sounds and playing with the movable alphabet to practising writing. I’m not worried as she is so young but it caught me off guard when she first had a meltdown when I was chatting to her about words she might be able to read!
She seems to be embracing arty activities instead at the moment; lots of painting, drawing, cutting and sticking, playing on the chalkboard and she even did her first ever sewing. She made a squishy toy for Seren and did nearly all of it by herself, I was mightily impressed!
She has however, been getting a bit restless with just me and Isaac though I think, he’s at that age where he wants to be involved but not in the way she necessarily wants so they both are getting a bit frustrated with each other at times (though most of the time they get on very well and are a pleasure to watch/be with). Although we’ve met some lovely fellow home edders in the area, none in our town itself and all the 3/4 year olds seem to be in some form of childcare so we had a good hard think and went to look round a local childminder’s this week. She runs it with a few other staff in her back garden and it is very small and just lovely. They are very child led and have Montessori and Forest School influences and Sophia absolutely LOVED it. So starting in September she’ll be going every Monday for the day. I think the day break will do us all some good and she’s really looking forward to it. They have some settling in sessions over the next few weeks and she’s quite excited by them as well!
Seeing her in that environment did make me have a bit of a home ed vs school wobble but Dan (and others) wisely advised to just take it as it comes and I know they’re right. We don’t have to decide anything right now but just keep our minds open, keep talking and relax!
And just to conclude, on the subject of relaxing, I’ve been exploring the beach-y delights that Devon has to offer this week! I went to Exmouth Beach with a friend and her kids on Monday and then Ness Beach at Shaldon yesterday with Dan. Both were just perfect days and left me on a high, sun, sea, sand…ice cream! The kids loved it, real beach babies they are 🙂