A misty-morning leaf walk in our rubber rain boots. A reading of Leaf Man and then the chance to create our own leaf people. Studying the role of chlorophyll with Daddy through a science experiment. Poetry Teatime outside among the falling leaves. Leaf prints on the back porch (that one was messy). You can see our reading list on Instagram (would it be of interest for me to post our chosen books in this space?). Leaf week was a hit. We felt organized and prepared, and the girls enjoyed (or seemed to) the things we had planned.
And then we moved into week #3.
We had a heat wave, and the thermometer on the back porch registered somewhere over 100*F. I doubt it was actually that hot – I’d guess somewhere in the low 90s – but that’s still pretty hot for Maine, let alone in September, and we were miserable. We wound up throwing most of the plan out the window and just did what we could. That turned out to be finger painting and running through the sprinkler, going to the grocery store to enjoy their air conditioning, and jumping in the lake before soccer practice.
We regrouped later in the week when the heat broke, and managed to bake brownies for Poetry Teatime – and even learned fractions in the kitchen. We read some of our library books, and returned others untouched. And we flew by the seat of our space pants, staying up late three nights in a row to watch the International Space Station pass overhead, and doing a quick mini-unit on space travel and astronauts.
I think I’m probably learning just as much as Swee is at this point as I realize I can’t compare her progress to my own at age five. I went to kindergarten as a strong, independent reader, and she’s downright recalcitrant when I suggest sounding out words. It’s very hard to follow her lead and let her be herself, despite logically knowing that’s a major reason we chose this path – silly mama! That might be the bigger reason last week’s “lessons” fell apart so completely: I was feeling confident after the first two weeks, and tried to step it up, only to have the heat knock us flat on our bums.
We’re slowing back down this week. Sunflowers and vegetables. We read sunflower books yesterday morning and learned a little about van Gogh, finishing our day with watercolor renditions of our own homegrown sunflowers. I worked all day today, but had Swee do some sunflower-themed copy work on the chalkboard after breakfast, and heard Daddy return to the space station discussion later on, taking it a step further by playing videos on his phone. I’m guessing they did some math, though too quietly for me to eavesdrop from my desk. And they played outside all afternoon while Daddy worked on an overhang for the chicken run. Sounds like a pretty great kindergarten day to me.