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Linger in our Learning

I felt like we had been fast paced lately. How did we have so many assignments, to-do lists, and scheduled activities in homeschooling? I thought the benefit of homeschooling was to savor life and "echo in celebration" in love of learning?

I knew I needed to cut some things, and I needed to replace them. If we didn't replace them with something purposeful, the space would get filled with idleness or more busyness. What we needed was intentional relaxation, wonder, enjoyment, and togetherness.

So I built upon something we all had a mild interest in--the magnificent birds that are visiting our new yard. I gathered some books from our local library--one with great pictures and short descriptions of birds, and some with story lines so that the reading seemed leisurely rather than studious. The kids love the Smithsonian Backyard Series for this reason. After reading one, we usually make a craft of the animal--cotton balls, pipe cleaners, this type of thing. I adapted this a bit with the birds, and we decided to draw them--paying attention to details and the significant features. The kids love the colors they can use for birds, and the main outline of birds is simple enough that even my one child who doesn't prefer drawing, finds that she enjoys this because she feels competent to complete the task.

We are allowing our bird-watching to be the guide for which bird we learn about next, and we're compiling a notebook of our drawings.

Yesterday, we were excited to see two species of male woodpeckers, one with a magnificent red headdress. I sat down at the table with the kids and drew and colored too instead of moving on to household tasks. It was so refreshing! I feel like we are recapturing that "celebration" with this new project.

*I'm referring to a book by Leigh Bortins called Echo in Celebration. You can download the e-book version for free here.

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