We are in the depths of early childhood. Just past the sleepless nights and constant nursing, but still in the expanse of that sweet age of boundless energy and curiosity that is so fleeting. There was no doubt when we implemented The Peaceful Preschool last year that it would be a perfect fit for our family.
My eldest daughter has always loved books and this gentle, literature based approach was just what our family needed. It brought such a peaceful rhythm to our learning and I am thankful to have been able to begin our homeschooling journey in a peaceful way from the start. Much of homeschooling last year would find us snuggling on the couch or under a tree reading books and then re-enacting the stories, painting with watercolors, and hanging letters on our school room wall with pride and accomplishment. Then outside we went!
Much of our day you can find us outdoors, weather permitting. Exploring the woods next door, walking to a favorite local spring fed stream with friends, and hiking a new trail. So much growth and knowledge can occur when in nature, especially in the early years. Respect is learned for creatures, gentleness when one finds a butterfly, attention is stretched when observing more and more details of a little lady bug who decides to visit a while. Perseverance and determination are developed when hiking and littles learn that one step taken is one step closer to the goal.
We also started tea time, which has been such a blessing! When we are having a hard day, whether it be difficult feelings or just bad attitudes, putting everything aside to sit and have tea has proven countless times to reset our day. We read poems, enjoy tea (in our case apple juice), talk, and giggles are sprinkled throughout. By the time we are done with tea we leave the table with a deeper understanding and love for one another.
Homeschooling with littles is a bit different this year than it was last year. We are three weeks in with The Playful Pioneers and my youngest, who is two, is showing more and more interest in what we are doing. While at times it can be so tempting to distract and give her something else to do, I have found it more helpful to include her. Toddlers are so curious and what better way to hone in on their desire to learn than to welcome them in with arms wide open. While I’m reading from Farmer Boy my youngest plays with her little wooden barn while my five year old does copy work or works on weaving. The activities in The Playful Pioneers are so easily adaptable between ages, which I love. My toddler is always right in the midst of it and along the way we are learning patience, helpfulness, and forgiveness. And grace, oh so much grace. Easier said than done, but from what I’ve gleaned from seasoned mamas who have been there and have seen the fruits of their labor… it is hard work, but it is so worth it.
Math can be fun. This post shares a few resources that can help shape a positive view.