Thursday, July 19, 2012

month of beauty: the simple thing(s)

I love that I've embraced (with both my hands in a big old hug), my new homeschool philosophy.

In fact, our home "school" no longer exists. 

School is out. Learning is in. It's that simple! 

We learn at home, at the library, at the shops, at the park, on the beach, up trees and on bike paths. We learn in galleries and walking along with Nana as she tells stories. Beside the dog at the vets. In the car while driving to another adventure. In bed as we read ourselves into Sleepy. 

It's a constant and uncomplicated thing. And because it's that clear in my mind and in my heart, I can relax and enjoy a beautiful week.

We could play at the beach on Monday all afternoon…which led to looking at rocks and trying to identify them, and that led to looking up rocks online…and that led to going to the library and getting a bunch of Geology books. That led to sitting at the breakfast table today, reading about igneous, sedimentary and metamorphic rocks. All flowing from two children standing beside the sea with rocks in their hands.

We could hang with Nana on Tuesday and show off juggling and novels-in-progress, then head off chatting and laughing to Writers Workshop. Where we learned (well, I taught) about Epistolary novels and we had a go at writing the beginning of one. 

We could go on Wednesday to a doctor's appointment downtown and then end up going to the movies, just because we could! We saw Brave and we loved it. Then, because my boy had recently been talking about one of the messages in a novel he loves…and because we'd then talked about Themes, and how they work in Literature…we then discussed the themes of Brave. As though we were just having an ordinary chat about the weather. 

(And…while a boy went to music classes for three hours…a girl and a mum could go to the vet and witness how life can be hard and beautiful at exactly the same time.)

As for Thursday, well, that's today! 

We could let the day flow as simply and good-ly as the others. 

There was our first tennis lesson of the year (having taken a break for a whole year and a half)! The kids were giddy with happiness. Even in the sort-of-rain and the oh-so-cold, they just kept grinning.

There was a love story. Between my chook and my dog. Oh, how she loves him. When he's outside, she never leaves his side. So romantic!

There was a birthday party for a friend's dog, which coincided with Homeschool Group. My dog got to hang with three other little doggies, who could all run much, much faster than him. But he was happy enough, to be patted by kids and mothers alike, and snuffle about on the ground looking for cake crumbs. 

And the kids were happy enough to run around for 2 1/2 hours with friends while I brainstormed with other mums on my new project: a homeschool drama workshop! I'll be running it fortnightly. How fun

An honest-to-goodness doggy birthday cake, made of
peanut butter, rice and chicken. 

My dog had two pieces.
Happy pooch.

There was art class, where the kids worked on watercolours with a guest artist. Ah, they carried their work out so carefully. 

my girl's pears (blurry, but lovely)

my boy's quickly water coloured hand, done while his pears dried… 

And I carried my day out carefully, too. 

Because I can see—I notice all the time now—how precious each day is. (And how simple the Good can be).

I am learning, every moment. I am discovering, all the time. 


  1. I love your homeschool philosophy! This is the same vision I have for our homeschool, but it is amazing how difficult it has been to let go of the traditional schooling model. Being present is key both to learning and teaching and you have shown that in your lovely post. Happy learning!


  2. Helena, as usual I love reading your words and the goodliness going on your lives. I just wrote a post about how unschooling looks different in each family and some of the variety currently going on in ours, then popped over to read about how that looks in your family, and I can't help but s-m-i-l-e.

  3. Hey friend - I'm so inspired by your dedicated pursuit of beauty this month - though it seems that the more you pursue, the more obvious it reveals itself in each moment.

  4. Oh how lovely! I love how you guys have just completely relaxed into the unschooling thing. I love how you explore your passions and interests and ideas. Inspiring stuff :-)

  5. Beautiful again. I think the love affair between your chook and dog is just so sweet. I love that picture. I love the way your 'Non school' looks too. yay for tennis lessons! We are hoping to get to see Brave soon. I want to so badly.


I love hearing from you! Thank you for your heartfelt, thoughtful responses—they lift me, and give me light.