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Month: March 2012

School Report

School Report

School is taking up more and more of my thinking these days.  It is creeping in at different times of day and I’m starting to see more possibilities for the days when we don’t normally do ‘school’.  I’m trying to be more flexible in our timing, slotting in history stories before bed or art projects when Daddy is home or Neirin is in bed.

Huwyl is loving the work we are doing, especially anything to do with history.  We are currently following along with Story Of The World Ancients, I’m speeding through a few of the chapters on the Assyrians, Babylonians and Phoenicians to get to the Greeks and Romans.  We are reading the stories but we aren’t doing any activities or narrations, I just can’t wait to get to the Greek mythology stuff!

We are also enjoying our reading of Fifty Famous Stories and Viking Tales, they make great before bed reading and certainly fire up Huwyl’s imagination.  Even Winnie the White gets in the spirit of things,

We’re also enjoying our Artistic Pursuits curriculum, last week Huwyl did his first still life, he chose the objects himself and spent a good amount of time drawing them in his watercolour pencils.

I’m really enjoying the variety of art and projects in this book, it is helping Huwyl to evolve his art and ideas about what he can do.  I like that this is separate to his independent creating or the crafts we do, this is a more refined process that demands more of him and exceeds what the thinks he is capable of.

But of course the fun isn’t limited to just weekdays, as well as carrying on with music practice and our stories we have Daddy on board and his amazing ability to come up with fun projects at a moments notice.

Look our for Stephen’s upcoming publication, 100 Ways to Have Fun With Logs!  Available in all good book stores.

When we aren’t actually doing school I’m thinking about school, how to improve our lessons and what resources I want to buy in for grade 2.  There are so many fun things we can do!  It’s hard to believe that in September we’ll be beginning our 3rd year of school, it has gone by so quickly.  Honestly the time we spend doing our school is my favourite time of the week, Huwyl is such a receptive student and I love knowing he is having ‘learning’ fun as he does his lesson on the trampoline or snuggled up on the sofa or right there at the table, pencil in hand.

Each time he learns something new, or lights up with excitement about reading a new history story I know that what we are doing is a little bit magical.  Lots of work but magical none the less.

A single moment

A single moment

Joining Amanda at Soulemama this week in recording a single moment, something I want to remember and cherish.

This little boy, he sends me crazy half the time, he is frustrating and adorable all at once.  He is nearly 3, doesn’t that just say it all?  I keep trying to remind myself of how little he is, that is it his job to send me crazy!  But there really is nothing like one of his hugs, his arms tight around my neck, his soft cheek pressed against mine.  His complete trust that whatever the problem, Mama can sort it out.

In the midst of the madness it is worth remembering these moments, the perfection within it all.

Weather the Storm

Weather the Storm

Yesterday was a day of preparation.  The weather reports have been warning of a storm all week and yesterday I could feel it coming in.  The bitter wind, the grey clouds all said Hurry, batten down the hatches.  I spent the day cleaning, cooking, readying.  I ordered and took delivery of four new cords of wood, made bread, hummus, yoghurt, chilli, stacked two cords of wood and hoped the storm wouldn’t come before Stephen was able to get home and fix the tractor.

As I rushed around I watched the sky, I felt the wind, I wondered Why this week?  Why did the tractor battery have to die the same week we get more snow than we’ve  had all winter?  The law of sod reigns supreme.  I distracted myself by nailing a tarp over the vent in the chicken house and topped up their food and water, they would be cosy against the winds and snow.

Walking the dogs for the last time that day I wondered at my own sense of urgency, why the concern, the eye on the sky?  The truth is I felt vulnerable, a bit exposed.  With snow coming in (we didn’t know how much) we’d be stuck if the tractor couldn’t be used to plough the drive.  In reality we have neighbours we could ask for help but somehow that didn’t occur to me.  We needed wood but we have propane heating, we could use that if we ignored the fact that it is slightly cheaper to grind faberge eggs than it is to heat a house with propane these days.  But wood feels more real, you can count it, you can cook on it, it casts a cosy glow that makes me feel safe.

So now we have enough wood to last us the season, we have a working tractor (thanks to Stephen and our friend Shawn who fixed it just before the snow began to fall) and food to fill our tummies.  After a day of cooking, fixing, planning, stacking and generally working we got there.

Last night I went to bed knowing we had done all we could, we slept with the wind hitting the house hard, the snow falling in all directions.  The snow started again mid-morning and continued through a lot of the day, whipped around by the snow and covering my earlier tracks.  This year has been relatively light, not too much snow and the mildest February I’ve known since I moved here.  We really did get off easily.

But there is nothing like a storm to remind you of how close to the edge we live here in Canada.  How quickly the weather can turn against us, how easily we can be caught out.  It just takes one big drop of snow, or days of ice rain turning the world into a treacherous slick, to cut us off from civilisation and remind us of how fragile we are.

Looking out on the snow covered fields and the grey sky I am glad to have a fire roaring, food made and a tractor that springs to life at the turn of a key.  I am grateful to be surrounded by comforts, to have solid walls between me and the storm.  I’m looking forward to sunnier days, to the warmth of spring and summer; I’m hoping there will be no more storms.

We’ll see.