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We Are Alive Again!

I don’t know where you are reading this, but here in the smack-dab-middle of the USA it is beautiful weather.  Averages for this time of year should be in the 40’s (single digits and a bit above in Celsius I think) but it has been above 70 almost all week (more than 20 Celsius).  Hardly any wind, lots of sunshine, and pure summer bliss.  There might still be a snow storm on the way…but we will chose not to think about that.

It has been great for our simple home school.  Weather probably has a direct correlation to mommies sanity.  I really don’t like the cold (even though I was born in central Alberta of freezing-cold Canada) and I just hide and hibernate for the winter.  Worked great to get lots done on my book, but not so great for any of our physical or emotional health.

But, now that it is nice, this week we have:

  • Gone to the Durham Museum 2 times
  • Gone to the Zoo 3 times
  • Hiked 20 miles (Lily and I hiked, Ian just runs)

This is what simple home school is all about.  We do the books in the morning and then take off and explore.  We are exhausted and sore, but it seems wrong to say ‘no’ to nature.

With our actual schooling and home time I have been trying to do less structure and watch/allow the kids to explore what they are interested in.  I want them to learn to be hard-working, motivated, and focused.  That is easier to practice when they are working on something they chose to learn.  I also want to help them develop in ways that they are gifted in and interested in and if I don’t really encourage and allow them to explore they might hit life like most people (including myself) with no idea what they really want or enjoy doing.

I have been really limiting the amount of fiction books Lily is getting from the library and she has been hunting through the non-fiction.  Last week she got a bunch of books on plays and skits and we put a few little shows on for daddy in the evening. This past week she found a bunch of books on drawing cartoons.  Wednesday this week was our rest at home day and she spent almost the entire day (except for the book work she had to do in the morning) working on drawing a ‘Galaxy Pig’ cartoon.  Hours working on little squares to tell the story.  First she drew in pencil and then she traced it all with her markers.  I loved the fact that she was tackling a hard project all on her own and going above and beyond what would have ever been asked of her in a school assignment I might have given her.  With her school work, most of the time, she just does as little as she can to get by…not much different than I ever did.  I am excited to see her really pour herself into something and I want to make sure she has more of these chances in the future.

Now, because the weather is so amazing this week we decided to take an impromptu vacation this weekend.  Daddy is taking Friday and Monday off work and we are going camping.  So excited to get away for a few days.

‘321 Stop – stop running and start living’ book update:

5 days till release on March 21

“When I picked up the book 321-Stop I wasn’t aware how much I needed to simplify. With gentle kindness and an extreme dose of humor Lorilee Lippencott holds the mirror up to our stuff induced lives, all the while bringing us a tool-kit to get control of it again. Three important areas of one’s life are the focus of this awe inspiring book.  Your stuff, your time, and your head. It’s your choice whether you do a little or a lot of down-sizing. Interspersed are personal stories, favorite reads, and so much encouragement. This little gem of a book is all the motivation you’ll need to de-clutter and simplify your life. I just love this book and know I will return to it again and again. Each time around and through this inspiring read will unveil a little more of “me” and my life that’s gone missing. ” — Amazon best-seller Valarie Budayr is author of The Fox Diaries


  1. We’ve had some cooler weather than normal (mid 70’s when it’s usually mid-80’s-90’s). It has been fantastic to be outside too! And take advantage of that zoo—such a good one!

    • yes, we love the zoo!

  2. Glad you have been enjoying your early Spring. On the Norheast it has been nice for people but we are worried about our beehives (too active too early) and our Maple sugaring season was cut short too.

    About more books for your daughter… we live in a small town and our library has a limited selection of books, but our library system now allows you to borrow books electronically. We got Kindles and now my daughter has access to a lot more books. You might want to see if your library has gone electronic.

    • Diane, Our library does the kindle lending now too. I was so excited for it to start, but we have only done it once. Need to start getting in the habit of it. We are spoiled and have a great local and city library but I love that we can borrow from home with the kindle.

  3. Got a question Lori – do you consider the limiting of fiction at her age to be a grounding in reality or allowing her to build her own imagination?

    Most kids I see are too wound up in fictional whatever sometimes. But not sure if that is because of what they take in, or not being grounded enough.

    And yes, the weather is amazing. The four year old and his neighbor (also 4) have been playing outside for hours every day this week.

    • Bill, good questions. I used to think she should do mostly non-fiction for grounding her in reality. Now I see the argument for imagination. I have read that kids at this age don’t come up with ideas as much as they repeat ideas. My kids are both huge with imaginations, but the stuff they come up with, for the most part, is a combination of different books. The main thing I see is that I want her to train her mind/herself to read non-fiction. The ideas are more complicated and it takes more thought and determination to get through the books. Sentence structure and vocabulary is more complex as well. She still reads fiction, we all need down/fun time. Just, hopefully, she can learn to read about other things she is interested in for ‘fun’ as well.

  4. The weather is incredible but now I worry about summer, being in a flood zone and all!
    My brother and his wife home school their 8 children – 4 of which are in or past college now. Sounds like a great experience involving the whole family more than traditional school.
    Nature is a wonderful teacher – “Galaxy Pig” – science fiction?

    • Yeah, I guess you could say science fiction 🙂 She got the idea out of the cartoon book she was learning from. It was galaxy dog in the book, but she wanted to do her own so she modified.

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