::a first day of school teatime, just me and Zosia.
::I made a plum cake and my mom brought by a lovely fruit tart.
::the children spent over two hours playing Narnia in the afternoon. Zosia was Susan, Lily was Lucy, and Hugo was either Edmund or Peter, depending on the girls' needs. As far as he was concerned, he was just going around the house putting out fires (complete with a fireman's hat). I think he was thrilled to be welcomed into big kid imaginary play.
::We found what we believe to be a Eastern Tiger Swallowtail caterpillar in the front, and placed it in a jar for a day of observation. Upon going to the library (where we had a picnic dinner with Ben and rode bikes) and returning home, the caterpillar had started turning into a chrysalis! I just checked in on him, and he has completed his cocoon. I just might have joyfully teared up at the sight. I mean, I'm so happy for him! He's beginning his gestation. And no, of course these aren't my pregnancy hormones talking.
::Hugo has been enjoying participating in school (circle time in the morning is his favorite), and has been sleeping waaaay in every morning, which has meant that I can do a math lesson with Zosia before he's even awake. Totally perfect.
::The children set up a carwash for all yard cars, tractors, and bicycles. Everything is legitimately cleaner, and they had a wonderful afternoon organizing it.
::Ben just started reading Little House in the Big Woods, which is a family favorite. We finished The Lion, The Witch, and The Wardrobe,and have been reading some stories by Hans Christian Anderson (you simply must read the original Little Mermaid. Our kids haven't seen the movie, and know no differently, but this story is totally different than the Disney version, and, no spoilers, has an awesomely melancholy and yet poignant ending).
Our first week of homeschooling was wonderful. Seriously, I had no idea it would be this much fun for everyone involved. Zosia is a little teacher trapped in a six year old's body, so she has been coordinating activities and helping the littler two along. We have a very free form school going on: every day we do a circle time, a math lesson for Zosia, free writing, and a nature journal. We are big readers, so Zosia will either read aloud to me or her siblings, or read to herself. We have been spending a lot of time playing outside (which Zosia insists on calling "recess". So cute). And we always spend plenty of time reading aloud to the kids.
The best part for me has been that we really can treat each person in the family as an individual, respecting his or her own needs (be it for rest, activity, stimulation, sleep, nourishment, whatever). Our mornings have been lovely and relaxed, and there is no rushing to get anyone out the door. Our afternoons are playful and rested. Zosia is no longer exhausted after a long day at school in which she was constantly required to be on her toes. Since all of our organized schoolwork gets done in a couple of hours, we can say "yes" to every playdate, excursion, and social interaction, so we are spending as much time as possible with friends. And the kids are all so curious, it makes this whole teaching them thing a pleasure. I have been learning so much myself, and it is thrilling.
I will try to share some of the details of what we're doing over the coming weeks (because I'm sort of a nerd, I have been reading up on homeschooling things for years). And then there are plenty of things I'm still working on: some montessori activities for Hugo, setting up regular reading lessons for Lily, recorder lessons for Zosia, and doing some more art with the kids being among them.
I hope you all and your little ones had a wonderful first week of school, too!