It is fun to plan for the next school year! Today I cleaned my bedroom. It felt wonderfulto get all of the dust out of the corners and to begin to sort through curriculum materials for fourth grade.
When I thinkof fourth grade, I smile. The well balanced ten year old, the prime of childhood! There is a symmetry in fourth grade that completely resonates with the study of Norse mythology, fractions, long division and the movement toward science in the Human and Animal block. When I look at my older daughter's work, I see everything in rainbow colors and lovely, imaginative drawings with a new orderliness in the writing samples. My older son, who was actually home schooling in fourth grade benefited from form drawing and tongue twisters and poem's with rhythm. We learned to tie knots, paint animals and sew cross stitch.
The weather and the calendar of events in my area are inspiring me to begin our school year with a block on Local and Natural History, combining a focus on the human and animal with stories of and from local Native American tribes. An Ohlone Day celebration takes place near us in early September. I have been working on a story that involves a young Ohlone boy who sees himself in the still water of a pond. In this he notices some qualities of himself and realizes how different he is from an animal like the fish who swims by in the water or the bird that flies overhead. He will then have a long (something new every day for a month) talk with his grandfather about what it means to be human and admiring the gifts of many animals. I can then weave together some of the early history of California as well as a study of some of the many native animals of California. I don't have it all worked out perfectly yet, but then again, things often don't go exactly as I plan them...
My new clutch of hens has started to lay eggs! I have been waiting expectantly for weeks now and yesterday we had two small brown eggs. After a summer of bravely fending off the predators and watching the hens grow from little fluffy things into full sized clucking ladies, I am finally seeing the little gems they can produce.
Entering the county fair every year means that we often spend the first couple of weeks in September making and preparing entries for the fair. It also helps bring a personal connection to the fair itself and this makes the whole event more fun. This year Rowan plans to enter the baking contest, the Lego contest and the vegetable creature contest. I entered a little family of wool sheep inthe needle felting display.