Wednesday, September 06, 2006

Nature Day

It was a lovely lazy morning to start school. We whizzed through our morning chores and off we went for a nature day. We left without a plan. I had thought to scoop the ponds but forgot the nets. We reached the bridge and the ladies and gents fanned out along the path searching for just the right sticks. I didn't get to play this time. The youngest fine young gent wanted to play Poohsticks too; he's certain he's big like the others. I focused my attention on keeping him on the bridge instead of on watching the water flow under the bridge.

We brought along sketch pads and pencils. The oldest fine young gent, who doesn't usually enjoy drawing, sat and sketched a dried flower-turning-to-seed-pod. It was quite detailed, in color even.

His sister is a talented artist. She'll add this sketch to the lovely nature journal that she started last year.

We picked blackberries, picnicked, walked down to feed the ducks, and splashed in the water. A lovely relaxing outing without much of an agenda. While the lovely ladies entertained the fine young gents, I picked enough blackberries for a cobbler. Once home we had a cooking class: the girls made the cobbler while I coached.

The eleven year-old lovely lady was, I suspect, at a bit of a loss today. It's her first year being homeschooled instead of going to "real school" (her words), and this beginning of the school year celebration day is very different than the first day of public school. Sure beats sitting at a desk!

Our first day wasn't all sunshine and wandering. We completed another "I Spy" picture, dolls and such. I don't know if it was too much sunshine or not enough lunch or just plain orneriness, but there came a point during this "fun"project when I told them, respectively, to stop pouting (ladies) or to stop fighting (gents) and, darn it all! to have fun or else. Rotten kids.

I don't and didn't mean it, of course, the rotten kids part anyway. As a matter of fact, we all got a good laugh out of me playing Grouchy Old Mom. Good thing they don't know that even though I was clowning and pretending to demand fun-ness or else, I actually meant that part. I was hoping no one would take me up on the "or else" because I had no idea what it would be except that it would be something that was No Fun.

Sounds like a do-nothing day. But here's what we covered: nature studies and science, art, nutrition, home economics and mathematics, working in a diverse group (again), and we got some exercise.

School tomorrow? This evening the oldest lovely young lady and I joined my sister and her oldest lovely young lady for an evening of blackberry picking. We've got purple fingers and scratches everywhere and several pounds of blackberries in the kitchen. Tomorrow we're making jam.

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