This is what our street looked like this morning.
For our school "warm-up," our let's-get-started activity, I took the fine young gents for a walk this sunny morning, down the street, looking for treasures. It's been raining off and on. This morning was too glorious to stay in. Besides, I reasoned, we're about to run out of glorious fall mornings. We've got months of chill rainy days to look forward to, and spending a morning out of doors now will fill us with sunshine for the days ahead.
When we arrived home, we set up an impromptu nature study. Given the direction, "Time to make a nature journal entry!" the fine young gents are likely to stare blankly out the window, draw a Pokemon, scribble aimlessly before announcing "All done!" or revolt altogether. This morning I gave two directions: Explore what interests you for as long as you'd like. Then in your nature journal you may.....and I offered several choices. One fine young gent chose to color a cider press page and paste it in his journal, the other did leaf rubbings. (The youngest gent set up the chess board and played games with the chess people. They had fine adventures.) While the guys colored or played, we listened to a recording of Native American stories from the library. They especially enjoyed the stories of Coyote, a story titled, "The Poop People," the storyteller's stories of his own family, and the way all of the stories ended with "And that is all."
Our quick warm-up activity took over an hour. We didn't get much else done this morning, at least in the way of formal schooling. A little music, a little math, some language arts, lots of read-aloud time, a science activity. But embedded in this simple morning activity, beyond physical exercise and appreciation of nature's beauty: Handwriting, spelling new words, finding the date, history and culture from the stories on tape and from our discussion of the apple press, art, and science and nature in our continued discussions and examinations of leaves. Not only that, but the gents were invigorated by our walk, and completed most the rest of their schoolwork before lunch.
It is sunny. It is fall.
And that is all.