It’s hot here folks, and I am enjoying the rain today.  I finally have the pictures I promised.

The garden that is furthest along growth wise. We have 3. This is the only fenced one.  We are already eating spinach, swiss chard, and broccoli from this plot.

Aren’t these peas just gorgeous?

I can’t wait for the pods… well, if it means loosing these blooms I can wait for a little while. 🙂  They make me think of Alice in Wonderland.

We bought fencing yesterday for the other plot by the barn.  For the plot by the house (last year’s only garden), we are doing the low string and pie pans again.  I’m hoping to get to work out there tomorrow.  John’s uncle Ben suggested some barn repairs, and I hope that is underway soon.  I am also waiting to hear about Farmer’s Markets to participate in.

In other news…. Deladis is still going strong on her start to her kindergarten year.  I can most definitely say these few weeks have opened my eyes and made me realized that I have a lot to learn about teaching little ones.  We are using a curriculum that is for preschool, but it is akin to kindergarten.  The regular curriculum starts with Grade 1, but I haven’t seen a sample to know if I will use it for next year or not.  I like it because it is nature/domestic based and spirituality has a part.  The illustrations are non-commercial, but beautiful and real.

Deladis has been enjoying herself very much… when mommy isn’t being too uptight.  One of the parental instructions suggested in the book is that children should complete work neatly.  Proper posture and holding of the pencil should be practiced.  She is just learning to write.  Here we have dotted lines, and examples to trace.  For me the instructions translated into when making them on her own the characters should be as large as those she traced.  This especially came into play with the 3.  The top should be at the top line.  The middle in the dashes, and the bottom at the bottom line.  She would make lovely, perfectly legible 3s that were much smaller.  We’d erase and try again.  Before long, she was crossing her arms and looking at me.  I felt kind of ridiculous erasing her 3s that were out of proportion, but for some reason felt the need to make sure directions were followed.  I went to message boards for advice.  I found what I needed from the unschooling community ( I am looking into some application of that philosophy for our experience).  The next day, we did 3 again.  This time no erasing.  Just reading directions.  Deladis practiced on her own, and before I knew it, she was making a 3 similar to the one she traced.  I had decided that I wouldn’t care.  That I would let her explore the writing on her own after reading the workbook directions.  She loves the workbook.  She made me draw the riders on the horses in the picture.  As you can tell with her coloring, nothing is outside the reach of her ability to imagine, create, understand, and transform. 🙂

This is what I have to remember.  She learned to potty on her own.  It happened when she was ready.  On her own time.  All I did was explain how we went about it, and gave her encouragement and help as she needed.  There was no “training” involved.  No, she wasn’t 18 months old and wearing underpants, but she was using it on her own in a reasonable time frame.  After 2 weeks, there were no accidents.  Why should learning anything else we need for growing up or adulthood or creativity or spirituality or work be any different?

Others suggested that she is too young to learn to write.  They said I’m expecting too much of an almost 5 year old.  Deladis asked to learn writing.  She asked me to show her and help her to learn.  She showed signs of academic readiness that I read about in my study of Waldorf education, though before her age.  I had determined I’d follow her cue and embrace her eagerness as an opportunity for learning.  I just need to supply her with resources, be there to read directions (until she can read them herself), offer ideas, demonstrate things, answer questions (or help find answers), and offer my help as she needs it.  She will learn.  She will learn because that is what we do, and because I as her mother and teacher am nurturing that ability in her.  Not by erasing her 3s until they meet the criteria, but supporting her practice until they meet the standards that she sets, that is her personal best for her age, or until it is time to practice something else for awhile.  I learned to let go a little of the thought of “teaching”.  I watched that letting go help Deladis to learn through her own hand and observation.  The “teacher” in me was impressed with her.  Who knows where this journey will lead?

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