With Ken and Lindsey out of the country on a mission trip to the Dominican Republic (returning tomorrow!), this week has been all about being a Fun Mama. We started the week with a sleep over, and I took Kathryn and her friend to our favorite frozen yogurt place the following afternoon. (Can you hear the Fun Mama points already starting to add up? Cha-ching!)
While her friend was still here, Kathryn noticed that a new iris color had opened up, so she excitedly rushed outside and told her friend all about irises and how bees get pollen, and the girls examined the insides of the flowers. I love how excited she was to share nature study with her friend!
I bought Kathryn nearly a whole new wardrobe (or so it seemed) because she’s been growing like a weed and nearly nothing from last summer fit her anymore! This earned me more Fun Mama points, not just because I bought her stuff, but because we spent time finding things that she likes AND that are comfy, and we had fun doing it.
We shopped at Hobby Lobby to restock our craft supplies, and I’m hoping to do a little art project this afternoon. Yesterday we baked a pound cake — my grandmother’s recipe — and then took a big hunk over to my aunt and my grandmother. Gran still loves that cake with a good cup of coffee, but it’s too hard for her to bake like that anymore. We’re blessed that they live just a half-mile away from us, and I want to make a point of visiting them more often. There’s simply no good excuse not to. (Pound cake = points; letting Kathryn help = more points.)
Between rain showers, we made sidewalk paint from this idea on Pinterest. Kathryn had a good time with it, but I think our sidewalk paint would’ve been better if we’d added more cornstarch; I’m guessing this might make it more opaque, so we’ll try it differently next time. Still, it’s a fun outdoor activity. A friend of ours did this, too, and said her toddler LOVED it. (More points.)
We watched a few movies together this week, and ate ice cream BEFORE supper. (Fun points!) I even got extra points for bravery in the line of duty when I had to kill two wasps (or hornets?) that got in the house one day! My favorite of the movies we watched was a 1995 version of A Little Princess, one of Kathryn’s favorite books. We also watched the musical version of Oliver Twist; we enjoyed it but it was very different from the book, even leaving out several main characters. (Movie-watching = more fun points.)
We continued reading-aloud from Freckles, and Kathryn has continued to confiscate my Kindle to read books like The Second Jungle Book and Pollyanna Grows Up. We finished up a few things we’d gotten behind on, and Kathryn made a new page for her nature journal. This got her looking back over her nature journal entries from the past few years, and she is more inspired to start back up with adding new journal entries. We used one of Barb’s free journal pages for this.
As it turned out, this week wasn’t really a week “off” after all, but more like a week of unschooling — which has been a wonderful reminder to me that it really all comes back to a lifestyle of learning.
It’s not about how many days I’ve checked off on my attendance form, or how many lessons we’ve done in any workbook, but it’s about creating an atmosphere where learning never stops: not when the school day is done, not when we’re on a break, and certainly not just because we grow up.
Even more importantly, this week helped build more ties between Kathryn’s heart and mine, and I’m learning how very essential that is, especially the older she gets.