Monday, April 14, 2014

Homeschool Update: Balance and Contrast Week Two

We've finished up our second week of our Balance and Contrast theme.


Chobie tried out some different balancing activities on a recent trip to the playground.






This last week we focused a lot on growing food and farming in our reading.



We read In the Sheep Pasture by Patricia M. Stockland, a preschool level nonfiction book about sheep. We had a tiny flock of Romney sheep a few years ago when we were living outside of town, complete with lambs in the spring, but I still learned a few things reading this little book.



Since it's seed planting time, we also took a look at this book of rhyming seed riddles:  



What Kinds of Seeds are These? by Heidi B. Roemer



And the Good Brown Earth by Kathy Henderson was our third book of the week. Its a sweet story about a boy who visits the garden throughout the year with his grandmother.

Chobie continues to explore the concept of balance in his play. We built more balancing block towers together, and had fun building towers that didn't balance and watching them topple. Bee is a toddler, so balance, or not balancing as the case may be, is a constant theme for him.

I've also been thinking about balance and contrast in my grownup life too. Balance, especially for busy supermoms straddling the professional and the domestic, is a buzz word right now. Apparently I'm supposed to add meditation to my already over-packed daily routine to achieve 'balance' and ultimately greater productivity bringing my life ever closer to the standards set forth by women's magazines or self-imposed collections of perfect light boxed, DSLRed, Pic-monkeyed photos on Pinterest. Pinning photos of brilliant DIY projects leaves me high on inspiration. Honestly, 20 minutes of pinning = 8 oz latte for me. And if I just took 20 more minutes each day to pay attention to my breath, then I really could do all the things pinned to my projects board. Then I'd be free the next day to tackle Kids Projects.

Right? That's what the buzz is in my natural hippy mom blogging world anyway...

But I think I'm on to something else: it's time to lower the standards.

That bit of reality brings me crashing down from my pinterest high and leaves my inner Virgo-perfectionist writhing in disappointment.

While my kids play with our homemade toy barns and shovel dirt in the back yard, I will spend the remainder of this Spring theme, and however long it takes after that, finding my grown up sense of balance by downsizing my plans and expectations.

Right now, finding balance for me is about focusing on one thing at a time and doing that thing well. When I am trying to accomplish more than what is really realistic, I'm scattered or I become frantic and short-tempered. Young children, like mine, pick up on our moods and energy and learn from us how to handle themselves in the world. The quality of presence we bring to our work is as much a part of the lesson as the skills we demonstrate.

Me and the kiddos have been talking about physical balance and balance as a visual concept, and now it's my job to demonstrate balance as a quality of being.

I'd love to hear you weigh in on all the balance buzz below. What helps your life feel balanced?


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