“Art enables us to find ourselves and lose ourselves at the same time.” Thomas Merton

LEAF!

LEAF!

I am a bit “behind” on my blog due to our annual LEAF festival trip.  We arrived home late sunday evening after another amazing festival.

The LEAF festival is, on the exterior, simply a music and arts festival.  However, you experience so much more.  We arrive the night before the festival begins each year in order to have one day of escape.  The camp appears fairly empty, although all around you people are setting up booths and stages.  The stillness of the evening allows you to listen to nature, see the stars and explore the camp before it comes to life on Friday evening.

Every year, the festival amazes me even more and in a different way.  Last year, the kids made bows and sold them.  They met lots of other children and played with them throughout the weekend.  This year, the kids sold bows again.  Instead of getting excited about the financial gain of selling bows, they got excited seeing their bows throughout the camp and hearing from children who purchased their bows last year.  Evidently, their bows hold up well over time-which they enjoyed hearing.  The kids did not meet a whole lot of new children but they did see lots of familiar faces.  We even connected with several families who live in our area.

We experienced art in many ways.  We listened to and felt the music.  We awed over phenomenal handiwork from metal works and hand-made instruments to beautiful scarves and tapestries.  We witnessed mother nature’s canvas as the leaves change colors.  All around us, we had a world of color.

If you ever get the chance to go to your local art and music festival, jump on it!  You may feel slightly out of place if you are not artistic but that is the beauty of them.  Everyone there is unique.  My youngest kept asking for the meaning of things.  You may look for this too.  However, I have found that sometimes it is best to experience art, see how it makes you feel, accept it and move on.  You may find things you love, and you may find that you do not connect with it.  Your children may find something that they connect with which is such a lovely gift.

And before I forget…Happy Diwali everyone!

 

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March Madness-Homeschool Style

I posted earlier in the month how I planned for the February blahs and how we made it through.  Evidently, I did not plan well for the madness of March.  In my mind, March is the beginning of spring and new beginnings.  However, nature has a different plan.  NC had snow, ice, rain and just plain cold weather.  For those of you in the northern part of US, you expect the cold to stick around.  Those of us in the southern US states await the warm breezes and the signs of spring-not the cold furry of winter.

We begrudgingly made it through our work this month.  Sims, 5th grade, worked on an Ancient Greece block which included reading the Greek myths, Mary Pope Osborne’s version of The Odyssey, and the study of several Greek philosophers.  Sawyer, 3rd grade, explored the US government including laws, the US Constitution and various aspects of the US government. Parks and I are doing some inner work which will continue into April.  He is working on ways to be a good citizen, the importance of being responsible and trustworthy, and finding his strengths.

So where is the madness?  The madness is within me.  I am a person who needs sun and warmth.  I enjoy doing our work outside at the park or in our backyard.  Hiking, playing at the White Water Center and exploring the outdoors are some of my favorite parts about homeschooling.  Unfortunately, I did not put my big girl panties on and trudge out in the wet, cold weather.  I am paying for it now.  I noticed myself getting frustrated very quickly and having little patience.  Luckily, my kids are amazing at reading me and they began to step in to help.

Even more wonderful than the kids helping out is the wonderful surprise that my hubby gave me.  We planned a trip to Lake Lure to go hiking and enjoy the wonders of spring in the NC mountains.  We should be there now.  Looking ahead at the weather channel, I noticed that the weather forecast was cool with possible rain throughout the week.  I couldn’t do it-not when the Charlotte forecast is sunny and 65 degrees.  I have never stated that I was not going to join a family vacation before, but this time I did.  I know-awful right?

I hit the wall-not of homeschooling but of rainy, cool weather.  Well, Wednesday I received a beautiful email from my hubby that asked me if I would like to scrap Lake Lure and head south to Florida.  YES! YES! YES!  So we are here in sunny Florida.  We are soaking up some much needed vitamin D, catching lizards, and enjoying the beautiful landscape of Florida!  I almost cannot believe that we are here.  Enjoy the rest of your March-I will send sunny thoughts to you all in hopes that they will bring warmth to where ever you are!

 

Learning in the Moment

Don’t you just love when learning happens without having to work at it?  Last week, we had one of those moments. It was beautiful.  The kids had several classes at Latta Plantation last week (actually every week through May!).  Most days only one kiddo had class and the others did work and explored.

Parks enjoys sitting by the small ornamental pond in the back of the nature center.  He checks on the tadpoles, watches the water, and observes the birds.  Well…on Tuesday, he was doing his normal pond squatting and saw a turtle.  He ran inside very excited for everyone to come see the turtle.

The manager of the nature center joined us as we went to see the turtle.  When we got to the little lady, the manager checked her out and realized that she was very old and very sick.  He brought her in and started her way to recovery with a bath and sent her on the vet.  The next day, Parks asked about how she was doing.  The answer was amazing.  She is doing well.  She had an infection in her eyes and throat which was preventing her from eating and limiting her breathing.  If she had not been found, then probably would have died pretty quickly.  She should be fully recovered in 8 weeks.  Parks saved the turtle.  He is very excited.  Hopefully, he will get to release her when she comes back home to the nature center!

Can you see her swollen eyes?

Can you see her swollen eyes?

Parks with his turtle

Parks with his turtle

She is an old turtle according to her shell

She is an old turtle according to her shell

Getting a bath

Getting a bath

Another critter found!

Another critter found!

Taking time to work outside

Taking time to work outside

 

****A quick update:  The turtle is doing very well.  She is eating and drinking.  I just received updated photos of her today.  Check them out below!

Healthy Turtle-Check out how nice her eyes look now!

Healthy Turtle-Check out how nice her eyes look now!

Healthy Turtle!

Healthy Turtle!

This is the infection that they got out of her eyes!

This is the infection that they got out of her eyes!