The Tide Is Going Out
The other day a neighbor asked me if we take a spring break. I laughed and said, “Yes—the whole spring!”
We’ve had such a pleasant time the last couple of months, immersing ourselves in some good books and other forms of study. Now the outdoors is beckoning, and our daily rhythms are shifting. Spring is calling us, urging us out of the house. We are a bunch of Mary Lennoxes, unable to resist the rustlings and chirpings, the spikes of green, the gypsy winds.
I keep finding cups of water on the counter with tiny blossoms floating like fairy lily pads: the first bluets and starry white chickweed flowers. Chickweed, so Jane tells me, is an edible plant and quite tasty. (“Like sugar snap pea pods, Mom.”) She has begged me not to uproot the vast patch of it that has taken over a stretch of our backyard mulch bed, just uphill from the strawberries. Another weed, a purple-flowered plant the children call “cow parsley,” is popping up all over the lawn, much to their delight: they suck the nectar from the itty bitty orchid-like blossoms and proclaim it better than the honeysuckle they’ll seek out later in the summer.
Jane, who had been binging on math during the past three weeks—such a Math-U-See enthusiast is she that she devoured half of her new Pre-Algebra book in a month’s time—seems to have shifted her attentions to botany. I find myself tripping over her tattered copy of All About Weeds everywhere I go, and upstairs, the microscope is much in demand for the viewing of leaf cross sections. An experiment involving scarlet runner beans has become the centerpiece on the kitchen table.
Our oregano and thyme are greening back up, and the foxglove is quite large already. Daffodils are in glorious bloom on the slope at the edge of the yard, but I don’t venture down that hill often; the walk back up wipes me out these days. Such is the ninth month of pregnancy.
A mourning dove is nesting above our front porch light. I can’t imagine how she tolerates the clamor, for this is the season of constant in-and-out. Red Virginia mud is every-where. (Please don’t look at my floors.) A great vat of mud has appeared in the backyard under the white pine, and someone painted the slide. This may account for the recent destruction of several pairs of pants.
My hyacinths bloomed yesterday, beating the forsythia for the first time. The crocuses and windflowers have been flaunting their sky colors for two weeks. It’s just about time to get our peas in the ground—our tradition is to plant them on St. Patrick’s Day.
So yes, we’re on spring break already, and it’ll last until summer.
This post is part of my series on Tidal Homeschooling.
Tags: homeschooling, homeschool, home education, unschooling, unschool, nature, nature study, spring
The LLama Butchers says:
Spring break comes to homeschool
The latest ode from Melissa Wiley is up….
On March 13, 2006 at 8:31 am
(nodding and chuckling)…. Spring has “sprung” a little early here, too. We can’t seem to stay at the table for very long these days– especially with all that chirping outside! What’s going on out there? Sounds like a party! The birds, the brighter sunshine, the colors…all are conspiring against our best scholarly efforts.
Love that picture of the mourning dove… she has a front row seat for the action!
On March 13, 2006 at 7:56 pm
The wind keeps blowing us indoors…with all the trees and flying debris, it hasn’t been safe to venture out much. Lovely post!
On March 15, 2006 at 6:32 am