Friday, April 16, 2010

Grade 4, Spring Term, Beowulf Week 2, Day 5 ~ Friday Free Day

Calling our Friday free is really a misnomer. Certainly it is still a learning day and a day that counts as an instructional day with the state; it is just free of written practice and main lesson work if we're caught up for the week. We still might do some American history and science, and we're almost guaranteed to do some nature study. Free reading always happens, and assigned reading sneaks in as well.

Today we did American history in the morning, along with drawing. In the afternoon we went to the park and the boys played baseball with some friends and later built a nature fort, plus J-Baby taught a friend to toss a Frisbee. To me, these are all very important "subjects" to tackle. Learning to play in a group is important; group harmony is a cornerstone of community, whether that is the family community, college community, home community, or work community. Learning to play as a team is important; none of us can ever do it all alone. Sharing a skill that you have with someone else is important; it takes tact to do so in a way that doesn't make the other person feel that they can't do it or that there is something lacking in them because it is hard.

There is also the simple joy of watching children at a park, so absorbed in nature that they ignore the playground equipment. Oh, I'm not against equipment; it is a useful tool for building sensory integration, balance skills, etc. I just love watching the children under the canopy of trees, using all of the loose parts that they find: pine needles, sticks and twigs, leaves, pine cones, rocks, etc. They connect with nature in an organic, effortless manner.

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