Happy Groundhog’s Day! I’ve been informed that good, old Phil saw his shadow today and there will be six more weeks of winter. If “winter” could resemble this last week’s weather, I would happily accept. We’ve had a rare dry stretch here in the PNW. It’s been cold, but it’s been sunny! Something about January (and now February) sunshine feels like a gift. Despite the chill, I’ve done my best to get a walk in the brisk, fresh air everyday it’s clear. Gotta get that Vitamin D! It helps stave off my desire to hibernate during these winter weeks.
My blog posts have been sporadic this past month. I like to write weekly, but something about January… It’s kind of a slow month. We definitely keep busy, but not in the most interesting ways. January feels like a return to ordinary, to routine after the holidays. It’s back to school and the usual commitments that took a break in December. It’s also my birthday month… which means, lots of book shopping… and book reading. The quiet is appreciated. The return to routine is grounding. Not super exciting to write about, but very good in a simple kind of way.
So, what to share? Last week our family gave a presentation at our homeschool co-op about the national parks we’ve visited. Each week at co-op a different family gives a 3-5 minute presentation. The inspiration for this activity was to give the kids in our group a chance to practice public speaking. The day of our family presentation, we also took our drama class on a field trip to the main stage in our church. We talked about the sound board and the lighting. Jeremy came down to help me turn everything on. We talked about stage positions and showed them backstage. This class has been surprisingly fun to teach. While I don’t have professional drama experience, it’s been neat to watch the kids latch on to acting and sharing stories. The kids are greatly enjoying themselves and it’s a huge relief to me that we are pulling this off! I’m so thankful a dear friend is co-teaching with me as well. It’s been quite the experience for us all.
While the younger kids are learning drama, the older class is learning Shakespeare. I sit in on this class as the parent helper. I will happily admit I’m learning just as much as the students. The group is doing an adapted version of A Midsummer Night’s Dream. I purchased my own copy of the play and I’ve almost finished it! This is the first time I’ve read Shakespeare since high school and the first time I’ve ever done it voluntarily. I love that our homeschool co-op is growing and challenging me as well as my kids.
The other co-op related highlight was our field trip to the fire station this week. We visited the fire station numerous times during our preschool years thanks to MOPS. This was the first time the kids have visited as elementary students. As we were driving to the station, we passed an aid car from the fire station. Then we came upon a fender bender were one of the cars had caught fire. The fire truck was there with the hose out. It had just put the fire out before we drove by. I explained to the boys that the firefighters might be too busy with this call to have us visit. The firefighters were slightly late, but they arrived at the station ready to give us a tour and answer our questions. The boys got to see all the equipment and sit inside the truck. They haven’t outgrown the age of fire trucks being cool. I appreciate having a group of families to do activities like this with. Our co-op has been a huge blessing to our homeschool journey.
What to say that’s not co-op related? We’ve had quite a bit of time around the house as we’ve settled back into routine. Lots of time for board games, books, and baking. The boys are into playing Animal Crossing on the Nintendo Switch. This game has sparked an interest in fish and bugs since they collect them on their island, Sunny Pear. I’ve picked up some new reference books (book club recommendations) and I love seeing the boys pouring through them – identifying creatures and sharing facts. The new thing to build with LEGOs is the variety of fish they can catch on Animal Crossing. While I’m not a huge fan of video games, I can get behind something that sparks their interest in the natural world.
I’m not sure if February will mimic January in its chill vibes. Apparently, Phil thinks so. I won’t mind if it does. I enjoy these winter days – snuggled inside, warm, cozy. It’s a good mix of commitments and down time. A quiet balance. As the weather improves, our calendar fills up. We’ve had lots of calendar talks recently (anyone else feel like their spring/summer is booked? Just me?). I know busy days are coming. Our calendar tends to ebb and flow. I can appreciate this slower season knowing it prepares for me what lies around the bend.
I enjoyed this post. Thank you for sharing. It sounds like you have a wonderful home schooling group.
Thank you! I’m glad you enjoyed it!