My little ones and I have been busy bringing in as much local bounty as possible these last few days. We made an attempt to pick saskatoons on the weekend. This was a mild bust, as it was the end of a very short season, and a lot of the berries were shriveled. The good ones were up high, where the children couldn't get at them. Nevertheless, we picked three buckets and have frozen most of them for use during the winter. I'm grateful my husband was there to help! Saskatoon berry crumble and saskatoon berry muffins will taste awfully good come January!
Today, the children and I set out in the morning to pick peas. I had planned to go out Tuesday evening by myself, but the weather forecast was not looking good and I feared we'd be at the tail end of pea season by the time the fields dried up! So, today it was - me and three children picking peas on a hot summer morning.
The heat makes everyone slow and sluggish. So, how to get those peas picked quickly with my little helpers doing their fair share? Well, at first, they were pretty creative on their own. They chose the plants that they going to "do an operation on" and then they set to work.
But near the end, even picking the perfect plants for operations wasn't enough to keep them going. So, I started to sing. Simple songs that they all know - Mr. Sun by Raffi, She'll be Coming Round the Mountain, I've Been Working on the Railroad, It Ain't Gonna Rain No More. After that, my mind went blank. The children made up their own songs. One about how they are looking forward to winter (!), and then one about how the harvest would magically be done instantly before winter came. And the picking went quicker, the sun was a little less blistering, and our companionship was a little stronger while we sang.
I've come to realize that my on-demand repertoire of songs is short. I vow to get more acquainted with songs from the past that were used to make long days in hot fields more enjoyable. I already have This is the Way We Wash A-Day in our library that I'll dust off and start learning from. I'll need to put in more of an effort to read and remember the songs in All Together Singing in the Kitchen.
Did I mention that there's much to learn in this homeschooling gig?