Today was one of those days I imagined homeschooling would be like...children intensely engaged in their activities...said activities happening to be related to the values we hold most dear...peaceful relationships...smiles...learning.
And what does today look like? Well, it would be easier to simply show you, but the camera is missing. So, I'll do my best to narrate what our day has involved so far.
This morning, I had tomatoes on my mind...40 pounds of tomatoes, to be exact. So, I was cleaning up the kitchen to get it ready for all those lovely red orbs. As the children came down slowly one-by-one and got themselves ready for the day, I explained what I was doing and why, and asked if anyone wanted to help. Nicholas declined, as he planned on making muffins this morning and having a garden vegetable and bake sale in the afternoon. Jaelyn agreed to be my helper.
After she finished her morning routine, she helped me wash the vegetables. Then, I showed her how to weigh the tomatoes, how to plunge them into the boiling water pot to blanch, how to take them out, and where to put them when they were done. After that, she took the reigns on her own. And she did an amazing job - she was a one-girl assembly line! As she worked, I prepared the remaining tomatoes for marinara sauce. She exclaimed, more than once, "This is fun, Mama!" After all the tomatoes were blanched, I showed her how to peel them and we set to work on that together. She blended them and then poured the tomato purée into roasting pans for oven-baked tomato paste. The morning flew by.
As Jaelyn and I worked, Nicholas wordlessly finished the muffins. Then, he set to work getting ready for the sale. That meant hauling produce and tables upstairs, harvesting and bagging vegetables and herbs, making and hanging signs around the neighbourhood, getting his cash till ready, and getting dressed up to be a "real" businessman. He did it pretty much all himself - my only contribution was to post a couple of ads online, suggest prices, and spell-check the price board.
I am so proud of the initiative and attitude both children brought into today. And I'm reminded that their successes and learnings are theirs and theirs alone. I'm simply there in the background - supporting them, helping when needed, encouraging them, loving them.