A Gentle Return

Happy New Year! How was your first week of 2021? Please share in the comments–I look forward to hearing.

I decided that a happy start to the new year for us would be a gentle start to the new year. In the last couple weeks leading up to Christmas break in our little homeschool, none of us were really all that focused, but I tried to keep us on track and keep pushing through. Still, we missed a couple readings or started them then abandoned them for advent activities instead. Best to keep the interest and attention during the holidays by following our hearts. I see so many other homeschool families take the whole month of December off, and though I wasn’t brave enough to try it this year, I’m keeping it tucked away as an idea for next.

Anyway, we spent the first first week of January catching up on our Ambleside Week 17 readings, reviewing letters A-K for my preschooler, and doing nature study. We stuck close to home because we are all getting over illness, so nature study didn’t happen beyond our yard–but the great thing about nature study is that you can find and connect with the beauty and wonder of the natural world wherever you are. This week our focus was on the winter sky. We tracked the sunrise and sunset and embraced more light each day. We watched the weather. We read and recommend Snowflake Bentley:

and Weather Forecasting for Kids. We planned to go find the winter circle on Saturday evening, but since it’s snowy, we will continue our winter sky studies to next week. I’ll post more about them in case you want to do winter sky studies with your family–there’s still plenty of time!

For my youngest, before diving in and and continuing learning a letter a week, we did several winter themed activities to review letters. The favorite of the week was upper and lower case letter matching to build a snowman. Once my learner matched the upper and lower case properly, he got a snowman head to complete the activity. I made these on water color paper, and drew dashed-line letters for him to trace before he did the matching activity. He loved doing this, and we played several times throughout the week.

We also checkout out this beautiful book from the library and eased into writing with a winter acrostic poem of our own. It was a team effort, but I was surprised at how engaged my typically reluctant writer was for this activity.

Here is the book:

and here is a sneak peek inside:

The whole book is so cozy. Very hygge in imagery–I think we’ll try to find a used copy for our home library to enjoy all winter.

Finally, we made window stars for our handcraft this week. This too was a team effort. My youngest could fold the kite paper in half, my oldest did the triangle folding in at the top and bottom (of his chosen colors only )–and then I constructed the stars. During a month when everything can be so monochromatic or dreary and gray, these little pops of color bring a sense of whimsy and hope–and they are a reminder to look up this time of year.

May we begin this year creating beauty in whatever small ways we can, looking up, moving toward our goals with both diligence and gentleness, and with gratitude for the journey ahead.

Be well friends ❤

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