snowy day bliss balls

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Hm, it's Monday already? I'm slightly embarrassed to admit that I—quite literally—didn't leave the house all weekend. I am still running on the New Year adrenaline and have been rearranging spaces, both real and virtual. You might have noticed? My poor, neglected blog was in need of some attention. I updated my logo, added some buttons in the sidebar and added back the recommended reading section. Oh! And for the first time since I started blogging, I have proper about and press pages. I'm so official. This week, I plan on sharing some of the real world rearranging I've been doing, too. Some spaces are a little rough around the edges, but if I wait until everything is perfect to do a home tour, well, it won't happen!

All of this rearranging is also because I've truly taken the mental leap into homeschooling. With Fiona approaching four years old, and it being the time of year that one applies to charter/private schools, I've spent the last several months reading and researching and solidifying our commitment to homeschooling. Things haven't changed too much since we 'started'. We still have all the same elements in our day: morning walks, playtime, storytime, art, baking and cooking. The only real change is that I am paying more attention to rhythm. I'm working to make transitions between activities smooth and peaceful.

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I've never been a big fan of reading a book to children then immediately doing an activity based on it. It often feels a bit contrived to me and takes away from the simple enjoyment of just sitting down and reading a book, then letting the story linger in their minds as they go about their day.

That isn't to say that it isn't important to use stories to make connections about the world around us and to spur the imagination. Fiona had read the book The Snowy Day as part of a homeschool group a couple days before she asked to make bliss balls. As we were rolling them into balls on the coconut flakes, it occurred to me that they were starting to look like snow balls. I mentioned this to Fiona, and as naturally as that, she went right into imaginative play based on the story she had heard earlier in the week. We even made a little snowman!

In some ways, this embodies the way I hope to homeschool. Learning through simply living. Letting our minds make natural connections as we move through our days, doing important, real work. We measured, followed directions, worked together, imagined and played, all while making something that would nourish our bodies. Now that is my kind of activity-based-on-a-book.