My slowing down experiment is going pretty well. We spent Labor Day weekend resting because one of the girls has a nasty cold. She’s not over it yet, so instead of jumping into our normal school day routine, I opted to spend the day reading with the kids.
We started off with two chapters of The Lion, The Witch, and the Wardrobe that I read to them. We are so enjoying the conversations that we have with this book. They already know and love the movie, and that is helping them picture the story better. We are also digging into the spiritual references and partaking in honest conversations that stem from the story. All of us, from 8 to 37 years old are loving this series (some of us for the second or third time).
I almost failed today at slowing down. I ran to the store to get some hard candies and medicine for my girl, and once we got back I got nervous about how late it had gotten and that the kids were busy playing with their gummy bears. Gummy bears? Really? We have school work to do today! The time is running away! Put that away! (My old habits definitely are trying to fight their way back into my ways).
Fortunately I was able to regroup my thoughts, remind myself that we had all day, not just the morning, and let them play for a bit longer.
Once we got back to work, I gave each child a list of books that they needed to read and narrate, or explain to me. Today’s books were about the Aztecs. Not every child read the same books, so we each enjoyed listening to what the others had read and learned. They also worked on Aztec crafts of their choice using ideas from another book. I love that they are getting to be good enough readers now that they can teach me!
What does this have to do with slowing down? Well, for one thing, Charlotte Mason learning allowed us to slow down, take in the information in whole form (as opposed to short snippets from a textbook), and not only retain facts but also have an understanding that promotes more thinking and discussion later. If only I could show you the joy on their faces as they shared interesting facts they were learning! They could hardly wait their turn to tell me what they had read. It was definitely a good learning day.
Secondly, on days like today when one of the kids is sick, we don’t have to scrub all of the lessons and miss a day of school work. Reading and discussing can be done during the hours in which we all feel well enough to do so. This is giving us the opportunity to slow down our days and approach schooling as an activity as natural as daily life.