I’d normally start this post with “So we’ve been hard at work with Mother Goose Time….”, but that’s just not the case this month. Sure we started out strong. But it wasn’t long before we lost momentum. Sure we still love it. But it just didn’t work for us this month. That’s just how it goes sometimes. November’s theme was still super cute and covered all of the typical things covered in a month of Mother Goose Time. But the month’s theme focused on all things rainforest. That turned out to be a problem for us in this particular month. Academically speaking there’s nothing wrong with the material. But with all the pumpkin spice in the air and snow falling twice already outside our window none of us could get in the “tropical” mood. Our minds have been on pilgrims and leaves and turkeys and Native Americans and harvests. We’re just a very seasonal family. We like to eat in season when possible and soak up the sights and sounds unique to each season. Perhaps it’s the farming spirit coming out in us all, but we’ve grown accustomed to appreciating each season for what it has to offer.
We tried to get into frogs and jaguars and canopies and emergent layers of the rainforest. But it just never stuck. We were just going through the motions. So, I put my carefully and neatly organized Mother Goose Time binder aside and embraced the kids’ (and my own) desire to nurture the holiday spirit.
Last year’s holidays were such a whirlwind for us with all the farmhouse business happening and the unexpected move to another state 3 days after Christmas. Thanksgiving, Christmas, and New Year’s were a total blur and exhausting. We weren’t able to embrace any of the traditions and special moments that come with those holidays because our minds were too caught up on our giant to-do lists. We simply survived them.
So, this year, when we felt the spirit of the holidays coming on early we ditched the curriculum and the lesson planner and we started our holiday enjoyment the first week of November. We’ll still be “doing school” but it will involve lots of baking and crafting and harvest/christmas/winter themed material. We’re squeezing every bit of thankfulness out of this season that we can.
I’m excited for December’s theme with Mother Goose time because I think it will be easier to incorporate into our relaxed holiday themed school. Winter Wonderland sounds like just what we need to “school in season.” Even though it’s not technically “holiday” themed I think it will be easier to embrace lessons about the cold while it’s cold outside our window. And, while the kids are little I think it’s important to nurture their interests. And this year, they have a very big holiday interest. I think they’ll likely squeeze in all the activities we missed last holiday season with what’s already planned for this year.
I won’t even mention how many times we’ve already watched A Charlie Brown Christmas or Home Alone on DVD. Or how much egg nog is already in my fridge.
**Update: Our Winter Wonderland box arrived right after I wrote this post and it is JUST what we needed. Oh man. I’m so pumped. The country of the month is Nepal and I’m already dreaming of prayer flags strung up across our schoolroom and Yukon Cornelius and Abominable Snowman as our holiday/Himalaya tie-in for the month. I can’t wait to show you the awesome map book I picked up the other day at the library that serendipitously has the BEST map of Nepal ever, ever, amen. I’m going right now to map out the month!