Then followed that beautiful season... Summer....
Filled was the air with a dreamy and magical light; and the landscape
Lay as if new created in all the freshness of childhood.
~Henry Wadsworth Longfellow
This summer has kept us close to home. We’ve had a lot of rain here, and the humidity and heat have been intense. This summer in particular has been less about going and more about being slowly, surely in the moment. I am learning, yet again, to relax into life and the riches that exist around us, overhead, beneath our feet.
This summer is a time of re-attunement. In fact, each season plays a vital role in our lives and “how we homeschool,” and this summer is so hot and humid we can’t help but slow down, and that is turning out to be a good thing. We are free! We are free to create our lives and form them to our environment without wasting energy fighting it.
We are also free to choose to live from the place that makes the soul sing, shifting for balance and perspective as we move along. We all define the center ground of our existence, consciously or unconsciously. We all define that center for ourselves or allow others to do that for us.
We center on who we are as individuals, and that is fluid and adaptable. Each child, each person in our family is on a life long learning trip that no curriculum or “program of study” could pre-define. We’ve taken the center of our being away from the “experts” that define “shoulds” and “ought to be’s” and have brought it home to each individual person, where we believe it rightfully belongs.
As homeschool activities have for the most part wilted in the heat and yoga and music class have been closed for the season, we have turned more inward, and my children are totally immersed in home life and best friends. They are immersed in the abundance of summer critters that we are encountering in our own yard, Webkinz, Webkinz play, critter play and best friends. And, as our world has grown smaller, it has become bigger in a microcosmic way.
Immersion is one way that my children learn. They delve into the microcosmic world quite a bit. They have always been immersionists. When a person becomes immersed, they are in fact empowered in themselves at the core and in their own learning. They live in it and own it. They may seriously delve. They may play in it, and isn’t it great that play doesn’t have to stop after age 5? I know of no richer way to learn than to live out a want to know through immersion.
What has become clear to me over the past 4 years of “homeschooling” is that the world is alive and interconnected. Immersion brings it all together in a natural way. There is no “subject” or interest that is completely and totally isolated from other “subjects” or interests. Eventually, they intermingle and spawn a living network of learning.
Usually, when I think I can bear no more of an interest, someone discovers another. They may move on for the most part. They may revisit time and time again. My children have never completely left an interest. I knew that critters would come back again when they literally came back again and was looking forward to our first sightings this year. My children taught me to appreciate them, and I began to miss the crawling, swimming, sliming, jumping, flying creatures in my house!
This summer has me sitting back in my lounge chair and watching it all take place (making my usual library runs and helping the kids create habitats here and there, fishing Google for all kinds of relevant tidbits, visiting friends), and as I am seeing the earth ripen with all it’s goodness, I am seeing my children ripen further in themselves, as children naturally were designed to do.
This summer has reminded me to tune in and relate to life and my children as if time, space and moments matter. It has taught me that quality of experience matters, time to immerse and play matters (and produces richly); and although fall may bring a different pace and tone to our days, we will always homeschool as if it were summer. I see little need to do otherwise.
Robin lives and learns with her two children (ages 6 and 9) and husband in Salamander Creek Habitat. She considers herself a budding naturalist and spiritual eclectic who enjoys celebrating the wheel of the year with her own unique blend of earth-centered world traditions.