Homeschooling Kinder

My eldest is of kinder age and it feels good to do a touch of formal teaching. I admit, I’d rather wait until she is 6. But she is ready. The bulk of our time is outdoors, reading aloud, taking care of the home and each other, but this year we’re easing into a sliver of actual lessons.I’ve broken down what we are doing into weekly/daily goals, weekly/daily rhythms,literature list, seasonal plans, and my overarching goals. This post is really for me, to organize my vision into tangible moments. But I thought I would share for those looking for inspiration! Kinder Fall Semester Plans

Goals

Weekly:

  • 4 morning baskets
  • 3 pages of phonetic/number workbook
  • 5-6 outdoor plays
  • 1 cook/bake together incorporating math concepts

Daily:

  • 5 read-alouds
  • 1 reading lesson
  • outdoor play everyday
  • chicken/garden chores

Extra:

  • 1 art project a week
  • 1 science project a week
  • Quarterly family travel plansRhythms

Weekly:

  • Monday morning basket: Psalm 119 memory work, Just So Stories by Rudyard Kipling, practice ‘telling’- draw a picture while mom reads and ‘tell’ what you remember
  • Wednesday morning basket: Proverb memory work/ book of Proverb, Beautiful Feet Character guide lesson
  • Thursday Morning Basket: Scripture memory, picture books, practice authoring (pick up a pen a let the girls create a story, add illustrations)
  • Friday: nature study/nature co-op meet up or library visit

Daily:

  • Prepare breakfast together
  • Morning basket
  • Outdoor walk/play
  • Chicken/garden chores
  • Lunch/show (I listen to sermons and do dishes)
  • Audio book (for littles)/reading lesson (for Fin) (resource 100 Easy Lessons to Teach Your Child to Read)
  • Nap (I work out/practice keys/ do laundry)
  • Snack/poetry read aloud
  • Prepare dinner/feed twins/listen to Mozart
  • Dinner/ bible read by dad
  • Play with Dad
  • Read My BookHouse with dad before bed

Weekly Extra:

  • Monday: ballet
  • Wednesday: datenight
  • Friday: Family movie night

Fall Literature List:

  • Beautiful Feet Character guide: When God Made You, The Seven Silly Eaters, Obadian the Bold, Rachel and Obadiah, Wilfred Gordon Macdonald Partridge, Last Stop on Market Street, Time of Wonder, When I was Young in the Mountains, Miss Rumphius, Brave Irene, Clown of God
  • 100 Easy Lessons to Teach Your Child to Read
  • Poetry/classic: My BookHouse Vol. 1 & 2,A Children’s Garden of Verses by Robert Louis Stevenson, Just So Stories by Rudyard Kipling
  • Chapter books: Mr. Poppers Penguins
  • Seasonal: October- Wood, Hazel, and Pip, Miss Suzy, Fall Walk, Strega Nona Harvest, Leaf Man, Too Many Pumpkins, Fletcher and the Falling Leaves- November- Cranberry Thanksgiving, Give thanks to the Lord, An Old-Fashioned Thanksgiving, Giving Thanks, The Thanksgiving Story- December- 25 Days of Christ Advent curriculum

Fall Semester Traditions:

  • September: Apple spice painting- October: handmade costume, pumpkin carving/excavation, pumpkin patch visit, fall chalk mural- November: Thanksgiving Tree- December: 25 days of Christ, winter chalk mural, homemade Christmas gifts- January: Read Aloud Revival challenge.

Memory Verses:

  • Psalm 34:1
  • 1 Chronicles 16:34
  • Matthew 6:9-13
  • Matthew 2:10
  • Philippians 4:8
  • Psalm 119
  • Proverbs 1:7-10
  • Matthew 22:36
  • John 3:16

Sarah  Mackenzie at Read Aloud Revival wrote a spectacular book called Teaching from Rest. You can click here to listen to the book club which was pivotal in shaping our homeschool year. The rest of this post is where I draw inspiration and focus when I’m losing it. It’s the vison I’ve cast for our homeschool lives and some notes I jotted down from Sarah’s book club to inspire, challenge, and refocus me throughout the process.

In one of the book club videos Sarah has you envision a scene where one of your children is sitting with colleagues on a business trip and one of them looks over to your child and says “So, you were homeschooled. How was that?” Write down what you want her to say. Here are mine.

Homeschooling was:

  1. Enjoyable/joy-filled/grace-filled
  2. Literacy rich
  3. Immersed in real life
  4. Absorbed in family and friends
  5. Travel/experience oriented
  6. Handy craft/skill heavy
  7. Bible rich
  8. Incredibly bonding
  9. Self-taught/learn how to learn
  10. Time and space to develop interests

Come back to this list when you have too much on your plate and need to take a look at what you really value.Notes from Sarah Mackenzie’s book club

One: To the praise of whom are you working?

  • How to reframe interruptions
  • To build a cathedral in the mist of monotony
  • Bring your basket and all that we have to offer to the Lord. He provides the miracle
  • Rest=the middle place between anxiety and negligence.

Two: Curriculum is not something you buy.

  • Cut back/do less/simplify
  • Know where you are going
  • Clarify your vision
  • Use published resources to support your vision

Three: Be who YOU are.

  • A peaceful and happy mother is the most important ingredient  to homeschooling
  • Comparison is the thief of joy
  • Who am I? And WHOSE am I?
  • Know your strengths and weaknesses
  • Be worth of imitation

Don’t over complicate the process; just let your own passion shine through your everyday life— let it naturally influence your home. — A quote I read in a home care book that I cling to day to day.

What’s A Morning Basket

One question I get asked most on our homeschooling journey is “What’s a morning basket?” It’s encouraging to have other mothers in my life seeking a literacy rich homelife, and lovely habits.

“The mother who takes good care to endow her children with good habits secures for herself smooth and easy days”- Charlotte Mason
I love sharing what works for us. This post is for all those mamas.imageA morning basket is a basket full of books to start the day with important and rich ideas.

“A morning in which a child receives no new idea is a morning wasted”- Charlotte Mason

What’s In the basket:
The bible,remember board, good good books, markers and clipboards, and handwork!imageWe use a basket so that we can sit at the table, or in the reading nest, or have a picnic, or take it to the park etc!

Here’s what we do:
We pray (the girls do to) and we open our bible to a psalm. Right now the girls read a portion of Psalm 119 with me!  They have memorized it over the weeks I’ve read it out loud. We recite our memory verse (which changes every couple of weeks). Sometimes we recite all of our memory verses to keep them fresh. And then I read a small paragraph in the gospel of Matthew (I think we will do Genesis when we finish Matthew).
We use our remember board to draw and recall together what we read in Matthew, and what it means. The girls love to draw Jesus. This is the sweetest and most important part of our day. This is where the girls learn of their need for a Savior.the humming room homeschool art travel music and cooking ideas-8The girls then take turns choosing which book we read next. I typically have a specific author or literary style in our basket (currently, Jan Brett), a few of their unrelated favorites, and non-fiction books that correlate with their interests (currently butteries, the human body, and cicadas)imageI keep clipboards and markers in the basket for the girls to sketch while I read. Observational drawings, authoring and illustrating of their own stories is a fantastic result, but mostly they like to keep their hands busy. I keep small blocks and handwork for my smallest one too!imageThere is no time set for morning basket, it always comes to an end organically. Everyday is different!imageThat’s it! That’s whats in a morning basket. I’d love to hear what’s in yours! For more on how to build your family culture around books click here!

May we do all things to connect with and learn from each other ✨

Building Our Family Culture Around Books

Processed with VSCOcam with m3 presetAll the greatest minds in the world are in books. Amazingly, we have access to all of them! This is quite reassuring as a homeschool mom! There is no special formula to learning that somehow the formal school system has codified. They read books! They assign books to be read! Even at the collegiate level. We have all we need here at home to learn about all the grandest ideas and concepts. If I can build a homeschool around the love of books I have done my job!homeschool building family culture around books ideas-6Something I’m most concerned about at the preschool level is motivation. I want my children to develop an absolute love for books and learning. That way, at the secondary level they have the desire to use the tools at their disposal to soak in all of the concepts available to them!homeschool building family culture around books ideasSO we are reading as often as we can in the most leisurely and enjoyable ways possible! We are building our family culture around books that will carry us through the school years and develop into life long learning.homeschool building family culture around books ideas-21Here is a comprehensive list of HOW!

Environment

What we bring into our home reflects what we value. And children are keen to notice. Mine know that we value books because they are everywhere.  homeschool building family culture around books ideas-16Our reading nest- This is where we gather every morning and every afternoon to pour over books. It’s an inviting comfortable space with cozy pillows, books at their level, and small things for them to do with their hands as they listen to read-alouds.homeschool building family culture around books ideas-31Bed book baskets- each child has a basket in their beds and a flashlight so that they can spend their own time pouring over books!homeschool building family culture around books ideas-22Relevant materials- Whether its an art project, nature study, or block building I try to set up corresponding books with relevant material to add ideas and insight to their work.homeschool building family culture around books ideas-30

color mixing sessionhomeschool building family culture around books ideas-3

clay work building beetleshomeschool building family culture around books ideas-17

swamp sensory play

Limited screen time– This one is huge. I think even as adults we’d rather be watching TV. I’m the worst! And it starts with me. I implemented a rule for myself a while ago that I would only be on my phone during nap and when the kids are asleep. That’s been a huge change. Not only do I engage them like I should, they have a model for what an “unplugged” life looks like. We only watch one 30 minute show each day while the girls eat lunch (other than family movie night). If we want a family culture around books we must push back and set limits. I think adults and children naturally choose TV over books! My kids choose to read, play outside, build blocks, and paint pictures because screen time is not an option.Processed with VSCOcam with p5 presetCarved Out Time

What we spend our time doing reflects what we value. If I carve out large or many parts of the day around reading my children recognize that its something I place value upon.homeschool building family culture around books ideas-15Morning basket- each morning we gather in the reading nest (or outside on a picnic blanket!). We pray, recite memory verses, read through the gospels and pour over book after book. We eat breakfast and draw. The girls take turns choosing a book. They love to take over and “read” either books they have memorized or they “read” the pictures. This is our largest reading session.homeschool building family culture around books ideas-2Tea time- When the girls wake from nap we drink tea in the reading nest and typically read something more classical like Beatrix Potter! The girls adore this time.homeschool building family culture around books ideas-4Frequent the library- We visit the library weekly. We go there to play and meet friends but we love to browse and bring new books home.homeschool mountian painting play ideas-14Bonus

Audio books- This is new one in our home and it’s added so much to our lives. We love to take them in the car and read them over and over again! I made sure to get the picture books with the disk so the girls have physical copies to follow along with. I also grabbed the books that had two copies so that each child could follow along in their carseat. Some of the tracks actually ring a small bell to indicate when to turn the page!!homeschool building family culture around books ideas-29Authoring stories- Every so often the girls and I will write a story together! The last one was about a Princess named Powgee who gets swallowed up by a bad guy named Purdo Gurdo! We later added in illustrations. I laminate each book and add them to our book shelves. The girls love reading the books they’ve written.homeschool building family culture around books ideas-10

homeschool building family culture around books ideas-14Storytelling- This doesn’t happen often because it’s a lot to set up but we have a story telling basket with figurines and props to help us retell a story after we have read it. This goes really well with stories we’ve read over and over.homeschool building family culture around books ideas-9

homeschool building family culture around books ideas-11Encourage pre-reading- When the girls ask to take over the read-aloud I always say yes! And I never correct. Sometimes they read from memory and sometimes they read the pictures (a lot of times its verbatim the text). But what they “read” doesn’t matter. What matters is that they see themselves as readers.homeschool building family culture around books ideas-7Take books on vacation- We always bring a basket of books on vacation. Whether they get read or not. They are a part of our lives!homeschool building family culture around books ideas-23

homeschool building family culture around books ideas-24Build your library- We check out books from the library! You can keep them for 3 weeks but you can renew for around a year or more. We’ve had around 40 books for 6 months. We have a running list of books we MUST own when we return ours. The library is a great way to have many books for free and to find the gems you must own forever.homeschool building family culture around books ideas-18Tips

Tip 1) Start small and  take on one new habit at a time. I accumulated all of these habits one at a time over months and months. I’d start with screen time and the library! homeschool mountian painting play ideas-12Tip 2) Keep the same books for a long time and read them over and over!homeschool building family culture around books ideas-8Tip 3) Read the author and illustrator, the kids will have them memorized and so will you for finding new good books.homeschool building family culture around books ideas-19Tip 4) Give those little hands something to do while you read. They retain so much while eating/drawing/playing. You will be amazed.homeschool building family culture around books ideas-5Tip 5) Have fun!!! If it’s just not working. STOP. Try again later. Reading used to be a source of frustration in our home until I slowly changed our habits. I wouldn’t force it. Don’t do that!homeschool building family culture around books ideas-13For more encouragement/ideas/book-lists  go to read aloud revival! I’m pretty sure Sarah coined the phrase “building your family culture around books” and I just love her. 

May we do all things to connect with and learn from each other ✨

Cultivating Traditions: February

homeschool mountian painting play ideas-5The holidays have graciously left a savory aftertaste for the months to follow. Each day has been sweetly slow and meaningful. Maybe its my perspective or well placed gratitude. Maybe we are truly finding our rhythm.  Truth is, I don’t ever remember being this happy or having this many consecutive “good days” in my LIFE. I am confident, joyful, and settling into my calling as a homeschool mother!

homeschool mountian painting play ideas-21

homeschool mountian painting play ideas-6I think our home and school life really suffer when I’m anxious and uptight or in a hurry. Maybe things are going well because I’m relaxing more and more. I find myself breathing and laughing and playing more. I often recall something my husband once told me, “None of the paint and play dough matter, at the end of the day, when they look back all they will remember is how you treated them.” It’s funny, when I focus on that all the other stuff follows seamlessly. The work has been really meaningful lately and I want more of it. I am starting to see that a slow, relaxed, inviting space is the perfect recipe for meaningful growth and learning.

homeschool mountian painting play ideas-15This month I am focusing most on how I treat my children (and how they treat me and each other). We are planning less in our day and focusing more heavily on what is before us. Mostly slow, meaningful, and ongoing investigation with unlimited book reading!homeschool mountian painting play ideas-17Here are some of the other things we are doing!

We have been gearing up for our first snowy mountain trip to Colorado and have had a blast daydreaming of what it would be.

We made a calendar to count down the dayshomeschool mountian painting play ideas-7We made clay snowmen

homeschool mountian painting play ideas-22We’ve made  colorful, glittery, paper mache mountainshomeschool mountian painting play ideas-23

homeschool mountian painting play ideas-24We chalked a gorgeous whimsical snowscape homeschool mountian painting play ideas-18Then we went on our trip! And it lived up to every part of our imagination. We have decided to make this an annual trip!!

homeschool mountian painting play ideas-9Now that we are home I have a few ideas to invite them to further their questions about the trip!

We will make log houses

homeschool mountian painting play ideas-12(The house we stayed in was a log cabin and Fin was really interested in how it was constructed.)

homeschool mountian painting play ideas-10We will make snow play dough and combine our houses and mountains and log cabins and PLAY!

Maybe this will spark more questions the girls have about the trip!

homeschool mountian painting play ideas-13On another note, my main focus for the next few months is to build our family culture around books. I’d like to talk more about that but will have to make a separate blog post!
We have done a brilliant job scattering books around the house on shelves and in baskets. We’ve carved out plenty of time to linger over books together. But I want more! So we are introducing audio books this month! I cannot wait! I’ve checked out the books with the CD’s from the library (and got an extra copy so both girls can have it in their hands while listening). It’s an exciting time in homeschool world!

homeschool mountian painting play ideas-14I want to close by sharing a small victory that confirms the small decisions we make each day to shape our little ones lives.

One night I passed my girls bedroom (they share one) and was bewildered that they managed to turn their light on. Each night it kept happening and I kept going in to turn it off and reprimand them.  After the third or fourth night I was maddened by it!! Until I realized they were reading (they are pre-readers)… They each have a basket of books in their bed and they couldn’t see the books they were reading!!! How exciting. They really love books. So, we got them flashlights so they can get lost in books each night (for now  I go in for a last call, until they are older they need much rest). Mamas what you are doing day in and day out IS working. Keep at it!Processed with VSCOcam with p5 preset

May we do all things to connect with and learn from each other ✨

Cultivating Traditions: Happy 2016

We are what we repeatedly do. Excellence, therefore, is not an act, but a habit. -Aristotle

the humming room homeschool art crafting childled projectbased homeschooling-10When I think of Tradition two things come to mind. First, the crafts-rituals-experiences each family repeats on a given holiday. And Second, the daily habits a family performs (intentionally or otherwise) that shape and reflect values. If I value a literacy rich environment, for example, it’s important that our daily habits reflect that value and thus it becomes Family Culture. I want our family culture to be excellent.the humming room homeschool art travel music and cooking ideas-8Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is gracious, if there is any excellence and if there is anything worthy of praise, think about these things. Philippians 4:8

the humming room homeschool art crafting childled projectbased homeschooling-6These are things that I want our lives to be marked by and the habits I want to graft in each month for the year of 2016. In the spirit of the new year I guess you could call them resolutions!

Character:

  • Prayerfulness: In the hard and good moments I want to model prayer in front of my children. I want to pray with them when they receive discipline and are heartbroken (or not). And pray in front of them for myself when I mess up and scream and need to ask the Lord and them for forgiveness. I want to rejoice in a joyful moment unabashed. 
  • Minds renewed by the washing of the word: I want to read the bible together each morning discussing the gospel, memorizing scriptures and recalling them in hard times, and listen to good teaching together during down time. I admit these are already solid daily habits in our homes. Nevertheless I’d like to keep them that way!
  • Giving: I want to be a giver of time, money, resources. Adults and children easily giving up the things that we have been so graciously given.
  • Soft words: This one is for me mostly. Soft words for each other and all people.
  • Technology minimalism: I’d like less TV, less phone, less internet, less entertainment etc! Technology should support or crafts, pursuits, and interest not suck out all of our time in mindless entertainment.
  • Discipline: I want to be people that chose to do what is right and good instead of what feels good.
  • Daily Autonomy: The family unit is a great joy and responsibility for all. However, each day I like to carve out time for my children to play independently from my help or concern. It’s important for them to create their own ideas and to govern their own explorations. It’s also an important time for me too. I need to sit and read for pleasure or work on a craft guilt free.

the humming room homeschool art travel music and cooking ideas-5

Craft:

  • Music: My husband is a gifted musician. I wan to make music with our friends and family.
  • Dance: My degree is in dance but I don’t do it often. I’d like to make time to dance myself but mostly together in our dining room (like in the middle of this post my middle and I had a dance party to Adele- more of that.
  • Travel:  We like to explore nature and social studies together in new places.
  • Hand crafting: We love making gifts for others in a time of sorrow or celebrating; sewing, painting, felting, drawing, film, etc.
  • Nature exploration:  Entails collecting, examining, documenting, hypothesizing, pressing, and watercoloring encounters with nature. 
  • Art: Our focus is on outdoor large scale projects, watercolor, observational drawing, sensory/ open-ended art. 
  • Literacy rich: Some of the main portions of our day involves storytelling, tons of reading, authoring and illustrating books together. 
  • Meal making:  I’d like to cook meals together a few times each week and sit down together and linger!
  • Construction: We like to create small worlds with blocks, play dough, loose parts etc., for dramatic play!
  • Ongoing in-depth projects: Each day we try to have workspace and time-slot dedicated to self-directed months long projects!
  • Beer brewing: My husband brews amazing beer. Why don’t we do this more??
  • Farm living: We want to get outside and tend to our chickens, ride horses at Papa Hays, and volunteer at local gardens/farms.

the humming room homeschool art travel music and cooking ideas-7music with friends and family
the humming room homeschool art travel music and cooking ideas-9dancethe humming room homeschool art crafting childled projectbased homeschooling-22travel explorationthe humming room homeschool art travel music and cooking ideas-3hand crafting for those in sorrow and celebrationthe humming room homeschool art crafting childled projectbased homeschooling-3

the humming room homeschool art crafting childled projectbased homeschooling-20nature (pressing)the humming room homeschool art crafting childled projectbased homeschooling-9art workthe humming room homeschool art crafting childled projectbased homeschooling-2beer brewingthe humming room homeschool art crafting childled projectbased homeschooling-7farm livingthe humming room homeschool art travel music and cooking ideas-6

May we do all things to connect with and learn from each other ✨

Cultivating Traditions: January


When I started the Cultivating Tradition series in November it was amidst the holidays. December naturally flowed next but now it’s January. Are/can there be traditions for the month of January? Not in the way of holiday where we celebrate an event on the same day each year but in the sense that as a family we are adding new habits or traditions each month that we want to carry out each day for the rest of our lives. Holiday crafts are whimsical and fun but what traditions do we want to define our lives.

the humming room homeschool art crafting childled projectbased homeschooling-21Here are the the habits we are committing to for the month of January:

Beer Brewing

My husband is a gifted brewer. This is one more way for the girls to spend quality time with their father while learning a difficult and thrilling trade. Science, math, creativity, determination, and entrepreneurship are just a few of the concepts that will be gleaned from this family activity!the humming room homeschool art crafting childled projectbased homeschooling-7Authoring stories 

A few morning baskets ago we relocated our time from the reading nest to the bed because the girls were sick. In attempts to keep the girls still for a few moments longer (and to prolong the turning on of yet another movie) I grabbed a pen and paper and we spun a story together. So far it’s about a princess named Powgee who  finds herself swallowed up by a bad guy named Purdo Gurdo. Only to sneeze herself out of his belly and into the forest. She then spreads her sparkly wings and flies away… I look forward to see what happens to Princess Powgee. I’d like to add this practice to our morning basket (if the interest and excitement continues). I’d love to add illustrations in later and make them into a book of short stories!!the humming room homeschool art crafting childled projectbased homeschooling-8On-going project Studying Pagosa Springs

It’s  my desire to carve out space most everyday for self-directed projects. The girls choose the idea, materials, plan, execution, and revisions to an ongoing project. This is a new concept for us and my girls are young so this month I’m modeling the process with a topic they are super interested in. The day we told them we were going to the mountains for a snowy ski trip they have asked everyday when we are leaving. The first aspect on the agenda is to make a calendar together to give them a tangible representation of when we are leaving to alleviate frustration. And I foresee observational drawings, trips to the library, constructing landscape and cities etc.!

the humming room homeschool art crafting childled projectbased homeschoolingMaking meals together

Food is an after-thought in our home. And I like it that way. We graze as we work on projects, pursue interest, and enjoy each other. That being said, I see the value in making and having meals together as a family. It doesn’t fit our life to do that every day but I’d like to stir, mix, measure, cook, gather, pray, eat and talk together a few times a week.the humming room homeschool art travel music and cooking ideas-2Story telling with Beatrix Potter at Tea Time

Each afternoon we gather around tea and treats to linger over classical authors. Beatrix Potter and E.B. White have been dear friends to us. We received the most gorgeous complete collection of Beatrix Potter that we cannot put down! The same dear friend, and homeschool mom, who gifted them to us also imparted great wisdom on the value of story telling. I look forward to adding little figurines to our experience and to retell together the most beautiful stories ever written for children. the humming room homeschool art crafting childled projectbased homeschooling-2
Daddy school

Some encouraging fathers, looking to encourage their homeschooling wives, have asked me how they can assist their wives in the process. I present to you Daddy School.

the humming room homeschool art travel music and cooking ideasEach day when daddy comes home Daddy School starts. My wonderful husband takes over. He takes the children out to gather eggs from the coop. He asks them about their day and is available to them for the next few hours before they go to bed. Ideally this time will be spent working on his projects with them or him working on their projects with them. For now its mostly spent wrestling (per the girls request) which I’m fine with. This is when the girls get special story time to the sound of their daddies voice. And are prayed over by him and tucked into bed by him. It’s a very precious time I know they will always remember. I get to spend all day with them. These hours are invaluable. It’s also a very important time for me to step back and work on my own, read for enjoyment, take a bath, whatever. Again Invaluable.

Well there you have it! That’s our January.

For more on our family culture for the year of 2016 click here!

May we do all things to connect with and learn from each other ✨

Mud Kitchen

At the beginning of spring, when the world is puddle-wonderful, as E.E. Cummings put it.

the humming room reggio mud kitchen outdoor playI got the wild idea in my head that we MUST have a mud kitchen. The girls NEEDED a place to build mud pies. With some old crates and decorative finds from the local thrift store, my husband graciously brought my vision into reality. We are tickled… brown?

the humming room reggio mud kitchen outdoor playOf course, mud is messy/sensory play, a very important type of play, but it’s certainly not just that. Fin carefully counts out how many shiny rocks she can find for her special cake. She engages in sequential processing as she lists the steps: Find dirt, add water, gather ingredients, mix, bake.

“Play is the highest form of research.” – Albert Einstein

the humming room reggio mud kitchen outdoor sensory playFin gains understanding of how different materials meld together. The feathers float while the rocks sink. In the goopy mud the sticks stand straight up. The sun dries the pie out and water makes it goopy again.

The intention of the learning environment is to give children exposure to a range of materials, resources and experiences that give them practice in skill refinement, in language development, in creativity, and in play.” – Kathy Walker

the humming room reggio mud kitchen outdoor sensory and literacy playShe writes her ingredients down and hangs her recipe in her space as she works. Who knew mud could be a literary practice?

the humming room reggio mud kitchen outdoor sensory and litaracy play
“Play gives children a chance to practice what they are learning.” – Mr. Rogers

Dramatic play, another pre literacy practice, unfolds as Fin acts out real life scenarios. She bakes her pie in the oven, watching it get hot, and careful pulls the “hot” pan out of the oven.  Only to put it in again because its not quit finished yet. She expresses her ideas as she narrates her play.the humming room reggio mud kitchen outdoor sensory and dramatic play“Let’s bake another, we need a timer”.
the humming room reggio mud kitchen outdoor sensory and dramatic play 
“Let’s sing happy birthday”, “First we need candles”. “Sister when is your birthday? Let’s make a cake for you”
the humming room reggio mud kitchen outdoor sensory play
“Play is often talked about as if it were a relief from serious learning. But for children play is serious learning. Play is really the work of childhood.” –  Fred Rogers

Mundane tasks, that we as adults take for granted, are works full of wonderment for children. Washing gathered goodies from the garden is a treasured moment for youngsters, especially when shared with friends.the humming room reggio mud kitchen outdoor garden playDear E.E. Cummings, 

We have had a “mud-luscious” spring indeed.

May we do all things to connect with and learn from each other ✨