Summer has (finally) ended and we are slowly moving into shorter, colder, darker days. Sure, we still sometimes have days where we barely need a jacket, but all the signs are there. The leaves are falling, frost is on the windows in the morning, and the heat is on. During this transition, we have a cluster of family-centered holidays– Halloween, All Saints Day, and All Souls Day. Other traditions and cultures have similar holidays– Samhain, Day of the Dead. These are the three we choose to celebrate because they are part of our own cultural heritage.
Always, we begin again.
Yesterday, I had a whole lovely blog post about owls… and my WordPress ate it. It was all rather frustrating, as it took almost three times as long as the amount of time I had carved out for it, and so I decided to walk away for a little and try again today. As I tell my children, it is ok to walk away from something if it is frustrating you. That gives you space to decide what to do next. And so… here we are. Owls. Take two.
Calendar of the Soul
[September 16, 2017 – September 22, 2017]
There dims in damp autumnal air
The senses’ luring magic;
The light’s revealing radiance
Is dulled by hazy veils of mist.
In distances around me I can see
The autumn’s winter sleep;
The summer’s life has yielded
Itself into my keeping.
I looked out the hallway window this morning and was saw a shock of red among the green. Halfway through September, and the leaves are changing their color. The air smells different. It’s still hot, but it’s a different kind of hot than the heat of summertime. There’s an air of transition about.
Whoops! Forgot all about the autumn creatures last week, so here we go!
Pumpkin Soup by Helen Cooper
We just bought this one at Barnes and Noble, and the twins love the adventures of Duck, Cat, and Squirrel. They were disappointed it didn’t include a recipe for pumpkin soup! Do you have one?
You can hear the store read here in a lovely accent.
Yonie Wondernose by Marguerite de Angeli
This is a Caldecott Honor Book and the twins are fascinated by the “medal” on the cover. I always like to point it out to them, telling them that the illustrations in this book are sooooo wonderful that it won an award. That always gets their attention!
We’re looking at Jackson Pollock’s Autumn Rhythm painting this week. It’s the first time we’ve spent focused time at abstract art, and the twins were intrigued. We had a focused exploration of the piece, trying to find beginning and ends of lines, looking for where they crossed and tangled and became something new. Tracing the lines led to some discussion of mazes, a rabbit trail I would like to follow. There are lots of free printable mazes online, but I don’t think that’s the direction I’d like to do. Maybe we’ll use blocks to build mazes– it’s a shame we don’t still have a hamster in the family! Our Hexbug phase has come and gone, but maybe we can build a maze for hexbugs. Or I could always get out the marble run. Although I’m not looking for worksheet activities, I might make an exception for these number mazes— Matthew especially loves dot markers.
I started noticing how climate change was affecting our area a few years ago. Some trees started losing their leaves and they began falling in August, and others held on to their leaves forever. And it’s several weeks into October and I’m only just now taking the air conditioners out of the windows, but I’ve had to turn the heat on as well. There doesn’t seem to be a whole lot of in-between, open the windows, jacket weather anymore. I planned on this being leaf week, but it’s hard to find pretty colored leaves, at least near our house. They’re either dead already or still green. Luckily there are some days off school this week, so we may have to go leaf hunting.