Monday, August 30, 2010

Autumn is Calling

We've had beautiful weather the last few days -- cool and breezy with the scent of autumn in the air.  The leaves even sound different now... more crisp and crackly as the days grow shorter and summer comes to a close.

I love this time of year.  The cooler temperatures pull me into contemplative mode.  We're starting school on Wednesday and while I'm eager to hit the books, instead we're taking it slow.  Our first week back will be a short one -- just welcoming the school year and setting up the classroom with warm colors and textures, natural materials, and symbols of the season.

I'm delighted to announce that Oak Meadow is sponsoring Om School this year.  We're using their full First Grade curriculum (check out a sample here) and I'm looking forward easing into the year with artistic projects including knitting, drawing, painting, music, and cooking.  As always, we'll integrate our studies into the natural flow of daily activities... but this year I'm less eager for A. to display her mental talents -- and more excited about giving her opportunities for expressing herself artistically.

Like a lot of parents, I accepted the idea that an early start at education was the best thing for my child.  I rushed into reading and writing thinking that stimulating her mind early on was a healthy developmental choice.  But as time went by, I began to see that just because she could grasp the phonics and early math didn't mean that she should.  In the last year, I've come to agree with the sentiments expressed by OM, "a child is more than an intellect... and it makes a great difference in a child's balanced growth if the mind is forced into development too early." 

As always, our objective is to cultivate a wise heart.  This year I'm hoping to honor that pursuit in an even more nurturing environment -- one that supports an imaginative spirit and is "closer to the heart of a child than a more intellectual approach."  I'm grateful for the support we've found on our journey and looking forward to sharing our adventures with you here.  Autumn is calling!
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