Now, as you know, I just love to compile big lists of ideas for the seasons (both natural and liturgical), and I gather ideas from various resources (books and magazines, etc.), but mostly from my own deep appreciation of the seasons themselves. I've been keeping these lists, and nurturing this passion, since I was a young girl, so I guess you could say seasonskeeping is a longtime hobby of mine! :)
And lists are always wonderful things, but taking all those general ideas and turning them into specific actions (moving them from the list to our life) takes a little extra thought and planning. In other words, looking over my "late autumn" list and seeing inspirational thoughts like "cranberries," "nests" and "evergreens" is one thing - but scheduling activities like "sketch cranberries for nature log," "go on a nest walk," and "visit a tree farm" is the essential next step.
(Actually, taking those broad themes and brainstorming possible activities based on those themes comes next - then we can pick and choose and fit those ideas into our week.)
But of course, our weeks are already so busy! So how do we fit in all (or just some of) these "extras?"
Well, this could (and probably will) spark a whole post on managing our household in such a way that we make time for the extras, but for today I'll just focus on this one thing ...
I find it very helpful to assign seasonal "themes" to our weeks.
It's often (though not always!) as simple as that.
By doing this, I find it a little easier to fit fun seasonal activities into what is, assuredly, an already jam-packed week. These activities are usually simple things that connect us in some way with the season at hand. And here's another key - they involve all different aspects of our everyday life. An activity might fit into our home learning, or it might become a fun family outing, while many ideas are simply worked into my weekly homekeeping (baking, cleaning and such).
The end result (hopefully) is in keeping our children aware of the natural world and in tune with the rhythm of the seasons - in a casual, yet memorable way.
So this week - when the leaves are tumbling down and the trees are just about bare - our theme is "nests and hibernation."
Next week (Thanksgiving week), we'll work in a "cranberries" theme.
And the week after that, we'll visit the Christmas tree farm, so our assigned seasonal theme will be "evergreens."
These are all easy but meaningful connections ~ and simple, good fun!
Now, I have an outline of themes that mostly get repeated year to year, (seasons may change, but they're comforting in their familiarity and renewal), but as the children mature I change up our activities and focus. I'm currently outlining next year's weekly themes, and I will share them here just as soon as I can.
Also, later today (or possibly tomorrow) I'll post my cranberry week ideas here ... right now I'm just finishing up my weekly planning as I sit here by the fire, sipping coffee and admiring the rising sun with my Earlybird. We're both feeling so much better and this day feels so full of promise!
(From EB himself, as he peers out a cracked-open familiy room window: "Mama! Come here and smell this wonderful morning air!" How that warms my heart! For the verbal skill as well as the heartfelt expression! That's seasonskeeping at work right there, my friends!)
So I hope you all have a nice Friday ... I'll be back here again in a bit.