Evocative Press

Insights and inspirations of a homeschooling mother and a full-time homemaker

Great video on outdoor preschool!

Feb 16 2012
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This is a great 20 min. video on outdoor preschool in Norway, that I came across via the yahoo group. Even though it’s unpleasantly wet and cold, the children seem to have so much fun. Love the statement – “There’s no such thing as bad weather, except bad clothes!” This really encouraged me to brave the cold and sometimes damp weather we have here in Delhi. Also, great ideas on what one can do outdoors with 3 to 5 year old children. Their little brains maturing without the pressure of formal lessons.

Nailing the fundamentals in preschooling

Feb 12 2012
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As I embark on a Charlotte Mason journey with my preschooler… to able to grasp her educational outlook and going through her homeschooling six volume series can seem quite extensive to absorb in a short time. The books are meant for snacking on over a period of time, although I wish I could gorge on in one or few meals – take in her entire philosophy in one sitting. But I know that each volume when read piecemeal can provide a steady diet of encouragement and instructions. But this could take years before I complete all six volumes and just about scratch the surface of what she is trying to say. This is why I really love Ambleside Online: besides that wonderful free curriculum that it is, it has systematically organized resources to help me get started on the right note. And all this for free! Comes courtesy of the Advisory, a group of moms that have selflessly put this together, just encouraged by the fact that such an education might influence the next generation! They do benefit from the pooled research and information as they homeschool as well.

Having said all this I, by no means, suggest substituting reading the homeschooling series for all that Ambleside Online has to offer. Actually, the website includes a link to the series and encourages us to read them!

The three links that I found helpful to comprehend and align with her philosophy for a preschooler:

The booklist for year0

Schedule for Year 0

Also going through the FAQ page answered a lot my queries!

From what I get from reading the above links… in the early years, rather than on academics, parents are to zero in on “ many relations waiting to be established….” (vol 6, pp.72-7) as in with the earth, plants and trees, animals and birds, human affinities, and their relationship with God. The rest will come! This seems enormous in itself. Botony, ornithology, socioeconomics etc. all in preschool?? But, all this is to be accomplished through simple interactions.

These years are also to fence my authority as a parent and concentrate on habit formation that of obedience, imagination, cleanliness etc. I hope to explore this area a bit more.

My next goal is ensuring Nathan has a lot of outdoor times so as to let him explore and acquaint himself with natural objects first-hand. Working with concrete objects with the real world rather than the pseudo manipulated kind that of the Montessori approach.

The preschool years, a.k.a. Year 0 – birth to age 6 – is also said to be a great time to get the extras rooted in. Extras include poetry, composer study, classical music, folk music, art study, hymns, foreign language.

Rephrasing a quote from Charlotte “Away with books, tell stories instead during the first few years!” I really find it hard adhering to this entirely. However, I love the idea of narrating bible stories than reading them. But books, I can’t dispense with! Anyway it’s more the panorama of pictures that is the problem not the reading in itself. From what I get, substituting books for outdoor activities is what’s discouraged.

Having got a gist of what I should be doing I hope to chronicle, here a little, there a little, as I go along.

 

When life presses in!

Feb 2 2012
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Being a mother is such a wonderful gift from the Lord and something most women have a deep longing for. Pregnancy, the whole experience in anticipation of a baby…. those who have been through it will testify how joyful and magical it can be. And finally, the moment when you hear the first cry of your new born!!!!!! Oh, words cannot express the joy!!!

This time, when I got to know that I was pregnant…..the excitement and the delight!!! This was in the first week of December. Felt extremely nauseous to the point I just couldn’t eat my own food…. eventually dropped cooking altogether!! The things family and I myself put-up with….. all for the sake of the one in anticipation!!! I really enjoyed all the pampering from my husband and my mother, and not to mention my friends in church!!

In January, my husband had to visit his home town for a while, and my mom left for Mumbai for some work. So it was my dad, my sister, my son and myself! My dad, who is suffering from cancer really needs someone to assist him, with the whole diet regime, supplements and juices that he has to take. I really enjoyed spending time with him, reading the bible and having discussions together which we really like doing as a family.

My visit to the doctor was due, was not very comfortable with the present doctor and wanted to see Dr. Urvashi Sehgal instead at Phoenix. It was the day before my husband arrived that I talked to him and on an impulse, I think it was more an instinct that drove me, went to do the Ultra Sound test for viability as written by the doctor(because of a previous miscarriage, the doc said that the test was only to satisfy my conscience). All my excitement and expectancy…all thwarted in just that hour!! It was my twelfth week and the baby was formed no more than six. My heart skipped a beat to hear this….being all alone, my husband and my mother both were out of town. The things that raced through my mind: what did I do wrong?? I should have done this….and I should have taking that… I wish I had taken rosemary teas…. and so on! I was quickly reminded not to go down that route! Think of it… there are many that do everything wrong and still deliver perfectly normal babies. Look at Rachel Crow, the X factor contestant, who was born a crack baby, her biological mother was on crack cocaine in her pregnancy… think of the threat to the fetus!! And yet, in spite of her mother being incautious, look at her now! No disabilities, a well behaved teenager with a deep affection toward her adoptive mother! Really since I would like to try again, condemning myself will take me nowhere, however focussing on nourishing my body for the next try seems more like it!

This was not my first miscarriage, my second. (However, I am so thankful that I am blessed with a son, 3yrs. now) My first miscarriage was traumatic, multiple reasons for that. One, definitely was my wrong perception to the whole episode. Believe me, I have learnt my lesson the hard way… a right perception is the key if you want to sail through a storm. Or rest assured you WILL be shipwrecked!

In such a time…. I have to say that I am blessed with a wonderful church…. a great circle of selfless friends, more than ever willing to be there. When I spoke to Probhita (my friend, my Pastor’s wife) from the hospital, she said, “ I’m just leaving right now” There is no better place to be than in the church’s wing… hanging around the people of God, those who genuinely care and bolster your faith, and being under good teaching to uplift you and fortify your mind in a storm.

I view this as from the hand of the Lord. It’s so reassuring, that He is more than able to give me my hearts desire! Just trusting God about everything! I could very well waste a lot of time thinking: Why did this happen, especially the second time? Could it happen again? But, what I have come to learn is that there is no better way to be comforted than to know (really understand) that God is in control. JUST TRUST HIM, specially when it’s beyond your power to do anything! The only solution to life’s problems: I say it again TRUST HIM. I think I missed this truth the first time and suffered serious consequences. I hate to admit it but it is true! So now, I always want to view life (the everyday and more so the unexpected trials) as an opportunity presenting itself to exercise faith, trusting in the plan of God!

There are so many that go through miscarriages with no support from family. And I…. I feel so blessed to have such a wonderful husband that loves me and was such a support to me. He gave me a day off to just wallow in any thing I desired. Fixed breakfast, lunch and dinner, took care of Nathan. This whole week, he fixed breakfast for the family! I felt totally pampered. Friends in church eager to lend a helping hand! My mom, cooking some of my old time favorites! I am truly, extraordinarily blessed!

So as I move on and the storm subsides, my comfort verse for this season:

Proverbs 3:5 – 6 “Trust in the Lord with all thine heart; lean not unto thine own understanding. In all thy ways acknowledge him, and he shall direct thy paths.”

One more thing…there’s one advice on anyone that has had a miscarriage- opt for a D&C and not the misoprostol pills. But just ensure you have an experienced doctor doing it. Taking the pills in my first miscarriage really wore me out! Going through the D& C was a breeze!