We school year round with a goal of 3-4 active days per week. That gives us the flexibility to take days off – or even weeks – when things come up. This summer we took a little more time off than that, and so we’re playing a bit of catch up. After company was gone for the summer, I sat down and we formulated some goals to accomplish by Christmas, the first two being the biggest:
- 50 math lessons each
- 16 (week) Learning Language Arts Through Literature (LLTA) Lessons
- Complete current spelling book (approx 60 lessons)
- Complete current science program (approx 8 week lessons)
In the first 10 days, they had barrelled through 23 math lessons and 7 LLTA each. Whoa. Here’s the thing: We’re not even losing sleep over this right now. We’re still maintaining and working the homestead, playing to our heart contents outdoors & in, reading any of box of new books we just got for them (not to mention the bigger box Grandma Chris brought!), and baking like there’s no tomorrow. Oh, and did I mention arts & crafting, making messes and cleaning up constantly? Imagine if we were doing only school 8 hours a day… They’d have graduated at this rate!
I don’t want to push the kids so hard that they don’t retain what they learn or get stressed, but you have to keep in mind: I didn’t set the pace. They are self-motivated, resourceful littles who soak up the world like a sponge. Why would I discourage them? I suspect the next few years will bring continued accelerated learning if it’s up to them.
In order to combat my concerns that they’re learning too much too fast (ha!), I’m trying to shake things up with extra activity and projects that will stimulate creativity and fun. Yesterday, we studied cats. No, not the furry purr-y kind. The wild eats kind. We are studying Cattail & Cat’s Ear. We watched videos, hiked and collected, drew pictures and made cards.
We didn’t accumulate a lot of information on Cats Ear (or often called “false dandelion”), as we’re pretty familiar with it. We learned a few techniques to decipher it against a true dandelion. For one, Cats Ear does not have a hollow stem like Dandelion. They’re similar nutritionally, and can be used the same, tho’ their stems steamed make yummier eats because of their heartiness. They’re are rich in antioxidants and minerals, vitamin A & K and iron.
The roots and tender stems can be eaten, as well as the pollen and young flower heads – all prepared different ways. They say cattail contains 4x’ more vitamin C than an orange (weight for weight?). It’s high in iron. It contains phosphorus, vitamin K, B6, calcium, magnesium, potassium and manganese. One of the cool parts about cattail is that you can use the pollen as a flour alternative, or use the flowers picked off. It takes a lot of pollen to get a little flour, but if you use the flower, it adds up quick! Check out this video and you’ll see what I mean. Gonna do it. And make something. Just to see what it’s like!