I have to smile when my children come in from playing and ask me if I will pack them some lunches so they can go outside and have a picnic in their fort. This is the kind of life I’ve always imagined for my kids. As I packed their lunches, I remembered how I use to pack my son’s lunchbox for school and always include the carbohydrate amounts and a sweet little love note for him to encourage him in his day. Since we switched to homeschooling for medical reasons, I have not had as many opportunities to do that anymore.
As I packed the lunches for my children, I labeled everything and decided to include a little love note, too. These sweet little acts of kindness toward those closest to our hearts are the little special times and things they will look back on and remember most. In the hustle and bustle of the season, make sure you keep the focus on what really matters. A sweet word, a love letter, taking meaningful time to spend together, a shared story, going out to a movie, an evening walk…whatever is your favorite way to spend time together…do that!
When was the last time you sent a little love note to lunch with your husband, friend, or your child? It’s never too late to start a new tradtion or spread a little extra love. You never know how you will make someone’s day brighter, if you just take an extra moment to be thoughtful.
It seems this time of year, I am especialy reminded of how quickly my children are growing. There are so many things I still want to teach them and I enjoy the magical moments of this whole Christmas season.
As you are celebrating with your family this time of year, remember that the little things are the big things: A special story shared, an old or new tradition you do together, a favorite song, someone you think about, an act of service for a stranger or a friend…
As my children grow, I am trying to add memories to our list of shared experiences to treasure together and hope this Winter Scavenger Hunt will add to your family memory making. Enjoy this special season of your life!
I love using themes to teach and this time of year, pumpkins are a great resource for teaching how to weigh, measure, estimate, count, identify distinguishing characteristics, and create art designing a Jack-o-lantern. I have taught students from birth through adults using “the real thing” as a source of language development. For many years, I worked as an ESL (English as a Second Language) teacher. That experience, combined with teaching my own children, and public school students in Pre-K through 8th grade has shown me that best teaching practices include hands on, visual, repetition, and engaging instruction. When students are able to think about the results and come up with plans to make their ideas happen, they retain the information and better yet, they apply it in their own lives. I always had the goal of teaching and raising life long learners. What does that mean? Well, to me, it means that I help people learn to think about what they are doing and apply that thinking to their personal lives. It’s not enough to memorize facts, I want students to enjoy learning, use their brains, and want to learn for themselves! There is a Pumpin News resource available for purchase that is an engaging way to use pumpkins as a theme for instruction and engaging learning. I have also had my students eat the pumpkin seeds after we soak, salt and roast them and draw their Jack-o-lantern design on the back of their page before we carve it. What is your favorite Jack-o-lantern design? Write and share it in the comments below!
Fall is such a wonderful time to be learning outside.
Enjoy this fun fall scavenger hunt idea:
Write a list of items you want to search for outside, on a small paper bag. Read the list over with your child. Go outside and check off the items as you find them. Sort and label the objects. Use the language to write a story about your experience. Count each of the items and talk about what makes them similar and different. Then, paint a scene inspired by what you did and use the materials to create a collage.
Enjoy learning and growing in The Great Outdoor Classroom!