Tuesday, June 26, 2018

My year as Everett's teacher comes to an end.

I always feel a bit more reflective in June than in January at the start of a new calendar year when we are supposed to set new goals and intentions. I think it is because I have always been a student or a teacher, so June has marked the end of a school year. Every June has brought a feeling of wanting to stay a little bit longer in what has become familiar and comfortable over the past school year instead of transitioning to what is next.

This June, my sabbath year is coming to an end. For the 2017-2018 school year, I gave myself a new job description: create a beautiful childhood for my kids. I let go of trying to do it all, and gave myself permission to spend this year focusing on my family and not feeling guilty about not doing more for the world. Looking back, it went by so incredibly fast, and I can’t believe it is over. I think I surprised myself by how much I enjoyed this year.

I am not going back to work next year, but we decided to sign Everett up for a Montessori preschool two days a week, so our year of being together all the time and me being his teacher is over. After next year, he will be in kindergarten all day every day. I am realizing how short this time of life with little kids is. It is all consuming, our house is constantly a mess, and it is hard sometimes to even have a conversation with my husband until the kids are asleep, but, it turns out that I really love this season. I have found joy in spending my days with my kids, joy in the everyday beauty of life, joy in slowing down, and joy in creating a preschool experience at for my kids at home.


This lesson came about because of a love of the Magic School Bus books. Everett has been obsessed with the Magic School Bus books for awhile now. Every time we see a yellow school bus, he jokingly exclaims, "Mom, look, it's Miss Frizzle. I wonder where they are going on a field trip to today." The books inspired us to have a school unit about the five senses and anatomy, which then inspired me to plan field trips. We went on most of the field trips during The Big Exchange, so we got into the museums for free. For our first five senses field trip, we went to the New Children's Museum, which is sensory overload in the best way possible. For our second five senses field trip, we drove up to Carlsbad to eat artisan donuts (taste), look at public murals (sight), and go to the Museum of Making Music (sound). For our third field trip we went to smell all the roses at the Balboa Park Rose Garden.

Books we checked out from the library and enjoyed:


First, we read The Magic School Bus Explores the Senses. Then, I traced Everett on butcher paper, and cut him out. Everett and Cambria colored him, and then Everett glued on the five senses. This is him showing it to Cambria when she woke up from her nap:

To use our senses, we did some activities at home.
Touch: I made them a sensory tray with cotton balls, fuzzy balls, pipe cleaners, rubber bands, popsicle sticks, and metal cookie cutters. Everett felt everything and described it using his sense of touch. Then, I added play dough and they played. 
Taste and smell: I made a plate of food including grapefruit, lime, chocolate chips, peanut butter chips, strawberry, blueberry, blackberry, banana, carrot, chocolate chip cookie, and nuts. Everett smelled each item and described the scent. Then, he tasted it and described the taste. This was surprisingly fun for him. 
Sound: Everett used his sense of hearing to guess what was in the plastic eggs (pasta, beans, rice, cotton balls, coins, popcorn kernels), and then he and Cambria had a dance party with the egg shakers.
First, we read The Magic School Bus Has a Heart and The Magic School Bus Inside the Human Body. Then, I gifted Everett and Cambria a small anatomy toy, which they both loved and have played with several times. 
Everett added organs to his body. Don't mind the placement of the lungs in his armpit. Our learning is a process. 

Five Senses field trip #1: The New Children's Museum
Five Senses field trip #2: street art, donuts, and The Museum of Making Music
Field trip #3: Balboa Park rose garden to smell all the roses. 
Everett wanted to take pictures too, so here are a few that he captured at the rose garden:

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