learning through letter writing… and lasting friendship


when Lily was on her way to two years old, we pulled up in the fringes of Fremantle WA to make our home for a while. We initially house sat for friends of ours and then stayed on for a few weeks after their return. Their wee boy Fern was only four weeks older than Lily and soon these two where playing, cooking, working, eating, walking, peeing and making mischief companionably alongside each othergrrrumpy faces

 

We nicknamed them straighty and curly (their hair) and told funny stories about their adventures.. during the years we lived nearby, they surely where besties and devoted fans of the Amazing Drumming Monkeys! {do you like all my made-up words?}

the adventures of straighty and curly

we’ve all had a lot of adventures since then, but the connection is alive in our hearts and when I sat letter writing during the week, Lily joined me to write to Fern who now lives in NZ.lily writing to fern

We haven’t seen him since late 2008 but the occasional letter or gift or joke passes over the sea between them.

Lily drew in pencil on the pillow case and I carefully embroidered the artwork. Age 4

Lily drew in pencil on the pillow case and I carefully embroidered the artwork. Age 4

shortly after our arrival in NZ, they haven't seen each other for a year

shortly after our arrival in NZ, they haven’t seen each other for a year

I was quietly hopefull this letter writing would go without frustration (hers) and outwardly, gently encouraging as Lily focused in on this task. She has only recently begun writing more than a few words spontaneously and she seemed abit daunted by the long blank page. Enthused, but asking me to help her decide what to write, she eventually decided to write about her life because he doesn’t know what she’s been doing. {dear Fern I live in a bus it is powered on blueberry gas… thats 8 year old humor for you}After the first paragraph she copies jokes down for him to giggle over, and then drew a cartoon story on the back about life in the bus and so it became a good laughing session and I was so pleased to see her persistence and interest and enjoyment of the ink flowing onto the page, even if some of it was blobs.

Sometimes I am anxious about her ‘official educating’ when she has spent so much time absent from school, yet we have not officially taken up the homeschool banner. I question whether she is stimulated enough or if her skills are developing as they need to. I doubt myself and my ability to guide her along the paths of interest and learning and sometimes wonder if she is simply bored bored bored! I fall into the trap of comparison with other families and how they get on with their lives and education, I worry and celebrate and come up with great ideas and sometimes am at a complete loss.

So you see, when these moments happen and I am shown how naturally her writing and punctuation and word structure and creative writing have developed without formal classes I am so, so excited! From last week to this her skill has remarkably improved in this area, and since this day of letter writing she has written a few more short stories and in depth captions to her illustrations. {she had a fever over the weekend and I do have to wonder about the picture from Anthroposophy in which children often come out of a fever having grown or developed or moved into a new place, or something fantastic like that}

tree monkeys

cheeky happy monkeys!

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the stump in the garden became the centre of long imaginative plays involving fairies and diggers

 

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in Mike Lillian’s {wind willow basketry} abundant woven garden

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I have subscribed to this wonderful blog Simple Homeschool {never let your schooling interrupt your education}

Here I find writings which are so encouraging with regards to some of these struggles I have. One point which  is  repeated is along these lines

“the connection and relationship and enjoyment of each other take priority over

getting the comma in the right place every time”

And so, I am enthused and inspired about this child’s learning which evolves in front of me, mirrored by my own personal learning amidst it all. Particularly the gift of humour!

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did you enjoy the amusing photo’s of the little ones amongst my musings?

{i just couldn’t resist sharing them once I got back into to my old library of photographs}

do you home school, school school or some other?

how have you and your child/ren approached literature skills?

or how do you imagine approaching this with them?

any thing you want to share on this topic?

have you a love of the written word?

peace and ponderings

Roselinde

xx

 

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Our Easter in Autumn Story

IMG_0703 on Easter eve we are visiting friends on the journey north from Sydney. The children go out in the sunset pink to cut grass to line the easter basket and to feed the Easter hare
IMG_0710 while they cut I retell an Easter story about the journey of the Easter hare and the purpose of the eggs as i have adopted it from this great book. Easter in Autumn. i deeply enjoy storytelling without a book in front of me as i took the time to learn the story and make it my own. They are both captivated and i feel peaceful with this serene wash of calm coming over me as i bask in the moment and the beauty of the simple now-ness and connection we are sharing. i am inspired to learn more stories to tell.
IMG_0713this basket was woven in Arnhem land, jesse gifted it to Lily on return of his trip there last year. {i got a lady version for my birthday}IMG_0714the light is soft and pastelly and embracing and look below, it hints to the sky of the dawn…IMG_0723Lily and I have made a date to silently watch the sunrise on Easter morn.

we are camped by a river and the light bounces from the water in a myriad of pastel delicacies..IMG_0725Pelicans join us and we are gifted this close observation of a much loved birdIMG_0730 IMG_0747Lily points out the Pelican has made a heart with it’s own reflectionIMG_0748 i resolve to make more dates with Lily, the peace of simply being together touches us both deeply. It is grounding and loving and sets us up for a rich connection through the day.
IMG_0749 IMG_0758 finally a golden peep through the clouds melts the dew from waxy leaves

a new day

a new beginningIMG_0759 as we walk back we pick golden sunny flowers to decorate the bus and the easter baskets, glistening with dew

Cedar and Jesse are awake and after the children exclaim over the gifts from the Easter hare in their baskets, they go outside with a poem of clues to find the Easter treasures
IMG_0775 oh whats under here??

skip to a quick ant bite interlude….

then the treasure hunt is back on….
IMG_0779 IMG_0786looking looking looking, Lily can see the silver paper on the tyre and is encouraging Cedar to find it and giggling about his looking but not seeing… i remember Lily at this age needing very obvious eye level treasures to find… IMG_0787 I found it!!
IMG_0790 and up here Cedar!

i am wondrous to see Lily turn the seeking into a game for Cedar in which she is showing and helping him in a thoughtful way, instead of rushing around claiming all the treasure. it reveals the change out of early childhood i am seeing into a less selfconcerned world view. beautiful.IMG_0798the treasure is in and unwrapped and eaten.

after struggling in the night with my staunch anti chocolate stance, i realise the experience of my uptight stress is less beautiful than the joy the children will have when unwrapping 2 squares of organic chocolate before breakfast!

and it was fine, and they were so happy, and they did not have sugar meltdowns!

it’s good to let go a little now and then. but yes i am pretty strict about sweets in our own home and prefer to savour these type of treats for specials.

later in the day we prepare eggs to decorate and enjoy an omelette for lunch

you may know how already but here

  the simple steps to blow eggs ready for decoration and hanging
IMG_0803use a large pin to pierce one end of an egg, i use a series of punctures in close proximity to open a 2mm hole, repeat on the opposite end and remember to have a bowl ready to catch your egg insides {make an omelette or cake…}IMG_0805apply your lips and lungs to the task of blowing a stream of egg insides to the outside. rinse by submersing in water and blowing out once more. towel dry and there they are, light and ready to decorate. we often use water colour pencils or paints, or dye with onion skin…IMG_0808in the weeks coming up to Easter i scout around town for white shelled eggs.. {In Bellingen they are sold at the Providore from a local farmer….} this year we had little choice as we travelled…IMG_0809the easter bounty which the children are happy happy happy withIMG_0814during our afternoon drive i watch Lily singing out the window like a puppy with her face in the wind…

i imagine her reflecting on the day and she is singing her happiness to the world…

some sweet sweet moments in our day

blessings and happy new beginning to us all…

L’illustrations

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Welcome welcome
Roll up roll up
Introducing a new page here at Rosalindentree
Announcing L’illustrations

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autumn play in celebration of the season change

L’illustrations is a changing gallery of original artworks by Lily aged eight.
I had the honor of a brief interview with the artist
Lily how does it feel to know people all around the world are looking at your art?
Good!
how do you think they will feel when they see your drawings?
Happy!

So I hope Lily’s whimsical illustrations bring you as much happiness as they do for her and for us!!

Daniel the Devil

Last week at Salamanca market we chose
Daniel the Devil from local authors and artists, Marion and Steve Isham.
They have published 18 books for kids featuring Australian characters animals and historical features. They are informative, beautiful and unique. Some have riddled or clues hidden in them.
Lily plans to choose one book each week!
Daniel has inspired some shadow puppet making this morning so Lily can make a play of the book. She’s using black electrical tape on paper with long pop sticks and is looking forward to taking them up to show Marion and Steve later in the day!!20130209-093850.jpg20130209-093901.jpg20130209-094104.jpg20130209-100907.jpg20130209-100901.jpg

While Cedar has ( with help) thickly covered a page with wax crayon(stockmar beeswax blocks) and is scratching at the layers with a pointed stick to reveal pretty colored patterns.
Remember doing this as a kid?

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Here you go if you are interested in the books!!

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Waking up to…

Waking up to…
Lily quietly tidying house, making beds and making fruit salad for breakfast!!
(last night we had a talk about helping out, working together and chores as I was noticing she was playing helpless or whinging when asked to contribute)
An un expected gift in her response to the reminder yesterday!
I am always appreciative when she lifts her game and is motivated from herself to do extra tasks and notice she is always very self pleased and energized! She was proud about how spic and span the bus was and expressed when it’s tidy it feels peaceful and bigger and when it’s messy it feels like chaos. ( yep me too!)
Within five minutes of us all being up, Lily was noticing how quickly it gets messed up again after all her attentive work! Mutual gratitude went between us as she understood this process of home love.
Everyone needs to eat, everyone uses things, everyone makes a mess and everyone helps clean up!

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She then volunteered to cook us pancakes! Yay!!
The children had honey and Brie or blueberry jam and the bigs had savory, mmm

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The following is not edible…

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After eating ( and more cleaning up)
We got into wax play, as i had got it out to make her a little ta Lily wax note and heart decoration by her plate ( see above) We use stockmar knetwachs which you can find in most Steiner inspired shops or online. We found our latest batch at Southern Swan in Cygnet southern Tasmania for $2.30 per color.
We keep the colors in one plastic box and the makings in another. It’s beautiful to feel the wax soften in your hands and become something to admire. I like it as much as the smalls do! Sometimes we’ve left the wax land on the dash and have had a sad melted occasion!! Droopy trees and mermaids melting into the sea…

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And then out out out for some running and flying!
We are camped at Lagoons beach on the east coast. The sea is rumbling in with a clean right hand break, perfect tubes and offshore breeze… Why no surfers? Too cold?
I know all that because my first love story was with a gorgeous surfer in my teens…

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After more snacking, i am inspired with the anniversary of our bus purchase in 2005 approaching ( valentines day) I could make a fingerknit wreath as decoration! Lily gave me a lesson and away I went. You can find great finger knitting tutorials at Flax & Twine

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Well that was fun… What next?
Cedar goes to sleep, Lily plays on the trapeze so tired mama can put on a few more rows…

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Beautiful handspun, nature dyed alpaca from the Salamanca markets, soothing for my fingers and mind..
What else can the day hold I wonder?
Xx
What are you
Making, cooking, eating, planning, reading these days??

Ps I can’t seem to make all that text un italic??..