The last time it snowed like this in Austin was 1985. I am not sure I have ever made a snowman that was over knee-high in my life. We don't see a lot of the white stuff 'round these parts. I had to let the kids go outside for a few hours to play in it because I knew that it would most likely be the only chance they would get in the rest of their homeschool career.
I couldn't deprive a little crinklenosed baby from having his very first snowflake-peppered hairdo, either. It needed to happen. Even though I know I'm going to catch it from my mother for taking him outside without a hat. [sorry Mom]
I stayed inside with the cats and the baby and watched them play in the cold for the better part of the day. I tried not to think about how I was 'missing out on another school day'... because a snow like this only comes around once in ten years.
I beat myself up a lot when we miss school. Mainly because with baby, we've missed quite a lot. Regardless, I have found that the kids are learning anyway. They are reading, cooking, helping with the baby, growing, having new experiences ... and my 'in-the-box education' sometimes interferes with my ability to see the learning that we are doing in life as 'school'.
But they can see it. They are smart cookies.
Some of the best advice I ever got from another homeschool mom was about the importance of play in education.
“Play is the only way the highest intelligence of humankind can unfold.”
~ Joseph Chilton Pearce
There has been a lot of research done on how play helps a kid become a better, smarter, well-rounded adult. Some other time I'll have to do a post on it. Tonight I have a baby tugging at my shirt, a house to pick up, laundry to fold, and notes to write for my conference session Thursday. [Which you are coming to, right?]
Just remember this: Play is important.
Play is creating. Play is joy. It puts a smile on our faces.
While the kids were playing with ice, I was playing with my camera. Everyone was happy. Except maybe Minga the cat. Because she's evil and hates it when people are happy. In fact, she hates people in general. Except for her 13 year old boy-pet.
What were we talking about again? OH, yes - playing in the snow...
So when the snow is this deep in TEXAS, we play. I felt sorry for the kids at public school today, because they actually stayed in school while we took the day off. I saw the bus drive by with an inch of snow on top of it after the melting had already begun. I imagined all the long faces and the kids that were ready to bound off the bus and throw themselves down in to the powder creating snow angels on their pristine white yards.
So the snow day came and went while they were in their classrooms with their noses pressed to the windows every time the teacher stepped out of the room. I have no idea if that's true, but if I were them, that's what I would have been doing at public school today.
Tonight it is getting down in the 20's. That means nasty ice in the morning... and noisy tomorrow afternoon kid-sized distractions outside when we are making up for OUR time off.
These berries are from the Nandina bushes I have been wanting to relocate. They have nothing to do with playing or taking time off from school... or public school, or school buses. But I'm sure you are used to my tangents by now. I've been frowning on these bushes for months. I have to admit that they sure looked nice in the snow today, though.
Tomorrow is the first day of the rest of our homeschool year. Back to work for us. Too bad this little guy will be gone after lunch. He was a nice distraction.
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