In February, I had the privilege of attending the Great Homeschool Convention in Ft. Worth, TX. At the convention, Christopher Perrin and Sarah Mackenzie introduced me to a new aspect of Classical Education: Schole. This is a Greek term that means leisurely and contemplative learning. With all of my lists and schedules, learning that is contemplative, ungraded, or un-timed was non-existent.
I've sought to introduce this into our studies, but I'll admit that it is difficult. Mom gets sick, Mock Trial overwhelms the world, family needs help - then all of a sudden, a month has passed and the schole is gone. Or I think it is. Maybe schole exists in things you do that aren't in the lesson plans - the learning that happens as you are going.
One of the simplest ways we have introduced schole is with a camera. Seeing through different eyes clarifies what you see. My youngest took my camera outside today and really looked and God's World and here's what she saw (all the photo credit goes to her).
She started going to take pictures of the tomatoes. She loves watching our garden grow, and she can't wait to taste a freshly harvested tomato. I love that she's watched these plants grow from seeds; that she's seen the delicate little yellow flowers bloom and fade into fruit. She identified the fat fuzzy stalks of the plant and the scent of a tomato leaf when the water hits the plant.
Then she's carefully watched the strawberry plants develop tiny white flowers that eventually are replaced by the sweet berry. "Mommy, did you know strawberries are white before they become ripe?"
This one is almost ready to pick - but she's observed some white remaining, so she patiently waits for that first bite.Beautiful flowers catch her eye. They are way up high, but she manages to capture their elegance.
"This onion is blooming! I wonder why it does that?!"
We have to leave to go walk a friend's dog, but she's not ready to end her photo session. The camera comes along, and she shadows her big brother as he takes care of the animals.
She replies, "The electric things. There are a lot of them."
She can't fully express why she is fascinated by the row of boxes and numbers, but she takes an interesting picture.
She replies, "It's the tree's roots. The rain has washed all of the dirt away. Isn't it cool?"
These lessons weren't on my "what to teach in the third grade" list, but I am so thankful for a young lady that has eyes to see.
Betsy Strauss is an unexpected homeschooler, mother of three, who is in a relationship with a sweet man for life. She loves reading books, drinking coffee, and learning anything with her kids.