Knotty Wood, Ukulele Lessons and Hopefulness

A friend suggested that I keep a record of our year of relaxed homeschooling, either online or on paper. I’ve chosen to do both. Let me begin by saying that we started school today with a discussion on hopefulness, the character trait of the week in A Year in the Hundred Acre Wood.


It’s such a promising thing, isn’t it? To be full of hope? I woke up brimming with it. My daughter climbed onto the bed and pointed out the knots in the wood on the headboard and asked if we could research what causes them. So we did. Right then and there. Pajama clad, hair tousled, teeth unbrushed. We sat and we learned.

And I just knew it was going to be an extraordinarily fabulous homeschool day.

Only it wasn’t really. Not the first hour of formal schooling, at least. One child wanted to draw instead of reading the Bible passage. (“I already know about Noah,” she grumbled. “There’s nothing new to learn.”) One was upset because her sisters each had a cookie but she wasn’t allowed to because she snuck one yesterday without asking. (“It’s called stealing,” I explained. “And there are consequences.”) And one was upset because … I’m not actually sure why, to be honest.

I’m not sharing this to embarrass my children. I’m sharing this because it’s life and we all go through it, whether we’re homeschool bloggers or not. Whether we’ve done this for a day or a year or six amazing-but-crazy years or even more.

Homeschooling can be messy.

It has beautiful moments and moments that are opportunities for growth. Both are essential.

The day got better. The girls did some beautiful spelling and copywork, we learned about the life cycle of the oak tree, and we wet felted acorns. It was lovely.

After lunch, we headed out to my daughter’s very first ukulele lesson. I’m hoping (there’s that hopefulness again) that ukulele is a step up from the recorder because my ears need a break. Regardless, her teacher is lovely and the lesson seemed to go well.

Afterwards, we went on a short walk with some friends. We didn’t stay long since it’s hay-fever season and my middle child has the worst allergies ever. But it was lovely while it lasted, with goldenrod all around (and also ragweed, poor kid) and herons fishing in the lake.

We picked clusters of berries, not sure whether they were Canadian moonseed (fatally toxic) or wild grapes. We obviously waited to eat them until we got home and looked them up. They were grapes (serrated leaves, multiple seeds), so we are officially foragers now. My daughter wants to go back with baskets and pick enough wild grapes for jam. Homeschooling at its best.

In retrospect, I realize that we completely forgot to do math today. They say that hope deferred makes the heart sick. One child, at least, was not the littlest bit heartsick. I, on the other hand, feel a bit bad about my omission.

I can always have them do a bit extra tomorrow though, right?

Here’s hoping.


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