For to be free is not to merely cast off one's chains,
but to live in a way that respects and enhances the freedom of others.
- Nelson Mandela -

Saturday, April 07, 2007

Down by the riverside

Today's HE was all about how to make the most of a good moment. Of a good day, really. We did the same yesterday and everybody thoroughly enjoyed it, so in true autonomous learning spirit we decided to do it again.
After the early morning household chores, reading, maths, biology and music we opened front and back doors and went out into the sunny garden. The past couple of days we've been busy raking and burning leafs and trying to get the garden back into some state of presentableness.
Last Thursday Granny brought one of these leaf-blowers and all the sudden there were these huge piles of dry leafs, that burned really well.

Here's my boys (Ken on the right and Owen) creating a magical atmosphere in our garden. Myrna helped a bit too, but was on the trampoline most of the time. Next time she goes on I'll try and get a good picture of her jumping, because I didn't get a one today. When the girls (AL and her friend M and Myrna) came back from their walk with two dirty dogs, we went to the river, as I wrote in my previous Old Faithful post.

The dogs really love it down there, as you can see in this picture:

The only problem with taking both dogs is that Lagsi, our Icelandic Shepherd, barks incessantly. Well, it's not barking really. It's a nerve racking high pitched yapping. He can't help it apparently, it's a trait of the breed. But it drives everybody including Bobby (the black dog - not a Labrador but a mix between a Belgian shepherd and a Dutch Spaniel type dog) absolutely bonkers, so after they'd had a good run and swim I drove Lagsi back home to Ken, so they could watch the fires together, and then I quickly went back to the river. Bobby had stayed with the children and guarded them with his life, of course.

AL and M had brought a mat to sit on, the box with colouring pencils and sheets with mandala's, so they sat in the sun doing that, while Owen climbed trees and dug up treetrunks together with Bobby. Myrna went scouting down the river for nice looking stones and discovered the remains of a little lamb, that probably long ago had got lost and drowned in the river. When Myrna reported her finding in great detail a discussion started about whether it was or wasn't a skeleton, because you could still see the wool on it. They came to the conclusion that it could only be a skeleton when there was no meat on it, so Owen and Myrna went to prod the lamb with a stick to find out... Yuk!

This autonomous learning can sometimes get really disgusting, because the smell of the dead lamb started Myrna off developing this theory about why farts smell the way they do... and you know what, she was dead serious about it too! I wouldn't be at all surprised if that girl is going to be a pathologist or something like that one day. She just loves to dissect little dead beasties (plants too) to study them under the microscope.

When Owen climbed in one of the trees, he found a fishing hook with some wire attached, stuck in one of the branches. Another addition to the treasure chest. Luckily the tree wasn't very high, because when Owen hung on the lowest branch it broke off... the tree was quite dead... but Owen landed on his feet and Bobby was so happy with the dead branch that we took it home with us.

All in all we had a wonderful feel good day. The rest of the family is watching a film together now, giving me a chance to do some work... and blogging...


Maggie B said...

Wow, that all sounds wonderful. Erm, except for the dead sheep bit anyway! ;-)

Just popped over from seeing you on Ruth's blog. Hope that's ok. :-)

Mieke said...

No problem, Maggie, you're very welcome! This blogging is a very special way to 'meet' people! I see that your blog is not open to everybody. I guess that's because you don't only 'meet' nice and/or respectful people... I haven't had that happening yet, but I suppose it wouldn't do any harm to look into moderating comments... It's another process of - autonomous - learning ;)).

Ruth said...

Sounds a brilliant day:)

shukr said...

Hello, I'm enjoying reading here.
My sil via my bil is from Denmark. They have settled over there rather than here in the UK. Children are happily bilingual etc.

Mieke said...

I think being bilingual is a valuable asset, and it's never been a problem, on the contrary. It's me who's struggling at times... and I feel that internet has its own separate language. But I finally worked out - with the help of my kids - what sil and bil means ;))! Not quite sure about a lot of the other therms that I've come across on mails and blogs and I'm not even attempting to understand the MSN language my kids use!