Freedom to Play

by Josée
The Christmas holidays are officially over yet our Christmas tree and most of the decorations remain. I am slowly putting things away but I have toyed with the idea of keeping the remaining decorations up until Candlemas, February 2nd. In the past, Candlemas, known to Catholics as the Presentation of Jesus, used to be the end of the Christmas season. It marked the fortieth days after the birth of Jesus which according to Jewish law meant Jesus was to be presented at the temple. I must admit that we are still enjoying the Christmas tree and its sparkling lights so I think we’ll keep everything out a little longer.
Now that everyone is feeling much better we are rediscovering our daily and weekly rhythm. We don’t follow strict schedules which I feel are too rigid and don’t allow for the opportunity to delight in small events that occur throughout our days. However, I cannot stress how important it is for our family to have rhythm, it creates a sense of comfort and peace in our home. This week we are also continuing to work on a few of our structured learning subjects, namely language arts and music. The last couple days my eldest has been resistant to this structured learning time, however brief and enjoyable I try to make it.

It is in these moments that I enter into my internal dialogue about the importance of providing a good educational foundation while allowing freedom to play, create and explore and being sensitive to learning readiness. At times I struggle with figuring out what that looks like while other times it seems so clear to me. One of the challenges with home learning is that nothing is static, my child is always changing and his needs and interests change accordingly. The challenge in this is to take the time to observe and be sensitive to these changes.

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Chelsea Rae January 9, 2014 - 4:43 am

I don't think our last guests had left our driveway on the 6th before I was packing up Christmas stuff. I was SO ready for it to be gone! It's been wonderful to get back into some sort of routine, the kids and I were both craving it after the craziness that was Christmas.

Mary was resistant to get back into school as well, after taking Advent and Christmas off to do other activities but I let her choose what she wanted to learn about for a couple days as we eased our way back into structure. She is much more willing now. Good luck with (I forget his blog nickname!!) your oldest! 🙂

Cindy January 10, 2014 - 4:04 am

We have really been enjoying the routine again too, in particular, the girls having their play spaces back. I love our Christmas tree and so did the kids but I was feeling like our upstairs was so cluttery, so we out it away. I've got to phone you sometime soon. It's been awhile. Hope you are all well

Josée January 10, 2014 - 4:12 am

Chelsea, normally I too am ready to pack things up after January 6th, but I think the fact that we were so sick during Christmas has made me feel like I want to hold on just a little longer.

Mary resistant to learning? I suppose that makes me feel a little better 😉

Josée January 10, 2014 - 4:12 am

Yes, a phone date would be fabulous! I've been thinking about you and wondering how you've been doing 🙂

Elisa Armstrong January 10, 2014 - 2:22 pm

This is the first year I heard about the tradition of Christmas lasting until Candlemas. I'm blaming my protestant upbringing. I wish I had known! I just took all our stuff down at Epiphany.

Josée January 11, 2014 - 4:10 am

Elisa, don't feel too badly. This was something I only discovered recently as well, and I'm cradle Catholic.


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