I have lived in the northern latitudes of the globe for the last twelve years but never really adapted to or enjoyed the winter. The mere mention of the word was wont to give me the shivers. January equalled migrating to the tropical land of my birth, equalled sun and warmth, equalled a single layer of light clothing. The fact that we home educate means we have that freedom to migrate each winter – and air tickets in gloomy January are always cheaper. Win win!
This year, it is different.
It is winter sans the annual migration.
It is a practical application of our philosophy of flowing and adapting our learning and lives to seasonal changes.
I refuse to look at it as a ‘test’ of our philosophy. Over the last few years of home educating, I have come to abhor that T word, but that calls for a different post entirely.
As per our seasonal plan, we consciously stepped back from most external classes and activities at the start of December. This was after a whirlwind of a summer and autumn which involved several weekly commitments – both social and activity-based. And while we enjoyed the craziness and warmth of the hectic season, we all felt instantly relieved when we cut back and began to spend more time at home.
Our days flow from one thing to the other – no rush. Tons of time for spontaneity and heaps of free play, time for long walks, films, documentaries, chats, projects, books and more books, outings to the park and best of all, card and board games. We meet friends every week and go to a couple of other activities, but apart from that, it is time to lay fallow and prepare for the burst of spring.
Spring and summer are the seasons to be out and enjoy the long days, the bursting through of new life everywhere – it is energy spreading outwards from ourselves to envelope our world.
Autumn calls for slowing down, enjoying the vibrant colours and the storing of energy as the evenings draw in.
And for the first time, I see winter as this beautiful season to tune completely inward, build the inner fire and enjoy the coziness and warmth of home and family.
(Lightbulb moment – have I come to accept and love winter for what it is?)
Earlier tonight, I asked the kids what they think about our winter way of life this far. Do they miss the busy-ness?
According to them, we are as busy as ever – just in a different style. And they love it. We all see eye to eye on this subject.
Now, that is something to be thankful for indeed.