This year for Ayyam-i-ha the boys made handmade name necklaces and bracelets for their cousins and friends. Although mom (that would be me) forgot to take pictures of their completed jewelry before I wrapped them. I did take pictures of the ones they made with their own names the next day.
We used alphabet beads and a pack of wooden and shell beads (I guess we still have the Hawaiian beaches in our hearts, we tend to do things with beachy themes…). It was a fun exercise in fine motor skills (beading on string), pattern/sequencing, and in spelling with the alphabet letters. Rylan did the spelling of the names (spelling practice) and called out the letters he needed to Damian, so that he could find them in the bowl of letter beads (letter recognition).
I had not made any conscious goal for this activity to be anything more than a fun craft, however, observing how it evolved into a joyful learning experience, made me stop and think about how naturally and seamlessly learning has become woven into the daily rhythm of our family life. Learning is a natural, enjoyable, and continuous part of my boy’s life, there is no underlying feeling that learning occurs only during “school”. I have never been anything but a homeschooling mom, so I don’t know if this is unique to the homeschooling experience, but it is something I am truly grateful for.