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Tuesday, November 13, 2012

GratiTuesday - Pilgrims, Pilgrims, Everywhere

For the past few weeks, we've been learning about the Pilgrims' Harvest celebration in 1621.  We've been studying what cooking was like in a Plimoth kitchen and what everyday life looked like after exiting the Mayflower.

We've been reading our books, grinding our corn, doing whatever activities I have planned out for that day and moving on just like always - or so I thought.

Then last weekend, as I was carrying some laundry through the playroom, I overhead the kids playing alphabet bingo.  My Big Helper was insisting that her brother call a "mouser" so that she could get five in a row and win.  I laughed to myself, pleased that she remembered some of the Elizabethan vocabulary we had talked about a few days earlier.

This week, after constructing poppets to learn about seventeenth-century clothing, the kids decided that they needed to sew bedding for them.  They insisted on finding some spare fabric and making ticks - so much so that my Big Helper spent part of her Sunday afternoon stitching away on the hammock outside.

After a while, the beautiful day enticed her away from her fabric, and I thought she was playing one of her creative games with her brother - but I was wrong.  I watched them playing near each other in the playset, and soon My Little Man came running over to me.

He asked if I knew what his sister was doing, at which I began to wonder what mischief might be happening up there, when he started bouncing with excitement and yelling, "She invented a mortar and pestle! She's grinding corn up there!"

It wasn't long before she slid down to show me her success.  She had found a bowl-shaped gadget and a piece of wood and was making cornmeal in the playset tower.  Being able to crush some of it, she worked for a long time at this, even asking if she could taste it.

I hoped that My Big Helper and Our Little Man would like their studies.  I hoped that they would get excited about it and internalize what they learned.  I hoped that their work would show true thought and growth - but I never expected for it to pop up into their play.

They've taken the information we've studied and gone much further with it than I could ever have guessed.  I'm glad that they're having fun, but I'm truly grateful for the way that they just seem to get it and want more.  Their creativity amazes me, and watching them invent new gadgets and methods to solve problems always makes me smile. School is never fun when you dread learning, but when learning becomes play?  Then it's fun all the way around.

For more GratiTuesday, visit Heavenly Homemakers.

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