“Today, I’m declaring a half day,” I announce,” but it will be a work day.”
The children eye me suspiciously over breakfast.
“Education is about building the mind and the body, and today we’re building the body.”
Their eyes brighten. They like the sound of that. It sounds so like something that must happen outside. Out there where Spring is driving back the winter and calling for my children to join.
“We need a compost pile,” I inform them, “and we’re going to get it started.”
They actually cheer. Cheer because they can respond to the call which has already drawn most of their attention out of doors.
We collect materials while daddy collects fence posts. We measure and level and draw lines with string while daddy digs post holes. We…wait. Where did they go?
Checking on the baby chicks.
Examining the vole tunnels.
Looking at the outline of the old lagoon.
Discovering the remnants of an old garden.
I ponder for a moment the notebook pages I could assign them to encourage their curiosity and help them find the answers to their many questions.
But not today. Today is a workday. And while they may not quite grasp it, this is exactly the kind of work I had hoped for.