It's December already, I cannot believe it. Yesterday morning the kids eagerly set about doing our morning school routing; calendar, journals, weather, etc. and I was completely struck by how incredibly fast this last year has gone. It was the weather chart that got me. (Similar to this one, but not nearly as nice looking.)
I could distinctly recall the day that we made our weather tree and the dreadfully long time that it took to draw in each of the leaves. The kids lost interest within a few minutes, not fully comprehending what in the world we were creating, and there I was left alone in the kitchen finishing the tree. I remember wondering why in the world I was spending my afternoon on such an insignificant task and assuming that it would be an absolute waste of my time and energy.
Turns out it wasn't. It became a part of a solid daily routine. It became the source of many scuffles over whose turn it was to color in the weather. It became a catalyst to many weather, nature, and season conversations. It became a conversation piece between the kids and many adults who asked them what it was all about. It prompted discussions about compromise when there were disagreements about just what the weather was going to be like that day (which is why our tree has many many multi colored leaves).
I have been pondering what to do for next year. I want to have something to guide us in our observations of weather, but at the same time I want to try something new, expose them to a new way of looking at things, I don't want to be rigidly held to the same routine and pattern each year. However, I know that later this month as I sit at the kitchen table alone finishing whatever it is we decide to do that I will not wonder why I am doing it or whether my unproductive afternoon is worth it. Instead I will be looking ahead at what it might bring to our year. What it might spark in their minds. What we all might learn from it. And what sort of funny jokes, sibling fights, and creative endeavors just might grow out of it.