Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Revisiting cherished moments from the past

Revisiting cherished moments
from the past

Our new home has offered us a myriad of rooming spaces for our family. Take for instance our new learning room, the size of it alone, and the fact it is located is a terrific location directly below the kitchen, down a few stairs from the open concept planning detail, is just perfect. This spacial area used to be allocated as a show room to display plumbing and lighting fixtures beforehand we purchased the home, as our property used to be the builder's model home when he wasn't able to sell it after its completion. And then a serendipitous thing happened; we came along of course, and the rest as they say - is history.

Before this past weekend, our learning room was accumulating mounds of clutter with multiplying boxes yet unpacked and sorted, because we kept locating more belongings in the wrong areas of the house.

On Saturday, I was fed-up (!), rolled up my sleeves and decided since this was a high traffic area to anywhere else on the lower level floor, and when disarray visits me, I can become completely overwhelmed with the mess before me. I snapped a few pictures during my organization in the room, but that will be left for another day.

Yesterday, while sitting with the younger ones in the center of the learning room at the wooden table, I noticed the plastic ziplock baggie sitting nearby, the one filled with our "Five in a Row" story disks. Immediately I broke out in memory goosebumps, quickly revisiting a flood of cherished moments which began to grab my heartstrings and roll up to my eyeballs (smile). I had a deep desire to open up the long forgotten baggie, and began to sort through them. And I did.

Instantly, I could recall each book and all the activities which we used accompanying them, the ones we had included during our gentle learning sessions with our littles. I was surprised when the two younger children near me caught sight of what I was doing, noting my enjoyable walk down memory lane. A sudden urge grew when they eventually began joyfully begging to revisit many of these beloved books once more.

Our collection of story disks evoked many memories

When I obliged, instead of a free for all, I challenged them to choose three disks to represent three of their favorite books every few days, taking their time revisiting them. Both had trouble choosing which ones they would pick because they had loved them all. They also decided to draw maps and fill in the flag outlines in my FIAR resource package resting on the other side of the table. What began as a slow day of learning very soon erupted into an enthusiastic volunteered hurry to complete the lessons for the day so they could proceed with this little challenge they had wholeheartedly embraced.

Seizing the moment, referencing world flags and
coloring small flag templates soon also became
something else very fun to do.

Nearby, I was able to locate the folded world map I had planned all along to hang up over the computer working station. I enticed the children to render it useful this day by adding their story disks onto the map after referencing the geographical area where the storyline took place, hanging up the disks in the appropriate location up on the world map now featured on the wall for all to see. This was a similar activity they all participated in when they were younger, the difference being we only hung up one disk each week, plus continent, ocean and river names along the way.

I was thrilled with their response to participate in this little challenge, and especially of interest to me was also noting the first three books they each chose.

Since the wonderful world of mapping and map skills logic books are a favorite subject in our home, we've been known to use our world map over and over again for continued new subject lessons anyway, so this was nothing new to them. But the walk down memory lane was.

My only regret is compromising on the choice of a new world map, the one currently hung in our learning room. In my opinion it's not the best out there, but our preferred and well-loved last one ripped quite badly after our move from the western regions over here. Luckily another laminated world map lays beneath the clear vinyl tablecloth which is wrapped and stapled under the edges of our learning room table surface. Able to be used as a reference point at a lower level, the children can at least refer to it before glancing up at the wall towards a smaller pictorial globe drawing format.

During Lent, I have another project in the works, that of noting various details of the twelve apostles and St. Paul's journeys. Stay tuned...I'll share more about it next time.