Over the weekend, we spent some time with our neighborhood florist, watching him create holiday wreaths and arrange flower bouquets. As frequent visitors, we have gotten to know our florist well and appreciate the time and attention he offers the children.
My six-year-old was particularly fascinated by the wreath-making, and the florist gave her a bag of left-over flower scraps and floral ribbon to work with at home. Using the techniques she learned at the flower store, she spent much of the weekend creating floral wreaths and incorporating the floral materials into her crafting. Her most prized wreath she gave to the florist as a thank you for teaching her.
City homeschooling involves so many teachers: teachers who, like our neighborhood florist, are experts in their skill or craft and are eager to share their knowledge with interested young neighbors. These neighborhood "teachers" are woven into our days and weeks as we go about our life-learning. We did not visit the flower shop and make wreaths as part of some set curriculum; we visited because we make frequent stops there, and lingered because we were curious about the wreath-making the florist was engaged in.
This kind of natural, holistic, child-led learning that integrates the vast resources of our community is why I am so drawn to homeschooling. Learning is a constant, seamless part of our week, led by the children's natural curiosities, incorporating our neighbors' many talents, and tapping into the resources of our city's endless classroom.
What about you? How do your neighbors and community resources enhance your children's learning?