Today was November 11th, in Canada it was Rememberance Day and here in the US, Veteran’s Day. Our homeschool focus was on Flander’s Fields and poppies. Growing up in Canada poppies were a regular thing every November – toss a loonie or two into the can at Tim’s and get your poppy for the month (my fellow canucks, you get me here). To my children this was a whole new world.
We took the time from our read aloud morning time to listen to Flander’s Fields (we used the recording here, by Leonard Cohen), then watched this historical video for the kids about how poppies were chosen, when they started being used for Remembrance Day and how they help so many today. We followed with this beautiful short animation released by BBC a few years back about the war from the animal’s perspective. To end it we waited until 11:00 am and had our two moments of silence while we viewed the Royal Canadian Legion’s Two Minutes of Silence video that allowed us to see the faces of many who were fallen, wounded and survived the past wars.
I was a bit nervous at first, worried that they may not fully understand or even take it seriously because, well, I am mom and sometimes mom just does weird stuff! They were so engaged, interested and then to see the faces of service men and women on the video as we sat in perfect silence for two minutes, they were moved. They immediately wanted to start making their own poppies (which we were not prepared for but will be done another day since poppies keep popping up all over our home learning journey – maybe in water color, but I digress), they also wanted to know more. We listened to another rendition of Flander’s Fields, looked up images of Flander’s Fields and then researched how poppies grow and why they would grow after battles. Our poppy adventure took us “off course” for the day, but I followed the natural instincts of my children’s interests and we learned so much together.
Tonight as I tucked my middle little into bed, ended her prayers with “and God, please bless all of those in the battles, now and before.” I was shocked, she was actually absorbing what we were learning! In this home school gig – I am constantly being amazed. There is no “behind,” we are where we are, there is no “off track,” because we are exactly where this journey is leading us. We are engaged, joyful and interested in what we are learning every day. I did not know it could be like this, I did not know how blessed home schooling could truly be!