dell: n. A small secluded wooded valley. A vale.
Our homelearning space is known to us as the "dell". Because we call ourselves "Syrendell", dell is a nickname of sorts. The word "dell" brings up images of a beautiful, magical, wooded vale, full of fairies, sprites and gnomes!
We love our homelearning space...small, secluded and at times, full of wood! The changing seasons are honored by hanging colorful mobiles, and attaching window stars, mosaics or snowflakes to the glass. When the weather is warm, we open the sliding glass door and paint on the deck, extending the dell into the natural world.
We create a wreath for each season. The circle is woven out of wire by Ricky. All three children decide which type of leaf or other bits of nature to include in the wreath. We gather real leaves and make patterns to use later when we cut with felt. In the winter, holly berries are needlefelting. Spring is coming soon, and we will be needlefelting tiny eggs, birds and nests starting this week.
Our "Seasonal Spot" (aka, nature table) is a shelter built by Daddy with twigs from our backyard and reclaimed wood. A wooden tree puzzle shows us the season by the color of leaves (or lack of color). Our friend Gnomy likes to hang out in the Seasonal Spot. Seasonal fairies, finger puppet children, Syrendell Sprites, acorn families or other creatures often visit. Special stones, geodes, acorns, pine cones also can be found in the Seasonal Spot.
The dell features small chalkboards, a space for featuring books and projects that relate to the stories, holidays, S.S. block or science explorations of the week. Daddy's wood puzzles, wood stove, and tree blocks are found under a table, easy to reach for everyone! Our naturally-dyed silks, handmade crowns, play cloths and wooden clothespins are available whenever the mood strikes us. A large basket, full of percussion instruments sits near the foot of the dell, by the piano, as a nice transition space to wear we have our circle time.
Each person in the family has a frame on the wall made from twigs, featuring a watercolor, drawing, or crayon exploration. Baskets of crayons, finger puppets, geometric shapes and wool fibers with a drum carder, hand carders and needlefelters can be found throughout the dell.