Thursday, February 26, 2009

The Dell

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.

We love the dell and try to tidy up when we can! It's our special place to learn, love and grow....


Lisa said...

You are such a CREATIVE family! I love the wreaths! They are beautiful! The seasonal spot shelter is really cool, I need to be more adventuresome with twigs, wood and nails. Thanks so much for inspirational posts! I love the anatomy book, it looks very professional and a fun way to learn about the skeletal system! I do have an idea, make a page where the kids could cut out the skeletal system and assemble it with brads.

Tammy said...

Oh my goodness.....your learning area is BEAUTIFUL!!!!! What a fun post this was to read and look at.

Oh, and your etsy shop is wonderful, too. ;)

Jane said...

I so enjoy coming and looking at your blog! It is so beautiful! You have created such a wonderful feeling and it shows through in your blog. It inspires me to want to try and be more creative in our homelearning. I love how you bring the season in through the different crafts you have displayed. Thank you for sharing!

themagiconions said...

I love your seasonal spot in the Dell! Love the shelter, I need to get ours together... been waiting for blossoms (procrastinating!)
Thank you for visiting my blog. Yours is lovely... I've been visiting for some time now and always feel peaceful after your posts.

Grandma said...

Syrendell is a special place. The children have such a creative and inspiring teacher for sure!