Why the Tree of Life?


Leaf Rubbings


We live near a lovely wooded park, and on our nature walk this morning, we collected leaves for rubbing. Not many leaves have started to turn colors around here. Just the sycamore and the cedar elm, and even then-- just.

Dunagan was frustrated with this project. We used block crayons, and he couldn't figure out how I was holding them to use them broadside, and he didn't let me demonstrate. He ended up giving up pretty quickly, and I was too slow to recommend that he just color on his page. The brown leaf in the middle of his is actually mine. He did the yellow and the green on the sides, but was visibly frustrated that they weren't looking like Kirven's and mine. He kept looking at Kirven's page, then his page, then my page, then his page... and then he said he was going outside. This isn't a craft I expect him to do. I don't actually expect him to do any of the kindergarten work. I'm struggling on how to help him feel included when something is clearly too challenging for his age. I'm trying to make sure that we do plenty that is targeted at him, too, but I can sense a new tension growing between the boys, and I think it is sparked by jealousy. Any suggestions?



  1. Jennifer,
    I am interested in this too. My kids are ages 6 and 3. We have been "doing" our main lessons when Emerson was sleeping but that is wearing out. His naps are shorter and shorter, Annie becomes stressed out when he or anyone else is around, and it seems to me that I haven't had a break in 2 years.
    So after a short vacation we will be starting a new schedule. Morning Circle followed immediately by Annie's main lesson. I have purchased a "good book" for Emerson and he can draw in it if he wants to and I also have some toys that he can only play with during school time. The stories are not appropriate for him so we will continue to read them while he is napping.
    I will let you know how it works out....

  2. I hear you on this struggle. We are there sometimes too. I will sometimes get my girls started on a craft and then play with Paige and come back to check in with them. Occasionally this has had messy results! With our glorious weather now, that's easy because we can be outside and the big girls will be working or crafting on the deck and Paige will play in the yard, sometimes with me and sometimes without me. For us the key has been focusing on all of us as a community and working to meet everyone's needs. We have interrupted our lessons and stories on occasion because Paige needed attention. We have done some non-Enki stuff with Paige (age 3) because for us the community of sisters is more important than the proper development stuff. For example, she has a recorder and often (not always) participates in recorder lesson and practice. She also writes because she plays with letters right beside her big sisters. Like Michelle, Paige is not a part of our story time, but she doesn't want to be, and that is one time where she almost always will entertain herself while we read in our story spot. Good luck with this.

  3. Wish I had some good advice for you. I will say that my own leaf rubbings have always looked a lot more like Kirven's!
    I do personally find that my second/middle child needs dedicated time/attention that can often fall by the wayside if I'm not conscious of it, until I wonder why she's being so needy/annoying. Maybe you and K. can have a "date" this weekend? And a little thing every day that's just his?

  4. Beautiful leaf rubbings! I relate to your challenges with the two boys and their different abilities. Not much to suggest -- you're handling it about like I did. I did have my younger child in a great child-friendly preschool a couple of hours a day, though. That was a big help, as it gave me one-on-one time with my dd as she and I were beginning the homeschool journey. (I know that doesn't help you at all...) Still, there were plenty of incidents like this one with projects and activities we did for fun.

    The good news is that we deal with it a lot less now that mine are 6 and 8. It may be a problem only time can solve. :o\

  5. i have two boys who are 3 years apart, so i understand. ;^)

    i just read a friend's blog & she taped the leaves down and that worked well for her little ones.

    i think rubbings are hard to do well with *any* age .. they're tricky! fat crayons or melted crayons in disc shapes work well.

    and now i'm going to be that jerky person who links to her own blog :^P - but this is a fun alternative to rubbings:



  6. Thanks, Lori. Your prints are lovely!