Every Thursday Martin goes to the Goose-eye Wilderness School, while Sylvia and her friend Sophia create a Nature Home-school. From wild craft cooking to outdoor games to building projects to tree identification, Nature School will be a year of unfolding learning and fun.
ABOUT THE STORIES
Included in this collection of Stories are 13 stories about Goose-eye Wildnerness school and Nature School in the Winter.
It is the second Thursday with no Goose-eye Wilderness School and Martin is wanting some “seven-year-old time" with his friends. When Momma invites Griffin, one of the Goose-eye children, to join them on a hike, Martin is frustrated and disappointed that his younger sister Sylvia has to be included. But then, as they quietly and gently follow deer tracks through the snow, Martin's mood transforms from one of tightness and resentment…into something gentler.
The Bud's Story
The winter holiday vacation has been busy for Martin and he is looking forward to starting the new year with some quiet time in the woods with his Goose-Eye Wilderness School friends. Sylvia, however, starts her first Nature School day with a bad cold — consequently, Martin arrives at Goose-eye late. This is frustrating for him until he hears a story from Troy about a tree bud's life and its anticipation of the future year ahead — with its beautiful growth as well as its inevitable challenges. This is the perfect story for setting intentions for the new year, as well as making room for the disappointing surprises.
Martin adores his weekly time at Goose-eye Wilderness School. When he wakes one morning with some ominous cold symptoms, his instinctive response is to pretend he is fine. During Wilderness School that day, Eva teaches a little lesson on how the elders of old used to discover wisdom in the natural world, and Martin begins to receive some wisdom of his own.
Sylvia and her friend Sofia make a powerful connection between important figures such as Martin Luther King, Nelson Mandela, Eleanor Roosevelt, Gandhi and Malala — and the fallen leaves that make an physical impression in the ice.
When Daddy realizes that he left the paint brushes in his studio in town, he is not sure how to do his planned lesson for Nature School. Luckily Sylvia's friend Sofia comes up with an idea: why don't we make some? What happens next is not only fun, but beautiful.
At Goose-eye Wilderness Camp, Martin notices that his friend Sam is feeling tired of winter and missing her home in Arizona. He hesitates to tell her that there are still several weeks of winter left, but luckily Helmut, the apprentice from Germany, knows exactly how to show Sam the way to appreciate the gifts of Winter.
For the first time this year, Martin does not want to go to Goose-eye Wilderness School on Thursday — and it is simply because they are going to be working with journals. In conversation with Momma, Martin admits his worry that others will be way ahead of him in reading and writing. What if they make fun of him? But between Momma's advice and a wise short story told by Troy, the apprentice, Martin learns that when it comes to reading and writing, everyone is ready...when they are ready.
A Geometry of Hearts
Martin is curious about math and how it will play out in his future. When Momma explains that math shows up in all parts of life, Martin wants examples. Momma talks about several different ways to use math, but when she lands on geometry, Martin interest is primed for an exploration of shapes at Goose-eye Wilderness School.
There has been a string of warm days where brother and sister live, and Sylvia wonders if Spring has arrived. Daddy — and then Sofia — assure her that Winter would return, but it isn't until Mrs. Brown explores the "pretend Spring" through Haiku poetry that Sylvia truly understands.
Martin is full of energy and can't wait to play games, build bridges, and generally be active during Goose-eye Wilderness School. His friend Alexander, however, is excited about a quieter day of scientific study. Daneesha, their apprentice for the week, decides that the best course of action is to start with a conversation, employing the respectful Native American practice of using a "talking stick."
Maple sugaring time has finally arrived, but Martin is upset when he learns he’ll miss the first day of sugaring at home — a disappointment made worse by the notion that Sofia will be taking his place. But when he arrives at his wilderness school that morning, he learns that not only will they be sugaring, but HE will be teaching the others how it’s done!
It’s Martin's final Thursday of Goose-eye Wilderness School before the holiday break — the Thursday where the 'deermice' are going to give home-made natural gifts to each other — and he is puzzling over what to give Jayla. He wants something surprising, something fun, something sparkly, and something quietly adventurous to give his friend — but it is his little sister Sylvia that comes up with just the right thing.
As there is no Goose-eye Wilderness School this week, Martin invites his friend Jojo to join Sylvia and Sofia to make snow candles. When Jojo shares that she lives only with her dad, Sofia is delighted to share that she, too, has only one parent - her mom. For the rest of the afternoon, all four children work together, making candles, building a fort and enjoying their magical time together.