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Homeschool's Gratitude Garden

A couple of months ago, when summer's hot, humid air gave way to fall’s fresh breezes, the homeschool enrichment classes planted a Gratitude Garden. My co-facilitator, Andrea, and I had flowers, cabbages, and bulbs ready for them to choose from, but the children decided where to plant them in the raised flower beds. The end result looked more like a wildflower field than a landscaped garden.

We named it the “Gratitude Garden” to remind us of the people and things in our lives for which we are grateful. We talk about this at the start of each class at Morning Circle. Just as the preschool and kindergarten classes do, the homeschool classes form a circle, pass around a “talking piece,” and encourage each child to share moments of gratitude.

“I am grateful for everything!” five-year-old Blaise predictably says each time with such enthusiasm that it always makes us smile.

“I am grateful for the wind blowing through the trees,” Daniil recently shared. His voice was slow and steady, as if he was plucking each word from the air.

“I am grateful I was not home when my little brother woke up because he wakes up really grumpy!” Lily exclaimed this past week.

Surrounding the plants in our garden are small, smooth rocks that the children also painted. Riley drew a vibrant rainbow with colors that complemented the budding flowers. Blaise added red, yellow, black, and blue markings to his. Lisette colored a bright yellow sun on her rock.

Finally, the children placed small plant tags of various colors in the dirt. On each sign, they wrote a thought of gratitude:

“Everything!” - Blaise

“My buddy Cayden” - Mary

“Family” - Cecily

“Life” - Riley

A couple of weeks ago, during winter break, we had an unusual streak of freezing weather. I don’t mean that the air “felt” frozen, but rather that it actually froze down here in South Alabama. We thought for sure that our Gratitude Garden had perished. But when our class arrived after the new year, we found our garden still full of color. The small pink, red, yellow, and blue gratitude signs were still scattered about the rocks the children had painted. Some of them knelt close to the beds and placed their hands in the dirt.

“Look, my plant is growing!” one said. And sure enough, there were several bulbs with long green sprouts scattered haphazardly throughout. And for that, we are grateful.


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