We have had a great week. I really feel like we are slowly but surely getting into a groove. This was our first official week of Classical Conversations. Both kids had a fantastic day and have worked hard at home on their memory work!
Early in the week Miss K finished up her sewing project for a lady in our church with a new baby. I know she is really excited to give this to her on Sunday.
The Geography memory work this week has been about the Fertile Crescent. We pulled out the Usborne Book of Ancient History and read about the area and customs. This led to a discussion about using ancient tools to “grind wheat” which led to a feeble attempt to give it a try at home. 🙂//embedr.flickr.com/assets/client-code.js
We also dug into the classification of living things and the Oils art lesson at home this week.
One desire I have for my children is to do more nature study and spend time observing life outside of our four walls. We went on a walk around town today and enjoyed being in creation.
One of my favorite times of the day has become our read aloud time. We have had some cool mornings this week and we found ourselves reading on the deck while playing with Legos. We recently finished reading a missionary biography of Mary Slessor. My daughter felt greatly encouraged hearing the story of a fiery headed lady from Scotland taking the message of Jesus Christ into the West African region of Calabar. Learning about the deep need in West Africa has reminded us to pray for friends serving as Bible translators in the area. I have finally found a book that Mr. J is loving, Little Pear. The main character is a 5 year old boy who is a little bit ornery, go figure why my guy is enjoying it! 🙂
//embedr.flickr.com/assets/client-code.jsI am thankful for the opportunity to link up with Collage Friday and Weird Unsocialized Homeschoolers link up because it slows me down long enough to reflect up our week and to see God’s grace then the little moments. Interested in linking up, check it out at Homegrown Learners – Collage Friday 1.2 //embedr.flickr.com/assets/client-code.jsand Weekly Wrap – Up.
After a few weeks of my big girl asking to start school we “officially” kicked off school on August 10th. This year sitting across the table I have a third grader and a preschooler staring back at me!
I like to ease into the school year slowly. We generally start with our Bible time which includes the Foundations Fighter verses for scripture memory, catechism questions from A Catechism for Girls and Boys, and currently we are finishing Big Truths for Little Kids and will start The Gospel Story Bible soon.
Following Bible time is our read aloud time that include poetry and literature. We call this time “morning time” for lack of a better name. The concept of
Morning Time has been such an added blessing to our days. I first came across the concept from the Amongst Lovely Things blog. She recommended listening to Cindy Rollins talk that is on the Circe website titled, The Long Haul: On Morning Time. After listening to that lecture and reading more about morning time I decided it is a must!
Fall is around the corner and you can feel it in the air. This has allowed us to do morning time outside on the deck on a blanket with legos spread near and far.
Our first read aloud was The Hundred Dresses. Such a beautiful book! I have a vivid memory of the poster for that book hanging in my 4th grade classroom but I don’t recall ever reading it. We also enjoyed Homer Price together. Reading Homer Price caused my son to ask for a pet skunk because he has “heard that skunks make a good pet” and of course we feasted on donuts as we enjoyed the last chapter of the book. However, no diamond bracelets were found in our donuts. We have enjoyed various poetry selections during Morning time.
After we finish up morning time my daughter moves into her independent (meaning not with me and brother) work that includes reading, violin and math (I am handy for math, she isn’t completely independent yet). For her independent readers I used the Sonlight catalog for suggestions and ideas. Week 1 she read Clara and the Bookwagon and Pompeii… Buried Alive.
While she is doing her independent work I work with brother one on one. Currently we are just working on letter identification, basic pen control and preschool math skills. He will also work on the CC memory work once CC begins. I am loving our Usborne books for preschool this year. That’s a whole other post coming soon!
As we eased into week one we reviewed All About Spelling Level 2 and Math U See Beta from last year. We jumped into (and are LOVING) First Language Lessons Level 3, IEW All Things Fun and Fascinating, and Song School Latin 2.
We also did a mini history lesson on the state of Missouri since Monday August 10th was the 194th birthday of Missouri. We proudly hung a Missouri state flag that was flown at the capital building in Jefferson city.
Week one is in the books and it was a fantastic start to the school year!
Over a month has past since I have slowed down long enough to record our comings and goings. As I reflect upon the past six weeks I am reminded of the Lord’s faithfulness. I remember looking at our calendar at the beginning of the summer and wondering how we were going to do it all. I have been really intentional in not putting to much on the calendar but the way a few things fell kept us busy with back to back activities.
Miss K finished up sewing camp with her nanny the first week of July. During this week she created 4 different projects. A mini-tree skirt, a stocking, a pillow and a mitten. I love that she is learning to sew. Her creativity and generosity is unending. Not even a week home from camp and she had a list of things to create for friends. Since that time she has spent many hours on her sewing machine creating tin whistle cases, a baby blanket, and aprons. We even had a sewing party with some friends where we made cases for tin whistles and a couple of head bands. I am thankful that since we homeschool I am able to schedule in time for her to sew and work on her projects. She has a few more aprons to make and we are going to start working on receiving blankets for the pregnancy care center. We are working our way up to making pillowcase dresses to put in our Operations Christmas Child shoe boxes this year and to send to another local organization.
After sewing camp we took a family vacation with our extended family. We went to a couple of shows and enjoyed spending time with family. Following vacation my kiddos enjoyed vacation Bible school at my mom’s church. I am fairly certain we will be “journeying off the map” until next summer and the new VBS sound track rolls out.
We concluded those three weeks with a first birthday party for Miss E. It is hard to believe she is ONE! We enjoyed celebrating the gift she is with our family and friends.
After an incredibly busy few weeks our lives have slowed down greatly. The slow pace has allowed me to read, reflect and think on what is important and most pressing. As a CC director I am prepped and ready for the CC year to begin. Here at home we already have one week of school under our belt, which I plan to write about soon. I feel like this is the calm before the crazy that I know is just around the corner.
Moments to remember
Miss K – Her eagerness to tackle the school day and the work ethic she is applying has been so encouraging. She has risen to the challenge and is embracing third grade with a twinkle in her eye and joy in her heart.
Mr. J – He is so ready for “school” and is super stoked about his Super Mario Bros back pack. Little man LOVED VBS and wanted it to last (in true Mr. J fashion) FOR-EV-ER!
Miss E – This sweet girl is getting super big and almost a full time walker. She is my water baby and has enjoyed spending time this month in the swimming pool. If we can’t quickly locate her in the house we know she must be headed for (or splashing in) the dog water.
I love books! I am a self confessed nerd remember. 🙂 That being said I wanted to share a few of my favorite books about home education.
These are the more practical, how-to books:
- Honey For A Child’s Heart – I have skimmed the first portion of this book and often return to the book lists in the back when I am looking for quality literature to read to my children. I love her selection of picture books and authors! If your building your children’s library this is a great place to start.
- The Well-Trained Mind – I treat this book as a resource. I don’t read it cover to cover but only what pertains to me in season. This was the first book on classical education I ever read. It caused me to LOVE classical education but feel very overwhelmed with the “how” of classical education.
- The Core – This book took what I loved about classical education and made it accessible to me. Essentially in this book, the author, Leigh Bortins took the cookie jar off the top shelf for me! When something isn’t working well at home I pick this up and see what I can do differently or better.
- Classical Education Made Approachable – I love the brevity of this book as a basic introduction to classical education and Classical Conversations.
- Teaching the Trivium – I treat this book a lot like I treat The Well-Trained Mind, as a resource. However I LOVE the section titled Ten Things To Do With Your Child Before Age Ten. I think it is a great jumping off point. Wanna know what is awesome, you can read it and download a pdf of that section by clicking here!
- An Introduction to Classical Education – I am working my way through this little pamphlet. It is a shot accessible booklet on classical education for any parent wanting to better understand classical education. The best part, you can download the complete PDF here.
These are the more thought-provoking, why books:
- An Echo in Celebration – This was the first book on education that I read when we started homeschooling. It is a short, encouraging read. It is a great place for anyone to start. Greatest part about it, you can download it NOW and read it for FREE! Your welcome!
- The Joy of Relationship Homeschooling – I picked this gem up at a local homeschool convention after listening to the author speak. I think the education part of homeschooling is fun… to me, the relationship part is the hardest. This book has convicted, encouraged and equipped me as much as any other parenting book I have ever read.
- Teaching From Rest – I haven’t yet read the newest print version of the book but the original was a great encouragement to this mom who was a bit weary. I am looking forward to carving out time to read the expanded print version.
Books I am currently working through or are in the to be read pile that are worthy of a look:
- For the Children’s Sake – I am enjoying this book after hearing so many recommendations. I know people who read this every summer to be refreshed and reminded of “why” they choose to educate their children at home.
- A Charlotte Mason Companion – I have been intrigued by Charlotte Mason’s methods for awhile but cannot devote the time to read Charlotte herself. I can see the beauty in a Charlotte Mason education but cannot say I agree fully with all her methods. This book has been helpful to me as I seek to integrate classical and Charlotte Mason methods.
- Awakening Wonder – This is in the to read pile. I was sucked into the title, Awakening Wonder: A Classical Guide to Truth, Goodness and Beauty.
- The Classical Reader – I am a sucker for a really good reading list. This book is just that!
- Educating the WholeHearted Child – This book gets rave reviews from so many people. I have worked through portions of the book and been blessed. I can’t seem to get all the way through it but I wouldn’t blame the book but rather my preference for fiction. 🙂
- Consider This – Also in the to be read pile because of it’s title, Consider This: Charlotte Mason and the Classical Tradition.
These books are the ones that have blessed me and the ones I most recommend. What other books have you found useful in equipping and encouraging you as you educate your children.