Saturday, February 18, 2017

Our Weekly Amble for February 13-17, 2017

This week we finished the first six weeks of Academic Year 2017!

It was a great six weeks. We managed to keep up with almost everything - except Kim.

M-girl is doing well with her added work, although she is struggling a little with time management of it. She's always been a little less, um, urgent about accomplishing her work.  That's something we discussed in our Weekly Meetin.

N-boy is doing well with the level of requirement. He still struggles with wanting to do the minimum. The Geography Record assignment feels like "just extra work" to him. I very much want to encourage him to go above and beyond in the next term.

R-girl is doing a great job with the readings and the work expected of her. I know it is a little above her age-wise, but she is handling it like a champ. When she focuses, she can easily be the first one done (no piano or organ practices), the problem is focus and not getting caught up with her siblings or her own immediate wants.

Cliffhanger for our Whatchamacallit readaloud over
break. Mwahahahaha
This week we did Whatchamacallit four days (woo-hoo!). We've been working on memorizing Psalm 34, 'Spirit of God, Descend Upon My Heart is our hymn, A Psalm of Life by Longfellow is our current poem, and the St Crispin's Day speech from Henry V is our Shakespeare.  They're working steadily on all of these.

We had a grammar week that reviewed capitalization rules one day then moved to diagramming and MadLibs on Friday.  We've continued to enjoy The Ology, Training Hearts Teaching Minds, and especially The Chestry Oak. We finished Whatchamacallit early every day this week. That's weird. We observed our final Mary Cassatt painting (a little behind, yes), sang There's a Hole in the Bottom of the Sea (it has caught their fancy, I've heard it a number of times since), listened to some Gregrian Chant, and worked on a drawing lesson.

In math, M-girl is still working on a section on negative numbers; N-boy is moving into perimeter, area, and volume; R-girl is working on multi-digit multiplication and division.  In Latin, M-girl finished Unit 4 and R-girl and N-boy Unit 2 of Latin for Children Primer B. They did some geography.

We read about the Taj Mahal, Mt Everest, and George Washington Carver's invitation to teach at the Tuskeegee Institute. We read how Europe divvied up Africa and the character of the Severn and Avon rivers.  We learned about Teddy Roosevelt and how his character shaped his actions. There was a theme of mourning and dealing with death that was sprinkled throughout many of the readings this week.

On Friday, it was glorious here, so we were able to go on a nature walk with our friends. We went out again on Saturday with Jason.

We celebrated with Shamrock Shakes!

I did make a YouTube playlist although we viewed very little of it. I know the children would like to see the Taj Mahal still, so we may watch that on break week.

On Saturday, Jason built me a whiteboard and installed it in the school room. I'm already loving it!

Thursday, February 16, 2017

Nature Study Interview at Raising Little Shoots

Lynn Seddon at Raising Little Shoots invited me to participate in her year-long series of interviews about how Nature Journaling or Nature Study looks in our family.

~ When did your first begin nature study and what got you started?
It has been a number of years since we began and we’re very uneven with our Nature Study. I found our old, incomplete books for this interview and they say 2011 on the back. One of my intentions every year (and 2017 is no different) is to spend more time doing Nature Study.  Since I learned about it in our early years of homeschooling, I thought it sounded like a good means to get me to go outside more and I really wanted my kids to have all the benefits of Nature Study. In particular, I wanted them to observe and know the world around them; to see the natural processes that God had created.
When she so graciously invited me, I told her that we were inconsistent and often did Nature Study in fits and starts.  Lynn kindly told me that many people certainly struggle as we do to go out to observe on a regular basis, that every little bit helps. It can be a real struggle to go outside and observe and study, but I was so encouraged when I wrote the post and thought through the processes and small ways we've learned about nature together that I want to do more and be more consistent.

I hope you're encouraged to do the same ... hop over to Lynn's and read the rest of the interview!

Wednesday, February 15, 2017

Wednesdays with Words: Obstacles and Adventures

I have been prereading for school during January and February.  It's been wonderful.  Even more wonderful has been the commonplacing that has been coming out of it. So helpful for me! Below is from one of my children's reads for this week.

What others believed were obstacles, [Theodore Roosevelt] considered adventures. What others thought of as setbacks, he viewed as challenges. Carry a Big Stick by George Grant pg 98
This is the kind of thinking I want my children to read. To struggle through challenge as an adventure - in their play, during hikes, doing a math lesson.  I may hang this one on the wall!

Monday, February 13, 2017

The Simple Woman's Daybook for February 13, 2017

For Today...

Looking out my window ... the sun is just peeking over the ede of the horizon.  Blues and a kiss of pink. Glorious.

I am thinking ... about joy and the Father's work in building up the church and his eventual triumph.  Yesterday's sermon has me, well, joyful. And it looks like it isn't online yet.  Once it is, Lord willing, I'll link it because it was just so very good.

I am thankful ... for such excellent preaching in my own church. For the work that God is doing in churches around our city, state, country, world.  He is on the move, my friends.

One of my favorite things ... coffee. But it's downstairs and I'm upstairs ... I'll get mine soon.

I am wearing ... pajamas still.  I stumbled upstairs while Jason was still asleep to do some work before the children awake.  I'll be dressed soon.

I am creating ... the habit of making my BuJo frame each week.  I add the week's events and then if I add more during the week, it'll be gravy.  Baby steps, yo.

I am reading all of my children's school reading two weeks in a row ... and did my commonplacing, book of centuring, and geographing too.  Huzzah!

I am hoping ... to keep up the habit above.

I am learning ... all the things ...

In my kitchen ... a pot of oatmeal is on for breakfast. My fridge is full of leftovers for dinner and it'll be interesting to find room for the grocery order I placed on Saturday.

In the school room ... On Saturday, Jason bought the materials to make my whiteboard between these two windows.  It'll be so wonderful!

Post Script ... did you see that the Spring Morning Time plans are available at If you wanted to do Morning Time but aren't sure where to begin, or want a break from the planning, these plans will help you out!

Shared Quote ... "This is the day that the LORD has made; let us rejoice and be glad in it." Ps 118:24

A moment from my day ... from our hike on Saturday. It was mucky but glorious.

Closing Notes: it is the final week of our first term of the year.  We're excited to have this first six weeks in the bag and break week next week.

Linking up with The Simple Woman.

Friday, February 10, 2017

Our Weekly Amble for February 6-10, 2017

It was a weird week.

Monday was a pretty solid day. We had sufficient work and the timing went pretty well. R-girl had an orthodontist appointment, so we didn't do Whatchamacallit and the others were sending Google hangouts about their schoolwork:

The olders had piano lessons while R-girl and I picked up our grocery order.  That's so convenient. Anyway, M-girl wrote a resume last week - did I mention that? - for babysitting and said she could make easy meals.  When pancakes and bacon were suggested, she said she'd not made that - so I gave her the opportunity Monday evening.

Tuesday seemed like it was going to be the same kind of productive day, then M-girl threw up. N-boy and R-girl continued forward, but M-girl rested or slept the rest of the day. Happily, organ was already cancelled for the afternoon, so we just stayed home and quietly.

Wednesday was a scheduled off day because of cleaning, library, and Art with Friends ... none of which happened.  Art with Friends was cancelled because of sickness and/or travel and Mommy turned lazy.  

Thursday ... well, Thursday, I tweeted this:

They did all finish their school. Finally.  Whatchamacallit went pretty well. We did no grammar at all this week, though.  Next week. Ah, beautiful looping.  It snowed a couple of inches overnight, so N-boy wanted to try out the macro lens on my phone and I wanted to stay inside. Perfect.

Friday was pretty good. The balance of readings was off this week, so N-boy and R-girl only had three.  M-girl was still making up from bein sick, so she had five.

Today was a little unusual because everyone had a vested interest in finishing. We had friends coming to do Nature Study.   This was our third meeting, so we're still finding our way. So far, @littledrops5 and I have taken turns hosting and whoever hosts chooses what we do. The first time, I brought down our Nature Pal Exchange specimens and let the kids choose what they drew and explored. The second, Anna had read something about geometric shapes in nature, so we drew things inspired by that. Today, since the AO Nature Study focus is rocks, we looked at our rock sample boxes from the state. I thought that wasn't quite enough, so we watched part of John Muir Laws on watercolors (we watched not quite half of #5) and tried some of his techniques first. I also used his new book about Nature Journaling (that I got for Christmas) to think about how we draw rocks and see shapes. As the weather improves, I think we both hope to get outdoors and walk/draw/play more.

Last weekend I accomplished all of my pre-reading on Saturday!

While I did so, I also created a YouTube playlist for us based on the readings - things like a whale fluke, a trip to Isfana, a hermit crab changing his shells, how does Gregorian Chant affect today's music, etc.  If you're interested in the playlist, you can find it here. It aligns with Ambleside Online Year 5, Term 3, Week 5, so I called it AOY5T3W5. We watched some of it as we went, but most of it we actually watched today after everyone was done with readings.  I hope to continue to do this work as I go.

We read no Kim at all. I had it planned for during our drive to Art class and forgot on Wednesday. Ah, well.

Math is going well, M-girl continues in review type lessons, N-boy is working fractions and decimals, and R-girl is working on negative numbers.  M-girl finished Latin For Children B Lesson 3 today while the others are half-way through Lesson 2.  This is somewhat intentional. She needs the momentum of moving faster while the others need more time to practice and learn.  I kind of hate that, because I liked having us all together. Everyone does penmanship every day. They only did one day of MP Geography much to N-boy's chagrin.

We are all working on our keeping habits. M-girl is working to reach minimums and stop.  The others are hard pressed to notice locations and mark them. I marked geographical locations, but as I was hurried to finish reading I marked quotes (with book darts which I learned about from Modern Mrs. Darcy. They're genius.)  to copy into my commonplace and items to put in my Book of Centuries but haven't finished the copying and/or marking even as today. That's next on my list. I hope to have a picture on IG before I head to bed tonight of my finished work.

Wednesday, February 08, 2017

Wednesdays with Words: Fine and Noble

Monday, February 06, 2017

The Simple Woman's Daybook for February 6, 2017

For Today...

Looking out my window ... it's still dark. I've been getting up early and while I hate mornings, it has been a good practice in many ways.

I am thinking ... about some posts that I'd like to actually write - a post about }pacify{, and planning, and pre-reading.

I am thankful ... for wisdom of friends from afar and this medium of blogging and the internet. They have challenged me and helped me grow in so many ways.

One of my favorite things ... I've been trying out the Kroger ClickList - where you order your groceries online and someone else does the shopping for you? I was suspicious because I do prefer to select my own produce and meat, but so far they've done a good job and my time making my grocery list is the time I shop for it.  The efficiency is great.  There have been things that weren't available or substitutions that were not to my preference, but I didn't check the no substitutions box so ... Overall, it saves me time and whiney children, so winning!

I am wearing ... pajamas, but soon a teal top and jeans because R-girl has her second orthodontist appointment at 9.

I am creating ... posts about hobbies. My friend Kelly and I have decided that my hobby might be having hobbies.

I am reading my kid's school books. Ahead of time. It's wonderful.

I am hoping ... to keep that habit in practice.  It has been so beneficial so far.

I am learning ... how my preparation improves lessons and school days.

In my kitchen ... breakfast for dinner tonight.  M-girl says she doesn't know how to make pancakes. Guess what she's doing?

In the school room ... sometime this week, we'll watch this video about Gregorian Chant recommended by my friend.  I watched it Saturday and think it will be helpful!

Post Script ... Mystie has a coupon for the Simplified Dinners books right now. These charts help you make variations on a theme and are great for beginner cooks or busy moms.  She has books for breakfast, lunch, snacks, dietary restrictions, and new cooks.  You can get $3 off Simplified Dinners (any version) with code 'February' or $5 off the Simplified Pantry Collection with the code 'YesYouCan' if you order by Feb 14.  I'm not an affiliate, just sharing a helpful resource and a good price.

Shared Quote ... from my prereading. Warren G Harding 100 years ago: "America's present need is not heroics, but healing: not nostrums, but normalcy; not revolution, but restoration; not agitation, but adjustment; not surgery, but serenity. The world needs to be reminded that all human ills are not curable by legislation, and that quantity of statutory enactment and excess of government offer no substitute for quality of citizenship."

What goes around comes around.

A moment from my day ... M-girl and I were in the nursery last night.  How did she get this big and capable. Her online babysitting class told her to write a resume, so she did. I don't know if I'm ready for this ...

Closing Notes: I'm planning to take Brandy's Charlotte Mason Bootcamp class ... will you be joining us?  (also, not an affiliate ...)

Linking up with The Simple Woman.