Sunday, January 11, 2015

Year 2, Week 21

     Happy New Year and happy back to school!  We are back on track with homeschooling and Classical Conversations.  For those of you interested in Classical Conversations, this is the month to start checking for Open Houses or informational meetings in your area.  Next month will be the time to sign up and register and if homeschooling is growing, much like our community did from when we first started (It went from two groups to 7!) then you're going to want to get informed and get signed up asap.  You can look for a community close to you by clicking here.  If you'd like information from a tutor's perspective, feel free to post questions in the Comments section and I will answer them as best as I can.

     The New Year brought some changes in our homeschooling routine.  I use a mix of the Charlotte Mason method and Classical Education in our homeschooling, so in order to really nail in the kids' memory work from CC, they read what I've written on the board and then copy it down.  For all the subjects in CC except math, I've either created or found a double-sided sheet for them to do their work.  (This gets placed in a notebook which I'll share later on.)  They would do one side on one day and the other side later on in the week.  History and English would be done on Monday and Wednesdays, Latin and Science on Tuesdays and Thursdays, leaving Geography and review on Fridays.

    However, the kids would often jump ahead and just complete both sides.  This would also, unbeknownst to them, make their school day longer.  So, I changed it so that they complete both sides of the copywork/worksheet on one scheduled day instead of coming back to it later in the week.  This also made it easier for me (and them) to track what was done or still needed to be done.  Now our schedule now looks like this:

Monday:  English Grammar
Tuesday:  History
Wednesday:  Latin
Thursday:  Geography
Friday:  Science and Review

     It's more streamlined and they're done with all their work earlier.  Applause all around!

     Week 21 we also finished our reading of The Wind in the Willows.  My kids LOVED this story, even more so than Peter Pan, which we finished prior to this book.  I don't think I ever read The Wind in the Willows, or at least I don't remember reading it, but we thoroughly enjoyed it.  This is just another reason why I love English Lessons Through Literature by Kathy Jo Devore.  I like that we get to read great classics together and that the kids' work comes directly from the books we read.  My kids even put on a skit for their dad showing him one of their favorite parts of the book.

     That's about it for now.  I'll be back soon, hopefully!


Tuesday, December 16, 2014

100th Day of Homeschooling!

     Last year, with one child in public school and one child in homeschool, both kids had different things going on that the other wished they could participate in.  Things as big as field trips or as little as the 100th day of school.  With that in mind, I had planned on celebrating our halfway point (last post) and our 100th day of school, which happened to be today.  It's raining right now, and after a meeting I had this morning, we decided to kick off our celebration by ordering pizza for lunch when we got home.  My kids said it was the best pizza EVER!

     Then for dinner, since we're such carnivores, we decided to treat ourselves to Ruth's Chris Steak House.  We all wanted a good steak and this particular location had just opened up very close to us, so we went for it.  It was a nice (pricey) dinner, but the kids felt really special and frankly, I needed something special too.

     This also marks our 20th week of school.  Last week was our last meeting for Classical Conversations before the Christmas break.  Before bidding farewell to our community until after the New Year, we had a joyous time at the annual Family Christmas party.  All the kids showed off their knowledge of our history timeline and each class played a tune on their tin whistles.  My class played part of Jingle Bells.  They did a wonderful job.  All the kids did!

     That's about it for now.  Can you tell I'm ready for our break to begin?  This is our last week of homeschooling until everything, (CC plus our homeschooling schedule) begins again after the New Year.  I.  Am.  So.  Ready.
     So, have yourselves a merry little Christmas and may you ring in the New Year surrounded by love, food and merriment and may blessings be poured out upon you and yours!

Tuesday, December 2, 2014

Year 2, Catch Up (Weeks 12-18)

     I wrote the post below before Thanksgiving but forgot to actually post it because I was busy stuffing my face enjoying morsels of our blessed meal throughout the day.  Yesterday 12/1, marked the 90th day of school for us.  It's our halfway point.  Today, to celebrate (we didn't get to yesterday because I was tutoring) we decided to stay in our pjs---all day.  Yes, as I type this I'm sitting comfortably in my pajamas (I showered and threw on a clean set) while listening to the rain (and my kids going stir crazy from ONE day of having to stay inside.)  On with the post:     

     It's almost Thanksgiving and it's been roughly 6 weeks since I've last written.  It's just been THAT busy.  Planning a birthday party while maintaining a home, teaching, tutor planning for CC, caring for 2 kids with special but different needs (one who happened to also get an infection) and a week of me being sick along with 3 weeks of construction on our backyard to boot; well it's obvious that something had to be pushed aside and it happened to be this blog.  With every passing week I felt guilty because, after all, this is a blog I started for my kids, as a way of remembering and looking back to see how far they've come and I've left the past few weeks out. 
     However, I've let that guilt go because in the past few weeks a lot was accomplished and memories were made.  When I ask my kids to point to a state they can; my son can name all of them and their capitals as well.  We went to the Bodies Exhibition and we were able to show our daughter what a spinal cord looks like and where her surgery was done as well as showing our son a heart that had a similar condition to his.  The kids learned about slavery and one of the books we read was Henry's Freedom Box, which really made an impact on the kids because who would risk sending themselves in a box?!  We also began our tin whistle lessons as part of Classical Conversations.  As a CC tutor, my hope is to get my class to perform "Jingle Bells" at our annual Christmas party. 
     That's all I can remember right now which leads me to Thanksgiving.  I asked my kids what are 5 things they're greatful for and this is what they said: 
Little ToughieThat Jesus died on the cross
My mom and dad
For my home
That I have my own room
That I can help the homeless 
A380That we have a dog
For my little sister
For my airplane collection
For my family
That Jesus died on the cross for us
      I'm thankful for much.  Far too much for me to write down here.  We're blessed, even in times of darkness.  It doesn't always seem or feel that way, but God's purpose is beyond my understanding, beyond our understanding and my hope, my only hope lies in Him.  I'm thankful that He is my light.