Tuesday, December 28, 2010

December in 5 minutes

True to it's saying, a picture is worth a Thousand Words. I hope you can brew a cup of your favorite tea, sit down & review December with me.
Snow and Lights, the joys of December. Light.
For He is the Light of the World.
#Middlest's painting hangs over our guest bed. It may be my favorite thing in the house, presently.

Littlest poses in the new school room (more to come on that).

We did it!! December is a month for extra puzzles. It was such a treat for the five of us to sit around the table listening to Christmas music, the boys bellowing "Hark the Harold.."

...and the bag of balloons that grew faces and names, each a "baby" to the boys .

This was the stairwell that is growing into a pantry.
Decorating the tree.

Christmas Morning, a big, fun gift from Nanna and Grandpa. Hours and hours of fun.

Christmas Eve snacks

Littlest and his hamster, Blueberry. Natalie was lost in a horrible accident. Blueberry arrived the next day and has proven to be a friendly little girl whom Little loves fiercely. Such a sad story.
Christmas Morning, my Sweetie and I in all our morning "glory."

Hot Cocoa nearly everyday. Extra special in these sweet mugs my grandmother passed on to me.

Grandpa reads "Twas the Night Before Christmas" as the boys look on.

New life in December; paperwhites and grass for our Jesse tree project.

Graham Cracker Houses all around. Peek.

Our Jesse Tree.
December table.

December morning over the river. The view from my bedroom.

December has been a most pleasant month, quiet and productive. It's been a time for thinking and dreaming, playing and laughing. Creating and exploring. I'm excited for the New Year. See you then!

Monday, December 13, 2010

Christmas Gift Ideas....

Meet Natalie, Eli's charge. Happy with her own cabin & spinach snack. She even took a nap in there. :)
This is Clemantine, all ready to go to work.
The Architects, and their happy customers.
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Sunday, December 12, 2010

better than therapy....

  1. sitting with my Maker every morning over coffee
  2. going for a hard run on a Winters' day
  3. a cup of tea and a good book
  4. a trip to the library
  5. Saturday mornings & coffee & my husband
  6. reading like-minded blogs
  7. getting my hands dirty in the yard
  8. moving furniture. changing a room.
  9. watching birdies
  10. little boy kisses

Nate says...

"I know Mom! Why don't you wrap all the Christmas presents and put them in my room? Until Christmas?"

Why didn't I think of that?

Thursday, December 9, 2010

Let the Festivities (and organization) Begin!!

School is out! I mean this in the most fun way....not that we won't still be reading aloud and playing with art, crafting and baking. We're going to tuck away our seat work for a few weeks and just sit back and enjoy the season.

I am so anxious to get some shopping started (yes, I haven't done a thing but look yet) for some Christmas gifts. I have my cards ordered and addressed, ready for stamps and lickin'. We plan to put up our tree this week & (breathe) relax and enjoy the season.

Some fun things I want to do while the boys are playing:
  1. set up our new school room...maybe even knock out some painting. I'd love to paint up a blackboard on our huge wall. This way we can use it for writing/drawing or just hang up visual aids right on top of it.
  2. sleep in.
  3. Baking with the boys. This Christmas feels really low key, and I know the boys will enjoy some cookies (and the baking of them) so I'll set a time to bake with them.
  4. read. I'd like to finish Little House and move on to the next book by January.
  5. not quite as fun, but important. I'm going to evaluate the rest of the school year...what we need to do more of and set some goals.
  6. sit on the floor and watch my boys. Play with them. Get them in my lap. They'll only be little for so long.
  7. declutter. Always good to do before the gifts come rolling in.
  8. read a book, drink more tea. No doubt.
  9. plan out our Garden Planning parties. The boys will help me to plan out the gardens this year, and I would love to have more gardening magazines and times set for our planning sessions.
  10. play games. Oh, maybe we could try and play a game everyday. That means I play WITH the boys.
For fun, below I've updated our favorite Homeschool Links. Persue and enjoy, if you like.

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

November Homeschool

December is always a full month. I have set out to keep it as simple as I can over the last years, but no matter how I try it's full. Events and gifts, cards , decluttering, and school.

Yes, school is just about last on the list. And it's good, we do light school. A few more reading aloud, a little less seat work. It's kind for all of us, peaceful December.

My most recent excitement is deciding that we need a school room. It is not an easy interruption, clearing the table for meals or any other thing that needs to take place on the kitchen table. Not only that, but I think it would be lovely to have walls on which to pin my maps and other school wall-art. Mostly, I'd love to have a chalk or white board.

I started dreaming on moving school to the basement. We have a large playroom down there, it seemed the logical place to have school and tables, posters and pencils. However I've since changed my mind, and decided to put school in the room that has no name. It's a small room off our family room. Right now it's a Lego room, home to a large collection of toys sprawled across the floor. A bookshelf, a drying rack, a file cabinet. Nothing much in there but space and window and WALLS. So I'm excited to begin the changes this room needs to work school out of the kitchen. Oh, can you tell I'm excited? I can't stop rambling about it.

The other wonderful part is that my grandmother has asked if I want her old teaching table. My grandmother got her teaching certificate when she was 16 years old. Must have been about 1930. She worked in a one-room school house in Nebraska for 6 years, running the school and the furnace to keep them warm. What a lovely story! Years later after my father was born, she held a Kindergarten in a finished garage off of their home. In these days Kindergarten was optional. So in this Kindergarten she had four large tables for her students, my grandfather made each of quality Walnut. And she would like to know if I want the table! Oh joy! I cannot wait!

I did go to visit my grandparents over the weekend, a very, very sweet time. I wasn't able to bring the truck to move the table though, the roads were snowy and I drove my car.

I will be posting photos of the new school room as it develops.

Reviewing the month of November goes like this;

We stuck to our plan of Unschooling Fridays. We had a lovely time focusing on Nature Studies but also spending time on Autumn crafts and then, snow play!

For all of my three students;
I'm using Start Write to work on Penmanship. I usually copy of the memory verse the boys are working on for Awana and they copy them daily. The boys need plenty of work on Penmanship, all three. We also read through their Awana books for Bible stories and conversation.

The boys continue to practice Classical Conversations memory work as usual, and Joey is doing extra practice work. Joey will try for Memory Master this year, which will require him to have memorized 100% of the facts we've learned this year; English, World History Timeline, Geography, Latin, Science, History, Math. This is a lot of work but memorizing seems to come easily to him and he gets better.

Our Classical Conversations has spurred topics and mini studies in the solar system and constellations, and we follow up with Story of the World learning about Islam and other Medieval Middle Eastern History.

We continue with Nature Studies, Art, and have practiced Tin Whistle in Novemember.

Eldest, Third Grade, turned 9 in November! What a fun month for him.

Saxon Math
For his Essentials Writing Class, we're reading through First Language Lessons. He's been writing about Knights and the Middle Ages, and Honey Pot Ants.
For Spelling we've used SpellingCity.com (too fun!) and practice. Luckily, Spelling comes easily to Joe.

Middlest , First Grade

Saxon Math
We keep personal Calendars to discuss the format & work on the concepts of time and planning.
Nate is working through Teaching Your Child to Read in 100 Easy Lesson and improving on his reading daily. He likes to read Bob books and I am working through Writing With Ease with he and Eli.

Littlest, Kinderyear

Eli has been working through various workbooks for Math. Numbers, addition and subtraction seem to come quickly to Eli.

He is also doing daily reading lessons in 100 Easy Lessons. Eli has read a few books, but I think this book is a good place for him to start.

Other Thoughts:

My husband suggested that I begin to create monthly report to keep record of what we're doing, what materials we're using, etc. Truthfully, I'm a little miserable at keeping track elsewhere. In doing this, I'm also seeing some weak areas I'd like to improve upon.

I haven't really taken time to set goals in our work. Perhaps I'll set some sort of calendar to create goals. I'd like to work through our read alouds more quickly, and work more quickly through our Math books too. I will start Eli on Saxon 1, and probably begin 1/4 into the book, and take Nate there with us. Going back a little will reinforce the work that he has done and he and Eli can do the work together. Nate is ready to begin spelling, and it's just time to make some changes. I'll post my plan one day. :)

Monday, December 6, 2010

Tuesday Morning

The cozyness of Autumn....Winter, really has covered us with it's blanket. The snow, the quiet. I am so thankful.

Thankful for the noisyness of a Christmas train, the noisyness of little happy boys because my home is full and bright, cheery and noisy.

Thankful for little boys whose cold fingers and toes squeeze into the warmth of my early morning sleep and come, just to be and talk and giggle.

Thankful for Angels we do not see, that guard my children and car and husband.

Thankful for Angels we make in the snow....

....or in the leaves, in Winter coats and bare feet.

Thankful for singing boy voices that sing of Napoleon Bonaparte and the Battle of Waterloo (So thankful for Classical Conversations).

Thankful for a husband who dreams and then picks up tools to work out those dreams, enlarging bedrooms and building a pantry.

Thankful for a friend who needed babysitting today, and all five chatty children singing and creating and "Wow! How did you build that so quickly?"

Thankful for a shockingly beautiful drive, snow on the hills next to the river that leads me home.

Thankful for God's unmatched creation. That it's available to everyone, rich or poor, of any station or condition. Any of us can clearly see the Wonder in it.

Thankful for friendship in the blog world. Pop in and say hi. :)