Friday, October 09, 2015

Just a Few

Just a few pictures because it's been awhile since I shared. :_

Lessons with Katherine... it can be interesting (these two are iPhone pics):

Jonathan (re)learned how to ride a bike! He LOVES it!

Sunday afternoon naps:

I let her do art when we get home on Thursdays.

This little girl is trouble (she's trying to drink the paint water here):

Evenings with Josiah- it's a rare moment when I can put him down. He tends to want to be in my arms, especially at night- I think he likes the time alone with mama after everyone else is in bed!

Friday, October 02, 2015

Educational Report: Week of September 20, 2015

I wrote this on Tuesday (late but now it's Friday, so it's really late) & then forgot to publish it. I'm doing so now because these "reports" are a great way for me to review what we did. Plus, they are a blast for us to read at the end of the year. We added in just a bit more that week. Definitely didn't read as much as I want- our evenings seemed busy... though, as I look back on that week, I'm not sure why. I keep reminding myself that Josiah just turned 4 weeks that week- it's OKAY to not be doing a lot. :)

Bible: daily independent reading & reviewing memory work. The oldest three enjoyed a party on Saturday at church to celebrate memorizing Ephesians 1-2. :)

Circle Time: just around the table at breakfast this week. We listened & watched a performance of Handel's Messiah every morning. I LOVE getting back to listening to our current composer each morning- it helps everyone eat more cheerfully & it helps ensure that we are actually listening to pieces by our composer (vs just reading about their lives).

Reading Aloud: Eric read another chapter of Raiders from the Sea. (Everyone clamored for more but our focus this week was to re-establish reading the Bible as a family in the evenings. Babies have a way of causing wonderful havoc on daily routines!) I read two (or was it three?) more chapters of The Secret Garden to the girls before bed. Jonathan & Elizabeth each read 2 chapters from the Little House series, as well as finishing 1 chapter from their history readings (Duel in the Wilderness for Jonathan & Johnny Tremain for Elizabeth).

Covenant Classes: Jonathan & Elizabeth learned several new vocabulary words for names of family members, the pronoun jingle & the 5 cases for their Latin grammar class. They LOVE this class! :)

The boys moved into chapter 12 for Latin Alive 1, which covers the genitive case. Benjamin & Matthias learned about intensified adjective in their writing/literature class. (Benjamin also tells me Mrs. Bailey got off on a rabbit trail about a book called King Jim. He cracks me up, how he reports about what he is learning!) They continue to read Carry on Mr. Bowditch at home for the class & worked on week 4 of Writing with Skill, which covered plagiarism. They turned in a paper about the Gold Rush, having to cite sources, to Mrs. Bailey.

For writing/literature, Patricia read Of Plymouth Plantation. In class, she recited To My Dear & Loved Husband by Anne Bradstreet. They discussed Bradstreet & other Puritan authors. Patricia told me she is enjoying her speech class more- yippee! Don't ask me what the eldest three learned for their Bible classes... because it's Tuesday & I haven't asked them.... :/ (I will ask after typing this up!)

Here's a picture of Patricia working on a paper for (she's listening to music- I do NOT often let earphones be in my children's ears, especially during lessons):

Abigail & Emily: lots of practicing their numbers & letters. Abigail is reading the first few pages of Phonic Pathways (she's blending s, m & n with each vowel). She is VERY eager to read "just like Lizzie." Abigail finished her Singapore Math, Kindergarten book A this week! :)

History & Geography: I read George Washington's World to the younger set. Only oral narrations this week- no writing. We especially enjoyed researching snuff boxes after learning that John Hancock was gifted a gold snuff box by King George. It was all the fashion to sneeze, so people would grab a pinch, sniff & sneeze. HILARIOUS! Benjamin & Patricia reviewed past history memorization. Benjamin finished reading Moby Dick.

The older three reviewed continental blobbing; Jonathan & Elizabeth reviewed lines of longitude. Just found these that I'm ordering!! Thank you, Sarah (follow her Periscope- it's great fun)!

Language Arts: Matthias started Our Mother Tongue; this week's lesson was on nouns. All three older children did a lesson (Patricia did two) of Fix-It. Jonathan worked on Spelling. He & Elizabeth brainstormed dress ups for a paragraph they will write this week. It was good to enforce what adjectives are. :)

Latin for Patricia: she completed chapter 14 of Latin Alive 2 on pluperfect & future perfect passive indicative, as well as active & passive perfect infinitives. Confused? Yep, me too. :)

Math: can I just say I LOVE having Eric help Patricia with her math in the evenings?!?! We were consistent with daily lessons & homework with everyone- YAHOO!!!!

Philosophy: Eric, Patricia & Benjamin listened/discussed half of the second lecture about Italian philosophers. They are still learning about pre-socratic philosophers & covered Parmenides & Xeno. I listened in during the first lecture but not this week. :( Makes me sad & I KNOW Eric would love to have me join them but they meet at night & there's lots of littles needing attention... and I'm reading SO MUCH right now to keep up with other lessons... and I do not love philosophy.... so I'm not joining in. :(

Science: the younger set folded in science this week. We spent the week reading some of Destination Moon: the Spiritual & Scientific Voyage of the Eighth Man to Walk on the Moon. Like history, no written narrations but lots of talking. :) Science is one big area where we are making changes to our approach after learning about Charlotte Mason philosophies. Still researching & learning but the big change are: 1) more REAL books in various studies & a 2) science & lab notebook. EXCITING! I'll discuss this more as I line up the older children's studies.

Wednesday, September 23, 2015

Wednesdays with Words: Seeing a Flower

"Artist Georgia O'Keeffe, well-known American painter of the gigantic, exquisitely detailed flowers, knowingly remarked about her ability, "in a way, nobody sees a flower, really, it is so small. We haven't time- and to see takes time, like to have a friend takes time." With her science of relations, and a s a gracious hostess, Mason invites with time and means, her students to see, to make friends." (pg. 65 from The Living Page by Laurie Bestvater)

Learning to take time, to make connections, to ponder, to wonder, to think, to relish, to praise the God who ordained it all... these are the reasons I educate my children! It's easy to get caught up in the checklists & rush past things; to think that in simply doing more, we are accomplishing more. Charlotte Mason is teaching me to slow down & make friends. Oh, and the children are learning too. ;)

Oh, and I just had to share some of O'Keeffe's work:

Be sure to link up with Dawn's blog to see more words:

Friday, September 18, 2015

Educational Report: Week of September 13, 2015

Hm. Somehow my weekly educational reports turned to monthly recaps and then I completely forgot August & some of September. Oh, well. We did some weeks of lessons & had several off, especially enjoying a break surrounding Josiah's birth.

Eric returned to work this week so I thought it wise to dip our toes into a few more lessons. Just a few though- I'm determined to keep things light & rest for several more weeks. :) I ended up doing more than I planned (no surprise there) because it was running so smoothly. Yippee!

Bible: daily independent reading & reviewing memory work during circle time. I was not consistent with doing Bible together as a group. :(

Circle Time: I'm back to calling memory time circle time but I do not love calling it that. I can't seem to find the right title for this time of our day. (I know it doesn't really matter!) We focused on reviewing Ephesians 1-2 (the oldest three memorized it over the summer along with several children in our church; Jonathan & Elizabeth continue to chip away at it- they've completed the first 13 verses) & John 14:1-14 for the oldest three (assigned in the boy's Bible class for co-op).

Reading Aloud: this week, reading aloud was one of the top things I sought to accomplish consistently. As we incorporate more Charlotte Mason ideas into our educational pursuits, we are revamping our reading & narrating. (We've always built our education around living books & we've done narration. But I let narrating slip a bit recently. We needed to delve into more conversations over the books vs. the children reading independently.) The children must narrate all their readings assigned for educational purposes. Often, it's just an oral narration but occasionally I'll have them write or illustrate it. Sometimes, I just listen & they're done quickly. Sometimes I ask questions (not probably very CM but that's ok). A few times, I've sent them back to re-read because they needed to do so carefully. :)

This week, we finished My Side of the Mountain! Yahoo! Eric started reading Raiders from the Sea. He was suppose to just read it aloud to just the boys but everyone was so excited to have daddy reading aloud again (it's been awhile), that they all begged to join in. And who could deny that kind of request? ;)

I read two more chapters of The Secret Garden to the girls before bed. Jonathan & Elizabeth both read aloud a chapter of their books from the Little House series. Jonathan also read the second chapter of Duel in the Wilderness & Elizabeth read some of Johnny Tremain (their current free reads for history but instead of reading independently, I'm requiring them to read aloud to me.) We've already read Johnny Tremain but I let her go ahead & pick it since she has to read it aloud & narrate it. Surprisingly, Elizabeth has struggled the most with narration- I was SHOCKED! I think it's because she reads so fast that she skips parts. Reading aloud is helping!

Covenant Classes: the children's co-op classes resumed on August 27th so this was their third week. It's the highlight of our week. :) I missed their first week of classes because of Josiah's birth but here are some pictures from last week:

Starting in October, I'll be teaching 2 art classes but until then, a friend has been taking the oldest three to classes because they have to leave earlier than Jonathan & Elizabeth. I'm happy but slightly annoyed that they pop out of bed at 6:30, get ready & eat breakfast so they can be ready for Mrs. Raney at 7:30. Errr- WHY don't they pop out of bed the rest of the week!?!? (And I don't even require them to get up that early the rest of the week!) It's a full day for Patricia (she's done at 3:30) but everyone else is done between 11:30-12:30, so we can come home & have lunch.

Anyway... Jonathan & Elizabeth will join my art classes when they start up. They are also taking a Latin Grammar class, which is taught by Benjamin & Matthias' teacher. They LOVE it! :) No Bible this year (Pastor's schedule was too busy- insert sad face).

In addition to art classes, Benjamin & Matthias are taking Latin Alive 1 class, Bible class with Pastor (using this book) and a writing/literature class (they use Writing with Skill, book 2 for some of the writing but Mrs. Bailey builds on many other things, including several living books). Currently, they are reading Carry on Mr. Bowditch (they boys know it well- this is a family favorite! READ THIS ONE, people!) & have finished writing one paper. I love how their teacher is requiring them to journal about their readings! :)

Patricia is taking an apologetics class with Pastor, writing/literature class (her FAVORITE!) & a speech class, which she dreads but is EXTREMELY good for her. Her teacher is doing mostly impromptu speeches, requiring the students to think on their feet. LOVE IT! :) For writing/literature, Patricia has wrote 2 papers so far & is currently reading Of Plymouth Plantation. She's working on memorizing To My Dear & Loving Husband by Anne Bradstreet, who is one of my favorite poets! :):):)

Both Patricia & the boys read several other selections for their writing/literature classes. I've just mentioned the main supplemental sources. Last week, the boys read parts of a book that I then read & wrote about here. The readings this year are centered around American history this year (+ a little Shakespeare because you have to have that!), which is a good follow up to what we've already studied. This was the same way for Patricia last year- I find the set up a good review & allows the children to think through ideas a bit deeper/easier. :)

History: as we traveled to & from piano, we listened to two lectures for American Culture. (A bonus this week was that Eric came with us so he could drive!) We should have finished this up so I'm just having us listen so we can move on to Modernity, where we will go back to opportunities (i.e., tests) & exams.

Language Arts: I did spelling with Jonathan & Elizabeth, spending some extra time reviewing since we had been on break.

Latin: Patricia finished chapter 13 of Latin Alive, book 2. The boys completed half of chapter 11 for co-op.

Logic Philosophy: over break, Eric shared with me that he wanted to end The Argument Builder because he wasn't impressed with the content. (He highly recommends The Fallacy Detective though!) They got about 1/2 way through the book, btw. He also shared he wanted to take a break from logic & instead listen to Ronald Nash's lectures titled History of Philosophy and Christian Thought. SERIOUSLY??? It seemed very ambitious to me but we listened to the first lecture this week & then spent time discussing it. GREAT STUFF!!! And, thanks to Dr. Grant's Gileskirk, we were (somewhat) familiar with many of the ancient philosophers mentioned in this first lecture. YAHOO!!! We will revisit a formal study of logic after finishing this philosophy course.

Math: in addition to reading aloud/narrating, math was the TOP FOCUS for the week. We did it everyday but Wednesday & actually, Patricia did it that day because she's been working her geometry concepts with Eric. It's been a great breather for mama to have one less child to teach math too. :)

Piano: as I mentioned, Eric went with us because he refuses to let me drive yet. :) We have lessons with our teacher every other week because of the long drive. The weeks we have piano lessons on Wednesday & co-op on Thursday are going to be LONG WEEKS. It's not ideal but we are making it work (& praying about direction).

It's felt so good to consistently get done these few things & I hope that as I add in more slowly, we can stay consistent. In addition to our lessons, we spent a TON of time outside, soaking in the lovely weather. It's been good to pull out the bikes again & take mini walks, though I need to make sure I get  outside more vs. just sending them out! I could tell my children were really tired this week (we worked on getting up a bit earlier than we have been) so I'm hoping our bodies & attitudes adjust.

Wednesday, September 16, 2015

Wednesday with Words: Gainers by Trials

This past week, I finished reading Narrative of the Captivity and Restoration of Mrs. Mary Rowland
(That's a link to a free Kindle version- go grab it!) I've always enjoyed reading biographies, especially ones of fellow saints, but it had been awhile since I read one. Benjamin & Matthias read portions of this story for their writing/literature class at co-op & a friend (thanks, Stephanie!) recommended it. I'm having my boys, as well as Patricia, read the entire story. Yahoo- joining in together on the great conversations of ideas! :):):)

"God's power is as great now, and as sufficient to save, as when He preserved Daniel in the lion's den; or the three children in the fiery furnace. I may well say as his Psalm 107:12 "Oh give thanks unto the Lord for He is good, for His mercy endureth forever." Let the redeemed of the Lord say so..." (pg. 38)

"Yet I see, when God calls a person to anything, and through never so many difficulties, yet He is fully able to carry them through and make them see, and say they have been gainers thereby. And I hope I can say in some measure, as David did, "It is good for me that I have been afflicted." ... I have learned to look beyond present and smaller troubles, and to be quite under them. As Moses said, "Stand still and see the salvation of the Lord" (Exodus 14:13)." (pg. 42)

This woman didn't pen these words lightly. She lost a child, friends & family. She was taken captive by Indians. But she saw & recorded God's mercies in the midst of it all. Teach me, O Lord, to have such a perspective! To see beyond the vanities of life & to keep my focus on my Savior. Teach me to not doubt Your power because You are not doing what I think best. Teach me to come boldly to Your throne & then to "stand still and see the salvation of the Lord."

Be sure to link up with Dawn's blog to see more words:

Saturday, September 12, 2015

2 Weeks!

It's hard to believe we've had a little over two weeks with this little man:

It's been such a sweet time to have Eric home! He starts back this next week, though he does work from home two days & plans on taking Wednesday off so he can drive us to piano. But it's still going to be a change to be more in charge of the happenings. We will dip into a few more lessons but just a few- I determined to rest & heal! I'm sure there will be some tears though as we slowly adjust. ;)

It's felt good to pick up my camera again. At the end of my pregnancy, I just couldn't- I had no energy. Let me catch you up on some pictures. First, I realized I never shared pictures of the boys with Josiah when we came home so here are those (all iPhone except the ones with Matthias):

Abigail adores babies & she's always been my big helper. She's also very social, so she never misses an opportunity to chat it up. Josiah is a captive audience, so that makes her especially happy:

She likes to wake early to catch Josiah before anyone else is up but it can be tiring:

Elizabeth sneaks some time with him also:

I knitted his blanket; Nanny made the bumper pad:

Love her in pigtails:

More lessons from my rocking chair:

Josiah was a bit jaundice so I tried to get him in the sun as much as possible- window light works perfect:

My friend, Jill, have us this moses basket when Emily was born. It's such a blessing to be able to lay him down wherever I am (when he's not in someone's arms!). My mother made a new pad cover for Josiah:

Such tiny hands & just a tad bit of hair:

iPhone pic by Jonathan, who loves learning about photography:

This past Monday, the amazing Elizabeth Blank came to our home on Monday to take pictures. Eeek! I can't wait to see how they turned out! :) Here are our two Shutterbags together- you'll not find a better company!

Eric and I took the children out on Friday morning to ride the carrousel & then have lunch. Katherine needs some work but overall, it went well. Patricia snapped this using my phone:

Thursday, September 03, 2015

Wednesdays with Words: Routines

It's been a while since I joined in Dawn's weekly post. While I might not have been sharing here, I've read her blog (& several others who shared). Recently, with lots of dr appointments & then resting after giving birth, I've been reading A LOT (& listening to podcasts but that's a topic for another time). Mostly on education- it's really exciting what I've been learning! Dawn assures me it's okay to share even though it's not Wednesday. ;)

With all I'm learning, I'm making several changes to how we flesh out our educational pursuits. We're forming some new routines, new habits. Today's words come from For the Children's Sake by Susan Schaeffer Macauley on this subject:

"Routines form habits." (pg. 80)

"When planning routines, priority must be given to the most important things. The person matters... We'll need time to talk, read, relax, & work together. Our relationship with God matters... Where will I find time to get out & enjoy nature? There is too much work to be done, & I am finite. I need to accept the reality, & plan the time & priorities carefully." (pg. 81)

To form a habit, we need a plan, a routine. If I stopped there, I'd have the tendency to railroad over people. God's taught me much as a parent but one of the biggest things is to embrace the chaos, to let go & soak it in. You see, I adore planning/charts/organization/spreadsheets/order. So the second quote is really good for me to ponder. People matter. Prioritizing our relationship with God first & then each other. Having time to soak people & things in. Getting outside! Those are things we can crowd out when we plan too much. (Me, not you, of course!)

HOW??? :) It's not always easy to find a plan that works & I've found that plans are constantly needing adjusting. But not having a plan with 10 - oh wait, 11! - people under one roof is not an option! ;) As Dawn pointed out in her post yesterday, it's really about surrendering our wills to His. Then their's peace!

And for those of you wondering, we are still classical. But so is Charlotte Mason. I've learned (thank you, Consider This) they are not at odds. I've learned CM can help add back in peace & beauty. But I haven't pitch everything we were doing! We're just feasting a bit more. I'm chewing on a lot of these things & I hope to share how it's molding us here. :)

Be sure to link up with Dawn's blog to see more words: