14 October 2012

The Homeschool Mother's Journal

For the week of October 8th through October 12, 2012

In my life this week-We are settling into cooler weather. Saying good-bye to most of my outdoor walks and hello to that dreaded treadmill.  We are busy filling up the woodshed and actually finished hauling wood on Wednesday. Which is probably at least 2 weeks prior to finishing last year.  Daddy is happy about that!  Many hands make light work! Spending more time reading, baking, and cooking.  Which I think is a resourceful use of my time!

In our homeschool this week-The last couple of weeks has been our busiest, or most normal of homeschooling weeks for a while since we've had so much traveling around in September. I'm happy to say that things are getting back to normal and here is a sampling of what our last couple of weeks looked like.
Books being read by my children include-
The Discovery of New Worlds
The Clown of God-continuing in Five in a Row
Prima Latina and Latina Christiana-depending on the age of the child.
I am busy teaching Winston grammar to 5 children at once.
All of the children do latin and french and for some it is their second year of french and lately there has been quite a lot of it being spoken in our home.  Of course, in front of those who don't what is being said! (like me)
Saxon, Rays, and some Singapor math depending on which kid you are
McGuffey readers always has a place in our homeschool.  And off the top of my head I have seen eyes peering into these books this week....
Whistle Stop West
Tales From Shakespeare by Charles and Mary Lamb along with study guide from Logos
The Geology Book
Mary Poppins
Story of the Greeks
Story of the Romans
Greek Myths
Magic Tree House
Little Women (again)
Bobbsey Twins
Burgess Animal Book
Parables From Nature
Along Came a Dog
From the daily readings that my children complete they journal in their commonplace books the facts, passages, sayings, quotes, or simply whatever sticks out in their minds.

Helpful homeschooling tips or advice to share-If you are feeling tired and overburdened with household duties, husbands, homeschooling, babies/toddlers, and all those things that go with being a mom-try writing down each day for a week or so everything, I mean everything you are spending your time on and then look back to see what, if anything can be erased from your life.  Our most important priority and one we all need to be focused on is our husband and children.  Look closely, chances are you'll find something.  Pray!!

I am inspired by-My friend Becca who is putting continuous energy into bringing her adopted daughter Sasha home from the Ukraine.  

Places we're going and people we're seeing-On Thursday we had the opportunity to attend a seminar given by Steve and Terri Maxwell.  The topics spoken on were anger and vision.  It was quite enjoyable and uplifting.

My favorite thing this week was-When my little Mary came to me so very, very excited to inform me that she has, in her own words...."Mom, mom, come look, I finally have 2 loose tooths." She has been waiting and waiting for this day to come! Of course mama hasn't been because it means it will be my very last, first tooth!

What's working/not working for us-For the first time in years I have changed my checklists/daily schedules and am trying something new. I have always had a particular place for each child's work so this is nothing new. What's new is I didn't type down a daily schedule or list for the kids.  Instead, whatever they find in their baskets each day is what they are to do. Other things such as scripture study, and a couple core subjects I do with them. A couple of the children have said that it is almost 'freeing' to them.  In this way I am finding that since each day brings with it it's own "stuff" if you will; I am better able to taylor the school lessons while not feeling like a slave to a checklist.  Now we accomplish exactly what needs to be accomplished without the screaming voice of the 'unchecked' checklist!  However, I do 'journal' each day what each child has done and upon looking back at the last few weeks I am actually amazed at what is actually happening.  Those things we deem most important and or those things that pop up during the daily life of a large family that still incorporates into learning when looked at from another angle.  For example, here is what Emma's day looked like on Monday...
1 lesson in math, a lesson in both French and Latin, 2 hours and 45 minutes reading The Discovery of New Worlds and Shakepeare, a journal entry about Constantinople, Rome and also copied some quotes from my reading in Shakespeare.  
I listened to Bach music for a while, I made a Christmas present for my sister using wood, paint, and stencils, I talked to my dad about what the word 'vision' means and how I can apply it in my life. I watched a netfix documentary on dolphins, drew a picture in my commonplace book of one and I baked 3 loaves of bread! I wrote down plans on making Christmas presents for all my siblings-items I needed, how much time it will take me for each, and what I was making for who! I read about the warring going on in the middle east and shared what I learned with my family at dinner which sparked a conversation involving everyone. I played word scramble and a latin game on the Nook and a world geography game on the phone. I also fit in 30 minutes of yoga.

Questions/thoughts I have-With so many orphanages across this vast world and so many children needing families why politics continue to make it nearly impossible to adopt them in a timely manner.  I mean really, you would think that placing orphans into loving homes should be at the top of everyone's priority list. I sure wish it were.

Things I'm working on-Doing something with Christie's room.  I can't decide how to use the extra room we got when she married last month.  But I'm sure it won't be too long to figure something out.  Who could say they had an extra room lying around and can't find something useful for it? And believe me, I am getting lots of suggestions from lots of people of how it can be used.  

I'm reading-The Ultimate Homeschooling Book of Ideas by Linda Dobson. I have read many, many books on homeschooling and after 20 plus years of doing this one would think there isn't much more to learn but I love this book and if you get the chance to find it at your library (like I did) I suggest you check it out!  

I'm cooking-Soup, and lots of it!  It is that time of year so if you have a favorite recipe you would like to share feel free to send it my way.

I'm grateful for-My growing family.  But especially for the wonderful young men the Lord gave our 2 daughters to in marriage this year.

I'm praying for-Everything! From newly married daughters, to married children, to younger children and their daily needs....prayers for a new school year, winter, and for our nation, especially with elections right around the corner.

A photo to share-This is how Mary likes to travel!! She is actually sleeping here sitting straight up. Just a few minutes after I took the photos she fell over sideways and hit her head on a small cooler which woke her up in a hurry!

Quote-Learning that begins in freedom, that is guided by curiosity, and that is conducted without a need for external rewards and punishments gives children an understanding that life is learning.  As I (the author) wrote in The Art of Education: Reclaiming Your Family, Community, and Self, In the singular act of living life to its fullest, in appreciating every moment as it unfolds, true education occurs.  A child who grows knowing he already has inside happiness, love, success, and fulfillment is building a life and an education on a strong foundation.  The inner gifts shine forth in play, work, busy time, quiet time, triumphs and failures." Linda Dobson from The Ultimate Book of Homeschooling Ideas


Anonymous said...

mauriela and lucilla love reading and looking at the pics you send. If you are going to be home over Thanksgiving can we all come up? let us know
thanks much, bridie

Cathy said...

We are having indoor weather now, too. For home school work, I love your basket idea instead of checklists. I am thankful too, for godly sons in laws and daughters in laws. And familiar with the helpful input you receive, when you get to re-purpose a newly vacated room. Also, we have friends- a wonderful young couple--who have been trying to find a baby to adopt. It's taking longer than any of us thought. Blessings to you.

Cinnamon said...

I love your journals. It's like a little peek into your life.

Great advice....list what you do all week and cut out extras, except husband and children :-) Some weeks it's better to get down to the bare minimum and eat mac and cheese or top ramen and have a happy Mama, happy children and happy husband (well you might have to add some bacon to his meal to keep him happy but you get the idea) haha!

"Better is dinner of herbs where love it than a stalled ox and hatred therewith" Proverbs 15:17


jennifer said...

I haven't been online for some time and enjoying my time of catching up on some blogs. As always, the homeschool mother's journal is also my favorite. Off to see those wedding pics.


Ruby said...

What an uplifting pleasure to read of your busy household. I sure could use that spare room :-)

Becca said...

I always love to read this weekly updates! AND I finally made it into one! LOL! You inspire me -- giving me hope that I can handle one more little life in this chaos called my life. I look forward to the YEARS of you getting to know Sasha and this journey we'll take as friends!