Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Casting On

{Yarning along with Ginny for the first time in awhile... }

I honestly thought I wouldn't remember how. Casting on, I mean. I thought I'd have to look it up again, but the yarn just kind of twisted around in just the right way and as long as I didn't think too hard about it it just sort of worked.

I guess three months away isn't long enough to shake the knitting knowledge out of my brain.

This little white knit is most of a Stella Pixie Hat. I've made one before for a nephew (who will be turning 2 soon!) and this went onto my baby knitting list pretty much the second I found out I was pregnant. This pattern is available for free, but the book it comes from is so very lovely- be sure to check out Vintage Baby Knits if you have any babies needing adorable knits. Once we find out the gender in a few weeks I can move forward on some of my favorite knits from that book.

I've actually read quite a lot in the last month (Son of Neptune by Rick Riordan, The Core by Leigh Bortins, The Rhythm of Family by Amanda Blake Soule, and Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince by J. K. Rowling) but my current reads are Eclipse by Stephenie Meyer and The Autobiography of Henry VIII by Margaret George. I saw the newest Twilight movie, so I started to read the books again. For some reason I've been doing a TON of re-reading in the last several months and I'm not generally a re-reader. I'm kind of stuck for new titles and I'm definitely feeling the pinch, especially in the lack of good fantasy or historicals that aren't just romances dressed up as historicals.

What are you reading right now? Any suggestions for me?

Monday, November 28, 2011

Flexibility and Fairy Tales

When I last posted about homeschooling I had just made a few changes to our plans and we were moving forward.

I'm so glad we did.

I didn't know at that point that I was pregnant and since I've spent much of the last three months pretty sick in the mornings, school has been different. But what is homeschooling if not flexible, right?

Oh, lessons are getting done, but not necessarily with me at the helm- it's definitely a team effort lately. I've been doing what I can in the mornings (which ranges from supervising one or two things from the couch to completely finishing our lessons for the day). Thank goodness for a husband who doesn't mind giving a math lesson or supervising a 6-year-old's copywork after getting home from work.

The big change that made this all easier? Going more literature based. Our science, history and L.A. are all literature based now and even when I'm not at my best I can still sit on the couch and read a book. We do projects related to our books as the boys think of them, or even better I send them off to do their own thing and overhear them playing "Sailing on the Mayflower" or "Charlotte's Web" or "George Washington". You know they really got it when it seeps into their play.

Fairy Tales

Over the past month or so we've been working through a little unit on fairy tales. Our goal is familiarity with the tales, but we're also taking the opportunity to work on Ender's primary habit to build right now: retelling a story.

After our first time reading through the story I ask leading questions, kind of retelling in my own words and asking him to help me fill in the gaps. We read the story again a day or two later, and I retell again, but ask him to fill in even more for me than he did the first day. A day or two later I ask him, "Tell me the story of ..." and I help him fill in if he missed anything important. We have made notebook pages for a few of the tales, but that's a project he can choose to do- it's not required.

I chose versions of the tales for rich language but also based on what was available at our local library. We are fortunate to have a fantastic library system here so I try to take advantage of that whenever possible. Many thanks to Elizabeth Foss and her fantastic book lists (Primary Cycle B) for giving me a great place to start.

Cinderella by Brown

Little Red Riding Hood by Schart Hyman

Rapunzel by Zelinsky

Rumplestiltskin by Zelinsky

The Sleeping Beauty by Schart Hyman

We're taking a little fairy tale break once December is really here so that we can focus on our Christmas favorites, but we'll pick up again in January to finish up with The Frog Prince, The Emperor's New Clothes, and a few others before we move on to Tall Tales in February.
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