Friday, February 17, 2012

First Snow

Our first actual snow of the year and it waited all the way until FEBRUARY to show up!

The best part of homeschooling?

Being able to abandon "the plan" to take advantage of what might be our only snow this year.

There was sledding and snowball throwing,

Snow angels and trying to bury the cat

(and being surprised that she didn't enjoy it...)

And best of all- the hot chocolate at the end. :)

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Yarn Along

{Yarning Along with Ginny again this week}

All the back pain I was having last week resulted in a diagnosis of "too much stress" followed by a strict order to get myself some relaxation. Of course, we're getting ready to close on both of the houses in just a few days, then there is the studio recital about 3 weeks from now followed shortly by my husband switching to a new work shift, and... oh yes- the regular every day facts that we have work and school and have to make sure people have clean clothes to wear and decent food to eat....

Who has stress?

Certainly not me.

Little did I know that my husband had planned an amazing surprise Valentine's Day/Anniversary weekend  that included a little bit of shopping for the baby and a LOT of relaxing (including a prenatal massage for me) long before the week of crazy back pain. I rested, read and knit (and bought anniversary yarn) the whole weekend, and my back is much better for it. The rule of the weekend was no talk of work or house stuff, and it was GLORIOUS.

I finished Legend amidst all the relaxing and moved on to Crossed by Ally Condie. I read the first book in this series last year, and this one has been on my request list at the library ever since it was announced.

Still working on my socks, but I'm decreasing to the toe- hoping to finish it up tonight, then on to blocking and wearing.

And I cheated and cast on another baby sweater for Baby Girl before finishing that sleeve on the pink cardigan. I know, I know-- but the yarn is Berocco Vintage and it was BEGGING to be cast on- if you had seen the looks it was giving me from the pile of baby yarn you'd understand. It's another February Sweater, but a little bigger than the pink one.

P.S. There is more Vintage staring at me, this time in yellow.

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Learning In Progress, January 2012

I thought I'd start sharing a record of our work each month, partly for me to keep track, and partly because I love reading about other folks' plans.

Ender is 6 years old and in first grade. We do math, handwriting, faith and violin daily, and spread the other subjects out throughout the week.

Ezra is 4 years old and having a K4 year. I only require that he listen while we read something during the day, but because he loves to write and draw he also chooses to work out of a workbook of his choice or to draw or do projects with us.

Reading Ender's weekly assignment from church every week.
Memorizing through the Wingrunner book for Awana, pages 80-end, then working through the review verses.
30 minute Bible Study with Brian each week, Genesis 1 & 2.
Ezra- memorizing his weekly verse for Awana Cubbies.

Ender- trying his first timed subtraction sheets this month and increasing his speed a little at a time.
Completed Singapore 1.
Completed Lesson 1-24 in Saxon Math 1
Learning to write dates.
Ezra working with dominoes and dice to match numbers.
Both- playing Too Many Monkeys and Monopoly Junior.

Language Arts:
First Language Lessons (FLL) lessons 1-13
Copywork and narrations based on our history, science and literature readings
HWT (yellow)- p. 20-48
Ezra: Moveable Alphabet practice with CVC words, working with short vowels.

Science: (this month was science light while we focused on history)
Both: learning to use our new microscope, looking at many *many* blades of dead grass.
Narrating from Christian Liberty Nature Reader K, letters F-I
Read independently from the Christian Liberty Nature Reader 1, p. 6-10

Scrambled States of America game
Memory work- the names of the continents and oceans

History/Science/Literature: (These are read together unless marked IR)
Fables by Lobel
If You Lived in Colonial Times by Ann McGovern
Benjamin Franklin by D'Aulaire
K is for Keystone by Kristen Kane
P is for Peach by Carol Crane
And Then What Happened Paul Revere? by Jean Fritz
G is for Garden State by Eileen Cameron
Betsy Ross and the Silver Thimble by Stephanie Greene  (IR)
Everybody Needs A Rock by Byrd Baylor
N is for Nutmeg by Elissa Grodin
Listened to Prince Caspian by C.S. Lewis

Memory Work
The Caterpillar by Christina Rosetti

Ender: PeeWee Basketball 1x per week
Ezra: Indoor soccer 1x per week

Fine Arts:
Ender: daily violin practice
Draw Write Now 1: Girl, Boy
Lots of free art time.

Ender's Free Reading:
Magic Treehouse: Dark Day in the Deep Sea: first 7 chapters
Frog and Toad Are Friends
Big Blue Book of Beginning Readers by P.D. Eastman

Monday, February 13, 2012

How Much


We are as packed as we can be, down to about 2 small boxes worth of things in the kitchen (since I'm still working at the house and need to eat there every day that will be the last thing packed).

We've been taking the opportunity to part with things we no longer need or use and passing them along to family and friends if there is still value there, but also throwing out what is truly worn out. We don't want to move anything we don't love or truly need to the new house. The boys were champions about giving up toys to their younger cousins to make room for their new love of legos and we found ourselves saying again and again "just because we are going to have more space in the new house does not mean we can keep more stuff."

We say it just as much for ourselves as for the boys. It isn't the things filling the house that make the home- it is the people and their relationships. Too much stuff to maintain takes time away from those relationships. I mean, would I rather spend my time picking up all the toys/folding mountains of clothes or being able to play games together or head outside? No contest in my mind.

Moving makes me seriously wonder why we had as much stuff as we had. We have lived in this small space for over ten years and have tried to be very careful about what we bring in, to cull what is no longer needful, and to take care of what we do have. Neither my husband or I are "keepers" by nature, but we did have things we were finally able to part with after letting them hang around for a few years (or more- I can think of at least 5 boxes that have followed us for the better part of our 11 years).

And Ginny's post was so timely for me- I have one child who very freely gives his toys and other things away but can barely part with any piece of art he's ever made (even if it's the tiniest of scribbles of the tiniest scrap of paper) and the other one who doesn't part with anything without a fight- and we're trying to be wise about how to approach it respectfully with them. I don't want to take away or throw things out if they are truly important to the boys, but at the same time we just can't keep every little paper.

We came up with a few ground rules that everyone agreed to before we started sorting and that helped us tremendously:

1. Anything broken will be thrown away.

2. Anything that doesn't have all of its pieces will be thrown away.

3. Art work is limited to your art box. Anything that doesn't fit can't stay.

4. If no one has played with it in 3 months it goes into storage. (If we don't find we need it in the next 3-6 months it goes on to a younger cousin).

If an argument came up over any little thing I could remind them of the original agreement, and it worked shockingly well. There were still some sad moments over things that were broken and couldn't be saved (mostly things that Nana had given them... nothing truly important, just the fact that Nana had given it to them made it meaningful), but overall they cooperated beautifully.
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