Friday, June 22, 2012

I am still here

I am not a good blogger. I want to be. I think of all these wonderful topics when I am away from my computer, but when I sit down to write my thoughts, I just draw a blank. The words don't come in any sort of way that makes sense.

It has been a long time since my last blog post, so I thought I might post a little about what we have been up to lately.

We are still doing school and will continue to do so throughout the entire summer. I will probably take about a 2 week long break in September, when everyone else is going back. I believe I did that last year as well and it was actually kind of nice.  We are mostly done with the literature and readings portion of school and now are just going to spend the rest of the summer finishing up our book work. It makes for nice, short
days.  We tend to spend time outside in the mornings and evenings and head inside for chores and school during the middle of the day, when its so hot that its better to be inside anyways.

I want to change some things up as far as curriculum goes next year, though I will still be using Rod and Staff for language arts and I definitely plan on keeping with Math U See. It has been the only math curriculum that I have really really liked. I especially like that it teaches me. I have not really ever been good with math and while for the younger grades it is not a problem, I will certainly need a refresher when we get into more difficult math and so I like that this curriculum will teach me as I teach them. For literature, copywork and history, we used the book-list recommendations from and that has served us pretty well, but I did find some of the literature a bit difficult for me, and I consider myself to be pretty good at reading, so I am not entirely sure that the literature is accessible for my young children.  When reading up on the concept of Charlotte Mason, I discovered that they really thought that reading difficult literature and having them do narrarations on that literature is completely possible for young children, but not if the literature has to compete with the television, and well, my kids watch their share of television and I can see where it makes it difficult. Lately since the weather is nice, I have been a lot better keeping the tube put away, but in the winter it is a struggle. My kids seem to be able to understand some of the stories, but certainly they struggle with some of it, especially Shakespeare. I received many groans this year whenever I pulled out the mint green Shakespeare book-which was written FOR children!! I could barely understand it myself, but then, I have not ever really been a fan of Shakespeare unless it has been turned into a major motion picture. (and just what does that say about my ability to teach Shakespeare? Not much) And since I don't know too many adults dependent on knowing the works of William Shakespeare, I think I am okay with pulling that from our curriculum unless they get their own interest in it.
Next year, we also may do some kind of Unit Studies to make things interesting for them. I will be researching that idea very soon.

I am enjoying the summer, spending my time in the mornings on my swing sipping coffee, reading, thinking, and just listening to the birds before all the children wake up. I have found that my days go much better if I have that quiet time in the morning. If my children end up being my alarm clock, the day just doesn't go as well. It's not always easy waking up that early though.

I am also enjoying these days of hanging clothes on the line. I just love seeing representations of my whole family hanging up there. It's beautiful to me, and if I can get them up early while I am sitting drinking my coffee on my swing, then it's even better. It's the small joys that I love so much.

Simon is getting bigger and cuter. He smiles and babbles and giggles and is just at that perfect quintessential cute baby stage. Soon he will most likely be crawling. I love that stage. I love all the baby stages really. The other day I had him sitting in our bay window watching the big kids play in the sprinkler. I wonder what he was thinking about. I bet he is making plans for when he gets to be a big kid too.


  1. It kind of surprises me that you are planning unit studies after your comment about your approach in Lj. And your dislike for MFW...
    But yay. it will be fun. I think it is a little more work but I think it will be worth it! I am having a lot of fun thus far.
    The beauty of homeschooling is that, if you go by a general list you can add or subtract from it anything you want. Maybe you could nix the Shakespeare and add another author more on your kids level? something more "fun" for the kids and maybe they would be more excited about acting them out? THAT sounds like fun (the acting out)

  2. MFW was certainly not my favorite. It was way outside the box and it wanted me to do crafts every day and to play imagination games and a lot of hands on learning. All GREEAAT stuff for teaching kids, but also very great for exposing my inadequacies since I find most of that stuff very difficult and out of my comfort zone. Also, it was potentially expensive since the Warren Library didn't carry their book recommendations and I wasn't confident enough to make my own selections.

    Add that to the fact that I had 3 children under 5 plus a new baby at the time we were starting kindergarten, and making my own book selections at the library (while taking along all the little kids) just sounded so daunting to me.

    I think now that I have an idea of what a living book is, I might be able to do a better job. Before, I didn't necessarily understand the concept.

    But.. there is a chance that perhaps I do not understand the concept of unit studies. The way you described it sounded pretty doable, but maybe I have the wrong idea. But, that is why I said I would be researching that idea. I am not positive I will go with it, but I am going to look into it and see if it might be something that we would find interesting.

  3. yah that is a lot to do with such teeny kids.

    I think you do not give yourself enough credit, I think you don't give yourself enough credit when it comes to crafts. I think you are quite fine at it.