Thursday, August 30, 2007

Our First Day Back...

Back from where???
...back from those long days of summer. When the hours are endless and the outside is calling and so is the lake. When mealtimes are hazy, bedtimes late, and the days have more spontaneity than usual.

After quite a while with those glorious days we all start yearning for a little more rhythm and ordering of our days.

So this week has found dinner way more intentional and on the table at a reasonable time. The house has shaped up a lot, and mom has been in front of the computer etc. a lot less!

I also was very inspired by Dawn's pictures of her learning space. We have definitely been more fly by the seat of your pants the last year or so, and it felt so good this year to try to bring some more beauty and order into our space. I found it very energizing. In our dining room I started to fuss with the different things in that space: computer desk, bookshelf, craft shelf, craft table, keyboard, hedgehog, and 8 seater dining table (luckily it is a big dining room with high ceilings). I moved things here, I moved things there... and they all ended up where they started, except that the bookshelf and the piano swapped places. I added in a new desk ($4 garage sale) for myself and some nice baskets for the kids stuff. I also reorganised the books on the bookshelf in the living room, placing some on upstairs shelves and reordering categories (I worked at a library in high school and have a thing with organising books!). It felt so nice to come down this morning after I had put my heart and creativity into the space, and enjoy it so much!

So we started off our day.....
With nice chai with breakfast and a Psalm and a parable. Then I announced that it was a morning chore free day and the kids were mildly glad (they actually like helping out)- Caleb also proceeded to tell me that he doesn't do chores anyways (he usually slinks off and plays in some out of the way place nicely hoping (succesfully) that he won't be missed).

Then we gathered and said a prayer out of our Celtic Book of Daily Prayer.
Next it was onto a new read aloud- Young Fu of the Upper Yangtze. Everyone enjoyed this thoroughly. Then I read a chapter out of one of the world history texts on the Baldwin Project. All four children decided to draw, then cut out pictures out of old National Geographics to cover their copywork etc. books with. Boy, they looked awesome when they were done. On the theme of China, I read Aaron the Story of Ping (it just happened to be in the basket).

After this I put on some pizza dough for lunch... it was such a nice morning I wanted to make something special.

Next we did Latin. The two olders did review with me while Caleb requested the Prima Latina workbook and worked his way diligently through a lesson of maybe two. I handed him a page of Hannah's old Math-U-See and Ariel and Hannah started in on a review page in their Zeta math books. Oh Math- How I love thee! But Oh, how I am not the person to share you with others!!!
This is our sticky subject! The kids really like it, but it is when my double comes in - the one with the rolling eyes and pained look!

After this, and a few pieces of fruit, Ariel dove into his project, The Songs and Tribes of the Lord of the Rings. He is so into this project still- he started it late last Spring, worked on it over the summer, and today he created a blog to put it on! This is a first for us here.... at least in the formal project sense. I know that Theresa uses a sort of project based learning and her son really enjoys it. Hannah decided to do more dictation from The Voyage of the Dawn Treader (she has hand written 17 pages now), and by this time I had pizza in the oven and was in the yard with Aaron pitching balls (he is completely into this these days).\

Dh came home for lunch which was a treat (and he also reminded me nicely that maybe Ar and I should take a break with the Math (we had gotten in a rut at that point.... sigh)). After lunch Ar was back on the project and the other kids were reading (Hannah is loving Harry Potter right now- I have never seen her read like this. This, and the first book, are the first books she has really dove into. She has read 30 hours already this week (equalling I am sure all last year!)).

The rest of the day was spent at the park with friends, resting around the back deck, cooking dinner, and now more reading.

It was an amazing day.... all days are not this smooth. This one was not free of kinks, disagreements, or hard moments. But it was a day spent together, one day out of many that we will have this year, one with rhythm and meaning. It was wonderful.......

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