Tuesday, August 19, 2008

A Little Break...

Too many hours in front of the screen
Too many good moments of great weather to waste them
Lots of good times to spend with family on hubbie's holidays that begin now!....

See you in September!!


Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Jean Francois Millet


One child with Nemo + One child at a friends + Two children with an audio book and the craft supplies + a mom with her face not in a screen but with a pencil and paper in her hands = a nice list of saints books, good literature, living history books, geology and ornithology books, an abundance of possible writing topics for the children, poetry book found, classical cds in order, first read aloud chosen with lots more lined up, and the art prints saved in my pictures. I feel great.... I have a great bunch of books, a rhythm we like to work with that mixes the best of some skill practice, a generous palette, and lots of real life, and a cozy (computerless!) evening with Taran Wanderer (our present book we are enjoying together) before us.

Hey, thanks Theresa for a bit of a reality check...

Back and Forth and Around in a Circle

Hmmmm, are my plans ready?

A few sets have been drafted, expanded upon, simplified, ditched, and recreated again! I seem to enjoy the part of planning called researching but am fairly weak on the areas of decision making and follow through...

lots of research - lack of decision- lack of follow through = lots of face glued to screen, some enjoyment, lots of new blogs to visit, and unfortunately generous amounts of wasted time.

Will have to remedy this....

On a better note: Ann has reminded us to look after our souls. To put aside those curriculum catalogues (in my place that reads computer) and to plan for how to nourish our souls and fire ourselves as teachers and mothers....

Homeschool Planning (Enthusiasm)

Wednesday, August 6, 2008

Another thought worth thinking on....

Julie from Bravewriter writes...

But homeschooling is more about creating a context for nurturing and leadership, emotional security, understanding what stage of development your child is in (field position), and intellectual prowess (aptitude to match the tasks set before the child). Positive outcomes are a result of not just positive expectations on the part of the parent, but on the part of the child. A child’s sense of progress comes from increasing competence in each skill-based area. These are the habits of education that you help cultivate through enthusiasm, routine, level-appropriate lessons and a lifestyle of emotional nurturing.

Consistent learning is the result of a happy environment, reasonable expectations, and habits that are not burdensome or tedious.

At this point the article goes on to talk about how to evaluate your homeschool. She talks about looking at the child's developmental stage, where that child is at, whether that is 'ahead or behind', and to meet that child where they are. Slowing down or covering already covered ground, or challenging them with harder work so that they don't slip into boredom. Next she discusses the environment of the home...

What is the emotional temperature of your home? Are children free to share their real reactions, feelings and ideas? Can they openly state that they are bored, that their work is too hard, that they are too tired from a late night to concentrate? Likewise, do you bring a cheerful, realistic, supportive person to the table when you start the day? Are you undistracted and available to help, support and applaud the work that your kids do?

She concludes by talking about habits.

For me, these are all things I feel strongly about- when asked about homeschooling one thing I often mention is the beauty I have of moving at a child's own pace. But little do the people whom I am talking to know that inside me is that little voice that is comparing and trying to either catch them up or push them ahead. Granted, most of that never reaches the children as far as workload goes, but it can sure mess with Julie's next point: Atmosphere. Nothing wrecks a good atmosphere like highblown expectations and a distracted, uneasy mother.

I want to conclude with this Charlotte Mason quote...

Education is an Atmosphere, a Discipline, a Life.

The Joys of Homelearning

Ann writes.........

The finest home education flows from a well-lived life.

+ + +

:: family relationships :: prayer :: music :: nature :: baking ::

:: unhurried meals :: flowers :: laughter :: art :: hikes :: conversation ::

:: thoughtful reading :: sunrise :: tea time :: down time :: play ::

:: worship and sacrament :: helping others :: friendships :: fitness :: writing ::

:: a comfortable home :: celebrations :: gratitude ::

:: joy in the ordinary ::

I loved reading this tonight....it has helped me to put our educational goals within the context of our family life, and to ponder what is lovely and what is beautiful about that life. It has also inspired me to build those routines in again when summer wanes, the routines that allow for the all the wonderful parts of living this life together.

Some great posts from What I Know Now

Religion's Reality

Opening Day Traditions
....I think this will be plachintas on our 'first' day. Oh, and heap on the homemade applesauce and strawberry jam!

Saturday, August 2, 2008

Some good 'real books' science

Note to self....

There are some great lists of books about germs, electricity, weather etc. here. They would make some great whole family reading and jumping off places!!