She’s six months old. Already heading towards seven months, twelve months, childhood. She rolls. Chews. Laughs. Verbalizes in an attempt to do what she sees us all doing. Cries at dinnertime every night. Wakes up early, thus ending my season of early morning walks alone. Ushering in a season of mornings with Fiona.
Several days of not getting outside together have happened lately. I notice. I read about maintaining hardstops in your homeschooling days — times that, no matter what is in the middle of happening, every stops and gathers. For us, right now, those times are morning devotions and going outside after lunch. We may spend every single moment of the day together, but those times are together. I notice when we miss it. It’s good for my soul to just put the rest on hold and take a breath, recalibrate, see these people and hear the Holy Spirit.
We get ants-in-our-pants this time of year. Don’t we all? After being outside for a long trek two weeks ago, I packed up already-dressed kids and headed to the library. “Does anyone remember the #1 rule of the library?” Nope. It’s been that long. We left with the most ridiculous pile of books and days of excitement over new stories to read and pages to turn and worlds to discover. Thank You, Jesus, for dropping that idea in my head.
For history, we’ve been using Beautiful Feet Early American history. I was excited to have a curriculum that I could just do when there wasn’t time or energy to be creative, but also would allow for creativity and extras when appropriate. I love history, I love reading, and I love bunny trails, so literature-based unit approaches are the ticket. Of course, there is no perfect curriculum. What works now won’t work then, or for them, or for you, or whatever the variables may be! I’m the teacher. Curriculums are tools to use as I see fit. (Thanks, Mom, for modeling that!) We’ve very much enjoyed adding plenty of titles to our studies, as well as making up writing assignments and art projects and character studies (which sounds so official, but it’s just 2nd grade and K!) So far, some favorite additional titles have been Living Long Ago, A Viking Adventure, Exploration and Conquest, Blood on the River, and Our Strange New Land. We are, at last, about to leave Jamestown behind and plow ahead to 1620! Speeding right along. ;-)
still about books
One of the first ships carrying women and children to Jamestown was shipwrecked in the Bermudas, and its story inspired Shakespeare to write The Tempest. Well, you can’t just breeze over that fact! So we looked at William Shakespeare. I borrowed this book from the library, but thought it was really shooting for the moon. A 7 and 5 year old boy, sit and listen to a Shakespeare play? Really?
Really! They were on the edge of their seats! Clearly, he was a great playwright! At any rate, I recommend that series for an intro to Shakespeare.
Totally unrelated, I borrowed this book from the library. I mean, come on. Who could pass up those illustrations?
We read it. We talked about the paintings and the emotions they evoke. Then we listened to the Queen of Jazz. All this while eating pb&j around our kitchen table at lunch. Homeschooling doesn’t always feel like magic. But it’s incredible.
Jameson loves jazz. He wants me to buy him a jazz piano book. Mean Mama says not yet. Read that music, boy, and then we’ll talk.
Jameson also split his chin open and got himself some bright blue stitches.
Beatrice sings every song from The Sound of Music. Also, Little Bo-Peep has lost her sheep. All day long. While she twirls in her dress up skirt and does ballet. She quite genuinely thinks she’s the boss, but she’s learning.
William quietly is flying through his kindergarten math work. He loves every opportunity to better his reading skills. He cares for Beatrice and Fiona with tenderness.
There is the usual slacking off with chore diligence, heightened propensity toward bickering, and general end-of-winter troubles. Funny how life will routinely provide you with opportunities to deal with the sin inside. We’ll be happy when grass is growing and all, but right now is a chance to look at ourselves frankly and say, “Lord, change me.”