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Hits and Misses for the 2016-2017 School Year

We're close enough to the end that I can do a good "year in review" on our most recent homeschool year. Hip hip hooray!
The Hits The biggest hit was switching to Ambleside Online and just going all-in. I tried to stay as close to the philosophy and methodology put forth by Charlotte Mason and used by AO as much as possible. I only substituted books based on religion (eg Trial and Triumph) or if I legitimately couldn't get my hands on them without spending a lot of money (thankfully which are few and far between). I also haven't plunged into using the method of reading Charlotte details in her books, as BOB books and MCP Plaid Phonics are working well for Moose.

Math Mammoth has served Peanut well, and we did use with Peanut until she became hung up with division. Moose was still having problems in math as well, no matter what we did with him. It was at this point that I purchased the Living Math Bundle over at Simply Charlotte Mason. Richele basically took all of w…

Good Habits Start With You

As we slowly get on the right page with regards to habit-training, one thing I'm noticing is just how bad my habits are. I am seeing exactly what Charlotte Mason was talking about when she compared habits to wheel ruts. I have some good habits, but I have a plethora of really bad habits that were so automatic, I had no clue they were even there.

One of my children is extremely good at negotiating. Like, "if only the bar exam was available to minors" good. I prided myself on withstanding the little lawyer but upon closer inspection, I will have to plead guilty on that charge.

The habit I want to teach the kids first is obedience, because that (to me) is the one habit that all the others rest on. Not to mention, when we are walking near lakes and other bodies of water; obedience is crucial if they want to stay dry. If I ask my little lawyer to take a shower, the response comes back that they're busy and will do it later. I, thinking I'm SOOOO good, say "OK!&qu…

A little bit of this, a little bit of that

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Well, hello! It's been a while.

My days are busy and full, and many times I've thought "I really should write about [insert topic here] on the blog!" However, life tends to happen and that's how we end up almost a month from my last post. ;-)

We're in the final stretch of school before we have a break for the summer. I've almost purchased all the books I need for Year 2 (Moose) and Year 4 (Peanut). I have several books that I need to pre-read as I'm substituting them in - the Geology book I found for 4th grade is fantastic and full of experiments.

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I am working through a wonderful resource on habit training Charlotte Mason style that I'll be posting a review about soon. So far, I'm impressed - it's one part book, one part journal, one part guide. I need a lot of hand-holding in the habits department, and this book is exactly what I've been looking for.

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I took (several) nudges from God and started a local Charlotte Mason gro…

An Update on Moose's Leg

Resurrexit Sicut Dixit! Alleluia!

I hope you all had a blessed Easter Sunday, and will be able to thoroughly celebrate the Fifty Days of Easter. I know I have a hard time maintaining the Alleluia spirit, especially as crosses come into our lives; but at least trying to helps to keep the eternal perspective. At least it does for me. :)

I always enjoy how whenever life is mostly figured out, another wrench is chucked into the system, mucking up the gears. Poor Moose is having a hard time recovering from his leg break, so his surgeon agreed with our thoughts about physical therapy. We met with the PT last week. I'm still waiting for her written evaluation report but she gave us homework exercises before we even left her office, so I'm guessing it's not just a "mind over matter" thing that we were all hoping for. Moose's leg is incredibly weak, despite walking (limping) on it and his gait is all messed up.

We can add physical therapy now into our weekly lives, in…

The Atmosphere of Education

One of Charlotte Mason's mottoes is "education is an atmosphere, a discipline, a life". She grounded her entire view of education in the simple fact that "children are born persons" and are to be treated as such. You can read her 20 Principles which discuss what exactly she means by the personhood of the child, education as an atmosphere, a discipline, and a life and more over here.
Principle 6 reads: "When we say that "education is an atmosphere," we do not mean that a child should be isolated in what may be called a 'child-environment' especially adapted and prepared, but that we should take into account the educational value of his natural home atmosphere, both as regards persons and things, and should let him live freely among his proper conditions. It stultifies a child to bring down his world to the child's level." A child-environment is a false environment, one that doesn't exist once you get past a certain age. I reme…

Good-bye, term 2!

We wrapped up our second term today! And really, it didn't feel like 12 weeks worth of work, it was all quite pleasant, actually. We'll be moving on to third term on Monday, and Peanut has that awesome problem of finishing up third grade in terms of required hours before we finish up the bookwork. :)

Here's a quick update on where we are all at:

Peanut - getting into the thick of division and is having zero problems. We're still using Math Mammoth but I'm considering switching her over to Singapore for fourth grade for some challenge. Reading is great - she reads books that are at a 6th-8th grade level in terms of complexity (such as the Chronicles of Narnia, Black Beauty, etc). Her favorite subject this term was Shakespeare.

Moose - took to AmblesideOnline quite nicely. His reading has taken off - he went from Progressive Phonics (short vowel books) to Bob books in no time, and is now reading at a second grade level. His handwriting is improving, thanks to his dilig…

Nineveh 90: Weeks 3-5 Update

Every time I attempt to do this update, Life Happens. So, here's about three weeks' worth of thoughts and reflections on Nineveh 90.

It's definitely incredibly hard. I suppose that self-denial isn't supposed to feel like a gentle massage but I was terribly underprepared for just how intense it was going to be. I don't think that I'm a Nineveh 90 Flunkie, because I've learned some incredibly important things the last couple of weeks with regards to my spirituality.

First, I've had to pare back more the sacrifices because Our Lord has definitely sent His own ideas for them. The biggest being that my father, who cares for my mother; became quite under the weather and needed some serious assistance so he could rest. We left on a whim (thank God for homeschooling, as we could just grab our supplies and leave) and stayed for four days to do things like laundry, cooking, cleaning, shopping, caring for my mom, and the like. I'm thrilled to say that my Dad is…