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Showing posts from 2017

Moving...

I'm slowly in the process of moving my blog over to a Wordpress blog! Hooray! Thankfully there aren't too many posts from here that need to be moved. I'm planning on putting the old posts up over there with the same timestamp as when they were originally published here.

Thanks to Lots of Stuff Going On At Home, I still need to adjust the Feedburner to point to the new blog, and add a few more things over there. But if you would be so kind to update your bookmarks, I would appreciate it. :)

You can find the new blog right here.

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…

My two pieces of homeschooling advice

If there is one piece of advice that I wish I had heeded, and that I could offer anyone who is just starting out with homeschooling; it would be to trust the process. The second piece of advice would be to respect the personhood of your kids.

Peanut, who has had spelling struggles for a while now has had several massive leaps where spelling suddenly makes sense. Phonetic Zoo is helping, but even words that aren't "Zoo-words" are no longer fouling her up. The only thing I've done with her that's a "proper" spelling program is Phonetic Zoo. I explain some of the spelling rules as they come up when she's trying to write journal entries; but other than that it's all been her brain learning, growing, and adapting.

At the same time that her spelling improved seemingly out of no where, so did her handwriting. It's as if those two skills were linked and improving one improved the other. While we did work specifically on handwriting, I think a lot of…

My Lenten Resolution for 2017

Yesterday was Ash Wednesday, the beginning of Lent. There are a lot of posts out there about what people are going "to do" for Lent. It's the new Big Question - what are you doing for Lent? What are you giving up for Lent?

I've thought long and hard about this - well, at least since the beginning of February. Originally I had expected that my Nineveh 90 obligations would more than suffice. Over the last month, I've been evaluating my behavior, the kids' behavior, how the house is running, what's working, what isn't. I've decided that while the Nineveh 90 obligations are definitely a great thing to do and continue through Lent; my personal "giving up" for Lent is more of an "adding on".

For Lent, I'm keeping it simple for me - all I will do this Lent is the next thing. It may look simple but much like St. Therese's Little Way, it's easy to remember but not exactly easy to execute.

Crying baby in the middle of the nig…

Nineveh 90: Week 2 Update

Today ends Week 2 of the Nineveh 90 challenge. The last week has been ... rocky, to say the least. Week 1 was pretty easy, to be honest; but this past week I've definitely felt the spiritual pressure. So much that can't be talked about online, and even barely able to be discussed in person. It's a very dry time right now.

1. Let go of repetitive sin
I'm focusing on the absent-minded computer time, which was off to a good start at the beginning of the week, but miserably failed at the end of the week. 

2. Wear the Brown Scapular, attend daily Mass if possible, go to Confession monthly
Check, check for Sunday Mass, and I'm intending on going to Confession at the Catholic Women's Conference in a couple weeks (or earlier if I need it, of course!).

3. Daily prayer: Morning Offering, Angelus, Rosary, Holy Hour or 20 minutes (not neccessarily before the Blessed Sacrament), bedtime prayers
Failed miserably. Prayer is incredibly hard to do, it all feels so pointless and e…

How We Use "The Story of Civilization"

The Story of Civilization is a four-volume tour of world history, written from a Catholic perspective. It is published by TAN Books, and written by Phillip Campbell. There are books, a teacher's manual, activity book, audio dramatization, a timeline, and even video lectures that go along with it - we just have the book, the teacher's manual, and the activity manual.

We aim to cover one chapter a week. We do World History twice a week, usually on Tuesday and Thursday. I'm all for Keeping It Simple, so everyone who is not napping sits in during World History time. I've done something sneaky and put it into our teatime rotation, so the kids are happily occupied with hot chocolate and popcorn. Hot chocolate is a special event here, so the kids are quiet and listening as they know that shenanigans will pull the plug on their blissful hot chocolate during teatime sessions. As the weather continues to warm up, we'll change from hot cocoa to things like freeze pops, frozen…

Nineveh 90: Week 1 Update

Everyone who is in the Nineveh 90 challenge wrapped up their first week yesterday. I thought I'd break down how I've been doing, given that penance hasn't exactly been a strong suit for me. 

Nineveh 90 – Ten Elements (source)

>> For these 90 days, resolve to let go of repetitive sin you struggle with
I've been working hard on making sure I use my time wisely and not just fritter it away doing mindless surfing of the Internet. It's been hard but I think I'm slowly working towards a balance between what I need to be online doing (paying bills, homeschool, etc) and using it as a tool. >> Wear Brown Scapular (Scapular Medal allowed) – Akin to Sackcloth
Check. >> Daily Mass (This is more of an encouragement, as many cannot do this)
Right now we just go to Mass on Sundays, as the dailies that are locally are not possible to attend. >> Confession (at least once a month … immediately following grave sin)
Yup. >> Support System: Create …

The Best Day Ever: Cast-off Day

At 8:40 this morning, we checked into the orthopaedic surgeon's office to do one thing: take off that blasted cast!! 

Thankfully, they doctor's office wasn't running behind schedule, so we were able to go back almost right after we checked in. The cast took a while to cut off, given that it was stretching from mid-thigh down to his toes - and had several layers of fiberglass wrapped around it. There wasn't any problems with removing it.

Moose had more x-rays done and they show AMAZING bone regrowth. He will continue to have x-rays to ensure that his leg is healing straight and that the bone continues to regrow. His next round is in the end of March, thank God.

Right now Moose is having a rough re-entry to the land of bipedalism, but nothing out of the ordinary. Those leg muscles are weak! But, he's a trooper and working hard to try and get less wobbly. That will come in time - we just don't want him pushing himself too hard or too far.

I'm glad that this is…

Monday Minutes

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Outside my window:
:: The roads outside are literally a sheet of ice. We've had warm weather, melting snow and even rain, which then all refreezes during the night. Last week the county Sheriff declared "emergency travel only" (which of course went out after Greg had gone to work, grr).

I am thankful:
:: We are nearing the end of Moose's leg journey. I'm beyond ready for that cast to be off. Tuesday we will be making some Valentines for the surgeon, his nurses and P.A.s, as well as the surgical center where his surgery took place. We can deliver them on the 15th.

I am thinking:
:: about summer travel plans...

I am working on:
:: beginning the Spring deep cleaning and decluttering spree. Greg and I have done the preliminary sweep, but I imagine we will need multiple sweeps in order to get it thoroughly decluttered and to allow for the many kid interruptions/hours in a day/etc. I'm so ready to fling the windows WIDE open and air this entire place out.

I am prayi…

Changes are a-foot

As you can see, there are some changes happening around here on ye olde blog. I pulled all the posts into draft setting, so I can check links/update pictures/polish and repost them back online. I'm also working on changing the focus of the blog from personal day-to-day events to more nuts-and-bolts about how we homeschool, how I teach subjects like Shakespeare, the nitty-gritty of running the house, things of that like. I'm envisioning something more topical and less mundane, as I finally feel like I have something to offer to the homeschool community at large (now that I've been doing this for about 4 years).

You can tell by the tagline that I also changed curriculum at some point (again). I detest changing curriculum, it's not easy to do and it's hard on the kids. So I don't take changing curriculum lightly.

I started off with Mater Amabilis, which was great. It fit well with our family. I love that it is entirely Catholic and has great books selected that ar…