But I have made adjustments to our daily schedule--or at least how often we use it! When we're home, our daily schedule is working wonderfully. But with three days out of the house each week (plus another morning consumed by piano and art lessons), I am having a difficult time fitting in all I need to do. So it's not so much changing that schedule as relying on our weekly checklist more than our daily schedule for the time being. We're getting things smoothed out as I get used to more car-schooling and weekend work. It's a short-lived stage, though, and besides, I wouldn't trade our beach days for anything!
But the funny thing is that when this baby arrives and we're back at home most days of the week, I think it will actually be easier to fit in our schoolwork rather than more difficult, as it usually is with a newborn. So go figure.
This week we're doing exams and next week we'll jump into Term 2. I'll be posting our Term 2 Morning Basket plans soon! Some selections will spill over from Term 1 but most will be new.
We have three September birthday girls in our house: Bridget's was earlier in the month, Gianna's birthday was last week, and Clara's is this week. That means lots more books in the house! ;) But more about that another day, after Clara opens hers and I can share some photos.
Most of Gianna's other gifts centered on a theme...
Lots of writing goodies! She has always been an eager writer, and although we don't do much writing for school (just one written narration a week), she uses a lot of her free time in that pursuit. She's currently busy writing a stage version of The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe. And a few short stories about princesses (who happen to all have lots of siblings). And some Redwall fan fiction. And letters to penpals. And a list of spiritual resolutions. And a prayer book! Like I said, she keeps very busy. I enjoyed writing as a kid too, and so I find that part of her personality very fun.
And do you see the quote on those notecards? I didn't even notice, but she did right away and remarked with a grin, "That sounds just like something he would say." Ha.
To mark the beginning of fall, I wanted to share a few of our favorite fall picture books from a few years ago.
It's still in the 90s here, but we won't talk about my feelings on that.
Thanks to that hot weather, however, we had a picture-perfect day at the beach last week...
It reminded me of a Carnival Cruise ad. That is if people with piles of small children went on cruises. I have a feeling we're not quite their target market.
But my kids loved checking out the "ocean liner," as they called it. Where is that term from, by the way? Byron Barton? Lois Lenski? Richard Scarry? It feels old-fashioned to me, but I can't place where they picked it up.
ETA: Nevermind, I asked Vincent and he grabbed the culprit from the shelf: Lippman's Busy Boats!
My husband and I were talking about how I used to crimp my hair as a girl (dating myself as a child of the 80s/90s here), and Gianna was wondering what crimping was. I told her it was a method of curling hair and was just a fad from when I was younger.
Then she asked. "What's a fad?" I tried to think of an example she would understand, and I was surprised that the only one that came to mind was the wigs worn during the Revolutionary Period.
No, no, we are not stereotypical homeschoolers at all. ;)
With our recent trips to the beach, we've been listening to a lot of audiobooks. We just finished Black Beauty last week. Halfway through, my husband finally said, "Wow, this is really a downer." Ha! It really had been up to that point! Thankfully it ended happily. But I feel like it should have a warning on the cover: "An equine Oliver Twist." (It probably didn't help that our book before that was Pollyanna.)
I can't decide what we'll listen to next. I just requested Peter Pan (a re-listen for us from Year 1) and The Railway Children (from Year 4, but the big kids have already read it on their own) from the library to have on deck. But what I really want to listen to next is Swallows and Amazons. It's the only Year 3 free read we didn't get to last year simply because our library doesn't own the audio, and I feel like it will benefit from a good reading with a nice British accent. ;) I am hesitant to buy it before previewing or at least hearing raves from people I trust. So, friends: Swallows and Amazons on audio--worth buying?
I wrote last week all about our nature study group's plans for this year. One thing I forgot to mention is my favorite advantage of meeting in a group, whether for focused study or just exploration: the conversations.
As an example of the kinds of chat that make me very thankful for our group of interested moms and students, I'll share an ongoing "wondering" from the past couple weeks:
:: One of the moms notices that some of the live oak acorns have sap within the cap that oozes out and onto the picnic tables below.
:: I (showing my cluelessness here) wonder if all acorns have sap--maybe it's just something I've never noticed? Maybe the sap is the agent that releases the nut from its cap?
:: We look at different examples and find that some have sap and some don't. Hm.
:: I look it up online when I get home and read about "drippy nut syndrome," which happens to target the particular variety we're looking at (coast live oak).
:: I bring that information to the group, and we check if any of the acorns from the other oak variety we're watching (valley oak) has the same problem.
:: A friend then notices that the valley oak doesn't seem to have any acorns at all--just the caps! Hm.
:: And we notice that the walnuts there also are not bearing fruit either, although the ones near my house have plenty of nuts already. Hm.
:: And then another mom notices that the blackest live oak acorns seem to have the most sap--they're practically drenched in it. So is the disease turning the acorns black? Or are they riper than the other acorns and therefore have had more time to get drippy? Hm.
:: Then today I get a text from a friend with a "mystery acorn" photo and a request for me to share the website I mentioned to her distinguishing all the various live oaks in the area. (And no, this acorn didn't have sap.)
And it just continues from there! We often generate more questions than answers, but it's nice to have other people to bounce ideas off of.
I think it's great too for kids to see their mom and other kids and adults wondering, researching, and taking an active interest in nature study.
After I shared some picture book favorites a couple weeks ago, a sweet homeschooling e-friend whom I really admire asked if we had Roxaboxen on our shelves since we had a couple other Cooney titles listed. I said we didn't and would add it to our Christmas list. Well, guess what arrived in the mail a few days later? Thank you, Kimberlee! Her daughter even decorated the envelope with ink drawings of "things that fly"--birds and helicopters and more. The best.
(Psst: if you haven't checked out Pondered in My Heart yet, do yourself a favor and head over. This Catholic homeschooling family is full of amazing artists and musicians doing all sorts of lovely living and learning. One of her daughters is an illustrator of children's books, and they also have a family Etsy shop with many charming wares. It has been one of my favorite blogs for years.)
Thank you for the wonderful posts linked so far at this month's Keeping Company collection. I'm also noticing lots of new people tagging #KeepingCompanyCM over on Instagram--keep them coming! It is so inspiring to see your work. I'll post the new month's invitation next week!