I didn't mean to take a blog break, but school planning took over my brain! New chore routine, new schedule, new Keeping opportunities, new organization for our Italian materials, lots and lots of new books... It has been a busy month but I think we're almost ready to start our new school year next week.
I was originally planning to start with a light list of assignments this holiday week, but I decided instead to wait on schoolwork until we dive in on the 11th. Instead, we'll do a test drive of our schedule and chore routine this week. My kids are also doing some school prep with me: setting up their binders and history notebooks, organizing their pencil boxes, and giving me lists of anything we might be missing to make their lives run more smoothly this term. And I have a little extra time to finish up some pre-reading and finally decide on a strategy for our weekly checklists. (That has proved to be a challenge for me this year as I add a new student!) So far so good! This has been a great way to ease into the new year.
Before I say anything else...
AmblesideOnline provides the backbone of our homeschool. I love the book selections and am blessed by the community, and I'm happy to give back where I can by moderating on the forum and sharing resources here on my blog to help you use AO effectively with your family. My heartiest thank you to AO and the wonderfully clever and generous ladies behind the scenes!
In the midst of these past few busy weeks, we celebrated a birthday: Vincent, my oldest, turned ten last week. Double digits! A whole decade! Excuse me while I'm over here indulging in cliches and wondering where on earth those years went.
Vincent is a rough-and-tumble, curious, adventurous boy who is always up for a challenge and loves nature, numbers, and being in charge. He is a mystery to me in some ways because we are so different, but the more I read Charlotte Mason's work, the more I feel like I understand him better. He is very easy to please and his personality is a great match for the oldest brother of a troupe of littles.
And I can't say I have eight kids under ten anymore! :)
Speaking of how time flies, I was going through our photos from an outing a few weeks ago and came across this random snap of my kids having a snack...
|only missing the baby|
...and it reminded me of this picture from eight (!) years ago, of my oldest two on the same steps:
And a little update on the current baby of the family: Justin turned seven months old! He took his first couple lunge-steps this week (!) and keeps me busy at the beach.
Reading around the web...
I've been thinking about weekly time budgets. Do you do one? I think this might be the weekly planning tool I've been missing.
Three Easy Ways to Begin Keeping a Nature Journal -- from the wonderful artist, Jan Blencowe. (She recaps her past eight months of nature journaling in an inspiring slideshow. See what a simple habit can become?)
Local friends: the San Francisco Bay Area mapped a la Tolkien.
Karen Glass attempts to define classical education
Cindy Rollins describes my reading experience (and probably yours too).
We'll be reading an Audubon biography this coming term, so I found this article particularly fascinating.
I'm sure these literacy practices we should abandon will come as no surprise to you, but they are still dominating the curriculum of our nation's schools.
I love how imaginative little kids are. We have been going to the aquarium every few months, and one of the wonderful shows they offer involves a scuba diver going into the kelp forest to feed the tiger sharks and such. This is how Bridget and Xavier came to me the next day:
|"mommy, we're divers!!"|
My husband has been taking the oldest four kids running with him on Saturday mornings, so I'm able to do all my Saturday running solo -- and early! It's working out really well. I get to enjoy this view on the way to my Saturday run...
...and this view when they're heading out for theirs. :)
Okay, I have loads more to talk about but am out of time for today. I'll catch up soon! In the meantime, I'll be back tomorrow to chat notebooking -- with our Keeping Company link-up for July. See you then!