Monday, July 18, 2016

{This and That}

Hi there!  We had a productive start to our school year last week (very few tweaks needed!), and this morning we are on to Week 2.  After a few weeks testing out our schedule, I'll be ready to share it all here.  But if you'd like a sneak peek...


That up there is our Average Day Chart, a la Brandy.  We don't have many "average days" around here, but I found that the practice of making one was well worth my time.  I'll chat more about that when I share our plans.  Lots more to come, including how I'm handling our Form I rotation with Cate (Year 2) and Xavier (Year 1).

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Speaking of planning:


I'll be talking with Mystie tomorrow afternoon in a live webinar on planning for smooth days with little ones underfoot.  If you'd like to sign up to join the chat (or get the replay link afterward), you can do so here.  I get a lot of questions about this topic via email and comments -- so if you have questions and would like to brainstorm together LIVE, you can join me over there!  I'd love to see some familiar names in the chat box. :)

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I already mentioned this on Instagram, but last week I had the great pleasure of attending an Introduction to Nature Journaling class with John Muir Laws.  He lives locally and gives free workshops every month, but this was the first time it was close enough for me to attend -- about a half hour away, and definitely worth the drive!  You probably already know what a fan I am of his book and videos.



Which brings me to the CMI Western Conference, where he'll be giving something like two plenaries and three workshops, all in one day (!).  I'm all registered and can't wait to immerse myself in lots of nature journal goodness.

Will you be there?  If so, please leave a comment here.  I'm trying to get a mental list of which friends/readers I can expect to meet. :)

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I am not a handicraft person.  Technically I am proficient at some traditionally "crafty" things, but I don't actually enjoy them all that much.  Or perhaps it would be more accurate to say that I used to enjoy them before I was trying to teach them to young children while chasing the littles around. ;)  But my kids really enjoy handicrafts and I see their many, many benefits, so I try to schedule them into our days as best I can (which is not always that well).

To do that, I often use craft kits and instruction books for learning a new skill. They are open-and-go, and now that my Big Kids are old enough, they can even do them on their own much of the time!  So in the past year, handicrafts have gotten much more doable.

I recently ordered some Woolpets kits.  (They are a bit pricey, but I was able to buy them through our charter.  I do think they're worth the money if you are clueless like me, though, and they'd make a nice gift for an older child)  I have never tried needle felting but was intrigued.  Turns out it's a bit fussy and yes, a challenge to do with littles around.  But it's pretty neat to sculpt with fibers!  We're doing this first one "together" (which means I'm doing it and my older four are watching me -- LOL) and then I'm hoping they'll be able to do the next kit side by side with me. And I have a feeling I'll eventually be buying roving to design a project of my own -- so many possibilities!

almost finished -- just needs the eyeballs and mouth!

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Some good reading:

Students Will Forget What You Teach, But So What?

Little Women is our scheduled free read selection this year.  Here's part of the reason why.

I've always taken a more subtle approach to habit training (mostly because to do otherwise has felt artificial to me in light of CM's writings on Authority and Docility), so I was pleased to read Nancy Kelly's The Habits Pendulum.

I so appreciated Melanie's thoughtful look at book discussions: What the Book Really Means.

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We've had some chilly but fun mornings at the beach lately...

watching the mole crabs

a split sand dollar, revealing its middle

the siren call of driftwood -- build, build, build!

building a log cabin "like Pa"

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We got our First Communion pictures back from our parish, which included a family photo with (almost) everyone looking and no one obviously scowling!!

miracles do happen

~~~

See you tomorrow at the Live Chat!

24 comments:

  1. LOVE the picture of the whole family!! Can't wait to see your school plans/ schedules. I'm in planning mode here, we start the first week in August. Can you maybe post a review sometime of the John Muir Laws book? I am very interested in buying it.

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    1. I will. But the short answer is: get it! :) It's just so thorough and chock full of information, practical and theoretical. It's a fabulous guide.

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  2. Great family picture! I have using the John Muir Law book in our plans when the weather doesn't allow for nature study. I think my oldest will enjoy it. We are starting back to school next week.

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    1. I hope you have a wonderful start to your school year, Cassie! I am using the Laws book in our Morning Basket and my kids have really taken to it. :)

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    2. How do you use it in your morning basket, Celeste? Do you read a spread aloud? look at his drawing tips? I know you mentioned coming up with a systematic approach to going through the book. Would love to see what you've come up with!

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    3. Yes, I'm reading bits aloud and then chatting about the concepts with them. Then we do a related "challenge" later that week. During the summer, I went through the first couple chapters and "chunked" the reading into short topics + challenges, so I have a bit to go on. I'm not near complete, but I plan on doing that with the whole book. And when I do, I'll certainly share it here. That book is just so comprehensive and full of great tips!

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  3. This and That posts, some of my favs of your posts! I'm going to try and be there for the planning talk y'all are doing tomorrow. Normally we start school the Monday after the 4th of July, but instead we had Cora on the 8th! Our goal is to start Babymoon School on Monday. Morning time, Math, a few other things. So I'm hoping to squeeze in your webinar for encouragement beforehand. =) We are pretty excited to start! It's always nice to have a break, but we are ready for some more structured days.

    You are a conference attending and/or planning lady for sure this year! =) Looking forward to hearing what you think of CMI. Other than the AO Conf (which I had planned on attending before being put on pregnancy restrictions) the CMI conference is the one I've always wanted to go to. I hope you have a wonderful time and come back encouraged and filled with new ideas. Then share them with the rest of us. =)

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    1. I will be praying for your Babymoon School -- sounds like me last year. :) We are always ready for structured days to start up again. We do enjoy our breaks but we all benefit from the routine too -- and especially the ideas that feed us in our regular readings. :)

      I was on the fence about going to CMI. But as my husband said, I'm not pregnant and I don't have a newborn (how often does that happen?!), so I should just go! So I'm going. :) It's only 4.5 hours away, so I can even drive, which makes it infinitely easier for me to arrange.

      (And if you are looking for a conference to attend when baby Cora is a bit older, might I suggest the CM West conference in the Bay Area in February? Because then you and I would get to meet and that would be *awesome.* :))

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    2. Yes, that would be awesome!! =) I do believe I will look into that a bit more. It had not even crossed my mind. Yay!

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    3. Just in case: it's February 9-11, 2017, and you can find more information here: http://charlottemasonwest.com/conferences-2/2017-regional-conferences/ Registration information and details will be up in the early fall, but I do know that Brandy will be the main speaker. The retreat center is in the redwoods just south-west of San Jose and nursing babies are allowed. :)

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  4. Love the family picture! How fun that the kids build things out of drift wood. :)

    I'm working on our Average Day Chart, too. Among other things... ;)

    I can't wait for your talk tomorrow!

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    1. Well, I wouldn't say I "can't wait," but I'm not as nervous as I thought I'd be... :)

      Thanks, Catie!

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  5. I'm going to the Western CMI conference and am beyond excited for all the goodness we will be surrounded with! In fact, I am hosting a mom's nature journal night this week so we can get our feet wet with John Muir Laws' book before we head to the conference. What a wonderful resource! Hope to get to chat with you at the conference. :)

    Blessings

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    1. Oh, how fun! Our local nature study group has several moms that keep journals too, and we LOVE talking shop. :) I hope we get to chat too! I think it will be a smallish group so I'm sure we'll find each other, but if you see me, please come up and say hi. I'm guessing I'll be the only Celeste and you'll be the only Glenna! ;)

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    1. Thanks, Amy! We have soooo few. :)

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  7. "The siren call of driftwood" - I love that! Thank you for all you do, Celeste, to help spread the life-giving ideas of CM.
    Warmly,
    Nancy

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    1. Thank you, Nancy! You are truly a CM inspiration. <3

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  8. Thank you for all your inspiration, Celeste! I have been working on next term's re-vamped schedule, which I think will flow better, but also needed to include an Average Day Schedule to keep me on track! I just finished mine up :-) ... How awesome to hear JM Laws in person! I look forward to continued inspiration from him through his book and your little gems here on the blog :-) ... I missed hearing you live with Mystie, but I did sign up previously so I have the link to go back and listen at my leisure. Looking forward to your chat!
    Many blessings to you, my friend, as you continue to be a blessing to me!

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    1. The same to you, Kristyn! :) And yes, it was SUCH a treat to hear him speak -- though his videos really are a wonderful subsitute and I am so thankful that he makes those available free of charge. After meeting him, I was impressed by his generous spirit of sharing and his authenticity as an educator. Such good stuff!

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  9. Your chat with Mystie was incredibly helpful to me in planning my days and my attitude toward my toddler during a homeschool day. Thank you so much for sharing your thoughts!!!

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  10. Hi Celeste! Could you share what those life jacket type devices yours Littles are wearing are called or wear you got them? We are going to the ocean next month and I am looking for something like that for my 4 and 2 year old. I have tried searching but can't find anything so I am guessing my terminology is wrong lol! :)

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    1. Apparently it's called a "swim float." :) The brand we have is here: http://amzn.to/2aKISba

      And just so you know: they're not complete flotation devices. If you're looking for something for a total non-swimmer, we love Puddlejumpers and have a couple of those too: http://amzn.to/2b2f2Sb That's what my 2yo and 3yo wear at the beach.

      Hope that helps, Hollie! :)

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