Tuesday, November 22, 2016

{This and That}

A little late, but -- are you still thinking through your Thanksgiving plans?  I have some of my favorite activities and resources from previous years here in the archives!

My personal favorite: Cooking Up A Thanksgiving "Feast" .  Even if you have nothing but your grocery shopping list ready to go and are already feeling overwhelmed, you can still have a lovely, fulfilling, CM-ish Thanksgiving weekend with your children.  Take a peek!

~~~

We have been enjoying some chilly, wet, green nature outings lately...



...and some slightly warmer days!


from a few weeks ago -- warm enough for swimsuits at the beach!

~~~

Reading around the web...

I just finished Shadows on the Rock and much appreciated Willa Cather's Answer to Exile.
For all you fellow Fabre fans: The Sacred Beetle: Fabre's Book of Insects.
A brave post about a difficult topic: The Hard Truth.
Kinda neat to show the kids these Historical Presidential Elections.

~~~

I updated my School Plans page so that all our current plans are at the top and previous years are organized underneath by grade.  I'd like to eventually make this page a bit more user friendly, but this will have to do for now!  I hope it helps you more easily find what you're looking for.

~~~

Very late with this share, but for those of you who don't follow the Joyous Lessons Facebook page or my Instagram account: our (super blurry) line-up of saints for this year's Halloween trick-or-treating and All Saint's Day party!

left to right: St. Agnes, Our Lady of Lourdes, St. Joseph, St. Ignatius of Antioch,
Our Lady of Guadalupe, St. Juan Diego, St. Brigid of Sweden

And some better (daylight!) pictures taken by a friend's husband...

 



Grateful for Catholic friends who host parties even though a handful of families means dozens and dozens of kids! :)

~~~

Justin turned ONE!  This little sweetie is such a joy...and such a challenge!  Super independent and determined, into everything, and my first honest-to-goodness-CLIMBER.  I have had feisty babies before but he takes the (donut) cake! ;)  He is also affectionate and adorable and gets spoiled by all his older siblings.  A sweet little love.


~~~

This Sunday is the beginning of Advent!  I've written a lot about how we keep Advent over the years.

I haven't quite nailed down how we'll be keeping the season yet (I hope to get some quiet time to sort my thoughts this week), but I do know that we'll be praying the beautiful St. Andrew novena each day, one of my favorite spiritual practices of the liturgical year.  You can download your own printable prayer card here.  Enjoy!

~~~

Answering a reader question:

How do you handle short school weeks?  Do you spread the week of school work over two weeks, or try to cram it into a couple days, or something else?  We have lots of weeks pop up that leave me with this problem.  Sometimes the kids are sick for the first half of a week, sometimes there's a holiday or special event that will take one or more days of our school week, etc.  How do you stay on track while accounting for these interruptions?

Since it's Thanksgiving week, it's a great time to answer this question!  Local schools have the whole week off, but my husband is working Monday through Wednesday, so I didn't want to do that.  When we have a short week, we aim to cover most weekly items and skip all daily items -- pretty much the opposite of what most people do on a "light week"!

So, for example, this week my Big Kids aren't doing any math or copywork, only one lesson of Latin (rather than two), no grammar, no written Italian.  That frees up their time to do all four days' worth of readings and narrations in three days.  Together, we will still do some daily assignments: Morning Basket, Italian, and memory work/recitation, but only on the three days of "school."  And we will do weekly assignments, like readings we do together, picture study, and composer study.  My younger students have the same schedule: no math and copywork so that we have more time for readings and narrations.  I am especially careful about overloading my young students, so I will often pick a reading or two to skip and pick up during a later week.  (This year, that's A Wonder Clock, since I didn't formally schedule that out -- we're just reading for two 15-minute sessions per week.  We may also shift half of the chapter from Wind in the Willows to the weekend since that's their favorite.)

We could just take the week off, but that means sacrificing a week of our summer break, and that's not worth it to me.  I'd rather get a "short week" in now and maintain a long vacation time.

When kids are sick, we do much the same schedule, because it's a lot easier to read and narrate from a comfy sofa than it is to sit at the table.  Obviously, if my kids aren't well enough for that, we just take off and lie around and rest -- while we enjoy audiobooks, usually.

One other note: does this put us "behind" in math? I don't pay any attention at all to beginning and finishing one math book in one year.  We just work where we are and move ahead from there.  We also do 1-2 days of math during the summer, so I feel like we have quite a lot of wiggle room it that area.

~~~

That's all for today!  Pre-reading and planning post coming up next. :)

7 comments:

  1. Justin's face starring at his donut cake. Swoon. SO SWEET! :) Happy Thanksgiving, Celeste. May God bless you and your family richly! <3

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Same to you and your family, Amy -- thank you for your friendship!

      Delete
  2. Thank you (as always) Celeste, for sharing.

    In your upcoming pre-reading and planning post could you mention how you find the time to do to do that....

    Does your husband keep the kids occupied? Do you tell him "From 2pm - 4pm I'm doing planning, so you need to look after the kids?" Do you tell the kids not to disturb? Do you have a special desk, or you just do it at the dining table? Do you do all the upcoming week's readings in one session?

    Many thanks
    xxx

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi Antonia! Yes, I will add those to the post. :) Have a wonderful week!

      Delete
  3. Love the costumes! Your kids are adorable. :) I love, love, love your approach to "light" weeks. I think most of us (well at least, me!) think we have to do it the other way around.

    ReplyDelete
  4. Hi Celeste, is your post on pre-reading and planning up yet? I have found your blog extremely helpful over the years, thank you.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. It should be up by the weekend. :) This is a post I have had in my drafts folder for at least a couple months, before I got sick and we entered the holidays! I am so looking forward to getting it up for those that have asked. :)

      Delete