Tuesday, July 7, 2020

{This and That} :: Summertime

Hi friends! Jumping back in to say hello -- and hopefully to spend a bit more time in this space for the last half of the year.

It has been a wild spring/summer, no? I came out of my postpartum break to go straight back into sheltering-at-home, and here I have been wrangling my littles and working on projects for the CMEC for the past few months!

We have one month left until we start school again, and I feel a bit readier than I have the last few years. Of course, last year I was coming out of a nausea fog and still dealing with a challenging pregnancy, and the year before that I had just given birth. So perhaps that isn't saying all that much. But this year I'll begin with a six month old who is (mostly) sleeping well and just beginning to get into everything but not quite there yet. So that seems promising!

I heard someone say that quarantine is better with a baby. I think it's true.

Emilia is just the sweetest. She is now crawling and talking and beginning to assert her little self into the family mix. She keeps me (all of us, really) very busy but pays back in squeals and smiles and giggles. What could be better?

We have been going out solo for our weekly nature walks, which has been a nice break from being at home. We usually head out nice and early to beat the heat -- so refreshing.

I am trying to do most of my pre-reading for the year during this summer, so I have been reading a LOT. It has been pretty wonderful! So many good books, particularly for my oldest two, who will start high school this fall.

In the meantime, the kids have been staying busy. Lots of papercrafting happening...

And reading, of course! I will share their summer booklists in another post. Our library just finally opened up for curbside pickup, so I placed an order and have been waiting for it to come in. Otherwise, they have just been reading from our own shelves -- in times like these, I'm grateful to have a good library right here at home!

The only "school" we have been doing this summer is a bit of math for my Form 2 kids and reading lessons for Clara. She is just about finished with the Treadwell Reader (which she loves) and enjoys reading to the little boys.

We have celebrated some birthdays...

...with another one coming up later this week (Damien turns three!).

The CMEC has offered me some good opportunities to dig deeper into Charlotte Mason these past few months. Amy and I just taped a five-part planning series of videos for members, and earlier this spring we wrote a guide for kindergarten/Kinderleben that was such a fun project to take on! But I am looking forward to spending the last half of July figuring out our own timetables and logbooks for the year and gettng the house prepped for an early-August start.

Speaking of, later this week, I have a post ready with our Catholic selections for the 2020-2021 School Year. We'll be covering roughly 1400-1650 in our "modern" stream, which is a complicated time in history, but I am so excited looking at our shelves of all the great discussions we will have. I'll also be sharing our religion and Bible resources -- I have three preparing for sacraments this year (two for Confirmation, one for First Holy Communion) and other reading for the liturgical year, saints' lives, and spiritual reading planned. Coming soon!

What have you been up to? And when are you starting your school year?


  1. Glad to see your back on the blog! We'll be starting 8/10 and I'm 100% ready because a new baby is due any day ;-) I figure it will be easier to homeschool with a newborn and be able to take frequent break weeks than take an extended maternity leave but have less time to take off throughout the year. We'll see!

    1. I will pray for a smooth start to your school year with a sweet babe-in-arms! <3

  2. Hi Celeste! You sound SO busy, but books and babies are a NICE combo, sooo... :) We've been enjoying our summer swimming and canoeing and now family visiting from Texas. We will be camping with a whole bunch of my husband's side this weekend. I'm slowly planning out our next year, too, but we will start in September. :) Can't wait to see what you all are reading! :) Blessings to you.

    1. Thank you, dear Amy! Your summer sounds wonderful so far!

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  4. Good to see you back!
    You know I think your amazing and always inspiring!!
    Looking forward to the Catholic post!

    Best wishes

  5. Emilia is so cute! I haven't had a baby girl in 11 years (and have had 5 boys in that time) so I swoon at little girls. She is so pretty already.

    Can't wait for your Catholic additions post! I am very interested in how you do Bible lessons in your family. We have always done Bible together as a family at Morning Time, but I am starting to wonder (seeing how Bible lessons differ in upper forms) if it shouldn't be done at a different time when its easier to seperate forms. As always, thanks for sharing your work and life with us!

    1. I know -- I had three boys in a row before Emilia so she was our first girl in seven years. It felt like so long since we had gotten out the little girl clothes and things and it has been such a treat. :)

      We have always done Bible together (with my older kids having an additional block weekly for commentary reading and for Saviour of the World) but I think this is the first year that I will split my older kids' Bible altogether. Still planning it out! But I do have some great Catholic books to share, some that I have used before and some that are new. :)

  6. Please keep us updated on what you decide! I am thinking that maybe I will switch our Morning Time Bible slot with a devotional reading or Saint Biography we would all enjoy? And then put Bible in a slot where it is easier to seperate the forms? This is my first year having a big age gap between my oldest and youngest (11 and 6). Before it was really easy to group, but my oldest is a mature 11, and my youngest an immature 6, and they have such different needs for scripture study. Just when I get a good system, everything changes! :)

  7. Babies make everything better - I can't remember if it was a PNEU article I read or what, about someone always liking to visit the house of a large family because they always have a baby and babies are such great fun! Your Emilia is so sweet, and is about a month and half younger than my youngest, and your Damien is 4 days younger than my next youngest. I had my first boy in 6 years after 3 girls and you did the opposite, so funny! My baby isn't crawling yet but he has done some rolling and "planking" (as my MIL called it, lol).

    I am curious how you handle non-school days (weekends, break weeks, summer etc) so as to foster both order and independence (an air of masterly inactivity I guess you would call it). Do you have a loose timetable and discuss with your older children their plans? Also do you assign weekend reads? I have a child who zooms through books and I'm leery of preparing a shelf of term reads in leisure time, only to have him tell me at the end of the first week or 2 that he is done!  I read through the 3 articles on the "occupations and leisure" resource page, and I am inspired, but I was struggling to practically apply the ideas. My children are 9, 7, 6, 4, 4, 3 and the baby.