November 9, 2013

Homeschool Journal - 11/9

So You Call Yourself A Homeschooler?
Today, I am linking up (after a long absence) with The Homeschool Mother's Journal.  I enjoyed doing this in the past,  and I do love to keep a record of our homschooling days so that I can look back and remember all the craziness and fun we have experienced (or not experienced!)!  Because I am jumping in so late, I thought I would fill you in on a little background of our year.  

The Mr. and I have 5 kiddos (10,8,6,5, almost 2) and we are expecting our 6th on December 10th!  We use a Charlotte Mason approach in our homeschooling.  We do this by following the Higher Up and Further In curriculum provided at  This has been our first year to incorporate this curriculum in its entirety, and it has also been the best homeschooling school ever for us despite my fears of homeschooling while pregnant and teaching my 6 and 5 year old first grade together! Here is a peek into what our week has looked like...

In my life this week...
I am trying to pace myself and not panic because our baby girl will be arriving earlier than I had first thought. I am one of those that likes to have everything "perfect" before a big event so that I can enjoy the event to its fullest.  This includes finding a good place to break at in school so that we can enjoy our little one. We are also taking one day each week to deep clean a room in the house.  This has worked very well, but there is still much that I would love to see done. 
In our homeschool this week...
We just completed our 7th week of school, and we have found a great rhythm this year!  Evvie is doing much of her work on her own.  She loves reading all of the interesting literature and although she does not care too much for the narrating, she does it well!  We are focusing more on written narrations and writing skills this year.  Evvie especially enjoyed labeling the parts of a bird from her Apologia Flying Creatures journal this week.

Andrew has thoroughly enjoyed reading small chapter books to himself and narrating them to them to me.  He remembers details extraordinarily well, and I always enjoy hearing his narrations. He also enjoys listening to the many read alouds we have together.  I am so thankful that even though he has such a love for all things outdoors and "manly," he has also developed a love for learning and books.  Andrew has been the first of my kiddos to experience Shakespeare!  We dived into Nesbitt's Shakespeare for Children this week!  I think I narrated more than Andrew did, but we made it through A Midsummer Night's Dream without too much trouble.  It wasn't a favorite for Andrew (he thought it was silly!), but he didn't dislike it either.  I was pleased...and relieved!

Garret and Madelyn are enjoying first grade!  Madelyn LOVES school and can't wait to sit down to it each day.  Garrett says he doesn't like it, but I think he likes to talk tough!  He and Madelyn are staying close together in all the subjects, and I am very happy with my choice to school them together.  I have taken a very slow approach to reading, but it is starting to click, and both of them have been reading short vowel words left and right this week!  I am hoping that before the baby arrives, we will have long vowel words down as well!  

Things I'm working on...
We are still trying to figure out how best to keep our mess maker and loud one (Gavin) contained and entertained during school.  He definitely causes many interruptions and provides a great number of excuses for the older kiddos to leave their school work.  I dislike putting him in a room by himself for such a long time, but that has been the best solution so far.  We do try to rotate so that someone is in the room with him much of the time.  I don't think he feels too deprived of attention! :)
Our favorite thing this week was...
We cut back our schooling to four days a week so that we can super clean on Fridays.  The kids do not particularly care for the super cleaning part of Friday, but it does give us something different to do, and we are a little more relaxed on Fridays.  They were able to go outside for about three hours yesterday and work on building their club!   I believe this gives them as much learning as their books do, and I love hearing all about the ideas they are implementing and the experiments that work and don't work as they team together on a project!  I also enjoyed the peace and quiet while washing the kitchen walls! :)

I'm grateful for...
Fresh starts, new beginnings and wonderful grace.  I've needed many of these during this last trimester when exhaustion seems to take over and patience runs thin.  I am also thankful that I am sleeping better!  It has made a world of difference!  The only thing I have done differently is increase my iron intake.  Does iron really help you sleep that much better!?!  I'm not sure, but I'll take the sleep anyway!

I'm praying for...
A healthy baby girl with no complications this last month of pregnancy!  I am also praying that my heart will be soft and open to the Holy Spirit's leading as I teach my children.  I'm praying that I will put aside my tendencies to walk in the flesh and instead be a true and bright light to my family - showing them God's love instead of a grouchy mom and wife!
That is a brief peek into our lives this week (despite the post being so long!)!  I hope your week has been full of blessings as well as opportunities to grow and learn.  I am off to clean house and catch up on some laundry before taking Miss Evvie to her piano competition - an exciting day for her!

Wishing you a day full of blessings,

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