Little S has calmed down, or maybe I'm just used to her shenanigans. We had to learn each other. My dishwasher and robot vacuum still help me keep a clean house. Motherhood still means Grocery Pick Up at Wal-Mart, but not necessarily crock pot dinners every night. I'm sure when the next one comes along, we will be right back to slow cooker meals. Because those are the stages of Mom life.
Summer break meant swim team for is, so as opposed to sleeping in like school children across the country, we left the house earlier that any homeschooler ever should! 7 A.M. As in, Morning! There was still fog clouding my view as I made my way down to the pool. It meant 4 hour swim meets twice a week. Afternoons inside recovering from the early hours. Trips to the beach, reading in hammocks, camping, hiking, and kayaking on the weekends. It also brought fun activities like raising tadpoles, gardening (making homemade spaghetti sauce and pickles), vacationing, summer camp, etc. etc.
Now here comes Fall. I love Fall homeschooling. With all the sleeping I did in my last few months of pregnancy last year, I forgot all the fun things Fall homeschooling brings. Fall means Heritage Girls begins again. I am co-leading those sweet girls this year. Prayers much appreciated. This year we added infant story time at the library into the mix. They even have monthly homeschool kitchen science and tween programs like guitar lessons. We are at the library so much this year. I also recently looked at some improv classes for Big S. We sha'll see where that goes. Church on Sundays. Of course our regular family outings, which are slowly transforming into trips to the Apple orchard and pumpkin patch. And I try to make sure we rotate weekly afternoon play dates with friends. Can't neglect time with friends. Play is learning too. Speaking of that, we are home most days. I feel so strongly that Little S needs that time to drag toys around and climb on top of the dog and dance and read books and destroy the house morning, noon, and night. She needs time to play in the kiddie pool on the porch and roll in the grass out front. And Big S needs time to write in her own chapter book (which is almost done!), bake cakes and cookies and breads to practice for her business. She needs time to play toys (baby dolls mostly), crochet, edit videos, put together stop motions, and read her Nancy Drew books. Quiet time is a must these days. Besides Sara sleeping, I need it. I get to read my Bible and pray, do a Bible study I am working on, read my books-Volume 2 of Story of the World (Don't laugh. I feel like I need to relearn History! It is so beneficial in my understanding of the Bible too.) and Trial and Triumph (full of stories on church history and martyrs over the years.) Big S uses the time to read her books and pray. (She doesn't spend as much time with God as I would like, but I don't want to force it. It is her relationship and her time to manage. I just try to lead by example and pray that her eagerness to be near to God frequently througout the days grows as she grows.) It is a nice time of day anyhow.
Together we have agreed on minimalism in our "school" this year. In the mornings I read her awake with the Gutenburg book on insects. fNights-if she feels like it-she does a small math lesson on her own in a book called Master Books Living Math. To be honest, if She frequently turned it down, I would probably coerce her to do it. She needs to know math and the struggle is real for her. Learning through life is not clicking just yet. She seems to enjoy it though. It's super simple. She reads a story about a family on a mission trip and how they use math in their every day life. It periodically introduces a new concept and then builds on it. Stories are a page long with 5 or so practice problems. And once a week we do a Bible study in the afternoons-just her and I. That's a good time to connect too.
Our insect book recently inspired a trip to the park to look for bugs. We pulled into the parking lot and Sam instantly asked to go see the webs in the trees. They turned out to be webworm nests!! Neither of us have seen inside one before. We watched them for about an hour and researched them...We looked in the water. Found lily pads. Watched the ants crawl underneath the outdoor blanket we were sitting on. I walked next to the creek, turned over a rock, and found something I never in my life will probably see again. I brought it to Big S. It was a caterpillar in the process of forming its cocoon!!!! On a rock!!!! We could actually see it moving around in there. We just stared in awe-for a long time. By time we got home, the cocoon was fully formed and you couldn't see inside at all. We put it in our "butterfly pavillion." Can't wait to see what kind of moth it is. It was just the refresher I needed. To remind me why we homeschool/unschool. Everything I listed-the quiet time, reading together, counting kayaking as school, all of it is why. But those day trips to explore outdoors (and play on the playground afterwards of course!) Those are my favorite days. I look forward to more as Little S grows older and can help-an extra set of eyes never hurts.
Side Note: We have made some ventures for Little S too, including a trip the the Creative Discovery Museum and a trip to a park that is wheelchair accessible. I love it because it is perfect for babies and toddlers-low to the ground with ramps and lots of slats, no stairs. There was also a pond nearby. We found lots of Dragon flies-which are freakish creatures by the way! And we saw a spider spinning its web with its hundreds of newly hatched babies close by.
Big S recently turned 9. She is half grown according to the US government. Where has the time gone? We live life slowly, but it has gone by so fast. I guess we will just keep spending our time watching the bugs and hoping it will slow down.
|Lighting Drawing-She drew hair on the back of the paper.|
|Old School Play-Who needs toys?|
|We didn't try to make the eclipse educational, but it looks like she learned something. "Eclipse Stages"|
|You can still see the caterpillar at this point.|