Wednesday, April 27, 2016

Wednesday With Words {April 27, 2016}

I thought I would try linking up with Dawn @ Ladydusk Blog for the weekly Wednesday with Words.

I was reading the most recent Newbie Tuesday, a resource that Brandy @ Afterthoughts produces, and ran across a quote from Charlotte Mason from her fourth volume, pg 78:

Upon the Knowledge of these great matters- History, Literature, Nature, Science,Art-the Mind feeds and grows. It assimilates such knowledge as the body assimilates food, and the person becomes what is called magnanimous, that is, a person of great mind, wide interest, incapable of occupying himself much about petty, personal matters. 

I don't have much to say about this besides that this would be my perfect world. ; )  

I had more to say, but decided to delete it because I felt like I was getting judgemental. I would love to discuss it if anyone wants to do so in the comments or in person.


Monday, April 25, 2016

School Ramblings {April 25, 2016}

There is just 5 more weeks to go! Rumor has it that the boys would like to work a little harder and cut that down to 4. It is completely possible since the boys are starting to finish some books and can put that extra time towards extra readings on those books still to finish. Tyler finished one science book last week. Caleb could finish a book this week. We shall see.

We ended out of the house more than normal this past week, but still the school work got completed. I feel myself getting lazier towards the end, but the boys are pushing to get it done. I like their attitude!

When nature decides to study you.

We made it out to our usual nature study spot one evening last week. We wondered around looking for wildflowers and mushrooms. Mushrooms were sparing and ticks were plentiful! Pictures in this post are from that visit.

We found the goose nest.

What's in the Morning Basket?
All I have to say is that Swallowdale is finished! We've been working on this book off and on for two years. It's a great book and we just got distracted by other great books along the way.  ; ) 

Looking for mushrooms, but only found ticks.

What's this? (improvement needed)
I sent an email to Math-U-See to get some suggestions on a math issue that I had for each boy. They sent me back a wonderful email with great suggestions and even suggested I call them and for Tyler to call them to talk to them directly about it. Tyler said no, but I was impressed with the customer service. I went over the suggestions with each boy and one has already seen improvement.

Caleb found his first mushroom.

Cassie's favored book!
Caleb has been reading Fabre's Book of Insects as one of his science reads. Surprisingly, this has been a wonderful book to read. I wasn't looking forward to a book of insects! Fabre is a wonderful naturalist with a beautiful writing technique that makes insects interesting. We do have to google all the insects to see what they look like and compare them to their American version. (Fabre is French and some of these insects are from France.)I picked this book out at a homeschool conference last year as my door prize and I'm glad I did! 

Luckily we didn't get wet!

Looking ahead (teacher duties).
At this point, so late in term 3, I'm just making sure we are staying on track to finish what we had hoped to finish this year. I'm looking towards next school year and reading over new books and deciding what kind of teacher trainer that I need over the summer break. I've also decided to move our summer cleaning jobs to spring cleaning to free up more time during summer break. It seems like I'm always pushing our start date back because I'm not ready. 


Friday, April 15, 2016

Seven Quick Takes on School Planning for 2016-2017

I won't have a School Ramblings post this week. I've started planning for the 2016-2017 school year and I wanted to share what I'm working on. Maybe this will help someone or maybe a reader can help me.  : )

The crab apple is blooming! It's a feast for all the senses. It looks beautiful, is full of fragrance, and you should hear all the bees doing the pollinating . .. . Lucy says the crab apples are yummy in the fall, and if I was brave enough to get my hand near the tree I'm sure the petals would be soft. I think that covers all the senses!

1) Here are the main resources I'm using for planning 10th and 7th grade (there are many more wonderful ones too!):
Ambleside Online 
Mater Amabilis-A Charlotte Mason Style Curriculum for Catholics 
A Delectable Education (AWESOME podcast for teacher training on Charlotte Mason methods!!)
Sabbath Mood Homeschool (this has a living books science list)  

2) We changed the way were doing history at the beginning of this year and we have been very pleased with the changes. We will keep doing history this way in the future. It does make using AO difficult and AO will just be a resource next year and not used as our curriculum. My feelings are mixed on this one, but the joy of the wonderful history we have enjoyed since January finalizes that decision! We will be continuing along with many titles for history that were in our term 3 plans.


3) I'm 100% convinced and no longer question my decision to do an integrated science with Caleb in high school. I came to this conclusion after watching A Delectable Education Podcast on middle and high school science. I was really struggling with that decision before hearing from someone else that this way would work. I don't know what else to say about it, but listen to the podcast and all my reasons for choosing an integrated approach to high school science is in there.  ; ) I'm using many books already on our shelf for Tyler's science. I did purchase this middle school biology guide (and book). I'm leaving some wiggle room for science plans in case I really need to purchase some of her future guides.

4) I may have placed a Rainbow Resource and ordered a couple of books from Amazon today. Just a few books for me to start reading. My nitty gritty lesson planning session is scheduled for late June, but it's helpful to have most of the books picked and purchased before that time and some I need to start reading

5) My books to purchase list is much shorter this year. I'm focusing on using resources we already have. This is cutting down on some stress and making decisions easier (not to mention the budget likes it too and we are running out of bookshelf space).  

Lucy sitting very still so she doesn't get stung by the hundreds of bees pollinating the crab apple.

6) I have not sat down with the calendar to plan out dates. Some do this first (and I use to) but I've been doing it last and I like this approach. I assume we will start at the very end of July. This allows for much needed weeks off during the school year. I also like to keep summer break short.

7) We are still classical Catholic homeschoolers using Charlotte Mason methods to meet the education goals of our family. We are still learning and tweaking. I'm very grateful for all the resources out there for self education on CM and classical methods. It is all wonderful!  

Saturday, April 9, 2016

School Ramblings {April 9, 2016}

Since the last School Ramblings we've had a shorter school week followed by an Easter Break (Happy Easter!!). I can't recall what happened two weeks ago! That was very apparent when we picked up some books this week and had to page through the previous readings for a quick reminder. This week we were back at a regular school week. We are counting down the last eight weeks of school with now ONLY 7 more to go! (That sounds way better than it feels!)

Tyler working on math and happy because I let him use a calculator for the first time.

What's in the Morning Basket?
I changed up our daily schedule for the remaining weeks and put Morning Basket right before lunch. This sounded perfect when I did it, but it's not been too welcomed by the boys. I don't have any intentions to change the schedule again so they are stuck with it until the end.  ; ) We had only 2 (maybe 3? why can't I remember?) days of Morning Basket (out of a scheduled 4). This is something we still need to work on! We listened to Swallowdale, learned some more about da Vinci and studied his The Annunciation painting, said our prayers and read the daily Gospel reading, and worked on memorizing the poem April by Elsa Beskow. As usual we didn't get much done during Morning Basket.

Cassie's favored book of the week.
I finally sat down and read Splendor of the Saints  and really enjoyed it! Caleb not so much. It is a little too much for him and we will save that for when he is older. I think I will continue reading it though. The book was exciting and gets you all fired up over the Saints.

Tyler, there's something flying above your head!

Tyler's favored book of the week.
This is a really hard question for Tyler. He responded with Old Sam, Dakota Trotter and couldn't give me a reason why.  ; )  I do mentioned it because Bethlehem Books is having 40% off and free shipping until the 10th. Tyler would like the sequel, Old Sam and the Horse Thieves so I placed an order. 

We've got this!
Tyler is very close to finishing Math-U-See Epsilon. I thought I would go ahead and order Zeta and start that, but that seems silly since he would only have about 4-6 weeks before school would be done. Yet, I could still be easily talked into starting it! I decided to have him do some of the enrichment and application pages that were missed when we went through the book. I'm not sure why we didn't do that to begin with. I'm very happy that this math book was completed in great time this year. (That doesn't happen every year.)

A pair of geese at the family farm. I'm looking forward to the little ones to follow.

Looking ahead.
I have the usual weekend duties of preparing for next week's school work and pre-reading a few selections. (I'm already behind on this because I decided to deep clean a bedroom and it's taking longer than expected.) 

I've been really thinking about next year's books and went over the list and edited it a couple of times this week. I even made a list of books to purchase and compared prices. I'm deciding if I feel good about purchasing them now or waiting another month in case I make a change or two or three or the whole list! ; ) I do have a couple of books to decide on and I hope to do that this weekend too. I have 4 spine books picked out for Caleb's history and we just need two . . . which will it be?

How was your week of school?
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