Sunday, July 24, 2016

Mid-July Nature Study {2016}

I'm late in getting this posted, but we did get out to the family farm for a little nature study and blackberry picking two weeks ago.

It's been hotter than average this summer and getting outside in nature has not been a priority. I like nature, but I like my AC too. I'm looking forward to more reasonable temperatures!

Blackberries were abundant this year, but small in size. Wild blackberry plants have grown prolifically around the lake at the family farm. We picked more then we could eat and advised relatives to get out and pick more. Birds and beetles moved in shortly after we picked and made the crop useless after that.

We took the long way around looking for blooming wild flowers and were not disappointed.


I think one of my favorite things about using the same piece of property for nature study is to see the changes from week to week (or month to month when weather doesn't allow weekly visits). Some things are gradual (spring greening up and fall leaves changing) and some things happen so fast (flowers blooming and damage from insects). I will go and revisit places from year to year and sometimes flowers don't reappear or unexpected things appear. It's all amazing.

Queen Anne's Lace

Queen Anne's Lace

Friday, July 8, 2016

Weekend Ramblings {July 8, 2016}

Just a quick check in. It's been a peaceful week around here. Nothing big on the calendar! Pictures are from a recent wedding and the one above I took at family night at scout camp.

Recent Events ~ Our troubles started just over a month ago when our 16 year old Kenmore died. It wasn't worth putting another $300 in it to fix it. We bought a used washing machine from the local appliance parts store that had been very helpful in keeping our old machine running. The used one had all kinds of trouble. We finally had to take it back two days after the warranty expired. They were kind and gave us half of our money back. We then purchased a new GE from Sears. It arrived on Wednesday and did NOT WORK! There is another one on order (with an extra 10% discount) and should arrive next week. Yep! Sometimes that is how it goes. I've been thankful my parents have let me use their washing machine this week . . . . and hey, it has given me some time to blog.

Around the house ~ I've been enjoying my new Erin Condren Life Planner. That is a referral link that will get you $10 off your first purchase and give me a $10 credit. I would greatly appreciate if you used it because I have some accessories I would like to order that the budget won't allow. : ) This is my second year using the planner and I've been pleased with it overall. It's durable and still looks new after a year of use. This is the biggest selling point for me. I also really enjoy the pretty. I'm not a planner decorator, but I have list all over that planner.

Notice the really pretty backdrop at the wedding reception!

In the school room ~ I've been second guessing pondering over all the school plans I made last week.  In the end I go back to them and I'm happy with them. I'm still not convinced of grammar. I think I'm going to go back to a text I have on hand, Our Mother Tongue (Amazon has it too, but cheaper at Rainbow). AO recommends this one. I did get some inspiration from some other sources on how to teach grammar with literature and our own writing and I *think* I can add that into the mix. I do see taking some time to work ahead and be more prepared in this area.

I'm still tinkering with the daily schedule and Morning Basket plans. I haven't gained much ground on those in the past week. I'm struggling to see how our day should be planned out for the upcoming year. I will have more time to spend on this.

Book Basket ~ I really have nothing more to add from last week. I did order a new book for myself and I'm ready to dig in! A Touch of the Infinite: Studies of Music Appreciation with Charlotte Mason I have no idea where I saw this mentioned last week, but I'm very excited to read it.

Upcoming plans~ As I sit at my parent's house (doing laundry) and watching a deer in the backyard I'm reminded that we have not done any nature study this summer. It's greatly missed! Ticks were the first issue! So many!! Then we had nineteen days of 90+ temperatures. It's been raining for about a week now. This weekend is looking mild and dry and perhaps a drive out to the family farm is in order or a nature hike (the hay should be cut and make for easy hiking).

Next week is almost completely clear! I can't believe it! I have one day out of the house and nothing else on the calendar. I plan to enjoy it and get lots crossed off my to-do list. I wish I could tackle some items off the list of those who aren't so lucky with a free week, but I'm sure my list will keep me busy.  ; ) This type of schedule won't last much longer.

What have you been reading? How is school planning going?

Saturday, July 2, 2016

Weekend Ramblings {July 2, 2016}

Happy Fourth of July!

Recent Events~ We had a family wedding last weekend (Scott's cousin) and I tried to get some pictures since the grounds of the church were pretty. It was very hot and sunny which didn't work out so well (closed eyes-poor Tyler and glare off glasses). Pictures in this post are from St. Lawrence Catholic Church grounds in St. Elizabeth, Missouri.  

Around the house~ I'm just coming off a week long school planning session. All my boys were away at scout summer camp and I was left home alone with the dog. I very much missed my boys, but I very much needed a week of silence. Before you get jealous keep in mind the dog is high energy, has separation anxiety, and is kind of like having a toddler in the house. So, it wasn't 100% perfect, but we survived and I did get a lot of planning done.

Book Basket~ I've been trying to get some reading done, but I haven't devoted much time to it. I'm almost finished with Dyslexic Advantage: Unlocking the Hidden Potential of the Dyslexic Brain. This is a really interesting book. It actually was helpful in relationships around here because it helped to explain why we do what we do (or don't do) and has made everyone little more understanding. ; ) (Scott has been reading this book too.)


I'm about halfway through Charlotte Mason's Formation of Character. This one has been difficult to get into and I really find it out dated. I ended up skipping parts of it, but will finish it because there were some gems. 

I started reading The Innocence of Father Brown by G. K. Chesterton (checked out from the library) to preview for Caleb. I'm not much on a mystery, but I did enjoy the three chapters I read. I decided to purchase The Complete Father Brown Stories and will add it to Caleb's free reading list. I'm not sure if I will read anymore or not.

Speaking of school reading list, I started pre-reading Book of the Ancient Greeks by Dorothy Mills this past week. Caleb raved about her Book of the Ancient World and I can see why he liked it so much. I really like Mills writing style too. I plan to read this one pretty fast and get through it this week (or next). I'm not taking any notes as I feel like it will come back as I get Caleb's narrations.

Next in my to-read pile are Memoirs of a Happy Failure, Teaching From Rest, and the next school book I need to pre-read (not sure which one yet). I will probably add another CM volume to my list after I finish #5.

In the school room~ I think we will start back to school in the last week of July. I like starting back early so that we can take a week off every six weeks. This seems to be a good schedule for us. Keeping summer break short seems to help us not get out of habits and gives us time to work on new habits.

I still have a few items to check off my school planning list, but I think I can get those easily done in the next two weeks. My week of planning went really well. I knew I wouldn't get it all done, but I was hoping for a miracle. That didn't happen, but I did accomplish more than last year so I'm pleased with the progress. I should have our book list on the blog later in the month.

Upcoming plans~ Family gathering this weekend. A few small projects are on my list. Next week looks really nice and I should have plenty of time to tackle the to-do list. Reading and writing are on the top of that list. Most of the summer activities are over and it's time to relax. Caleb does have a week long service project camp coming up, but I still get to relax.  ; )

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...