Saturday, August 29, 2009
Tuesday, August 25, 2009
Now, for the homeschool stuff. I use a system of baskets, boxes and bags to keep things in. I also use my dining room china hutch and bookshelves in the school room. I'll try to go through each room and explain what sort of homeschooling things we do there and how I store the necessary materials.
We begin our day in the Sunroom. This is my favorite room in the house. It was a screened in porch at one time. We remodeled in order to use it year round because we enjoyed the view of the woods and river that are behind our house. You can see there is not much furniture here - something I hope to remedy some day. We gather here for a family morning prayer and I read a picture book or some other reading about the current feast day on our Liturgical Calendar. I will tie an art lesson in with this too, which I will write more about below. We call this time our morning meeting and make sure to discuss anything new or different on our schedule for the day. After that, we do religion in this room. I work individually with the kids one at a time. The children I am not working with are busy with independent work or sometimes they may be able to start on their art lesson. I don't need a whole lot of supplies for this time of day. What I do use fits into these two baskets that I store behind one of the rockers.
After Religion, we move to the dining room table for art. I've decided to move art to an early time of the day because I have a habit of putting it off, and then we don't get to it. I'll be tying many of our art lessons in with what we are doing for Religion so it naturally follows. The window sill behind the table is where I put our "home altar". It's decor changes with the church seasons. For now, we have our statue of the Good Shepherd there, on a green cloth because it is ordinary time. Social Butterfly made the basket, which holds our collection of holy cards, and the wreath which our statue of Mary is standing in.
This is the china hutch in which I store the art supplies. Each drawer holds a different medium - the watercolors drawer holds paints, a container of brushes, and paint palletes. The coloring drawer holds crayons and markers. The clay drawer holds modeling and Sculpey Clay and clay tools. The paper drawer holds drawing paper and construction paper. In other drawers there are pencils, colored pencils, block crayons, and rubbing plates. There are more art supplies in the cabinets underneath, where I also store items for our home altar and table cloths for the table. I don't know what I would do without this china hutch!
After Religion and Art we head down to the school room where the bulk of our school materials are stored. Most everything goes on the book shelves that line the back wall. I also have a book shelf between the windows, and cabinet space against the other wall. The kids have desks in which they can store the books that they are currently using. However, since we started using workboxes (another post) the boys don't really use the desk drawers for books.
Later, in the afternoon we have tea time. The kids and I enjoy sitting on the couch in the living room for this time of day. I keep a basket there, filled with the books we are reading, or will read, during this time. In the first picture, can you see the over-stuffed bag that is peaking out from the corner of the couch? That's my home office. Really! I'll write more about that later. Tea Time is one of the favorite parts of our day. Unfortunately, because it is in the afternoon, after all the other school work is done, it sometimes gets pushed out by extra curricular activities. I try to fit it in at least 2 or 3 times a week though. When I don't, we all miss it.
In the next posts, I will talk about our workboxes a bit more, and describe how I do my planning for our homeschool.
Saturday, August 22, 2009
Click on these pictures to enlarge them. Beany's expression in the popsicle picture is cute!
HOWEVER, as I am reading lots of school planning posts, schoolroom remodel posts, and other posts entitled "Our First Day of School" on various blogs, I'm thinking I need to get it in gear. Actually, I think about school all summer. I end one school year with books already ordered for the following year and to me summer means more time to plan. I start with a list of goals for each child then I plan a schedule, type up my syllabi, reorganize the classroom, and on and on. I love it! I guess I'm just a one of those people that enjoys planning.
So far, this summer, I have decided on academic goals for each of the kids, and ordered the curriculum that I think will meet those needs. We are enrolled with Mother of Divine Grace School and for the most part I use the books recommended by them. I do adjust things a bit for my children's individual needs, and I work with my consultant from Mother of Divine Grace to do that. It's a real blessing for me to talk to someone on a regular basis about what we're doing, the areas in which we are doing a great job, and the areas in which we are struggling.
Currently, I am working on various systems to help keep things organized around here. I think that is the most difficult part of homeschooling for me. We are blessed with a school room in the basement, but school stuff still manages to clutter the upstairs as well. I don't call books clutter - especially really good books. A stack or basket of books doesn't bother me at all. It's the paper, and the folders, and the notebooks, and the pencils, and the erasers, and the glue sticks, and the craft supplies!!! I could go on and on.
Reading posts like this one by Jen at Wildflowers and Marbles and this one by Dawn at By Sun and Candlelight are always inspiring for me. I really like both of their planning systems. The pretty papers make what could be a very drab stack of notebooks visually appealing. I'm not quite so creative, but I'm happy with how my planning system is coming along. I've decided to divide this post into a series because it is getting quite long. I will describe my planning system in part 2!
Monday, August 17, 2009
Wrinkles or not, we think grandma's are pretty special people!
Sunday, August 16, 2009
am appetitlichsten is "delicious" in German,
delicieux - is the French term for "delicious",
and delisiozo is "delicious" in Italian
Friday, August 14, 2009
Then come the warm up exercises and a few laps around the yard.
Working on the "3-point stance":
Finally, the tackle drills! This is the favorite part!
These boys are such a blessing to one another. They might not always appreciate what they have, but I sure do.
Tuesday, August 11, 2009
One of the activities offered this year was an opportunity to get a family picture. The person taking the pictures happened to be the owner of the company who is also a talented photographer. This picture of us is probably the most interesting family portrait we've ever had taken! Obviously, we weren't all ready with smiles painted on, backs stiff, little ones crying, etc. The picture was taken before we were "properly posed" but what a treasure! Night Owl and Dad look handsome as ever. Jetter and Social Butterfly look great in their face paint and the picture captures Jetter's personality just perfectly. Beany is the star of the show (as usual) with his smile and look of wonder at the balloon. Builder is looking away, but then, Builder always looks away when he gets his picture taken. He's more concerned about whether or not everyone else is smiling. I feel like I look a bit frazzled, but ... I guess that's me!
I took a picture of the portrait to post here on the blog and in so doing, I lost alot of the clarity of the original. It is of beautiful quality and we are very thankful for such a treasure!
Thursday, August 6, 2009
Monday, August 3, 2009
Beany enjoyed seeing all the animals. He was determined to stay out of the stroller though. That made it a bit frustrating, but Dad, Night Owl, and I traded the task of carrying him. He walked a lot too, but that tended to slow us all down, especially when he wanted to keep backtracking.
Here are some of our favorites from the Cincinnati Zoo:
The Red Panda that looks very little like the black and white pandas we're used to seeing:
The very cute tiger cubs, that wouldn't stop playing to pose for a picture:
Gorgeous birds - lots and lots!
And these majestic white lions:
The zoo closed at 6 and we were hungry, hot and tired. We drove about half way to Detroit and found a very nice hotel in Findlay Ohio. It was perfect. The next morning we went to Saint Michael's Church, which was gorgeous. I just had to take a picture afterwards, even though two of the kids had already jumped in the van and taken their shoes off!