I always read my friend Ellen's weekly wrap ups, and I see some others, and I thought it'd be nice to do it myself. I like to stop and think about what we are doing. When I do that, I appreciate how much the girls are growing, how much we are living and experiencing together, and if I count my blessings and write about them I will leave less room for complaining! :)
This week we had some lessons, continued with our weekly readings. On Wednesday we have the Japanese Twins in our reading. My friend Heather said her daughter loved this so much. They finished it, we are three quarters into it. And Heather's daughter is drawing Taro and Take (the twins), and their kimonos and clogs. We watched some sand painting videos, since they did that in one chapter, and it is a fascinating art. See for yourself,
Heather and I were talking about unit studies, and how her daughter, inspired by the reading of the Japanese Twins, is locating books about oriental culture by herself. She said she does not use unit studies since the reading of some good books on a topic leads her daughter to learn more about that and that happens rather effortlessly on her part. She said maybe unit studies are for moms who do not know how to do this, and a few good books on a subject maybe a good start. But I tend to think that if you as a mom don't know how to pick living books, a collection of books on a topic may not necessarily help you. I wouldn't know how to homeschool with textbooks only (apart from the math, for security, and some guidance books), without living books that lead us from idea to idea. It is you first the one who needs to know how to learn like this and read like this. You need to see how ideas work on you, and then you will be able to model, inspire, and recognize this amazing activity of the mind happening in your children. If you want to know more about living books, the next Charlotte Mason Carnival is precisely about this topic, READ ALL ABOUT IT AT AMY'S.
Also, if you want to know about the ground for all the other "traditional knowledge", read with us about POETIC KNOWLEDGE in our book club on Tuesdays. This will be revealing for you, and it will open you up to a broad view of your children. It may also, incidentally, save you money and worries too! It will hopefully give you an adequate balance between books and other things that are crucial but we tend to abandon (music, dance, physical activity, contemplation, play, singing, art, walks...)
We had Heather and kids on Tuesday, and our little friend Z. the day before. Wednesday we went to our homeschooling group End of the Year Party (I can't believe one more year ended), and had fun with our friends bowling.
In our vacation to a State Park we had sooooo much fun. We saw different plants and animals, the girls learned to ride their bikes, and the weather was perfect. I couldn't ask for more in life. Now back to our fast pace city and our routines. But it was a nice break and we are re-energized. We definitely be taking some more breaks to that wonderful park.
My husband has agreed to do math with my oldest, for a change and to be involved. I keep preparing for our first year with Ambleside, and so far they are doing great. (Understand this doesn't mean there are no intense days or moments we loose our patience, or that they don't fight, or that they need correction, prayers, adjustments, redirecting or changing gears completely. But when I sit and reflect I know we are fine). I realized how much my six and a half year old girl has grown this past six months and from five. She has learned to read, to ride a bike, to swim (she floats, she does not have much style or continuity yet), she has beautiful handwriting (and she is practicing cursive), draws with imagination, loves being read to, narrates nicely (her favorite is the Bible stories), loves, loves, loves DOGS, is crazy about jumping and doing hand stands, and enjoys singing.
My youngest, four and four months, has gained so much detail this past month. Her drawings are full of details, she attempts profiles too, draws people holding dolls, or walking pets, different hairstyles, glasses, slanted eyes, crying and smiling people, details in clothing, etc. Her memory is quite amazing, and she loves listening to stories and SINGING. She says she wants to be a "cooker" and a scientist to make her own experiments. Now it is becoming difficult to differentiate some of her drawings from her sister's.
But what I am most content about, it is that I see they have a wonderful heart, they care about others. (My youngest told me her friend -Heather's daughter- looks beautiful in her bike). There are still some rough edges we are working on with both of them, some areas of their character that need attention, habits still not acquired, but all in all, I can already see the benefits of educating at home. It makes us both, parents and children, better persons.
|My four and four months old drawing. The second girl to the |
left is Strawberry shortcake with a strawberry hat.