Monday Morning

After some time of pondering, planning, and reconsidering our homeschool, we are back into a gentle routine. Over the weekend I was rearranging furniture and practicing 'strewing', and the girls are doing the puzzles laid on the tables, and enjoying the surprises they find. We are reading Charlotte's Webb and Little Bean is the one who loves it, Blue Heart is not swept by it like us, only to get more into it as I read it. It may be that I'm reading it in Spanish and I'm realizing she is more comfortable in English, but I HAVE TO, ha ha ha, I love being at ease with a book I can read without an accent and that delights me with the tenderly crafted words it has... As always, habit will get her there by the time we read more classics in my mother tongue.

This morning I woke up and run/walked from 6:00 to 6:50. I'm trying to get back in an almost daily habit. I'm glad Mystie got it, she is on week 4! Back home I read Scriptures and prayed, and read some more Plato. My oldest had breakfast with me, and she did not wake up in a good mood, apart from dragging her sister to her mood too. This is what busy June has done to them. After a week of VBS, a friend sleeping over, swimming at a friend's pool, ice cream, and more, they woke up asking WHERE ARE WE GOING TODAY? WHAT ARE WE DOING? It took them a good while to realize we were going out for a walk, and I even agreed to have a picnic in the scourging heat, and the day got better. By mid and end of the day, they came to terms with a 'normal' Monday, and it was one of the best days I've had in a few weeks time.

Once they calmed down and became girls again, they played a math game. I'm enjoying our Table Math Book by Dr. Wright, though I have not regrets about snatching Math Mammoth 1 level whole CD for 17 dollars!

I sang More Like You (a song we sing at church), and they joined. Music has a great calming effect on everyone, and I needed that. We then read and drew about Creation. We are using the same program that all who teach will use at church since it comes with a booklet to be used at home, it is well written and easy to follow. It's focused on Bible readings from the Bible itself, but it comes also with a concise text as well as some Bible facts and map facts, and memory verses to go with the lessons.

They drew a picture of Creation, they chose Adam and Eve, and we have it up on a wall that will have our world history timeline. Little Bean declared she wasn't going to draw 'boobies' or anything immodest, but she drew the cutest Adam and Eve with brown skin bellies. I need to scan that pic and show you! Blue Heart wrote Genesis 1:1, her handwriting is wonderful. I simply forget to praise them in what they do nicely, this is an overcompensation issue on my side since I feel inside that we praise children WAY MORE than it is healthy and needed, and that we also loose ourselves in them too much, putting ourselves too much under their alleged needs and wanting them to be always in a constant state of happiness, as if it were bad to tell them no. But then there is the other extreme too, those who don't know how to say yes or who don't care to provide with an atmosphere conducive to a healthy childhood at all levels, emotional, physical, and spiritual. A healthy balance is always the most difficult, but not impossible. We can be sincere and tactful with children, it's better than the constant 'oh, how nice,' or 'great,' for then those words become empty, like a crutch to talk to children. She could also read from the booklet of the new curriculum we were given which I LOVE.

Ambleside Online (and for that matter any Charlotte Mason education of good repute! :)  has readings in these categories:
Natural Science

That is why I devoted a day a week for each of the 'subjects'. I'm realizing last year, as I thought of a schedule for Year 0.5, I OVERLOADED the schedule. I included more books and things than Year 1 has. Not that it mattered, for life is stronger than a fool mom's plans, and we did not followed those plans completely, but continued with slow readings, lots of outdoors time, and I won't change anything of what we all did, learn, messed up...
Saturday, when I was showing Blue Heart the books we'll be delighting on these months, I showed her the Just So Stories, so I BROKE THE AMBLESIDE SCHEDULE, yes, and we simply read the first story. And over the weekend, I found I have this book, that sounds even like a Just So Story, and I can't figure why the Amazon price, I got it for a dollar and bought it because it seemed like a Just So Story that I liked, I saw other popular title by her, Why Mosquitoes Buzz in People's Ears, but it didn't appeal to me. It maybe because the author died in 2000?, or because there are not many copies in circulation? It is a nice story, but the book we liked today was Mattie and Cataragus, that was a very sweet living book.

We read our poem from Stevenson collection, that thanks to Heather (Books for Breakfast) we have the one illustrated by Tasha Tudor, and we had a morning break. We prepared for our picnic and even painted after with the new water paints. Both Blue Heart and myself got frustrated. I did not show it, she did. Apparently we both think we should paint like Renoir in our first try! Speaking of which, the first work of art by Renoir that we are looking at, was a shocker to me. I had seen the painting, but it was quite strange to realize Madame George and her son and daughter, not her two daughters, are depicted here, click on it to read about it.

Trying to read more about the topic, I came across something else completely different (or not?) Click on the picture below to see a short video of Celine at Oprah's talking about her son before he got this haircut.

I'll leave the last comment up to you, if you know me some, you know what I think about this, but if you don't you can ask and I can bore you to death with my opinion!

 I added a larger crop of the Great Egret, she was describing it as the view of it was making a great impression in her mind. Those moments are priceless.
 Little Bean is truly the plants lover here, she is the one who stops and points everywhere.

From our walk, I came home and looked up at some of the many things we saw in our humble neighborhood. A camera and Google are of great help! I believe if you click on the pictures you can read their names, I saved them with both Latin and common names. We got pinkish dandelions not shown, and those are the ones we were trying to paint. We'll persist and get there, and one day we may paint as beautifully as CM in the city, or Pam, or many of you who are true artists.

My oldest drew some on the computer with Corel, similar to Photoshop, and the little one and myself watched some Italian Pocoyo episodes. I almost forgot!. Both girls, specially Blue Heart, practiced recorder too with Progressive Recorder. I also recommend the program too. I like it myself. I have to see if I can find those Yamaha recorders in a store around to save up the shipping I payed at Amazon. Following the lessons on DVD on the TV is fun!

What it is truly amazing to me it's how much we do in a day when we don't plan to do anything in particular. Today I woke up with the only goal of walking outdoors with them, and reading one poem, doing one game (we played many more games before and while cooking dinner), singing an hymn and praying, and maybe reading some more of Charlotte's Web. That was my goal, and it was generously and poetically superseded.

3 opinion(s):

Pam... said...

Yay! I love your day!
I love the narration of the view. Haven't done that one. Love the nature pics and that you found the names easily enough.
Love it that you got the paints out. A good start. Lay one flower down next to the paper and allow yourself to lightly sketch it first, til you get the hang of the whole thing. Then you fill it in, with darker parts and lighter, not much water.
I love the reads, and am trying to find that Pocoyo. We need to go to Walmart. You school sounds peaceful.

I have so many students, older ones work and do missionary stuff all summer. But I am 'considering' teaching the younger set as you are...soon. Maybe tweak the schedule so that when September comes, I switch to work with both; or work with all and lighten up with the younger. It's hard to work many in and keep it simple, and I don't have many mentors who have done this that I can look to.

It's like when we camp. The workload on me is big (food prep, hanging wet clothes, keeping dirt out, getting this and that). So I alway petition my husband to have at least two days of a 'split group'. Randomly chosen, I take 3 and he the rest for one day, then we switch on the next. Only then do I feel able to watch them swim, relax, get an ice cream cone for them, a bike ride, etc. Otherwise it feels like TOO MUCH. (We do it, but picture a bike ride or swim at Lake Michigan, or buying cones... WITH 9 CHILDREN!)Kind of stressful to this mom. Any thoughts/or afterthoughts! lol!

Silvia said...

Thanks Pam. I wish I had something to tell you...

Pocoyo we get it from youtube, I don't know if you like viewing things there. You can choose to watch it in different languages, there are several episodes there you can pick.

And maybe you are onto something. Working with the younger batch in the summer, and with the oldest in the fall... I know it will be difficult because you are always WORKING, ha ha ha, but you know what to do with the young ones without much planning. To me it's the first time around, but I also get the hang of what to do fast, that way you can concentrate on only one set of plans, readings, and pace, and when it's the time of the 'other batch' say, the other group can just keep up with minimums they can carry by themselves. I also wish you had a mentor. You are as busy as a mom plus a small school teacher, ha ha ha. Although your strategy of divide and conquer seems to make sense.

Thanks for the tips about painting. Yes, we'll try a simple sketch first.

Pam... said...

Thanks for letting me brainstorm on your page. I never thought of it like you stated it "divide and conquer", but I suppose that is what it is. I am praying about it. I suppose that is what you are doing in tackling the one thing that is not 'easy' for you; nature study. You are 'plunging in the waters', knowing you will get wet, but knowing you will be refreshed also.

As for my schooling, to divide up could work, but I am still unsure. I don't want to lose this 'sweet summer solstice' we have going where we attempt to really embrace the poetic, leisurely way of learning. Yet... maybe (without calling it school--and maybe that's a key??) just adding more artistic pursuits to what we do now would be enough. In my teacher's mind, I'd be accomplishing my year's plans, ahead of the game, and learning a new habit. While in my students' minds, we are just doing interesting things as a family, as we walk, camp, sit together....

It seems to be a 'philosophy' in which you embrace and the rest flows out? Does that make sense? Do you agree? (After all, you read the book, not me. What do I know? lol!)


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