Sunday, January 31, 2016

A Day Book {School Edition}

We are 21 weeks deep in to our third year of homeschooling {WHAT?!} and this year finds me with two 2nd graders, 1 kinder, and one very enthusiastic preschooler. In a lot of ways, I feel like this has been our easiest year yet, mostly because my kiddos are bigger, but also because I do believe I'm figuring a thing or two out. Like you don't have to teach every subject every day! I'm not entirely sure why but I was incredibly nervous to add in a new{and third!} student this year. Judah has done amazing though! He is excited to learn, picking up phonics quickly, motor boating through math, and quite possibly my neatest hand-writer which means a lot if you've ever seen him eat!
First day of co-op!
Over the summer when I was purchasing materials for our new year, I had strongly considered making significant changes to our school curriculum but then I found out I was yeah. Back to the old stand by's for the year. Sonlight Cores B/C for all three boys {history/geography/bible/read alouds}. Corresponding grade language arts/readers. And Math-U-See Primer for Judah and Beta for Abe and Ben. We also joined co-op again this year and each of the kids is enjoying their class of choice. As for me, well I was teaching a fall semester history class for 1-3 graders and let me just tell you that their comments in class were worth every late night spent prepping! As for what's new to the rotation this year? Music lessons. All three boys are either strumming, playing, or drumming their way towards being musical. It's been {although not very quiet} to see each of them take on their instrument of choice and really start to play. The big boys have even performed in their first recital! I think Jeremy and I were more nervous than they were. Especially when we saw how little they looked on the stage. 
  Ben performing Brother John
Abe playing Ode to Joy
Now on to our daybook...
Handwriting with an eager "sidekick"
Lego letters
The latest in boy creation...This year Ben has really developed a strong desire to draw. His passion seems to be in drawing animals so a few books from the library later and he turned up this gem. I immediately loved it and started to think about where I could display it! He informed me, however, that it was not for me but for a GIRL! One that is very special to him and who also happens to be an older woman of eleven. I may or may not have had to breathe into a paper sack over that one. 
New to us...a field trip co-op that I coordinated at the begining of the year. Each month, a different mom is responsible for organizing a field trip. So far we've visited the NM State Fair, the pumpkin patch, had a Christmas craft day, and we also went to see the Nutcracker ballet. Our trips extend through the remainder of the year and include a popcorn factory, the water treatment plant, Dion's, and the fire station. It's been a great way to break up the day to day grind and who doesn't look forward to some time out of the house with great friends?!
Fridge worthy endeavors...while we don't exactly include art as part of our regular school week, on occasion, I have been known to shirk our morning table work for a fun and usually Pinterest inspired art project. My M&O includes easy instructions, quick prep, and enough result to justify a morning of uncapped markers rolling off my kitchen island. Here are two of our fav's that totally delivered in all departments...
Name abstract art.
Falling Away self portraits
Our favorite part of the day...popcorn and read alouds. After years and years of picture books, I never imagined that I would enjoy reading chapter books aloud even more. Oh, but how I do. I dare to even say that I think my boys all feel the same. Our favorites this year include a repeat of Little House in the Big Woods, George Mueller: The Guardian of Bristol's Orphans, Stuart Little, and Understood Betsy. If my kiddos remember one thing and one thing only about being home schooled, I hope it's all the hours we spent huddled over the popcorn tray as the book pages turned.

Total year olds. They are strange, strange creatures, aren't they?
Because life...need I say more.
News in Gracie Land...This little nugget can't get enough of helping in the kitchen. And apparently, clothing is optional. Isn't it funny how in the moment things like a child's nakedness make total sense while baking scones but when you look back at the picture you have no earthly idea how this situation came to be? Ah, motherhood. She's getting to be quite the little sous-chef though. The other day, I asked her to find me the cheese grater and the parchment paper and she knew precisely where both were located and delivered with ease. That and last Saturday she asked for an episode of Pioneer Woman in place of her morning cartoon.
Something I hope I never forget...having all my people gathered round the table, books open, a hot cup of coffee, and settling in for our day. The summer that Jeremy and I made our table, we talked over the hours and hours of sanding about how our babies would someday sit at that very table and work math problems, practice handwriting, and sound out readers. That dream is now a reality and now every morning when we gather round that table, it is so very sweet to my soul. 
Our schooling must-have for the moment...kinetic sand. Even the big kids love it. One of the best $15 investments we've made. The three year old is positively smitten which means the history lesson is {mostly} uninterrupted. Lakeshore Learning for-the-win!
So there's a recap of what we've been up to this year. Part of me can't believe that we are more than halfway through our year and the other part has the detailed outline including every jot and tittle that it took to get here. It's been a good 21 weeks though and I am proud of my boys and their hard work. As we slide in a few more weeks before baby makes his or her debut, I'm so very thankful for these months behind us. 

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