Wednesday, December 18, 2013

Joy of Homeschooling #568: Taking a break when you want

My kids have essentially not done any work in a week, possibly more. Although, my son got a lesson in binary numbers last night, but that was quite impromptu ;), and my daughter was at a homeschool Christmas craft workshop yesterday and a CPR course on Monday. We've been spending lots of time relaxing, watching movies, enjoying electronics, some shopping and working on this 1000-piece puzzle:

It's doubtful that they'll get anything else done before Christmas break. But, hey, that's the joy of homeschooling: taking a break when you want! :D We've needed this break to restore ourselves a bit. My husband has been saying that kids at school (he's a teacher) have been pretty much ready for a break for a couple of weeks now. The teachers, too. I love that we have the flexibility to hibernate as we wish, go shopping while everybody else is at school and work, etc.

Today, the plan is to shop. Take advantage of the time we have so we can try to get our Christmas shopping done before the weekend hits and stores are completely insane. I am realizing I need to start getting Christmas goodies made, too...

How are your Christmas preparations coming along?

Saturday, December 14, 2013

If You Love "Little House on the Prairie", You'll LOVE This!

OMG. I can not believe how excited I am about this find. It seems so silly, but I love Little House on the Prairie and every time I watch movies based in the 1800s, I feel like I was born in the wrong century (except for maybe hot showers and flush toilets...).

When I was a kid, I was completely enamoured with Little House on the Prairie. I watched the shows. I read the books (more than once). I started braiding my hair like them and developped a distinct fondness for blue because, well, blondes were supposed to wear blue according to the book. I wanted nightgowns, not pyjamas. I could go on.

Well, I found this company today, Jacob Bromwell. Perhaps you have heard of it, my American readers, but I, in the frozen prairie wasteland (lol), have not. Until today. It is a housewares company that makes old-fashioned items--by hand. They've been making items since 1819. (Just that gets me all giddy.) When I got to the main page and saw this

I just about squealed! (I'm turning 40 next year; aren't I too old to squeal?) Oh my, the inner child in love/obsessed with the series got so very excited. The items are pricey, but it's because they still make things the way they were made 150+ years ago. The tin cup is, naturally, a bestseller. (How can it not be?) Oh, I will be getting one of them sometime, I believe! My husband will think I'm crazy, but dang, it's an authentic tin cup! lol. (I know I'm ridiculous here...) If they had the tin plate, as well, I might well have fainted. ;) lol

Friday, December 13, 2013

Is Montessori parenting radical?

I'm not sure what I was expecting when I started reading this article, but I did find that instead of "radical", it was very much in line with Montessori parenting! I thought I would share:

Is Montessori parenting, therefore, radical? What do you think?

Wednesday, December 11, 2013

Schooling Update

I'm consistently inconsistent with my son, but things are still going back to the basic plan (mostly) when life is such that it works to go back to the basic plan: math, Bible/religion, copywork, social studies reading (history stuff), lots more literature going on this year... It's good.

But I haven't gone so far Charlotte Mason-style that there is a rigidity. There is still lots of flexibility and openness. For example, I knew my son wasn't completely enjoying the ancient history book I got for him, so I supplemented with some readings from The Kingfisher History Encyclopedia to provide something a little different. It's also been a great book for any supplementation--short pieces that fit well with what we're looking at for France and England, too. I will also print off interesting articles related to our studies (or random science things, like this article about Mars). AND he's started reading something other than comics and How to Train Your Dragon books: The Hunger Games. I finally let him watch it, he loved it and his sister and I kept commenting on how such and such was explained more in the book, so that's been his free reading lately.

For my 16yo, there has been some progress in the depression/stressed out area. I have to remind myself that it's not going to be an overnight fix to change her way of thinking. Things have greatly improved after I told her this weekend that before Christmas, I just see 2 things that really need to get done: her unit 4 math (she did the test yesterday and everything seemed to be fine; much better than the usual Monday morning meltdown) and get her current social studies unit done (she has a paper to finish and a unit test to do). Once those are done, she has the rest of the time off until January. But her mind is so used to being stressed, it switched to focusing on other things in the future to be worried and negative about. *sigh* Baby steps, baby steps. :)

Tuesday, December 10, 2013

A Simple Homeschooling Joy

This morning, I looked at the clock and saw it was 8:43. I've been up for sometime, but there was still no sign of my kids. I did the motherly thing and peeked in on them: both were well snug in their beds, sleeping.

It's such a little thing, but it's something that I love about homeschooling: letting them sleep.

If my daughter had gone to school this year after all, the school she would have gone to starts at 8:20. Given its location from our house and the crazy streets at that hour, we would have had to leave by 7:50 at the very latest, I'm guessing. Which means she likely would have had to get up by 7 at the latest.

I'm not sure she's ever been regularly up by 7. That was my son's doing--until he became a teenager. (He was up between 5:30-7 every morning until roughly age 12. Then, when he turned 13, it was like overnight he started sleeping every day past 8. lol)

Looking out the window at the cold winter, knowing my children can be in the comfort of their beds instead of rushing off to spend hours in a building they don't even want to be in (or want to be in only for the friend factor), it's a simple joy, but, for some reason, a strong one.

Is there some simple thing about homeschooling that really gives you joy on a regular basis?