Wednesday, December 18, 2013

Autumn to December- what a rush!

self portrait by Friendly (aged 4)
 It's been a while! Our school year is going well... Friendly is just blowing my mind with her hungry little intellectual brain. And Roo is growing in leaps and bounds and asking such thoughtful and deep questions I am some times at a loss how to answer her (youtube to the rescue lol...well at least it answers "how are cars made?" But things like "why did Eve eat the fruit?" well geee...ummm)...

The girls can't get enough "school", it's a new kind of exhausting- but also a ton of fun!

I am still mostly loving a lot about Heart of Dakota curriculum. I love how short and sweet it is! We can do it "all" in 20 minutes, or we can stretch it out and take 3 hours and just soak in all the stuff.  It is very underwhelming and a great spring board for these ages- I definitely am glad I went with it this year. It has given us lots of time to spend outside during the sunshiney days of October and November....Lots of sweet moments:
Pip's favorite thing, ever: holding her sisters hands and being "big".

"The Heart of God" 100% by Roo
  We have been pretty much moseying through units 12/13 since Thanksgiving- skipping a lot of days to rest, run errands, work on house projects (more on that on the family blog shortly!) or just do other stuff.

At Thanksgiving we attempted finger print turkeys:

 What we actually ended up doing for the official was letting the girls finger paint a chinet plate and then we traced the girls hands on to it the next day and they added turkey features to their "hands".
 It has also been snowing a shocking amount for this time of year. We built a snow man together last weekend:

 Her name is (Roo declared): Miss "Lady"
In school this year so far we've covered The Old Testament from Creation up through the New Testament where we've just started in on Jesus' Ministry and the recounting of Jesus turning water into wine.

We finished "The World God Made" Kindergarten science book and have moved onto "Our Father's World" first grade science. Both are creation science books (covering the days of creation, the elements, animals, human anatomy, weather, seasons, months etc)...We're almost done the first grade book and I'm really not sure what to move onto next. Honestly all the Charlotte Mason-ish curriculum I have seen are not that big on science- and its' some thing that is a ton of fun to study together. I think researching new options is going to be my goal for Christmas Break.

What else have we done? We have followed the story of Reddy the Fox, Peter Cotton Tail, and are now in our 3rd book "Danny Meadow Mouse" - the girls are loving the books but Thorton Burgess and I love how bite sized they are and how HOD hones in on themes and draws out activities from the chapters.

So 4 months in, what do I still think of Heart of Dakota? I like it. Will I use it next year? I am not sure. I think it actually works really well for Roo (nearly 6). But I feel like I almost need some thing more driven and faster moving for Friendly (4). I am considering My Father's World Curriculum for her next year. We shall see.

 Another exciting thing (that has filled up many an afternoon!) was that Roo and Friendly got their *very own* library cards. It has been fun to take them on individual dates- cheap dates- and letting them walk out with a big stack of book they picked out themselves!

We've been doing advent activities every day and are reading "The 24 Days of Christmas" by Madeline L'Engle
A tradition: paper chain!

wrapping paper, paper chain!
Tea times...
Glittery snow flake making (because nothing says "Christmas" like cleaning up glitter for the entire month!) Friendly took the initiative and taped her snowflake to the front door- isn't that great? Lots of tape too! :)
And typing out all that above and looking through the girls "binders" (we've been putting their projects and special papers in their own binder- the things are BURSTING they are so full of stuff they've written, created, and done in "school"). Well it feels good. Really good, I really like homeschooling. So much as a stay at home Mom I feel like I do a ton of things that get "undone" or that aren't really quantifiable...Some times it all feels pointless. I like check lists (though I try to be flexible), I like the reward of seeing I have accomplished some thing. And reading the above ...Well we have accomplished a lot this Autumn...It's been so much fun to learn and grow together.

I am hoping next year will bring more time to ponder and process. 2013 has been ridiculously amazingly busy and full of changes and blessings... Here's to a new year and more things to learn and grow in!

MERRY CHRISTMAS from the "Joy" Family (and Nana Joy too- oh and if you're wondering about our expressions- the person taking our picture their tree was falling over behind them- ha!)

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