Sunday, February 23, 2014

St. Valentine's Day Celebration

This year we were able to, once again, celebrate Valentine's Day with our awesome Catholic homeschool co-op!  Although our celebration was delayed by one week due to a snow storm, we still got to exchange valentines and have fun.

Usually, we tend to take Valentine's Day as a feast day at our co-op.  This year, however, I decided to host it at my home so that we could dedicate a co-op feast day for another saint.  I planned some art activities for the kids.  They were separated by ages/grades and sent to different stations around the house.  This was followed by a valentine exchange and then snacks.  

We are so overly blessed by our Catholic co-op!  The families are each amazing and we have all become great friends.  











Sunday, February 16, 2014

Back to Nature.

So for the last couple of years, we have been doing school and I have left our nature studies and walks behind.  I thought that including these nature studies was a great thing to do when the kids were little, and as they got older it was a definite time waster.  What I didn't realize was that by getting rid of our nature time for the older kids, I was getting rid of nature time for my younger kids, too.  They were missing out on all the kinds of fun we used to have.

This got me feeling guilty, of course.  So I started reading my homeschool books again for the 100th time.  I needed inspiration!  Little by little I started to realize how much I missed our weekly walks.  I missed our bird studies.  I missed our gardens.  I missed our nature journals.  The list when on and on.  Then I ran across a quiz I took years ago when I was just starting my homeschool journey.  It was in my copy of Cathy Duffy's 100 Top Picks for Homeschool Curriculum.  It was in that book that I saw all my scribbles and notes from so long ago.  I also realized why I had done all those nature walks...it was because I had scored so high in not only classical studies, but also Charlotte Mason.  It was because of that quiz, that our early years in homeschool were so memorable, relaxed, and fun.  Had I changed that much since I first started?

This got me curious and I decided to retake the quiz.  My score was practically the same!  So then I came across this quiz, Which Homeschooling Approach is Right For You?, and I scored with Charlotte Mason again!  OK...so I think you know where I'm going with this!  So I am definitely fulfilling my teaching style of classical education, but I have been ignoring my love for nature.  What does that mean now that we are mid-year?  Well, I guess we have a lot of rethinking to do for the new year!  But I also immediately started doing weekly nature walks again, brought back our practice of having a nature table, and busted out the nature journals!  We are all so much happier now.  My older kids are so glad that we are doing this again.  "Why did we ever stop, Mom?"

I guess my point here is that it's never too late to go back to doing the things you love and instilling those things on your children.  Homeschooling is truly a journey and sometimes we take wrong turns (or detours).  Luckily, we can make our own path.  

I totally encourage every homeschooler to keep evaluating and assessing their methods.  If they aren't working or are making everyone miserable, then it's OK to change.


With the snow we got this week, we decided to take our nature walk in our own backyard woods.





Thursday, February 6, 2014

Welcome Back.

It's been a while since I've given in to my blogging.  A combination of busy schedules, new baby, more school, and less time have all contributed to my absence.  But I'm starting to think I really miss writing and sharing our journey, so I'm going to jump right in again.

The last six months has been almost a blur.  We were blessed with the birth of Matthew and we officially have five kids homeschooling (pre-k through 6th)!  It's been a little bit of an adjustment, but it hasn't shaken us up too much.  It seems that I'm pretty accustomed to having a baby and we've all learned to take each day as it comes.  I can't say this year hasn't been stressful, because it totally has.  It's just been stressful for different reasons...mostly all due to homeschooling.  But what a joy and blessing it has been to be able to educate our kids!

I'm really excited about sharing some of the things we are doing!  Our successes and our failures; my concerns and joys.  I keep reading blogs about how to function with a large family and think to myself...."wait a minute.  I have a large family and I'm totally functioning!"  There is so much I've learned and I'm wanting to share it all with you!!

So here I go again.  Welcome back to my blog!