Friday, January 30, 2009

Planning for Our Year One- Bible Study

From Charlotte Mason's writings- pg 248, volume 1:
"We are probably quite incapable of measuring the religious receptivity of children."

This post is concerning our Bible study for year one. I came across this wonderful blog site- she has lovely Bible studies and book recommendations. I highly recommend taking a look.

One particular book she recommends caught my eye- Aunt Charlotte's' Stories of Bible history by Mary Charlotte Yonge. This book has 52 chapters and each chapter has 3 lessons. We will use this book as a guide. We will compare these lessons to the scripture in the KJV Bible. With 52 chapters and doing one chapter a week, we have one year covered. And the best part is that you can download this book for free. We will use an Bible atlas as we study our way through the Bible. For memory verses, I really like Simply Charlotte Mason. Our nightly devotionals will come come from Little Visits with God by Allan Hart Jahsman and Martin P. Simon. We have loved this book so far.

I think Bible study planning is done. Next is Geography. Til then, Many blessings.

New Old Snack Discovery

I have recently rediscovered jello.
So easy, so quick, so good.
Inexpensive too.

My husband and I seem to be the ones
who enjoy these the most.

Don't you just love these little bowls?
Perfect size.
Thank you Pampered Chef.
Many blessings.

Mom's Bathroom Break

When mom's away...
the children will play.

Yes, we know it is a no no.

Mom, I love you. The twins have worn me out.

I love you too son.
Now, put the cushions back.

The things children can get into
when nature calls.
Many blessings.

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Planning Of Our Year One -History

This post will address our history reading goals for year one term one. I am still reading and trying to understand what Charlotte Mason is saying about history. From my first read through, it seems Miss Mason preferred stories of individual people living in a particular time instead of an overall history read of books. Volume 1 pg 280. of Miss Mason writings reads "Let him on the contrary, linger pleasantly over the history of a single man a short period, until he thinks the thoughts of that man, is at home in the ways of that period. Though he is reading and thinking of the lifetime of a single man, he is really getting intimately acquainted with the history of a whole nation for a whole age."
Also, it seems Miss Mason preferred earlier written history books to the more "modern" written ones. I agree-- modern politics-- sometimes blurs the truth in my opinion.

Back to the task at hand. Okay, let's look at Programme 42 Form IB and see what is offered for history. There are two books listed: Old Stories from British History and Tales from S. Paul's. The first book I am able to order online, no problem, but the second is currently unavailable. What to do. Well, let's look at what Ambleside has on their term one year one schedule. They have Our Island Story. Also under history, AO has Trial and Triumph, and Fifty Famous Stories Retold. Our Island Story is really an overview of English history. This book doesn't contain individual stories of everyday people, but is an excellent book. In Charlotte Mason's writings, she does mention another book, Ecclesiastical History of England by Bede. What to do. What to do. If I look forward a bit, I can see that Miss Mason has in her recommended readings Our Island Story. Chapters in this book will be on our reading list goals for term three of year one. We will wait til then to read from this book. I am going to order Old Stories from British History and Ecclesiastical History of England and schedule 40 pages from one or each and spread them out over the 12 week term.

Trial and Triumph will be placed on our Sunday reading list. Rotating this book with Parables of Nature will give two weeks to focus on each story. I have read that these are some of the more difficult books.

Now, for Fifty Famous Stories Retold. This is a book that will go on our year two reading list. I think my son will enjoy these stories more in year two.

As for American history, I had to think long and hard about this one. I have decided to place on our free reading book list a book on American history, A First Book In American History by Edward Eggleston. My son loves anything to do with American history and I know he will enjoy this book.

As you can see, I am not following AO's schedule for history for year one term one at all. I am okay with this decision. I am excited about our history selections and looking forward to beginning.

So, when I get my books in, I will be able to spread out the readings over 12 weeks. I will post my finalized reading goals for history when I receive the two books.

Isn't this fun? I think so. Next, Bible studies and geography.
Many blessings.

Monday, January 26, 2009

A New Recipe for Me

I came across a recipe for zucchini pancakes
in one of my favorite recipe books by Barefoot Contessa.
I knew I had to try them.
The recipe was easy to follow.

They were delicious. All the boys loved them.
It was a keeper as my husband says.
Who would have thought.
Many blessings.

Planning for Our Year One- Literature

Over the next few weeks I am going to post about my planning process for my oldest upcoming school year. My ds is going to start year one in June. Why June? Well, we are going to school year round and my ds turns 7 yrs in May. My husband and I thought this would be a good time to start. We also don't want to get caught up with starting the same time as the local PS. So, June it is.

I am currently reading all 6 volumes of Charlotte Mason's writings. Slowly might I add. I want to base our school year on her writings, but I am also going to use Ambleside online as a guideline. I have made some primarily decisions. First being that I do not want a strict schedule with times to follow, but instead I want term goals that are then broken down into weekly goals for us to accomplish. Does this make sense? On Sundays I will print out our weekly goals. I might try at that point to spread out our weekly goals over the week, but that won't be done til the Sunday before that week. Week 6 and 11 will be review weeks and week 12 will be oral exam week. This will help to break up the term a bit.

Now the fun part, subject planning. Let's start with literature. If I am reading Charlotte Mason correctly, I am looking at 3 fables and 3 fairy tales for term one. Now, I look at Ambleside and see what they have schedule for literature. Wow! They have a lot scheduled. They have 12 fables from the Aesop book alone. Not to mention stories form The Blue Fairy Book, Parables From Nature, Just So Stories, and Shakespeare. Decision time. This is where we as parents can individualize our children's schooling. Isn't homeschooling fun? Back to the decision at hand. I think I will stick closer to what Charlotte Mason suggests. I will put 3 fables and 3 fairy tales on our term one goals. So, spreading these out over 12 weeks, the schedule will look something like this.
week one- Aesop fable
week two- no readings
week three- A fairy tale from the Blue Fairy Book
week four- Aesop fable
week five- no readings
week six- review week
week seven- Blue Fairy Book
week eight- Aesop
week nine- no readings
week ten- Blue Fairy Book
week eleven- review week
week twelve- oral exam week

Literature is all done. Like I mentioned before, Ambleside has many more literature and tales scheduled. These are wonderful books and I don't want my son to miss out on these beautiful stories. I think I will put the stories from Parables From Nature on our Sunday reading list. This follows in line with what Charlotte Mason recommends. We will not narrate from this book. Also, the stories in Just So Stories will be added in our free reading list. Again no narration required from the free reading books.

Next, I will tackle history, but that will be another post. Hope I did not bore you with my planning. But, this is a place I can put my thoughts down and try to get a handle on those thoughts.

Again, I am new at this. I will not try to pretend I know all that is Charlotte Mason. I am doing the best with what I understand of her readings. I have not doubt there will be revisions before June comes around. Ambleside online is wonderful and the site is chalk full of info and advice from people who have been teaching based on Charlotte Mason's philosophy for a long time. I can not tell you how much Ambleside online has help me. Many blessings.

Thursday, January 22, 2009

My Current Reading List and Two Words

I had to smile as I looked at my current reading list,
especially after the day I had a few days ago.
I think God is definitely speaking to me,
don't you think?

At our church on Wednesday nights,
we have started a study on the book of John.
We were asked what we want to get out of this study.
I answered, a renewal of my faith.

I read on another blog about picking a word for the year.
I have chosen two.
Renewal and blossom.
Yes, I think these two words will be my inspiration for 2009.
Who needs a whole list of new year resolutions.
Renewal and blossom.
That's it.
Many blessings.

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Some Days You Say...

Early morning.
All three brothers gather to color.

Big brother works on his "Soldiers Around the World" book.

Twin one works on his masterpiece.

Twin two on his.

All is right with the world.
Then 30 minutes goes by

Yes, They are Definitely TWO!

...this happens.
Total meltdown from twin one.

I mean total meltdown.

But, not to be outdone, twin two melts down too.

Let's join forces and meltdown together.

This all occurred before 10 am.
Can we say early naps?
But, no use, this was the day all day.
Did someone slow down time?
I really believe this day had 36 hours in it not just 24.
Tonight, there will be a long soak
and a glass of wine or two.
Many Blessings.

Friday, January 16, 2009

Defining Cozy

I had a love one tell me recently that our home would be more cozy if we did this and we did that. I respect their opinions, but also understand that it is only their opinions. Yes, some great points were made. We do need to replace our paper blinds, they have been in place for about four years now. But, really? What makes a home cozy? Is it having new furniture and drapes with pretties here and there. Maybe. To many yes. Not for our family. I, we like things simple, uncluttered. I am not a duster, so the thought of all those pretties that need to be dusted weekly, stresses me. I love the openness of our home. With three children 6 yrs and under this is a plus. They can stretch their wings without the worry of breaking something. Simple leans, for me anyway, a state of easy cleanliness. I take a few moments in the day to straighten up. My house is always tidy before bed time. My 6 yr old ds is a great helper. And the 2yr old twins love to help me unload the dishwasher. Many of my walls are without pictures, bare some say, but I do not see them this way. I love those walls. I have a big blank wall, canvas, in the family room. This past Christmas my 6 yr old ds colored a big manager scene. We placed each beautiful picture on that wall. I do not have things on top of my kitchen cabinets, you know up by the ceiling, like greenery or pretty plates. Again that dusting word comes to mind. I have a huge hall closet downstairs for toys. This way when the children are through playing, the toys can be put up. There are not toys, or as I call them land mines, everywhere for someone to step on or trip over. Yes, there are many times toys are scattered everywhere, how could it no be with three little ones? I love seeing toys on the floor, I love that the children have lots of room to play with their toys on the floor. I just like when they are done playing with, say army men and before they pull out the million legos, the army men are put up. Oh, don't get me wrong, I love homes that have lots of pretties and the this and the that here and there. It is just not our style. Cozy is defined differently for each family. We think our home is very cozy, especially when we are all in the family room playing on the floor. Besides, paper blinds rock. Just my opinion and ramble.

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Marathon- Not My Day

I had to drop out of this year's Disney Marathon at the 19.5 mile.
Let me go back a little.
A few days before the marathon I was feeling a little under the weather.
My husband questioned whether I should run or not.
But, by Saturday I was feeling much better.
And on race day I was feeling great.
The weather was perfect.
I was having a great day.
My pace was on track to beat my other marathon times.
I was feeling good, confident.
Then mile 12.5 happened.....
With little warning the stomach made a calling.
I think you know want a mean.
For the next 7 miles I managed to keep a 13 minute mile pace
even with at least two stops each mile.
I kept myself hydrated.
I thought I might just hold out.
But, at the mile 19 water pit I felt nauseated.
I knew I needed to call it or I could get into trouble.
So, I walked to the next medical tent at the 19.5 mile
and spoke to the doctor.
He said I made the right decision.
So, there you have it.
I did not complete it this year.
But, I did go 19.5 miles and 7 of them with
you know what.
The doctor said there will be other marathons.
He is right.

Friday, January 9, 2009

Breakfast Time- Sharing

A little oatmeal and blueberries,
father- son style.

First you must cool off your bite.

Chew real good.

Start over again.

Watching Daddy,
so to get it just right.

Many blessings

Thursday, January 8, 2009

Morning Routine

Alarm goes off at 4am.

Go to gym.
Run on track or treadmill.
Do weights.

Make coffee.

Spend time with Him.
Children wake.

This was my routine before the holidays began.
Looking forward to it's return.
Really missed this,
especially my personal time with Him.
Prayer, I do often.

Will start back Tuesday,
after we return.
Who says routines are boring?

Tuesday, January 6, 2009

My 2009 Marathon

Sunday is the day. It is the day of the Disney marathon.
This will be my third year running it.
My first was the year before the twins were born.
Last year I ran with my brother.
This year is just me again.
I am a little nervous this year.
Training went fairly well,
but not as much pavement as I would have liked.
I will try to take a few pictures along the way.
I do believe next week will be a slow, slow moving week.
Many blessings.

Saturday, January 3, 2009

Looking To 2009

Looking toward 2009.
Much has been said about what to except in 2009.
What do you expect?
What are your goals?
Many of my personal goals are simple.
Some are complex and may not be achieved.
But, I think it is the process of trying that counts.
Some of my goals for 2009 are:
pray often
more personal Bible study
think of others more
more patience
more laughter
read more
learn to knit
run more
learn to embroidery
do a sprint triathlon
organize the attic
spend more time in nature
run more
play more
tickle more
journal more
enjoy life more
be more humble
run more
be more thankful and grateful
praise Him more
Yes, this should do.
Oh, one more- don't take things so serious.
Many Blessings