Spring 2019 (or, nearly so)
As a rule, I no longer blog. It’s too difficult to do if I am going to read the books that I want to read and homeschool the way I want to, but I’m also running into the problem of needing a way to keep track of the seasons we are walking through. So much happens in the span of just a month, that I must keep some sort of record.
Homeschooling is getting harder, but I am loving it more. Maybe it’s because intentionality is finally being applied to our days, maybe the rhythm would have taken shape anyway, there are so many variables in this equation. Ella’s math is moving into more complicated operations (circumfrence, radii, pi), Marybeth is adding and subtracting into the thousands, and Pippa is sailing through single and double addition and subtraction. Some algebra is tossed in for all three (x+4=9) for good measure and a sprinkle of basic geometry, too. Right now, what works best is dedicating about an hour to math for Marybeth and Pippa. I start Pippa off on a chore or a book or free time while I do math with Marybeth for 30 minutes. Then, for the next 30 minutes, Pippa does her math next to me and Marybeth does some independent reading or a chore or goes to play outside. If Ella is able to, she can work through her math lesson on her own. If she needs help, she moves onto another subject until I am available. Her lessons have taken a solid 90 minutes lately, but I must say, she’s been diligent. We have shed some tears and felt moments of extreme frustration, but she carries on. A cup of tea or coffee usually help. She’s dipped her toes into the realm of coffee lately, and we enjoy a cup or two together during the week. It’s mostly PG Tips around here, though. We are tea drinkers to a fault.
We are listening to Tolkien’s The Hobbit on Audible, and that one has taken quite awhile. Nearly 3 weeks and we are 2/3 through it. We don’t get to listen to it every single day, though. On the way to and from Farm School is our primary time for that. The Carolyn Haywood series set in the 1940s about a little girl named Betsy has been our read aloud the last couple of weeks. We will finish book 2 next week and the 3rd is ordered and on the way. There is nothing so nice as getting a package with a new book inside!
The younger girls spend about 15 minutes writing their narrations after our read aloud time, but soon we will be adding a new Language Arts curriculum. It’s called The Good & The Beautiful, and it’s writing and phonics and spelling and picture study, even some geography. I intend to spend 20-30 minutes individually with them on it daily through the Summer months and on into Fall.
Ella has plenty of Farm School assignments to keep her busy each week. On Thursday morning, the following week’s assignments are posted. She has a calendar and she allocates her schoolwork to each day leading up to Farm School. This week she has two essays to write, one of them on Shakleton’s Stowaway, their current book, and another on Asia, which is a Geography assignment. Those are the assignments that will take the most time, she started working on them right away. Her drive is really astounding.
Next year will be a shift back to Classical Conversations. Ella is beginning Challenge A, and Marybeth and Pippa will be in Foundations again. We took a step back from CC for 2 years, but felt it was time we gave it another shot. The girls and I need a community of friends that we see regularly, Farm School has not really afforded that. The only time they see their buddies are at school (once a week) and at jiu jitsu. I am really hopeful that God will bring some lasting relationships into their lives next year.
Over the summer, we will also be going through Prima Latina. It’s been a long while since we had any Latin memory work to sing and Ella’s going to need something to prepare her for Challenge A Latin. I’m looking forward to it. All three girls are interested in learning languages, but I’ve never learned and taught a language at the same time. Still, I look at the curriculum online all the time and get all swoony. I can’t wait to order it and start.
Blessing hour is still happening daily, though I’ve had to split it up a few time to work around extracurriculars. It keeps the house from becoming overly cluttered, and the girls are learning life skills and how to bless others through serving. They all three help in the kitchen (at different times!) when I’m cooking meals, and Marybeth is almost ready to start baking chocolate chip cookies on her own. My little women are growing up!
It’s a sweet season they’re all in, and these years are speeding by. I am so very thankful, even on the worst days, that we homeschool.