Monday, June 18, 2007

Yesterday, Today, and Tomorrow

As summer approaches, spring calls, and we are outside more I always begin to reflect on last year, plan for what comes next and often read and read. This year it is a bit different though- in that I don't have a burning desire to purchase and plan. I definitely have been enjoying seeing what neat books are out there etc. but am more apt to go right onto the public library site from there and see if they have the said neat books. Part of this is the budget, lots I think is the fact that I have learned that while I love to plan and write out notes I never (yes never) follow them or even have the same sets of ideas as when summer hit. I guess this would be the learning curve, and oh it can be slow with me!! I think part of it is also the whole idea of simplifying- multum non multa.

As I add more kids into the mix, as new readers begin and old ones dive into more complicated studies I find that to keep (guard) the down time, the time where one can enjoy one's interests and think and play and cook dinner etc., I need to really look at what each child needs and what we need together: what juices us, what suits us, what do we need to work on as a family and individually, what can I personally handle (this is where the types of materials come in). By the end of this year I seemed to be able to streamline more, although there were days when I was sure that we needed alot more of X and Y and they were dutifully added, for that day.

So this year I am trying to find...
-used Henle Latin level 1
-some good titles for our history topics:
Middle Ages
A Modern era Biography (Ex. We read ones of Gandhi and Mother Theresa this year)
-a new (from our great used bookstore) Poetry Anthology
-a new calender for Fine Art (or set of prints)
-a globe and/or a good quality laminated map (we need a new one every year it seems!)
-someone who feels it is their life purpose to clean up lego for free (just joking,well maybe)

We generously used The Baldwin Project this year for many topics. It is amazing how much my children enjoy ants after hearing 'Uncle Paul' tell about it. We will use alot of titles as the year goes on I am sure.

I also want to study a Shakespeare play again: any favorites out there?? The children have still not had the chance to see one, so I hope to get a video and also to check out the outdoor Shakespeare theatre this summer.

Well, this is alot of posts for my first day of this new blog (my family blog and old blog are looking on enviously)

Declensions with Dog

The Peace of Wild Things

Here is a poem- a little early for Poetry Friday- but something I could have reflected on in the heat of a somewhat 'wild-day'. Wendell Berry is my all time favorite author, tied with Tolkien!!

The Peace of Wild Things

When despair for the world grows in me
and I wake in the middle of the night at the least sound
in fear of what my life and my children's lives may be,
I go and lie down where the wood drake
rests in his beauty on the water, and the great heron feeds.
I come into the peace of wild things
who do not tax their lives with forethought
of grief. I come into the presence of still water.
And I feel above me the day-blind stars
waiting with their light. For a time
I rest in the grace of the world, and am free.
— Wendell Berry


Spring here comes after 6 months of winter- yes, six months. We enjoyed our prairie winter this year: I love to knit and now we have three knitters in the family (the other one's read all the time).

With the arrival of spring came a new rhythm- sort of like a spring break that lasts all spring!!
Here is a favourite image of nicer weather....
by Emily Carr

An Introduction!!

As a bit of an introduction I feel as I should tell you something about us. We have been at this parenting thing for 12 years and have four beautiful children: 12yo, 6yo, and 4yo boys and one wonderful 10yo girl. We have lived in many different places, all in Canada, but are staying put here for a while on the prairies (though the mountains are always calling!!).

As far as homelearning, we have done many things: most fairly relaxed. Most frequently we have done things with a Charlotte Mason flavor. We love to study fine art, love books, thoroughly enjoy poetry, love books, drool over history, love books, all need the 'wild' out of doors for sustenance, and all enjoy math!!

We have tried so many of the approaches out there: classical, interest led, unschooling, CM , but always returned to a sort of relaxed/CM/Classical with loads of free time for hanging out and personal interests. This is what I've discovered I am most comfortable with, and gives enough structure with lots of personal breathing room. I cannot stick to a schedule, but we live by routines instead. A regular day here would involve a handful of things in the morning and then a late lunch followed by life- one of these regular days does not happen every day here!!

This has gotten long....
Have a Great Day

A New Start

I started a blog more than a year ago, but I fell to doing more blog reading than posting. Here's to a fresh start!! I am wanting to post weekly, which seems doable.
Have a great day and thanks for visiting,