|Posted on June 2, 2012 at 1:50 PM||comments (0)|
Today I am most grateful for my youngest's Charlotte Mason education. Here is a little example of why. Yesterday she was reading The Wanderings of Odyssseus in preparation for her literature class at a fellow CMer's house. She got to page 40, stopped reading and asked me to join her. She then asked if she could (verbally) narrate the story back to me...so that she wouldn't forget it by the time she got to class. I hear she did excellent in the class discussion and provided some valuable insights about the story.
It just made my little heart all warm and fuzzy knowing that she is taking what she has learned via her at-home CM education and applying it to other settings and purposes. I think Ms. Mason would be quite pleased by this. I know that I am quite happy that my daughter has found a way of addressing her memory/recall issues that makes sense and works for her. Yay Kody Girl! I must admit that I never once thought of using narration to help her with this aspect of dyslexia. The more I see how CM style narration has impacted my kids the more I think it should be the core of any education, regardless of philosophy or style.
|Posted on May 24, 2012 at 2:55 AM||comments (0)|
As you will have noticed I have been very absent from this blog and the website in general. I think I have now recovered from the transition of having my "kids" turn into "teens" before my very eyes. Amazing how much they change during this stage of life! It really has made me think outside my usual homeschooling and parenting boxes! With that said I am hoping to have time to ease back into blogging. Since I am currently busy helping pull the 2012 OHEN Convention together I will start small with "What I am Grateful For" posts. I find that these posts help me the most in keeping a positive attitude about homeschooling, parenting and life in general.
Today I am grateful for my middlest child. She is super spunky yet super shy, super smart but not academic, and she totally keeps me on my toes every single day of her life. Thanks to her I have learned to think WAY outside the box and to appreciate a broader flavor of life. Her compassion and connection with animals is remarkable and reminds me to slow down and really think about my own connection with the animal world. She truly is a "critter whisperer" that both wild and domestic animals are drawn to. She taught me that it is possible to see and taste music...something I would never have dreamed possible. She inspires me regularly and when I'm not busy being the worried mom I know that she will go on to have a wonderful adulthood because she is a wonderful person.
So very grateful that life brought this unique, smart, quirky and fun girl into my life! She has taught me much.
You can find her and her band over at https://www.facebook.com/sassfest" target="_blank">www.facebook.com/sassfest .
|Posted on May 15, 2011 at 2:00 PM||comments (1)|
Living an Educational Life, as opposed to schooling or unschooling, has been at the forethought of my thoughts lately. I've come to realize *this* is really how my kids learn so much. Even when we aren't "schooling" we are doing things that enrich our lives and therefore teach us things. This weekend was a prime example.
We had the opportunity to spend four days at the coast in our friend's beach house. As a family we all agreed that, for once, this would be a nonworking, noneducational, do only what we feel like, stricktly relaxing trip. Something we rarely do. Most of our trips are planned around activities. We had a fabulous time and all of us can't wait to do it again. We feel so recharged and that feeling is what most of us focused on. Funny thing is, now that I have high schoolers I have to do a lot more documenting so as we do things I tend to catalog them in my head for later retrival. I have to say as I look back on this weekend, without even trying, we added hours of several transcriptable subjects. The ability to do this is because of our living an educational life. Our kids are able to transfer what they learn in our relaxed CM schooling to all their avtivities without even trying. They automatically see the relationships and act upon them.
This weekend we truly were focused on just having an enjoyable time as a family. Yet, here is what we can document from the weekend. (This is great for those who do live in states requiring documentation.)
PE: We walked miles and miles and miles. Much of it along beaches. The rest uphill, or so it seemed. Probably totalled 3 hrs. of really working out.
Astronomy: Since there was no broadcast tv we watched 2 Nova videos on space. The kids asked a lot of really good questions and there were some lively debates. Definitely at the same level as my high school astronomy class discussions. Tide is studying astronomy right now so this was actually her request.
Nature Studies: We seemed most drawn to watching the birds this trip. They were everywhere! All kinds. We spent hours watching them and commenting on their behaviors. We have a few things to look up now that we are home since some of the brids acted differently than we expected. I never realized birds play so much! I was also impressed with how many plants the kids could identify from our previous trips and research. Drakon noticed a field that nearly everything in it could be used to make a soup. Too bad we did miss out on the Wild Gourmet's workshop Saturday. That would have been interesting and counted toward a health credit.
Chemistry: We watched a glass blowing session that included a full description of everything they were doing and how the glass was changing throughout the process and why. We've seen these demos before but this one was superior in the detail of explanation. We learned so much and some of us now want to try it ourselves. It's nice that this happened the year the girls are studying chemistry. We also have more research to do since some of the explanations went over our heads it was so indepth.
All without trying! We just did what we felt at the moment while living the educational life.
You may be wondering, how is this different from unschooling. It is quite different really. Living the educational life marries the idea of schoolwork (to lay down a foundation of knowledge that the kids can later act upon) and enriching our lives in multiple ways. It's a lovely cycle that feeds upon itself. Doing nature studies for years has trained my kids to observe the natural world around them and observing the natural world fosters their interest in doing planned nature studies. Seeing the glass blowing demo got everyone thinking about chemistry again and has motivated Tide to, finally, do our basic chemistry course. Just thinking about chemistry has now gotten her thinking about the chemistry of our handicrafts and hairstyling (yes, she's a teen girl so the chemistry of hair dye is of interest) which means she now has to do that chemistry course so that she can understand the chemical formulas in the dyeing books we just ordered. She will then use what she learned about dyes to dye her own fabrics and to host a tie-dye party using indigo and natural dyes in addition to the traditional vat dyes.
Living the educational life....it is a beautiful thing!
|Posted on October 31, 2009 at 1:26 AM||comments (0)|
I am so very thankful that this is a holiday weekend!!! I need just one weekend with no schoolwork in sight and this is it. Regardless of whether the kids are behind in their work or not we are taking the weekend off since this is the kids' and Bassman's absolute favorite holiday of the year. Samhain tonight and tomorrow, Halloween tomorrow night and Day of the Dead on Sunday. Plenty of parties, crafts and cooking happening around here this weekend. Yay.
|Posted on October 27, 2009 at 2:42 AM||comments (1)|
Even though we didn't get as much done today as intended it still was a good day...because it was Monday. Unlike with traditional school and the traditional workweek, our Mondays tend to be pretty laid back even though they are a full day of school work and house work for us. There's just something nice about starting the week off fresh. Monday morning and early afternoon seem so open to possibility; unlike Fridays, which are my least favorite day of the week. I am always tired on Fridays and by noon I can usually tell how far behind we are and exactly how much school and housework has to been completed over the weekend.
Today was a good Monday because....
even though they didn't get all of their work done, the kids had good attitudes and did make some progress in subjects we haven't had time for lately
it was a beautiful rainy day full of bright colored leaves just outside my window
the new color in my library/living room (where we spend most of our time) is bright and cheerful on rainy days instead of the dark grey feeling it use to have
the chickens coop is finally escape proof
preteen girly Halloween planning can be highly entertaining
The Story of Charlotte Mason arrived today from England--earlier than the CM books I ordered from here in the USA
the migraine of 4 days has finally completely gone away
one of my best friends called and we had a lovely chat
the girls and I went to Powells and arrived just in time for me to listen to the author of Marley and Me; which KodyGirl had read over summer
I feel optimistic (unlike most of last week when I wondered 1st, why I had children and 2nd, why I homeschool them rather then sending them to boarding school lol)
Somehow this post sounded much more profound in my head earlier in the day before I got all tired from herding cats (uh I mean parenting)
|Posted on October 13, 2009 at 11:20 AM||comments (0)|
Whoo hoo. The rainy season has begun. Must mean that Halloween and Thanksgiving are just around the corner. Amazing how the rainy season coincides with the yummy food holiday season. Pumpkin pie, apple pie, mulled cider or wine, hearty soups, warm bread..... Mmmm. I'm getting hungry just thinking about it. Bet we have our first fire of the season this week as the mornings and evenings are a bit cool. Warmed cider, popcorn, some kids and a good book....what more could we possibly need.
This is what I am grateful for today.
|Posted on October 12, 2009 at 1:16 PM||comments (0)|
Wow. I haven't posted one of these in a long time. Not since before Bassman's sabbatical; which ended today. Here goes....
1. Autumn. I love this time of the year. Like Bassman said, my nesting instincts always kick into overdrive this time of year. Just in time to make lots of yummy stuff without turning the house into a sweatlodge.
2. That my chickens are still happy, healthy and producing more eggs than ever. I think it's the Barred Rock runt that lays the nicest and most eggs. She's a keeper!
3. That my living room is now so warm and welcoming. Even Bassman admits that the yellow tones really work in this room. It'll be fabulous come the dark months of the rainy season which is about to begin.
4. My cats. I just love them and so does everyone else in the family.
5. My friends who told me about Charlotte Mason in the first place. Thank you Lisa and Lynn! The CM philosophy has really enriched my family's lives.
6. The interesting feedback I get about the website. I get some interesting emails from interesting people. It's what makes this all worth it and keeps me going. Now if only I could get more efficient at my writing so I could actually complete something.
7. That I live near Powells and, therefore, have easy access to great books and the people who write them.
8. That I live in the Pacific Northwest. My hubby is a Midwesterner at heart but I feel like I have always been destined to live in the soggy PNW. I was so happy to be home after spending time in the Plains and Midwest states. It truly is like living in a different country out here on the left coast.
9.My personal library. I know I shouldn't be so materialistic but it just fills my heart with happiness to see my beautiful books day in and day out. I always loved the "library" my mom had when I was in high school. It was a joy to peruse her shelfs looking for something to read. Funny how some of the books recommended for Drakon via Trisms are the very same books that my mom had and that fostered my own love of ancient history. It'll be fun to read through them with him.
10. Life. Even on bad days I am thankful to be alive and even more thankful that I haven't had to undergo many of the hardships that people I have known had to experience (ie. escaping the Khmer Rouge or the Taliban). Life is Good is my motto!
|Posted on August 6, 2009 at 12:50 PM||comments (0)|
Friends. I have awesome friends who totally enrich my life and keep me sane. It was nice seeing everyone at Village last night. Looks like it is going to shape up to be a nice year. I'd never be able to homeschool all three levels, elementary, middle school & high school, this year without my friends support and actual help (yay for swapping parent-in-charge days and carpooling).
Family. It is so very nice to have family that the kids can go visit on their own. I suspect Drakon is revelling in his current indpendence at Grandpa's house.
Nice weather!!!! I feel positively human this week. Temps above 85 degrees are not my friend! They trigger every illness I have and make me supremely grumpy.
Teenagers. While you couldn't pay me a million dollars to be one again I must admit that I find my teens (or nearly teens) and their friends to be highly amusing. It is also wonderful to see them starting to step out into the world on their own more and more with each passing year. I love kids that are old enough to utilize the bus system without me. Drakon is happy that his social schedule no longer has to rely on my being available to drive him everywhere.
Sabbaticals. Bassman's 10 week sabbatical started this week. It's been so nice to be home together; esp. since it seems like we've hardly seen each other this summer. There's been a lot of tag-team parenting this year as we each pursue our own interests.
Happiness. The entire family has had a good 6 months and it sure feels good to know that everyone is genuinely happy with their lot in life these days. You can't really ask for much more than this.