Well, as usual, it's been a minute since I've blogged. For some reason, kindergarten and second grade have the ability to completely drain my 34 year old body and brain ... when I finally find the time to blog (during nap/quiet time), I rarely feel like it. Anyhoo, we've been busy as a family lately with all kinds of fun stuff:
Daddy has started a new job that we hope to be a career ...
We've been spending our Sundays at the pool with good friends and good music at Reggae Sunday ...
(Of course, this makes for tired Mondays ... hmmm)
We took a mini-vacation as a family. It was so lovely ~ doing nothing, playing in the pool, taking a boat ride, grilling out, going to the springs ... and, though we didn't make any entries into our Nature Notebooks, we did a TON of "Nature Study". We saw countless osprey and bald eagles (yes, really). We saw anhingas, numerous great blue herons, several great egrets, a few snowy egrets, a few ibises, of course several vultures (can you really go anywhere and not see vultures?), our fair share of turtles and alligators ... We saw humming birds (thought of you, Mom), a common moorhen, a limpkin ... We even made friends with a momma squirrel (we could tell she was a momma before we met her children because her nipples were obviously being nursed) and her children. Did you know that young squirrels play with grass and wrestle just like kittens? They were so cute to watch! And, the momma squirrel actually ate out of our hands! The girls named her Squirrelly ... we were sad to leave her.
I bought this book to help us identify our wildlife correctly:
We headed down to New Smyrna Beach for the Surf, Skate and Reggae festival that our friends were playing in ... had a blast (as always) ... made for another SUPER TIRED Monday ... may have to plan Mondays off this summer to accommodate these fun Sundays! This coming weekend we have co-op on Friday, a birthday party on Saturday, a baby shower on Sunday (really another party ... Dads and kids welcome) ... I'm thinking we'll be worn out on Monday AGAIN .. what do you think?
Regardless of all of the life that's been going on, let me share with you a bit about where we are in school these days.
The Princess has read up through book 3 of the second set of Bob Books, and she now tells me that they are "easy". Awesome! We are going to start this program next week. I'm pretty excited to be making progress with her and to start using real, quality literature rather than the "easy" stuff. I've also ordered this book and we'll start to work on it as she is ready (I actually ordered all four of Harriett Treadwell's Reading Literature books ~ the Hippie will be reading from the Second Reader and we'll use the others as we get to them).
A couple of weeks ago she told me that she wanted to do the "Mosaic Letters" and modeling again, so I got our materials back out from last fall. She has started back to working through this book and is modeling the appropriate letter out of modeling dough as well as my version of mosaics ... basically, I write the letter on an index card, she traces it with glue and then sticks tiny jewels or beads or something like that (pink, of course) to it. She requested it and loves it, so of course, I had to oblige. :=)
She also likes workbooks (even though they aren't entirely in line with my educational philosophy, she likes them and that's what matters), so she's been working through this book again. I figure if I hit her at every possible angle, the reading will really click and she'll take off ...
As far as her more Waldorf kindergarten, we read The Three Little Pigs out of Andrew Lang's Rainbow Fairy Book. This was not the Three Little Pigs you remember! One house was made of mud, one of cabbage and one of bricks. And, as you may suspect, it was bit more "brutal", but she didn't seem to mind. Either way, she then illustrated the story today in her Main Lesson Book.
Tomorrow I plan to let her make a fox (another difference in this original telling of the story) and the three pigs out of sculpy ... then, we can act out the story with her new hand-made toys next week.
The Hippie and I are working with St. Francis right now. She is currently reading the book Brother Sun, Sister Moon: The Life and Stories of St. Francis. She reads this on her own and then narrates it to me. As far as our work together, this week we are working with the story of how St. Francis tamed the Ferocious Wolf. Here is her illustration of the story:
We plan to make a St. Francis out of wood and felt as well as a wolf out of sculpy (while little sis is making the fox and the three pigs). That way she can act out the story as well whenever she feels so inspired. She will also summarize the story and copy it into her MLB tomorrow.
She is also copying the poem "The Canticle of Brother Sun" by St. Francis into her Main Lesson Book, one stanza per day.
I'm planning to work with the story of St. Francis and the Proud Crow as well as St. Francis talks to Birds over the next two weeks. We can spend some time bird-watching along with these stories. And, of course, she will illustrate and summarize all stories and copy those into her MLB.
The Hippie has taken to Picture Study all on her own all of a sudden. I had planned to wait until after our co-op is finished for the year and we have another day available to us for school, but she got "into it" last night and so, again, I must oblige! She studied and narrated two paintings by Monet last night while having her hair brushed. Her attention to detail is amazing! I couldn't believe the details she told me from memory ~ details I hadn't even noticed while staring right at it! The two paintings she narrated to me last night were:
Monet's Garden at Vetheuil, 1880
The Bark at Giverny, 1887
Naturally, I then picked up a couple of DK books at the library last night (one on Monet, specifically, the other on Impressionism). I also picked up this book for us to read this week:
We've also started working through this book, and the Hippie seems to love it! I think I'm going to set it aside whenever she is copying long poems or pieces for her language arts Main Lessons and just let her work through it during her math blocks. But, just in one casual sitting (at dinner time, actually), she and I went through the first four lessons. It seems like it's going to be a very nice, gentle grammar introduction. But, what we love most about it is the picture study and poetry and the extras like that!
We read Robert Frost's Stopping by Woods on a Snowy Evening and the Hippie illustrated it here:
We are working on number bonds in math right now. I want to be sure she "gets" those, but after that, I believe we'll be able to breeze through most of the rest of the book we have at the moment. She really already knows the rest, just from our every day use of math. But, we'll double-check just to be sure.
She is still working on her felted wool bag during handwork. And, she made me a felted wool oven mitt for mother's day ~ complete with needle-felting on the front. So pretty ...
As a family:
We finished up the Seven Year Old Wonder Book (which the girls really enjoyed) and are now reading Pippi Longstocking. They absolutely LOVE this one! It cracks them up ... has all of us laughing out loud nightly! We are up to chapter nine.
We've also started this book and Simply Charlotte Mason's companion for one of our Nature Stories and Nature Study. I think this will be really easy to read and enjoy ~ it's beautifully written (in 1903), yet perfect for the girls to understand and appreciate.
We've read several of Robert Louis Stevenson's poems from A Child's Garden of Verses.
Of course, we continue in our Homeschool Co-Op for a few more weeks. The girls are testing in their PE class and last week they did some gorgeous tracing in their art class. The Hippie also made a necklace (complete with clasps) and the Princess made me (and herself) very proud when she got up in front of her class and did some "public speaking" ... this is a major accomplishment because she is VERY shy!
All in all, steady progress is being made and I couldn't be more proud! Maybe I'll find the time to post our pictures from all of the fun we've been having ... Maybe I'll post my plans for the rest of our school year, what I have in mind... maybe ... either way, have a blessed day! See you next time ....