Tuesday, October 6, 2020

Awaking Wonder by Sally Clarkson

Awaking Wonder: Opening Your Child's Heart to the Beauty of Learning

Awaking Wonder by Sally Clarkson was really a timely read. I've been homeschooling for seven years and this year the thought of getting back to it was honestly a little daunting. I started reading Awaking Wonder and really felt a sense of peace...maybe not peace, but something that stirred by soul. It was a wake up. A wake up for me. This has really been a tough year...I've lost my own wonder. How can I open the eyes to my children's wonder if I'm over here without it. I don't just want to wake up my children's heart, but also my own. 

I would say my takeaway is less about my children and more about me. To awaken wonder in my children I take my faith and passion for Christ and mix it with my desire and passion for educating my children. Sally gave some wonderful and practical ideas. This was really an inspiring book for homeschool parents. 

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Wednesday, July 10, 2019

Best field trip EVER!

A few weeks ago we took the kids on a trip to DC! It was amazing! We saw so many things and honestly there was still so much more to see. I am hoping we can take the kids again in the next year of two. I bet we walked 30 miles in just four days!

In front of The White House!

The Metro

I'd have to say I can't imagine a better field trip. It was scary at first because I've never used the metro before, but one of the employees showed us how to buy our passes and how to read the maps. It didn't take us anytime to become experts! By the time we left we saw newbies and it was shocking how comfortable we had become in such a short time. Our son C wasn't a fan with the quick pace and all the people, Z loved the fast 'train' and M--well she loved everything about the bustling city!

dinosaur bones
Butterfly room

Z's favorite part of the trip had to be the
Museum of Natural History! I mean so many dinosaur bones! He was so excited! I let him run around a bit. He honestly spent most of his time in the stroller. There was too many people just let him walk. He had the most fun there. All the kids loved it. On the top floor you could pay to go in with the butterflies! One landed on C's hat. I think M took 100 pictures up close of all the butterflies and Z loved looking at them unless they flew near him! Then he'd get upset. It was really cute.

We took a tour of the US Capitol! Honestly it was my favorite part of the entire trip! We were given a personal tour. I think in total we were there four hours! It was so cool! The intern who gave us the tour knew so much and was so excited to share everything. If you get a chance to go I highly recommend having a tour of the Capitol!

If the kids were older I'm sure we would have been able to squeeze in more things to see, but we would go for a few hours, eat a late lunch and head back to the room. We'd relax for awhile have dinner and hit the pool.

Sunday, January 20, 2019

Homeschooling with a toddler

 I have a very active 2.5 year old son, Z. He loves to be involved in our learning time. Story time means pulling the book out of my hands and possible throwing it. Going over our lessons means keeping him busy with things to 'write'. I've thought about doing busy boxes...I just don't seem to have time to put them together (I do plan on making some up this summer for next school year).

He's a very good little boy, he just wants to have things to play with and still be around us. I've done blocks, but they don't seem to hold his interest for long periods of time. I will add in all honesty I don't want huge clean up messes. Well when I was looking for activity ideas for Christmas I came across this neat little table from Simplay3. I really liked how he had two sections to have playtime in. I also wanted this for indoor play. We've used it with play doh sets as a table and he really liked it. I also found water beads. I've never used these before, but they are fantastic! Not only did Z love them, but the older two C and M loved them too. Especially when we added them to their marble maze toy Q-Ba-Maze. I'll be honest my kids had rarely touched the maze toy and I hadn't pulled it out since Z became mobile because I obviously didn't want marbles lying around the house. I still don't trust Z with marbles, so we used these water beads and they kids had so much fun! They ended up enjoying them so much I went ahead and used some gift cards from Christmas and order a couple to add on sets. While they were building separately and then combining their work I was seeing a number of ideas about using these in a co-op class!

I added the links to everything I mentioned! I do receive compensation if you buy through one of the links I supplied here today. 

I would love to hear from any of you with other great ideas to keep little hands busy during the school day! Or if you decide to try water beads with a maze toy! Love to hear what you think!

Monday, January 14, 2019

What I've been up to!

Last week I went over to Target and spotted Kristina McMorris' new book Sold On Monday! I love Kristina's books and the little I know of this story is it is based on a picture. I know exactly what picture inspired this novel. I haven't had a chance to crack it open yet (story of my life). I want to make reading, or more so reading books for my enjoyment as part of my New Years resolution. I have really missed reading fiction and missed blogging about books. I will definitely post a review once I get a chance to read it. 

I also mentioned I've been trying to spend more of my time crocheting as well. I love crocheting and I find it very relaxing. I recently finished two small baby blankets. One I'm keeping for my stash. They always make sure wonderful gifts, but they tend to take awhile. I used to be great about having a few blankets, booties and hats on hand for gifts. Sometimes I'll just add a hat or pair of booties or sometimes put together a whole set. The other blanket I finished I made for a friend who is about to have a baby girl. I went to add the boarder to it last night and I couldn't find the actual pattern. I had planned on also adding the link to it. I'll keep going through my Pinterest account to see if I can't find the right pattern. I ended up just single crocheting around the entire blanket and leaving it as is. It looks cute, just not as cute as I would have liked. Plus she's having her baby tomorrow so I am out of time!

Saturday, January 5, 2019

Back at it!

Well we officially started back homeschooling. We ended up taking off way more time than I had planned to, but the truth was we needed a break. I would also like to add we needed a reboot of our curriculum, but I can't say I did much with that. It's not to say everything wasn't working. Most things were. I will say science...oh science how you always seem to allude us. That is our biggest homeschool hurdle. I will say I took a look over at the Simply Charlotte Mason website and printed out their living books list for science books. I spent some time getting a number of the books from our local library before we started back. We had a three day school week and we read two of the books from the science grade 4-6 list. I'll be honest and say my kids enjoyed them. Usually when I read science they get this glazed over look in their eyes. I am not CM homeschooler, more eclectic if I'm being honest, but I do love living books! We've been reading landmarks with our history spine and the kids love them. I think we will continue reading through the suggested science books.
For Christmas, I made sure little Z received many gifts to help keep his little hands and mind occupied while we homeschool. Now he is very good at playing on his own. He knows C and M will play with him as soon as they have the opportunity (and honestly sometimes in the hopes of playing with him may lead to a break). So far, (for the whole three days we've been back) he's been really good. I was a bit nervous since he had so much attention over the Christmas break. I do think the new toys helped. I didn't pull some of them out of their boxes until this week. I also cleaned out his toy room and put some toys upstairs and I'm hoping to bring 'new to him' toys down when needed. 

I am planning on being better about arts/crafts. The kids love them and I don't mind pulling things out to do. The problem I have--is I always feel so behind. I'm not even sure who I feel I'm behind! We do keep busy with a co-op once a week, but the kids are doing great with their studies! One of the reasons I wanted to homeschool, was so my kids had more time with hands on...and yet we rarely do anything hands on. Again, one of the things I'm hoping to reboot for homeschool!
Well, I have more to add like I got a new book from Target I'm super excited to dive into plus I was going to share my crochet blanket I'm working on, but this will have to wait. I have potatoes in the oven and I need to get the pork chops started.