1. School Planning
This was the last week I could fully devote to planning our school curriculum for next year, so I completed that task and wrote my blog post series about it.
I came across a useful and encouraging article as homeschoolers are planning next year in earnest: "How to be More Consistent in Homeschooling" by Misty at Joy in the Journey.
- Treat homeschooling like a job
- Get organized
- Learn to say no
My favorite line was this:
"Treat your homeschool as the priority that it is. I ask myself 'would my husband call off to do this?' [take time off work] and nine times out of ten the answer is no. If we don’t treat school as a priority how will our kids treat it like one?"
2. Mothers' Night Out and Play DateI enjoyed not zero, not one, but two social outings this week! (Thanks, Chris, for keeping the kids!) I was refreshed attending a Mothers' Night Out at a mother's home. We simply ate apps and chatted till ten at night, which was so lovely.
Then I hosted a play date one morning, during which the children variously played outdoors, explored the woods, played numerous board games, and played with dolls. My ten-year-old baked molasses cookies and my 12-year-old baked beer bread for the event. I think all had a great time!
3. Margaret Cooking
Our eight-year-old is really blossoming in the kitchen lately, both in ability and in eagerness to take over. Last Friday night, she made the pizzas all by herself (dough balls from the store--we don't make our own dough!) except for me putting them in and out of the hot oven.
Sometimes she also makes breakfast entirely for us, including two types of eggs to appease picky tastes.
4. Margaret's MusicI used to film the children learning music much more than I remember to do so now, so this week I filmed Margaret playing Gavotte on violin.
5. Wholesome FunThe children have been having a lot of good, wholesome fun lately. With me burying my nose in a computer planning school, they have been running free!
They've been on a streak of playing board games, even though that makes messes and even though we have had to prohibit some particular pairs from playing together or from certain people playing specific games. Still, the overall effect is great!
Lots of nature exploration . . . John found an Eastern Tiger Swallowtail caterpillar, which he put in one of our trees in hopes it will become a butterfly.
John also finished his experiment of a few weeks: he asked to bring home a dead snake he found and set it out to desiccate, leaving behind only the snake skeleton to be studied. Voila!
I don't have photos to share, but some of the children have developed a renewed passion for dolls. The tiny dolls all have complex names, there are books written about them, and someone keeps sewing them entire wardrobes. This week, the dolls enjoyed a Christmas dinner made out of various materials and all set out on a long table with the dolls gathered around. (Note that the girls' room becomes absolutely festooned by clippings with all this creativity. Snippets of fabric and yarn in thousands of tiny bits become spread everywhere up there . . . but I'm embracing that the clean-up from that creativity is well worth my not "cleaning up" their bad behavior and bad moral development from their sitting for daily hours in front of a TV or Internet screen.)
Everyone is happily in the midst of several books, including John (who is almost done with Lord of the Rings!) reading "Holy Goals for Body and Soul: Eight Steps to Connect Sports with God and Faith." I skimmed every page of the book and there was nothing wrong, much wonderful, and the bishop-author connects well with the typical young male reader by quoting Church fathers, Biblical figures, and saints, as well as Star Wars and modern sports stars (but nothing is said that conflicts with the Catholic faith). This is a bishop who has played hockey his whole life and has run something like more than 20 marathons (and is still running them), so someone that young adult males can really aspire to: holy and manly!
6. Field Trip to Discovery Place Science
In a comedy of errors, Chris took four of the kids to the very expensive Discovery Place when Mary, David, and I were in Nebraska. When he texted me photos, I texted back that I had just paid $80 in advance for a tour with our homeschooling group to be attended two weeks later! I couldn't get our money back, so the children got the very fun outing twice in rapid succession.
It is neat to watch the video about the Towers of Tomorrow Lego display, as can be seen on YouTube.
|Bed of nails|
|Tug of war|
|Tug of war|
An event like this is great once in a while, but the visual, sensory, and auditory stimulus made all of our wires go "fritz." My voice was hoarse from having to shout to be heard while in the science floor of the museum, and every one of us wanted alone time when we got home! The kids will sleep well tonight.
7. Bonus Reading
"Parents Are Hiring ‘Screen Consultants’ to Help Them Raise Phone-Free Kids" by Ariel Scotti--I have found a possible future career after my children are grown and gone: earning $80 per hour teaching parents how to allow activities that don't involve a screen! Seriously, though, the article teases the parents somewhat, but I'm so proud of those parents who are seeking something different, have the courage to admit they don't know how to fix it, and are seeking advice. That's so great!
For more 7 Quick Takes Friday, check out This Ain't the Lyceum.