Monday, January 4, 2016

Back to School!

We're back from Christmas break and resuming our school mornings, including the second semester of CCE beginning this Friday.

I love history books.

Our Christmas gift to the whole family from a loved one was six wonderful IKEA bookshelves for our school room. I think I might be a librarian as my second career after all the kids are up and out, it is such fun for me to organize books. (If I had the time right now, I would really like to log every single one of our books into one of those online book catalog programs that exist nowadays.) For those who are interested, below is a tour of my neater school room:


The three oldest children are excited to join in the Read Aloud Revival winter read-aloud challenge: read aloud 15 minutes per day during January, then can enter their names into a drawing for $400 worth of prizes (e.g., Amazon gift cards, Kindles). You can get in under the wire still if your kids want to join the fun!

Margaret telling stories to Joseph to get in her 15 minutes

Our first day back at school far exceeded my expectations, which I had lowered dramatically in order to increase my chances of being pleased. It worked! My stress was low, and I think the relaxed demeanor on my part always helps keep the savage beasts--I mean dear children!--calm as well.

We all did our holy reading before breakfast--check!

We started school by 9:00--check!

We got through our CCE memory work, math, spelling, grammar, composition, music theory, and history by 11:30--check! (This was aided greatly by Grampa Neil playing with Margaret and Joseph during much of the school morning, so they were "taken off my plate.")

The kids even got recess in the bone-numbing outdoors before lunch.

In the afternoon, we got through music instrument practice and our history read-aloud chapter--double check!

Crafting while I teach the older children

The only use for Thomas' baby bouncy seat is for him to sit next to it and knock it around.

Bonus Reading: On the topic of organizing and improving our school room, I share this article, "How to Hack the Konmari Method with a Houseful of Kids" by Jenny. I haven't read the Konmari book, although have heard of its useful organizational concepts: I really appreciate how Jenny reminds us to view even objects that we own through a Christian lens and that we need to think of these ideas only how they apply to our Catholic lives (which are generally going to be ones filled with children).


  1. Good for you guys! I decided I wasn't ready and did a soft start with just history. The beauty of homeschooling!

  2. Finally got a chance to see the video, it looks great! I'm very excited for your schoolroom (only slightly jealous. ;) ) I love that Konmari hack link too. I am slowly in the process of letting go of a lot of stuff. I haven't read the book, just put a hold down and I'm #91!

  3. You're impressive! I love the Konmari Method. Thanks for sharing that article.

  4. Priscilla, I always hope I don't take for granted how blessed we are to have such a school space. It makes a really big lifestyle difference, I know.