We love the movie The Sound of Music:)
I think the girls have watched it no less than a half dozen times
in the last two weeks...
which might be why I can't get the song
My Favorite Things out of my head:/
So, rather than fight it-
here are a few of my favorite things
from this week;)
Eating M.'s homemade brownies (she used my Memaw's recipe)
Watching the girls play hide-and-seek with friends (for hours!)
Interest led learning and the freedom to find joy in every "school" day
Watching A. play volleyball
Lots of laughter
Inspiration notebooks- where we file all the great
Friends who make GF banana bread just for us:)
Our neighbor's horses
A nature walk, fall planting, and rain
Art...lots of fall art this week:)
Date night;) and sweet friends who offered to keep the girls while we went out
Fairy tales- we've been reading Half Upon A Time, which has led to us researching the history of fairy tales, creative writing, tales from other cultures, fairy tale spoofs, and movies like Enchanted and Ella Enchanted. I love chasing rabbit trails and letting one thing lead to another while we learn!
Blueberry banana oat muffins- we experimented with a new recipe (GF of course), and we were not disappointed!
Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
Combine the following five things in a large bowl:
2 mashed ripe bananas
3/4 c. vanilla yogurt
1/2 c. brown sugar
1/4 c. melted, unsalted sweet cream butter
Add 1 1/2 c. old fashioned rolled oats (we used Bob's Red Mill- gluten free) to the above
and allow to stand for at least five minutes.
In another smaller bowl, combine:
1 1/2 c. flour (we used Bob's Red Mill gluten free baking flour)
1/4 tsp. salt
2 tsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. baking soda
1 tsp. cinnamon
Add the dry ingredients to the wet and stir until just combined.
Fold in 1 c. fresh or frozen blueberries.
Our batter was just a little too dry, in my opinion
so we added approximately 1/4 c. milk.
Fill each cup of a muffin tin 3/4 of the way full. Makes about 18 regular size muffins.
Bake until tops are firm and just begin to brown.
Gluten free blueberry banana oat muffins
She loves volleyball!
1.-4. We repainted the stairway and hung a new light so that we could display the girls' artwork and photography. I think it turned out nicely and breaks up the fact that our old farmhouse has such a steep, narrow staircase.
5. The girls wrote their names in Chinese, Korean, and Japanese one morning...just for fun:)
6. Pumpkins at night...idea from Deep Space Sparkle (my fave)
7.-8. The girls spruced up my $2 flower pots with a new paint job and decorated the front porch for fall:) Can you see the giant pine cone that's bigger than the pumpkin? Our neighbors brought it to us all the way from California.
9. Rainy afternoons are perfect for drawing!
The girls made cards for a friend whose kitten injured her leg.
The creek that runs behind the house is one of our favorite places:) This is M. with my friend's precious little girl!
I love reading everyone's not back to school posts every year, but I've been a bit preoccupied lately;) So, I'm playing catch up today. A typical day, in our homeschool... well, there's no such thing. Each day is it's own around here. Some days look more "schoolish" than others. Yet I assure you, we are always learning. All.the.time. The last two weeks were not scheduled, no lesson plans, no textbooks or grades, but interest driven, full of intentionality
, family centered and meaningful. We even managed to work in a quick trip to the beach:) No small feat when you have to find someone who will care for chickens, rabbits, dogs, and cats in your absence! (Thank you so much, Lorrie and family:) I love the freedom of homeschooling and the opportunity to create our own schedule! Here's what we've been doing:
Board games- Snapshots of America game, Scrabble, Campfire Clues
Cards from the Target $1 aisle- Landmarks of America and
Multiple trips to the library
Red Cross Babysitting class (A.)
Cooking shows- we don't have tv but caught up on a few shows while we were on vacation...love me some Diners, Drive-ins, and Dives
Also, episodes of Unwrapped (think How It's Made, but food related items)
Cooking together- dinner as a family, snacks, desserts with friends
Volunteering at Children's Shelter
String games- remember these? Tea cup, Eiffel Tower, and Jacob's Ladder:)
Chinese jump rope Ember
, the movie (the girls and I just finished the first book in the series and M. is going on to read the rest)
Seven Cool Homeschoolers videos
Fetch episodes Natural Health for Pets
- M. bought this book at 1/2 price books and it has really come in handy
Camping, exploring, and bike riding- actually, our friends went camping nearby and we just tagged along for an evening:)
Jumping on the trampoline
Swimming Exploring the beach
and the seashore national park- nature study at its best:)
Picnic with friends at the park
Family Feud and Traffic Jam on the Kindle
Khan Academy- geometry (A.) Cheetah Math (M.)
- a great book for my animal loving girl! There are others in the series and she want s to read each one:)
Drawing Are You Smarter Than a 5th Grader?
game on the wii Dog Heroes
Creative writing- journals, stories, and a play
List making, travel planning, map reading
Mad Libs- perfect for a long car ride
Art and science at the Discovery Museum
David Hockney inspired art project
Calculating square footage and remodeling the attic space as we make room for new sisters and/or brothers! The attic space was supposed to become an office/craft room, but we are readjusting those plans and looking at it becoming an additional a bedroom/teen space that the girls may share. Since we are looking at adopting a sibling group of younger children, I'd like for them to have their own space...however small that might be;) After this remodel, we have officially maxed out the space in this old farmhouse and used every single nook and cranny!
Object Lessons- Bible Half Upon A Time
, by James Riley (our bedtime read aloud)
National Park service- earning a junior ranger badge Photography- both of the girls took great pictures on our trip!
1. "Hello, up there!" Can you see the girls peeking out of the new attic window?
2.-4. Learning all the time!
5. A. completed a Red Cross babysitting course:)
6.-7. Exploring the lake with friends.
8. It's been cool enough to play soccer in the evening. That's unheard of here in August!
9.-10. Two of A.'s photos I loved- our cat and the Mississippi River bridge.
11. The first thing M. did when we got to the beach...cartwheels!
12. The first thing that A. did when we got to the beach...jumped on the bed in our room!
1.-2. What the view looks like on our way to the beach. Wide open space and flat farmland...hours and hours of it.
3.-7. A.'s pics of the beach as we were driving in. Ah...instant relaxation:)
8. M. earns her junior ranger badge:)
9. The Gulf Islands National Seashore visitor center- hands-on science and nature study!
1. One of our more "schoolish" moments at home!
2. My fave beach pic of the girls:)
3. One of their favorites!
4. Just plain fun! They had the entire pool to themselves for most of our trip.
5.-6. Our Not Back to School photos- Eighth grade and sixth grade this year:)
Whew...now I have to catch up on what y'all have been up to these first days of Not Back to School week. Checking out my favorite blogs this weekend:) Join me!!
All right, so here's my
super relaxed record keeping for the last week and a half
followed by our plans for high school recordkeeping-
In the Face of Danger (A.)
The City of Ember (A. and mom, M. recommended it so we are reading it now. Good read!)
The People of Sparks (M.)
White Water trip with friends on one of the few days it didn't rain...strange weather for us for August! Usually, it's 100 plus degrees and bone dry.
Library (about half a dozen trips over the last two weeks)
Cupcake order (M.)
Card and present making
A Wrinkle in Time
Old Town in the Green Groves (a story of the lost Little House years...based on Laura Ingalls Wilder's journal entries about the two years the family lived in Iowa)
Business and Finance
Word games- One Word, Campfire Clues
Root Words and Mary Kay apps
Creative Writing- booth girls are writing plays:)
Anne of Green Gables (A. is re-reading this favorite)
First Aid- We are taking American Red Cross First Aid as a family:)
White Fur Flying- such a cute and sweet book:)
Cooking dinner and working on new gluten free recipes for baking
Bible Almanac for Kids (A.)
Floor plans and measuring, calculating square feet (we have to draw a floor plan for our foster/adoption paperwork...the girls inherited my love of house and floor plans;)
Maps- tracing and drawing (A.)
Flags of the World (M.)
Braving the weather and enjoying a great day at Whitewater...the crowds stayed home!
1. M. is writing a play based on The City of Ember
2.-6. Rainy weather most of the week meant plenty of time for baking, reading, lettering, arts and crafts (cards and mini-scrapbooks), and creative writing.
7. A. is proofing my syllabi for the college classes that I will be teaching this fall. How's that for grammar made meaningful? She likes trying to find my mistakes!
8. The cat...every day. He has such a rough life;)
9. M. made tiny treats for her AG dolls.
M.'s chocolate mint cupcakes. Yum!
I have out done myself by working ahead
on a transcript
since she'll officially be in eighth grade
in a couple of weeks (I am a such a procrastinator...this is a big deal;)
This is what I'm thinking, as far as record keeping for high school goes
I found a template here and filled in the basic info. I want her to have a transcript for seventh through twelve grades
. Though grade levels mean very little to me, if we must use them, then A. is already working at the high school level in many areas and should be recognized as such. Using this as a guide, we will be looking at A.'s hours for the major subject areas. 120-180 hours of work for one credit sounds like a lot, but we will be counting all the hours that she spends on a subject (reading, playing games, writing, unit studies, notebooking/lap booking
researching, discussing/sharing, classes with our homeschool group, etc.) And since we learn every day, all day long, this will be ongoing throughout the year. We're keeping it low tech too... a notebook by her bed will suffice as our log book. We'll reflect on and jot down her hours each night... it should take just a couple of minutes a day if we stay on top of it:)
So, that's it. Relaxed recordkeeping for high school!
It's about that time of year.
Everyone's talking about their plans for the fall...
I won't be buying any curriculum this year,
but that's not unusual.
It's just not how we learn...
no required texts,
or set schedule,
a structured scope and sequence
We learn naturally,
all the time,
following our interests,
using all of our senses,
and discussing things together.
Haha...proof that are method of learning is pretty messy sometimes!
So how do you learn without a curriculum?There's no formula, but here's what we do:)
- Have a planning meeting- This year we sat together in the living room in our pjs one morning and discussed what the girls want to learn in the upcoming semester. They made lists, which are posted on a bulletin board in the kitchen (the girls have ownership in their learning and we are here to support and guide them always. I want them to realize the importance of that:)
- Incorporate hands-on, multi-sensory activities into every day like arts and crafts, cooking, science experiments, and games are a part of every day. Math might be cooking, building, logic problems, a puzzle, or a game of Yahtzee (or A. could decide to work through Saxon pre-algebra out of the blue, in which case we would wholeheartedly support her...textbook and all;) Sometimes I initiate an activity and sometimes the girls do. The important thing is that this is an expected part of every day. I like to think that we have an attitude of industriousness about our home:)
- Let our days flow vs. following a strict schedule- We typically are slow to get started in the morning and need quiet time (in other words, we are not morning people;) Eventually, we discuss any plans for the day and then build our daily routine around them. So, you might find us reading all day in our pjs one day and doing science experiments all day the next. No two days are the same, but we ALWAYS start the day with quiet time, spend time together working on projects or playing games at some point during the day, spend time outside, eat dinner together as a family, and read aloud at bedtime...that's just our flow. Our relaxed flow allows for plenty of unstructured free time for creativity, imaginative play, and the arts.
- Draw inspiration from living books and quality literature- like on this list of 1000 Good Books and also the book lists from Ambleside Online.
- Encourage active involvement in our community. Libraries, museums, the historical society, parks, and the college where I work are as much a part of our "classroom" as our home:) This means the bulk of our "school" budget goes to extracurricular activities like sports, piano lessons, art classes, theater, and other community activities.
- Learn together- We read the same books or watch movies together and discuss them. We are learning Spanish together as a family. We remodel our old farmhouse together. All of us took an archery class at the YMCA this past spring. Learning is not "school", it's a lifestyle and a family affair. I hope my girls see that.
- And finally, we recognize that what works for others may not work for us and that is perfectly okay. Our school day shouldn't look like another family's day because we do what works for us. And that's the beauty of homeschooling:)
Linking up here. I love this blog hop! Please join me:)
August on our little homestead,
in words and pictures
Baked french toast with local blueberries. Yum!
1. We've made Baked French Toast, not once, but twice in the last week. It's that yummy! I shared the recipe
last week and Lisa featured it on her blog for Try a New Recipe Tuesday
. Thanks, Lisa:)
2.-3. The tomatoes are thriving in this weather we are having. Usually August is 100 plus degrees and dry, but check out our weather this week. Some sun would be nice, but we won't complain;) It reminds me of the picture book Thunder Cake, by Patricia Polacco
...maybe we should try baking one this week:) 4. Look at how big the chicks are now! They are all laying now, so we are getting about a dozen and a half eggs every day. The girls have been busy selling and delivering eggs:)
They sell their free range eggs for $3/dozen and put one dollar from each dozen into their college fund, one to go back toward the hens and their care, and one dollar to keep. It's adding up pretty quickly...they've delivered nine dozen eggs in the last three days! Now that's some meaningful math;) 5. We had our last archery class this week, just as I've finally gotten the hang of it! I took a picture of my bulls eye for proof:) It's been a great sport for the whole family, and I'm pretty sure that we'll keep practicing on our own. 6. My dear friend Cindy sent me a sweet note of encouragement and a bracelet for each of us girls. 1 forever family for every 1 child available for adoption through foster care equals 0 waiting children. What a blessing! 7. M. had another order this week- chocolate mint cupcakes...another meaningful math lesson. This was her first time to bake this particular flavor, and she did a fantastic job. Yum!
Seriously, this kid better publish a cookbook some day:)
They were as good as they look!
Linking up here today, join me!
It's been two weeks since I've posted what we've been doing and learning around here, but this is my only method of recordkeeping on this joyful journey...
so here goes.
Interest led learning journey in words and pictures- Inkheart
, audio book
Drawing The City of Ember
(both girls) Old Town in the Green Groves
(read aloud) about the "lost years" that Laura Ingalls Wilder did not include in the Little House series. It's a good book:)
Animal and garden care
Seven Cool Homeschoolers;)
Sewing- purses and doll clothes mostly A Wrinkle in Time
, our current read aloud
Episodes of Fetch
Movies with friends
Lego movie maker- oh my, they found this app for my phone and now make every insignificant event into a fifteen second high action thriller...haha
Are You Smarter Than a Fifth Grader? on the wii
Babysitting- lots of opportunities for this over the last two weeks
Games- Americaopoly, Apples to Apples, Sketchy, Hide and Seek
The Sound of Music- our homeschool group is performing the Sound of Music next year. I have a feeling this is just the first of many, many times we will be watching it!
Anne of Green Gables- love, love this movie...almost as much as the book!
Science experiments- thanks to Phyllis
for such fun and easy ideas:) But most of the last week has been all about Heritage School
- A week long program with our historical society that immerses kiddos in life in the 1860's as they learn about the people and times leading up to and during the Civil War. It's an amazing experience! This week they learned about children from that era, period clothing, sewing, leather work, dancing, parlor games, baking and decorating gingerbread, surveying, agriculture, lawn games, and nature journaling.
The girls folded a bandana into fourths and then cut it into four squares of equal size. They folded each square over a string to form a triangle and used the glue gun to keep it on place. They repeated this with each colored square of bandana fabric until they had a bunting for the front porch. It's so cute and colorful, I love it for the front porch...except that everyone who comes over asks if we are having a party;)
Really, Heritage School is like a dream come true for this Gone with the Wind fan. It's like stepping back in time!
My favorite part of the week- costumes. Just the costumes alone add an air of grace and civility to everything.
Our summer fun, summer learning list for the last two weeks...
mostly so I don't forget what we did;)
In this whirl of adoption busyness and preparation (like the nine hours of classroom training today!),
it's getting hard to remember
the day to day things.
I'm not by nature a daily list maker,
but I am finding that these days
I have to write everything down
or the thoughts are gone
as quick as they come!
Here's what I can remember of our life learning adventures:
Liberty's Kids episodes
Stained glass designs- A. is designing a piece for her room...can't wait to show you the finished project:)
Agricultural Plantation Museum- Homespun Days with folk crafts, fun, history, and homemade ice cream. I loved watching the girls learn new skills and crafts like making rag dolls and corn husk dolls from the older women who were volunteer teachers.
Farmer's Market/River Market while visiting family in Little Rock
Design Star and Food Network Star (a tv treat while visiting Mimi's house:)
The Swiss Family Robinson- still reading about ten to fifteen pages a night
Inkheart, audio- so far, a favorite with the girls!
Road trip- campground fun with family on the fourth of July Pitching a tent- now that's real life problem solving, y'all:) Fetch episodes on Netflix
Creative writing- stories
Nancy Drew (M.)
Crime and detection- DK book and spy books (This interest came about after Hutch and I had to do our fingerprints and background checks. We took the girls with us to see how it was done;)
Animal Science- we are studying a different animal every day
Odd Animal Couples on Netflix- loved this look at animals and unlikely relationships!
Choir auditions (M.)
Card, cookies, brownies, and a visit to our elderly neighbor
A Wrinkle in Time (A.)
The City of Ember (both)
Adoption and foster care training has kind of consumed our time lately.
A few Instagrams-
1. Caught the girls sitting together and reading the same book:)
2. Roasted veggies straight from our garden and the Farmer's Market- our new favorite recipe: saute onions and garlic in butter and place in the bottom of a baking dish. Thinly slice veggies (we used squash, zucchini, potatoes, and tomatoes) and toss lightly with olive oil and seasoning (we used salt, pepper, cayenne, and greek seasoning). Cover with foil and oven roast for about 25 minutes at 350 degrees. Remove foil and sprinkle with grated Italian cheese. Return to oven for about 10-15 minutes. Yum!!
3. Art...every single day!
4. M. made my grandmother's recipe for pound cake with fresh fruit:)
5. A snapshot from my garden
6. My niece is getting so big!
1. A.'s stained glass design...so far
2.-4. Pitching a tent- the girls managed most of it themselves!
5.-8. Campground fun:)
9.-12. Folk crafts at Homespun Days
So I've heard that it takes about three weeks to form a new habit...
I guess now we'll see if that holds true for me.
For the last three weeks, I have really limited my time on the computer.
My only indulgences have been Pinterest and Instagram on my phone
and once a week checking in at my favorite blogs.
And guess what?!
not going back...
loving this extra time to spend with my family
rather than look
And speaking of habits,
I guess you could say that we are still
"in school" since we are interest led learners
and life is our classroom.
The habits of being curious,
having initiative, and seeking to learn
are ones that we try to cultivate all year long. I guess we are a little more relaxed in the summer (if that's even possible;)
but we are definitely learning all the time.
So, here are the "schoolish" highlights from our week:
Episodes of Fetch
Cooking shows on Amazon Prime - Pioneer Woman, Cupcake Wars, and Chopped (we're trying it out for a month;)
Grocery shopping...comparison shopping, unit and sale prices, money math
The brain Lapbook (A.)
Dog breeds Lapbook (M.)
Gilligan's Island...haha, the girls had never even heard of it before Swiss Family Robinson
(our read aloud) Inkheart
(audio)- we started this last year and enjoyed it but never finished the fifteen hours of it, so we're trying again:)
Movie making- the girls are making a mini-series with friends about girl crime lab detectives...how cool is that?!
Duct tape crafts (M.)
Animal science- goes along perfectly with Swiss Family Robinson
Archery- the whole fam
Cave Tour- the whole fam
Local history Virtual surgery on the computer Gardening Seven Cool Homeschoolers -thus proving that Hutch and I are dorks! Volleyball
Shakespeare- easing the girls into it since they are convinced they are not going to like it. I think they will, but I want to be respectful of their interests. We just read one sonnet together as a family and discussed it. They did seem to like the idea of No Fear Shakespeare
, though M. said I should have just read it in modern English to begin with...oh well!
1. and 3. I love clouds. I can't tell you how many pics I take of them:)
2. Summer days were made for reading on the screened porch!
4. The mama hen is just daring me to touch her chicks...um, I think I'll pass.
5. The colors of summer:)
6. A. is researching the brain. She says it is "fascinating" and she put some of her findings together in a lapbook to share with us.
7. Hutch is staking my tomato plants. I can't wait for homegrown tomatoes!
8. M. enjoying the rope swing.
9. My banty hen fostering some chicks. So glad she took them in since none of her eggs hatched...I was feeling bad for her, but now she's a happy mama.
1. We've been watching these baby birds in the nest on the porch. The mama and papa birds take turns feeding them.
2. The screened porch is also the perfect place to eat dinner:)
3.-5. We took a day trip and explored a cave nearby.
6.-8. The loft space remodel is almost done! I just have some trim to paint and the upstairs is finished. Hutch did a great job, didn't he?!
9.-13. The best part is the new bathroom...having two bathrooms now makes things so much easier, especially when we are all getting ready to go somewhere! The tub was a craigslist find. The vanity was a Lowe's clearance item. Next to the vanity I plan to put a tall, narrow shelf or tower for storage, but I haven't found one yet. The artwork and the rug were both on sale for 50% off too. The light took a while for the girls to put together- piece by piece- but it turned out to be pretty cool:)
How was your week? And how's your summer going so far?!
What does a homeschool day look like here?
Honestly, I couldn't tell you exactly
since each day is so different
in this interest led life of ours.
We are pretty relaxed, joyful learners.
Here's an example of what our days look like.
The girls woke up on their own and we had a quiet morning- reading, watching a video, and/or working on the computer. Breakfast was fend for yourself;) We ate leftover crustless quiche from the night before and yogurt. Somewhere early on in our morning routine, we all go out and take care of the animals every day. This morning the girls fed and watered the rabbits then checked on the new baby chicks.
Back inside to more reading, playing the piano, art, and movie editing for this week's 7CoolHomeschoolers video. A. is working really hard to learn Carol of the Bells on the piano by watching videos on YouTube...she practices every day. M. read Nancy Drew.
Since it was Thursday, we headed to town to run a few errands (we try to stay home all day on M, W, F). We have our priorities (today's are shop local-eat cupcakes;) so we headed first to our favorite tiny cupcake shop downtown. We walked across the street to the Farmer's Market in the downtown square and ran into friends there. Then we made a quick trip to the natural foods store to get a few groceries. The girls are pretty savvy shoppers...in our small store, I can send them to get certain items and know that they can not only find them but be on the look out for any good deals. Plus every time we go shopping, it's a lesson...trying to feed only local, organic, and natural food to a family on a budget while avoiding processed foods brings up a ton of things to discuss with the girls.
On the way home, we delivered some eggs that the girls had sold and checked in on a friend who had a spider bite. Her mom was treating the bite naturally, so we had lots to talk about there:)
We were back home for a quick lunch and to gather library books. We needed to get to the library and back before the storms hit our area. We are reading The Swiss Family Robinson together, so that generates a lot of discussion and has sparked a great deal of creativity around here so we talked about the book on the way to the library. The girls are all about learning survival skills;) We visited with the librarian, shot a little video of our town (for next week's 7CoolHomeschoolers), and barely made it home before the storms started. M. and I just had time to set up buckets to catch rainwater before the rain started. It's a good thing too...we checked later and ended up collected more than 45 gallons of rainwater for the garden!
The afternoon was spent reading library books (the 2013 World Records book, a book about presidents and their children, a Far Side collection book, Math Mysteries book, an animal heroes story collection, and more Nancy Drew). Later, we watched Nim's Island on dvd. We read the book a couple of years ago and the movie is a favorite of ours. We watched the special features to see how they filmed the animal and underwater scenes, which was really pretty fascinating:)
Later, the girls made mini crossbows out of pencils, rubber bands, thumbtacks, and a binder clip. They had no directions or photos to work with, so it took a while to get a working model. By that time, Daddy was home and he helped them tweak their designs so that the little crossbows could actually shoot a pencil about 12-15 feet across a room!
We made homemade pizza together for dinner and talked about a couple of current events. Then we cleaned up and took turns working on Rosetta Stone Spanish on the computer...we've got a little friendly competition going, but Daddy is starting to take the lead and leave us behind:/
A break in the rain meant that we all went outside to check on the garden and animals. The girls jumped on the trampoline, worked on cartwheels, and played on the rope swing.
Back inside, we read more of The Swiss Family Robinson then checked the weather before bedtime. After looking at maps on the Weather Channel and NOAA sites, we decided to let the girls camp out in the living room...we had a thunderstorm warning, a tornado warning and a flood warning. Plus a friend posted a pic of a funnel cloud nearby- that was enough to convince us.
And that, in a nutshell was our "school" day
and why I love the way we learn:)
1.-3. Our banty hen with her chicks...so cute, so tiny!
4.-6. The rabbits- Thumper and Clover
7. Big Baby tries to act like she's guarding the hens. Secretly, she want to eat them.
8. Our old farmhouse. She's 113 years old this year.
9. Measuring the wood for the seat of the rope swing and finding the center of the rectangle to cut the hole for the rope.
10. -14. Enjoying the fruits of their labor!
15.-16. Who needs a treadmill when you've got kids and a trampoline?!
17.-18. Ladderball with friends:)
Other "schoolish" things we did this week:
Helen Keller bio and Wishing for Tomorrow (M.)
Times Squared and also The Evolution of Calpurnia Tate (A.)
Book sale with my mom- calculating sale prices and working with a budget
Reading some bookstore finds- The Illustrated Atlas of Wildlife (very cool book), Weather (totally appropriate for this week), and Barns (just because we really need one!)
Reading about the Presidents and their families
A visit to Hutch's brother and sister-in-law's farm:)
Mini pompoms- A. made a tutorial on how to make them
Buiding a rope swing with Daddy
Episodes of "How Things Work"
Pet Shop Math
Ladderball and Bag-o with friends
How was your week? I hope it was joyful:)
Linking up here with some of my favorite blogs-
I keep a “happy list”…
an ongoing list of the little things,
the simple pleasures
that bring me joy every day.
I’ve enjoyed reading everyone’s Top Ten
posts this week, especially the 10 Things That Make My Day posts
so I thought I’d chime in:)
The problem has been narrowing it down to just ten things that make my day,
but here goes-
1. Quiet mornings
- Mornings set the tone for our day. A quiet morning when each of us gets up on our own and has time to read, write, reflect, or drink a cup of coffee (well, that’s just me drinking coffee) makes the rest of the day enjoyable. If only Hutch didn’t have to go to work every day, then mornings would be perfect.
2. Interest led learning
- For us, it’s the only way to learn. We’ve tried other methods, but an interest led lifestyle has helped unite our family when it comes to learning and it is what has yielded countless hours of joyful exploration, industry, independence, confidence, and enthusiasm with regard to “school”. I love that I don’t ever have to worry about lesson plans, grades, or tests with the exception of our yearly state required standardized tests (and the girls still test consistently above grade level). My job is simply to be actively engaged in what the girls are interested in and doing either as an observer, a participant, a helper, a student, a guide, or a partner…and to try to capitalize on teachable moments.
3. Dirty hands
- Weird, I know but there’s just something about getting outside and getting your hands dirty…I like working outside in the yard and garden. Sometimes it’s hard work but after the fact, it’s both relaxing and rewarding. And truly, Hutch does almost all of the dirty work around here with all the building and remodeling but it makes me happy when I can help him or work alongside him.
4. Caring for animals
- It kind of goes along with the one above, but there’s something about caring for our hens, chicks, rabbits, dogs, and cat that feels good. They need us and depend on us and in return we reap the benefits of protection, loyalty, companionship, garden fertilizer, and fresh eggs. Again…it can be hard work but worth every bit of it. Oh and don’t think I don’t know how Hutch will argue against the value of our cat when he reads this!
5. Our home
- I love that our old farmhouse is a labor of love and that our family is all a part of the remodeling efforts. The rooms are small, cozy, and seem to draw the family in closer to one another each evening rather than encourage us to spread out. As far as location goes, we truly have the best of both worlds with the rolling foothills of the Ozarks on one side and the open prairie of the west on the other. I do love the beach…it’s one of my favorite places but the open fields here and the prairie have that same effect on me. The wide open space of sky and clouds come down and seem to touch the tops of the grass. It really makes a person feel tiny in comparison when looking at the expanse of God’s creation. And almost nothing beats the smell of sun shining down on freshly cut hay.
6. Old stuff
- I ‘m fascinated with old houses (like the one we live in), barns, antiques, books, quilts, my grandmother’s handwritten recipes… things that remind me of a different time- one that was simpler in so many ways. I want to know the story behind everything- I guess I’m curious that way;) I’m also really glad that my girls have the opportunity to participate in living history events here where we live.
7. Books and reading aloud
- I’m talking about the real deal here...I’m not talking about ebooks or the Kindle here. Those things have their purpose and I use them but I much prefer sitting on the porch swing while flipping through the pages of a book to anything else. And since we don't really use textbooks or curriculum, much of what we learn comes from reading living books. I love reading aloud with the girls. We take turns choosing the book and end every day by reading together. I hope they’ll let me read to them until they grow up and leave home.
8. A busy, kid filled home
- I love it when the girls have friends or cousins over and our house is just full of fun and busyness. That’s one of the things I also like about teaching part-time at the college too. The college kids are noisy, busy, and fun. Really, hanging out with kids all day makes me feel younger too for some crazy reason:)
9. Good food
- Eating food that is homemade, local, natural, and organic whenever possible has really changed our lives in a lot of ways. I know it’s harder to find a snack or prepare dinner when you don’t have processed food or convenience foods around the house, but we are healthier, happier, and have more energy than we did when we ate junk. It takes work to create menus and plan meals without busting the budget, but it’s kind of fun to do so (in my opinion:) We aren’t legalistic about it either…I’m afraid that we’d be miserable if that were so, but we do a pretty good job of it every day because it’s important to us.
10. Natural Health-
I feel empowered by knowing that we don't have to rely on medicine or run to the doctor every time someone in our family is hurt or sick. Just today, we eased the itch of a bug bites with tea tree oil and treated seasonal allergies with local honey. That makes me feel good!
Making “happy” lists, reflecting on what you are grateful for every day, and focusing on your blessings help change the way you think. It definitely helps diminish worry and anxiety. And by focusing on the positive every day, I find that I’m happier and healthier…mentally, spiritually, and emotionally.
So, what about you? What makes your top ten?