There's nothing fancy or extensive going on with my planning these days, I've pretty streamlined it down to this. Stacks. Stacks of stuff, along with just a piece of paper with quick notes, to-do list and also my around the house to-do list. Basic, basic, basic.
This is a rather dim, blurry picture, but I think it illustrates my point. See, nothing fancy! I realize I could do workboxes, but this is really a tool for me more than Charlotte. This is my kitchen counter next to the dining table where we do our work. Despite my effort to move our "homeschool" upstairs to our bonus room, we still find ourselves sitting at the kitchen table, probably because it is bright, sunny and near the art cabinet. I store all the homeschooling materials in my kitchen cabinet above my phone, we have typically kept papers, phone book, etc there because it is not easily reached from the kitchen area for dishes and such. So, it works.
Charlotte is overall doing well with everything, and whenever I get worried about something she will surprise me about a week later by mastering whatever I was fretting over. So, a reminder to myself: Don't worry so much!
The backbone of our homeschool, and what keeps us moving foward, is our Ambleside Online readings. Charlotte is in Year 1. We had a really chopped up October, so we are finishing up Week 7, moving into Week 8, though we should be further along. But, it's not a race, so that is OK. Charlotte enjoys her readings and asks for them, though we are still introducing narration. (Note to self: don't fret.) Gwendolyn just enjoys stories, period. We have many of the Five in a Row books, so those are read frequently.
Charlotte's favorite subject is math, and she is now enjoying Singapore Math 1a. We are moving steadily but slowly, and should be wrapping up 1a in February. I admit I am a bit shocked to look ahead at 1b and see multiplication (really? for first grade?) but I am viewing this as an introduction, not that she is expected to master it. (I didn't learn multiplication until third grade, myself- I distinctly remember being expected to recite multiplication facts to my third grade teacher aid!). She enjoys it and is learning, though.
Handwriting has been her least favorite subject, and is an area where she struggles a bit. But we are seeing improvement. She is desperate to start learning cursive, and I have explained my expectations for where her handwriting needs to be before moving to that (appropriate use of upper/lowercase letters, spacing, neat and legible- and not just that way in her handwriting book!) Once again, I didn't learn cursive until third grade, but I don't think that Charlotte is willing to wait that long!
We also do nature study and art study, though not as systematically as I would like. I still want to find nice sturdy nature notebooks for us all (I want one too!). And tomorrow I finally hope to start one of the activities from the lovely Fall Hearts and Trees Activity kit that I ordered... I'm planning to start with the study of Jan Van Kessel's print. I hope to start working on the fall bunting this week as well- Charlotte has been spending lots of time "sewing" recently- crafting little bags out of felt, using embroidery thread to stitch. All very cute things, though who knows how long it will stay together, considering she doesn't really knot anything! I will help her with that, of course.
Gwendolyn loves to join us at the table, and she likes to practice writing her letters or numbers, or do counting activities, or just paint with watercolors. I am going to start a letter of the week activity with her soon, though. She knows all her letters, so it will just be some fun reinforcement, I hope!
So, that's how I'm keeping track of what we're up to. Stacks of stuff. Maybe I'll upgrade at some point... a bookcase to put my stacks on would certainly be nice! (Maybe a modified workbox system, but more for organizational purposes!)
There is comfort in living in the same house for much of your life. Right now I'm raising my family in the house where I lived between ages 6 and 16 years old, and returned home from college and visited on vacations between 20 and 30 years old, and have lived here myself since I was 31 years old.
Yesterday Charlotte was learning to rollerblade... I learned to rollerskate on the same cement pad where she was rollerblading...
Today my dad is over, helping fix some things around here. Football is on... NC State versus Clemson. Kids are playing. My youngest grabs hold of his leg and sits on his foot as he walks around the house. "Where's Gwen? I can't find her!" Giggles... "I'm down here, on your foot!"
He sits down to watch the game after awhile. "Granddaddy, play hide and seek, come find me!" "No, sorry, I need to keep an eye on the game for your dad. But don't come sit next to me on the couch... don't do it." Laughter as she runs for the couch. "Oh no, I said no, don't sit here!" More giggles, then more tickling, and more silliness.
I didn't want to leave that last post up for too long as the most recent post. I will leave it for posterity, but I don't want to stay in that place, so to speak!
Granddad stopped by yesterday after voting, to see if I wanted to go vote while he watched the girls. (I did but ack not registered, a result of my procrastination/anxiety about getting my driver's license renewed in this state, but I really must do it now, it will expire on my birthday later this month!
The girls are always so happy to see their Granddad. He is really good with them, very playful and silly. (He's that way with all kids, really.)
Charlotte is so excited about Thanksgiving... her BIRTHDAY is the week before Thanksgiving! (So is mine, the day before hers... I always tell her she should be "thankful" that she got her own birthday and doesn't have to share with me.) I have no idea what I will do for her birthday party. We usually do parties at home, but I'm not sure if I'm up for it. Unfortunately, with the unpredictable weather in November, it's hard to plan an outdoor party. Still brainstorming about that!
I know that it's important to God that we give thanks always... so I am going to try to incorporate that into our daily life this month (and beyond!) I was very inspired by Dawn at "By Sun and Candlelight" and would love to start our own "seeds of gratitude" tree. We have plenty of branches that have fallen in our yard, that is for sure!