Friday, August 15, 2014

Stitch Fix #1

Yay, I was so excited to see my first Stitch Fix arrive today!

Ohhhh....looks fun!

My 6 year old, Dori, was nice enough to be my photographer.  First, I tried on this maxi skirt because I knew right away that I would love it! I love the colors and pattern and it's actually not too long on me, which is so nice.  It's hard to find maxi skirts that don't have to be hemmed for me!  The navy top is mine and looks a little shabby but I already had it on, so it works :)

Next is a floral print keyhole blouse and some dark navy ankle length skinny jeans.  The blouse is cute, but I'm not too crazy about the big keyhole.  What do you think?  Plus, it's sleeveless and being at the end of summer I just don't know.  I guess I could put a cardigan over it!  I think the jeans are a pretty good fit!

Lastly is a draped-neck jersey top.  I do like the neckline a lot, but I think it may be a little too snug on my tummy.  Oh, and there is a crystal gem bracelet too, but I don't think I'll keep that.  

Hmm.....decisions!  I definitely will do this again, as I wouldn't normally pick some of these things out and it was so fun to see what my stylist would choose for me!  Here is a link to Stitch Fix if you'd like to try it out :)

Thursday, August 14, 2014

Dollar Tree Play

I'm not in a hurry to start school this year, so we are enjoying the summer still!  I picked up some things at the Dollar Tree for the kids to play with: to "paint", "do laundry", and other things.  Their squirt bottles make great squirt guns, too!  We'll use the rice for some sensory play with Jonny and the spaghetti to stick into the holes of the cheese shaker.  I have gotten rid of a lot of toys this past year, because they create a lot of mess and don't get played with very much.  We still have a lot of Lego, Lego duplo, wooden trains and tracks, wooden blocks, and some other toys that are favorites.  Quinn has several baby dolls, a kitchen set (but with much less food than we originally had out), and we still have a ton of books and lots of board and logic games.  Anyways, the younger kids like to do these kind of "practical life" activities and the Dollar Tree is a great place to find materials.  I don't know very much about Montessori play, but I guess this is considered Montessori-like.  It's nice that even if the kids get bored with these things, the materials can still be used for other things around the house, too!  Like, the "clothespins" I got are actually chip clips :) and I think those little baskets are so cute.

Here Quinn is using a turned over crate we already had as a washboard and washing her dress.  She had so much fun doing her own "laundry"!

She rinsed out the soap in the bucket of water:

Pressed it down to squeeze out the water:

And hung it up to dry on the bungie cord "clothesline":

Jonny enjoyed "painting" the fence.  Actually, he enjoys pretty much anything that involves playing with water:

I didn't know Quinn would be so interested in the little spaghetti activity:

Jonny concentrating and hoarding the spaghetti:

This will be a good little activity for school time:

Oh, and look at this cute little guy!  He had just gotten squirted with water by Jonny but didn't seem to mind too much:

Tuesday, April 1, 2014

Our Daily Routine

I have to admit that I'm a bit of a schedule/list-making addict. The problem is that I so meticulously plan an "ideal" schedule that is not very doable in real life and I end up getting frustrated and tossing it. Well, I decided to flip things around and instead of planning what I'd like to do, I decided to simply record what most often actually does happen around here...(relieved sigh). No more impossible schedules to try and follow!  This is our natural routine right now, liable and likely to change at a moment's notice ;) Flexibility is necessary in this line of work!  With a newborn, he is basically still attached to me (nursing, in the Moby wrap, or lounging in the bassinet nearby); so I can still go about our day and do what needs to be done. 

The gist of our school day is: 
-Morning routine
-Short storytime with little ones while Davin does his basic subjects.
-Play outside or downstairs.
-Naptime/Rest time
-Read aloud time + 1 more subject if we have time.

~7:30 or 8 a.m.
Wake up (I know I am not an early bird!)
Make bed.
Get dressed and ready for the day.
Make coffee!! 
Switch a load of laundry and fold a load. (I always put one in to wash at night before bed).
Do devotional while enjoying a cup of coffee, then check email and facebook.

~8:30 a.m.- Kids do their "High 5" (Get dressed, make bed, brush teeth, tidy room, eat breakfast). They wake up from 7:30-8:30.  I change Jonny, get him dressed, help little ones make their beds, get breakfast for anyone who needs help, and clean up the kitchen.

~9:30 am- Davin starts his basic subjects (Bible study, Math, Latin, Cursive, and Piano practice).  Computer programming is another basic subject he does either in the morning or evening.

Meanwhile, I have Storytime with the rest of the kids in our "library."

I read some poetry, we say nursery rhymes, and then I read a story.

They can play with Legos, do puzzles, color, draw, paint, read, play with trains, Hot Wheels, play with babies or blocks until it's time to play outside or downstairs.  They often watch a show too (but I'm trying to work on limiting our tv time more).  Jonny loves to play with water in the kitchen sink during this time too.

~10:30 am- If it's nice, the kids can play outside.  Otherwise it's down to the basement to burn off some energy.

Quinny upset about falling in a puddle as soon as she went outside :(
Sword fighting:
Digging for "gold"
Jumping on the trampoline. 
While the kids are playing I try to switch a load of laundry and then get lunch ready.
~11:30am- Before they can come to eat lunch it's time for a quick tidy of the main floor because it's probably a huge mess :)


~12 pm- Eat lunch.  After lunch cleanup I take Jonny upstairs for his nap.  

~12:30-1:30 pm- The other kids and I have a rest time.

~1:30- Now it's Read Aloud time with the 3 oldest in the library. I have a basket that stores all of the things we do every day (our Bible, Poetry, and main literature read aloud).  All of this takes about 30 minutes.  
The kids are allowed to play with Legos, draw, or color during this time as long as they are still listening :)
Keaton is with us too, of course, usually on my lap :)

Here is a breakdown of what we do during this time: 
----Bible: read a Bible story, sing a hymn, Bible verse, and character story.
----Poetry: work on memorizing a poem from IEW Poetry book, currently "Sea Fever" by John Masefield. Then read aloud some other poetry for fun.
---Literature: currently Robin Hood, which I've found to be difficult to read aloud! I'm constantly tripping over the words, but the kids still seem to be interested :)

---2:00- The kids are hungry for a snack and can run around for a while if they want.

---Next we do ONE more subject for a bit (either astronomy/nature study, history/geography, literature, or fine arts study). I don't have specific days of when we do these, just whatever we feel like. These are mostly meant for Davin, but the little ones can tag along if they like or are interested, which they often do for astronomy and fine arts.  They can go do other activities instead, if they want.  :

-----Science (astronomy or nature study),
Once in a while we go for a nature walk or try to identify a tree in our yard, an insect, bird, etc. 

-----History/Geography (A Child's History of the World, Our Island Story, Story of the World 2, or Seabird)
Davin does a drawing narration for each chapter of "Our Island Story." Here's an example of his reference drawing and his own drawing.
-----Literature (Pilgrim's Progress, Beautiful Stories from Shakespeare, Parables from Nature)
Davin often does a written narration after reading a chapter in "Pilgrim's Progress." He types it up on his laptop and prints it out for me to read. 
-----Fine Art study:
-------We look at paintings by a particular artist (this term is Edouard Manet).  I just tell them the name of the painting, let them look at it, then turn it over and each child tells me a detail from the painting or something interesting.  It's very simple, but before long the paintings are like old friends!

-------Listen to music by the composer we're studying (Currently Tchaikovsky) and read a little biography. I also have it playing during the day when I remember, or on Pandora.
-------Listen to and sing along or dance to this month's folk song on YouTube. 

~2:30- By this time, Quinny is getting grumpy and needs a rest.  I let her watch a show while I finish up school with Davin.  I check in with him to see how he's doing with math and Latin, and I listen to him narrate any readings he's done in other subjects. Then, I do dictation with him. I simply read a few sentences from one of our readings and he writes it in cursive. I check the spelling and punctuation when he's done. 
Dori also practices writing a few words. 
The kids have time to play until about 4 when they do one more quick tidy before they have free time and I start making dinner. They can have an hour of game time during this (either computer, iPad, or video game).  Otherwise they play outside, play a card or board game, or whatever else they feel like.

So there is a look into a school day at our home!  Let me know if there is something you want more details about or if there is something else you'd like me to write about! 


Tuesday, February 25, 2014

Pilgrim's Progress Narration

Chapter 17 narration of Pilgrim's Progress, written and typed by Dav (age 9). 

I really think he has a gift with writing! I like how he even used "thee" and "thou". Hehe. He is also getting pretty fast at typing, too. 

Thursday, January 9, 2014

Read Alouds and other news

We finished another great read aloud today called "The Little Duke" by Charlotte Yonge. It had Davin and I in tears at the second to last chapter but ended well! Reading to the kids is my favorite part of our home school, and I'll always cherish this time with them. :)

In December we read "A Christmas Carol" by Charles Dickens, and they loved having a candy cane during this time! 

What else have we been up to? Christmas was a special time spent with almost all of my siblings and our growing families. My sister and I are pregnant together and it was so much fun to be with her and her expanding belly :)
Here is the best photo I have of our family, though we are all looking at different cameras and this is more of an "awkward family photo" than a lovely portrait :)