I finished the Agatha Christie novel last week (The Mystery of the Blue Train) and was about to pick up the next Little House book when the library notified me that the book I placed on hold last week had come in. The Sane Woman's Guide to Raising a Large Family was what Ginny was reading last week and although I wouldn't call our family a "large" family with just three kids, I am really enjoying the little bit I plowed through this afternoon while hiding in our air-conditioned living room. It is amazing to me how immediate the questions come about family size, even (especially!) after the birth of a baby. "Are you done? Are you going to try for a boy?" are questions I still get with regularity and I don't ever know quite how to answer the question. Frankly, trying for a baby of a certain sex doesn't really enter my thoughts as we ponder the question ourselves. Mary Ostyn addresses some of the issues around deciding to have more children head on and with honesty at the beginning of the book and they spoke right into my heart. I love how she focuses on prayer and waiting on the Lord for His timing and answers. Even after the first few pages of practical advice on food and grocery budgeting, I was encouraged since I am already doing most of what she recommends to have a balanced budget with several children. I look forward to reading more of her practical and encouraging advice and ideas over the next week.
Feeding the Sheep is one I picked up at the library too, and it is such fun! My girls were fascinated by the simple depiction of the wool-to-yarn process. The text is very simple which I think is perfect because it points the focus to the details in the beautiful illustrations.
Last but not least is Family Math, one I've been perusing just a little at a time and trying to settle on a way to incorporate some of the simple ideas and lessons into our days. We have decided not to start homeschooling/kindergarten with Lyddie this fall; she is only four and will turn five in November so if she was going to be in public school she wouldn't be starting yet either. (While the decision is not driven by my selfish desires, I have to confess it brings me joy to think I might be able to keep her with us an extra year of life unless it's obvious we shouldn't.) We adhere to Charlotte Mason's ideas about limiting structured educational activities before age 6-7 and instead encourage a lot of pretend play, learning in the natural world, and reading aloud. We read so much and we are surrounded by a lot of natural opportunities for exploration of God's world around us that I am satisfied with this mindset for our family. Beyond working on reading and writing with her (because she loves it and is definitely ready), I will probably not do much in the way of formal teaching yet and am by no means picking out a curriculum to use yet. But especially in our winter months I do try to include some fun planned learning activities since we are cooped up together anyways and it makes the time together feel special and exciting. So I am hoping to pick several age-appropriate math-based activities from this fun book for the coming year and prep the materials to have on hand as needed.
Oh my, I had a lot to say today about the books I'm reading but aren't they delightful? In other news (that you probably know), Ginny guest posted on Ann Voskamp's blog today which was an exciting treat to see in my blog feed. I read four or five blogs religiously and both Ginny's and Ann's are included in that number. My mind was about blown that time I found out that they are friends in person as well. If you haven't ready Ginny's post there, you really should!