Tuesday, September 27, 2016

school days


I often get asked these days how we like homeschooling and the only thing to say is that we love it!  I think it's really interesting to be a second generation homeschooler, to now be the mom-teacher after being the daughter-student as a child.  I chose our school curriculum and activities with great care and kept it scaled pretty quiet for the first few weeks, knowing that as I gained momentum, I'd be ready to add in additional fun - I'm getting ready to add in a few little things beyond what I describe below but may there will be a follow up post on those soon. 

On school days we begin our morning with Morning Time: memorizing Psalm 19 together, singing some songs that the girls choose (for now but I want to add in a hymn that we learn soon), a brief Spanish lesson, and a book and activitiy from Five In a Row, which I chose specifically as part of kindergarten for Millie (yes, kindergarten!  Oh my!) but we are all loving FIAR - it reminds me of Charlotte Mason's recommendation of slow reading.  Each of the three classic picture books we've read and playfully studied over each week so far have become a "part" of our lives and language.  Yesterday Rosie burst out with a quote from "The Story of Ping," that just made me laugh out loud.  "Yes!" I thought, "That is what I want for my children!"  I bought chalk pastels this year and we have done a few tutorials from Hodgepodge to coincide with our FIAR books that are excellent.  You can see Lyddie showing off her version of the Madeline cover above. 

Lyddie is in first grade this year.   I chose Ambleside Year 1 as our home base, which includes readings in history, literature, natural history, and Bible.  We are also using the Ambleside composer schedule (Dvorak this fall) and picture study schedule (Mary Cassatt- OH LOVE!). Ambleside Online is a careful application of Charlotte Mason's philosophies and I appreciate it so much because, if you've been around here much, you know how much I love Charlotte Mason.  We are not doing any formal writing/composition curriculum this year, instead I chose to work on the mechanics of writing by learning cursive and practicing copywork.  Oral narrations take the place of composition at this young age, and I love how that is working out with Lyddie who can freely connect with the material we are reading without being hindered by having to write her thoughts or summaries with her budding writing skills. 

Mid-morning we "take a break" for tea time; this means sipping tea at the table and reading poetry or listening to our music selections and maybe doing our art fun if there's time.  This might be my favorite part of the morning!

I decided to begin Millie in math with Lyddie and carry them through together as far as it works.  RightStart Math (level A)  has been a wonderful choice and we are loving it.  Math hasn't been a struggle or fuss over the past 25 days, not even once.  Instead we look forward to it eagerly because it's all kinds of games, and it is fast-paced and quick so we are not spending more than 10 or 15 minutes on it each day.  I do not thing that is everyone's experience teaching math, and I am really eager to present math as the feast of beauty that it really is. 

Spell to Write and Read is our spelling and phonics for Lyddie and Millie.  I decided sort of last minute to teach them cursive together so once we have learned all the lower-case cursive letters this week we will really jump into the SWR curriculum each at their own level and pace.  

We currently "do school" four days a week with the fifth day each week dedicated toward nature study.  Mondays are Jesse's day off and we have done a few nature outings that have been so enjoyable together as a family.  Each of the girls and I are keeping a nature sketchbook too, even Rosie.  


  1. Your girls are growing fast, and I'm glad you are having fun with them, while you homeschool and learn all over again as teacher.

  2. I love all this, Sarah! I'm so glad RightStart is working out for you. I wish we could sit down and talk about all our fun homeschooling things. :)

  3. gleaning lots of ideas from you, Sarah! thank you for sharing all these resources!