Friday, December 9, 2016

The Birthday Boys

Somehow this month our boys turned five and seven. I'm not quite sure how that happened, but these boys are just awesome. (And our tribe of family and friends - who have been there to celebrate so many of their birthdays - are pretty awesome too (we love you guys!).)

Canaan, Age 7
Loves his friends, playing legos, basketball, riding his bike, foot races, playing board games, and optical illusions.

Ezra, Age 5
Loves blankets (mounds of them), playing with Canaan and Lainey, making secret (or not-so-secret) hideouts behind the chair in the master bedroom, being silly, hugging his momma (swoon), and FOOD. The boy loves food, and and he'll be the first to tell you that his favorite foods are tomatoes and broccoli. Strange, but true. :)

Art Museum

A few weeks ago, my friend Jess recommended we visit the new Van Gogh exhibit at the Cincinnati Museum of Art, and so last week we headed there with the kids. This was the their first experience at an art museum, so there were plenty of quick, "oh my goodness don't touch it!"s and other quite important bits of education on how to be in an museum filled with priceless works of art. I am always impressed at the collection we have right here in our own back yard, and I just swoon over the impressionists. :)

We've been studying some art masters this year - Van Gogh and Claude Monet in particular, and we're working on paying attention to detail and learning to appreciate the incredible talent (and the amount of work) that went into each piece.

Lainey, my little artist, spend most her time drawing. Drawing here, drawing there, drawing everywhere. 

We visited the kids creative area next, which included a immersive room-sized version of the van Gogh painting that they had just seen in the exhibit. It. was. amazing. The kids were able to add to the scene my creating flowers and velcroing them to the wall. This was by far their favorite part of the museum and we will definitely be back soon!

Friday, November 11, 2016

The Halloween Marathon

This year, we returned late in the evening from a vacation in Florida, and began the very next day (the 30th) on what turned out to be a Halloween marathon of sorts (the funnest kind of marathons). We started out visiting our church for "Trunk & Treat", then back to our neighborhood for the annual hayride from home to home, and then onto a friend's neighborhood for more hayrides and treats. It was such a fun sweet time with the kids, and I swear they ended up with 10lbs of candy each!

Friday, August 19, 2016

The First Week

In a nutshell, our school days are broken into three main parts - our morning basket time, our inside work, and our afternoon time outside in nature. Nature time is absolutely one of my favorite things about following Charlotte Mason. We are so blessed to live on a little bit of land - we have so much to explore right outside in our own backyard.

We had such a wonderful and relaxed first week, and I am overwhelmingly thankful that we get to do this! :)

Uke Practice. We weren't good this summer about uke practice, so he's having to relearn a bit!

Spelling lists I'm finding are much more enjoyable for Canaan on a chalkboard or when he spells for me out loud.

Art and an exercise on using imagination. This was Canaan's "Underground Den" for ants. :)

Written narration usually has been happening so far during Lainey's naptime.
So far I've been giving the boys a few options on what to narrate from what we have learned that day. 

Weaving on Grandma Marie's loom.

The boys also had a chance to make "Viking bread" entirely on their own. :)

The first page of another written narration from Canaan. 

Viking's had picnics, right?! :)

Checking out a puffball mushroom that cropped up after the rain.

Puddle jumping!

Lainey is the ultimate mushroom spotter. She has a gift. :)

Emptying his boots. :)

Worms found in the mud. 

One of the little squiggliers. 

Picking blueberries

Pick and eat. Then repeat. 

Climbing trees.

And helping each other climb trees. 

Jumping from a tree branch!

Ezra's turn  jumping!

A New School Year

We have kicked off a new school year!

Canaan is in the 1st grade, and both Ezra and Lainey are in preschool! We are starting our Charlotte Mason journey, with a little bit of Montessori phonics and math thrown in for the little ones. Just one week in and I am so amazed at the difference following Charlotte Mason has made for us all. I have found we have so much more peace, and we are accomplishing so much more than we were able to last year!

I am also getting to experience teaching the kids without the insomnia (paired with chronic fatigue) and pain that I have been experiencing for years (thank you, God!). This has made a huge difference and has enabled me to find so much more joy in our normal everyday!

In addition to our school at home, Canaan will again be going to a local Christian school two days a week while I am working, and we also have Ezra going three days a week to our church's preschool. He has the most AMAZING teacher and during orientation it was so surreal sitting in the same room that Canaan learned in just a few years ago. During that year in early 2014, we were matched with Lainey, and Canaan shared a "picture" of her on P / Pajama day! I dug up that little memory on our old blog here.

I'm SO excited about this year. It's amazing how this life you never expect is sometimes just around the corner. Homeschooling just fits us right now in this stage of our lives, and God has given me such a passion for teaching my kids. It's such a privilege and a joy to be able to have this time with them!