January 15, 2021

Life These Days: Homeschool Recap

"You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your might. And these words that I command you today shall be on your heart. You shall teach them diligently to your children, and shall talk of them when you sit in your house, and when you walk by the way, and when you lie down, and when you rise. You shall bind them as a sign on your hand, and they shall be as frontlets between your eyes. You shall write them on the doorposts of your house and on your gates."

Deuteronomy 6:5-9

Just finished up our second week back to school yet somehow it already feels like it’s been a month! I had to actually look at a calendar to believe it because it’s felt so much longer! It’s been really really good- I have tweaked some things in our homeschool rhythm and it seems like mornings are running more smoothly now. I also didn’t intentionally start homeschooling Breezy at the beginning of the school year, but I’m amazed at just how much she is learning and wanting to do right alongside of Ryenne. She is as much a part of our school day as Ryenne! Primrose is still taking two naps a day, which is really a blessing since it allows us to have school mornings relatively distraction-free.

We start our day every day after breakfast with Bible time. It takes us about a half an hour, and the routine usually goes as follows:

Sing "All Things Bright and Beautiful" together, the girls alternate praying, read a chapter in the Bible (currently in Romans and whew! a lot of explaining but also so good!), sing our hymn of the month (currently "My Jesus, I Love Thee"), review our memory verses (we use memory verse cards by Pip and J Papery - use code RAISINGMAIDENS15 to save!), then I catechize them using this children's catechism. By then they are getting a little wiggly so when we do calendar time, we make sure it's very ACTIVE - jumping 15x if it's January 15, dancing when we sing our months of the year song or days of the week song! And then we head into our school day!

One of the things that I had been feeling wasn’t quite right was actually our math curriculum. The Good and the Beautiful math curriculum is extremely thorough, beautiful, and clear... BUT I was finding that it takes upwards of a half an hour to do and the new concepts every day were a little overwhelming for Ryenne. I felt as though I was watching the joy of learning get sucked right out of her. So, I decided to start exploring other math options. It came down to Simply Charlotte Mason arithmetic and Ray’s arithmetic. They are both much simpler and allow us to really take our time with OR go more quickly through if it was a concept that she already had grasped. I also liked how a lot of the “heavier” and more abstract concepts will be taught later on when Ryenne has a better foundation of basic arithmetic concepts under her belt. I asked her today which she liked better and she said she is really loving what our current math lessons look like. So that felt really good because with our other curriculum there were definitely some tears shed on a few occasions.

About a month ago I realized that Breezy is at the same age that Ryenne was when we started the Explode the Code series for letters, phonics, and vocabulary. The same day that I realized this, I ordered the first code book (Get Ready for the Code!) off of Amazon. She was sooooooo excited to be starting and every single day she begs me to do more and more! I like to keep things slow though, so we only do 2-3 pages at a time to allow her time to process what she’s been learning. Every day she is so excited to pull it out! Makes me so happy. (Ryenne also uses the Explode the Code books, but she is in book 2)

We have also been diving into learning all about ships and the voyages and adventures of the explorers from the early days as we follow the Peaceful Press' Kind Kingdom curriculum. Both girls are completely fascinated with this study, and to give them a better picture of what ship life looked like, we even watched parts of the movie Master and Commander. Again, they were hooked, and although there were some sad parts that brought tears to Ryenne’s eyes, I think that there were some really good lessons to be learned from it!

This is week 17 for us and it is just so crazy to me that we are already more than halfway through the school year. When I was being homeschooled, it definitely didn’t feel this fast!! But somehow being the teacher and having three little ones seems to put time into hyper speed and the days just fly by much quicker than I’d like. I’m not ready to start thinking about 2nd grade and kindergarten!! I just want to keep them little a little longer. 

It seems that we have really found our groove and I’m so thankful for that. Learning seems to be happening all the time - even when we aren’t “doing” school. I feel so humbled and grateful that I get to be the one to teach them at home, and I pray that God gives me the grace and perseverance to do it WELL. 

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