9.15.2015

Fall habits

I'm not even going to apologize anymore for the lack of posts - mostly because I think I gave fair warning that I wouldn't be posting on here *that* much and because, I don't even think anyone reads this, haha! I'm pretty sure this has become more of a journal for me and less of an actual blog for readers, which is cool.

September has been good, fast paced and exciting! We started the month off with a week long trip to a beach house on the Washington Coast and it was SO much fun! I got hit with an icky head cold while we were there, which put a damper on the trip for me, but it was still pretty amazing.
We went back to Seabrook Cottages, about 16 miles from Ocean Shores. {I realize if you don't live around here these names mean nothing to you, but in case anyone is interested, its a great place to rent any size beach house and a really fun way to spend time as a family.}
There's no Internet service which we love, there's a fully stocked kitchen in each house; we rent smaller homes that we just barely fit in because we like the simplicity and think its fun, but you can rent homes that sleep more than 20 people!
This year we brought our bikes and our whole family enjoyed bike rides and exploring the area that way. We also take lots of walks while we're there and make it a habit to watch the sunsets. Because there's nothing quite like a west coast sunset, right on the Pacific Ocean. Okay, fine... maybe a Hawaiian sunset is better.

We came home and hit the books. Literally. We formally started school {I say "formally" because we did a few subjects through the summer months so we never fully stopped schooling} and so far its gone quite well.
Ethan is in 5th grade, Rachel is in 4th and Kara is in 2nd. Miles is doing at home pre-school work, but I am NOT rigid about the early grades at all. I'm probably the last person a woman wants to talk to when it comes to home schooling because I think most women start too early and get too hot and heavy with everything. Miles plays with legos, colors, builds with his Brio train set, does tracing work on his white board and we read lots and lots of little books.

With homeschooling grades can be tricky and funny. I understand the reason for them, but sometimes I think its all quite silly.
Because we homeschool my kids do an assortment of grades. Example: Kara does the same Science and History that Ethan and Rachel do. Sure, her work after the lesson is "dumbed" down to her 2nd grade level. but she's learning all the same things they are. And she often remembers things much better than they do!
They all read at different levels, but even that is comical to me. Ethan tested at a 7th grade reading level and my response to that was, "isn't that the same as an adult?" I don't feel like I read "harder" books from 7th grade until now ;-)
They each do their own grade in math and their own math curriculum. One of the joys of homeschooling is being able to pick the books that best suit that child. This year I really tried my best to pick what I knew would excite them and push them all at the same time. It proved to be harder than I thought and took a lot more time than I anticipated but I think its going to pay off.

We're in our 3rd year of Classical Conversations, first time doing cycle 1 and my first year NOT being a tutor. To my surprise, I have very mixed feelings about it. I'm going to enjoy the year off, but I think I'm going to miss tutoring just as much. I'm going to be a room mom for Rachel's class which will give me the flexibility to visit Ethan and Kara's classes as well and see the work they're doing.
I'm excited about seeing old friends and making all kinds of new ones. My kids are overwhelmed with excitement. They literally haven't been sleeping well the past couple of nights due to the excitement and countdown for when CC begins :)

Other than that, life goes on as it normally does. We've got our yearly dentist, orthodontist and Dr's visits all coming up as the every 6 month visits roll around, swim lessons for Kara and Miles start next month, I just signed the kids up for Fall and winter sports which seems CRAZY that we're already there again, and the weather is definitely turning from a HOT summer to cool and crisp Fall, with rainy days mixed in.
I love it. It fills my heart with so much joy to see everything green again and to hear the sounds of new birds chirping and being able to light candles and have fires in the fireplaces have been awesome. Its my favorite time of the year, clearly.
This is the time of year when the kids and I enjoy daily nature walks as we call them. Each child has their own nature journal this year and when we get home they write about what they saw, things they found and other things they want to explore more and dig into. They don't all love to journal, but I'm going to do my best to make them love it :)
Ethan started off kind of "bleh" about it last year and for some reason, learning how to write in cursive has given him a love of writing. I catch him writing in his personal journal after he reads his Bible and he's had ZERO prompting from me, which is shocking.
Always awesome to see the natural growth after encouragement and some introduction to new things.
I read an article recently that said when our kids struggle we need to step in and give them best encouragement then. Don't wait to praise them when the get it right, do the praising AS they struggle. Remind them that their little brains are a big muscle and as we struggle to learn, our brains are becoming stronger. If everything was super easy, our brains would be mush.

I should find the article and link to it; it was really good.

Happy Fall to all you lovelies!




3 {comments}:

Melissa Joy said...

Stef, I loved reading your update! Love hearing about those kids, and your homeschooling style, etc. My brother's kids are doing CC for the first time this year. And while we may go to Cannon Beach (as per our tradition) in the spring again, we've also toyed with the idea of finding a house to rent (that would sleep a dozen+) on the WA coast instead this next year. So I am happy for the recommendation. :) Peace and joy be yours this autumn!!

Charlotte said...

I still read your blog, lol. :-)

That place on the coast sounds like a great vacation spot! Wish it was closer...maybe someday. I have a cousin in Portland and lots of family in Albany, Or. so maybe....

Totally get the homeschooling grade dilemma. I am in the same type of boat with Ashley, my 14 year old. She really struggles with school; as she is getting older I am realizing it is a form of dyslexia. She never gets her words backwards, but has a lot of other symptoms. And because of that, is only in 4th grade math, and reads and around the 5th grade level. I don't put that out on my blog, and am only saying that here because your blog is private. :) All of that makes me very grateful that we homeschool.

I am excited you like CC! My kids are a bit late to be starting, but I think it is a great resource.

And I love that idea of praising our kids even when they are struggling. Don't we as adults find encouragement and comfort in that?

Thanks for posting Stef; I come here about once a month and am glad to see when you have a new entry up. :)

Gina said...

I feel the same about my blog as you stated at the beginning of this post. But I've decided that my blog is still a good thing to have, especially since I've taken to having the blog books made yearly. Best scrapbooking ever. :-) Glad you've kept your blog up--I enjoy it. :-)

 

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