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Wednesday, February 6, 2008

Our Very Own Renaissance

Well, we've dropped spelling for the rest of this year. That might not seem like much but our 2nd grade year ends in August. This has been a major year of change and growth! We adopted Tapestry of Grace as our history program in January to help us get over the two month break we took after MIL's fight with cancer ended and my faithful companion- our 15 year old dog Magnum, passed away as well. Add a severely twisted ankle and bringing Jack, our golden retriever puppy home and throw in a few major holidays- voila, a two month break.

Tapestry has been wonderful for us, there has been some figuring out to do along the way but we're really enjoying ourselves and each other more now. We're a lot more relaxed in the area of history then we were with SOTW alone. That might seem impossible since Tapestry is not by any means a "light" program but thankfully, I realized the importance of focusing on the lower grammar portion and only venturing into the upper grammar portion for very select books.

Our family is coming together even more, Camille and I are enjoying our read aloud time and she's narrating without much effort. Well, as long as you don't care if what she says is said in complete sentences, lol. The girl can make a run-on sentence long enough to wrap around our house and yard (3 acres) and not take a breath because she's so excited to share her ideas.

I really can't wait until the Weekly Report on Friday (or Saturday), her work with Primary Language Lessons is beautiful and inspiring. I got this silly grin on my face today as I watched her working on her Explode the Code work and she spelled meatballs all by herself without glancing through the pages before to check it. She saw my grin and asked me, "Why are you smiling like that?" Me, "Oh, sweetie, I'm just so proud of you! You spelled meatballs all by yourself and you're really doing your best. That is all Mommy has wanted." She puffed up, put on a silly grin of her own and continued her work.

We're all in a happy, silly grin type of place right now. We read about the Renaissance today and it hit home, "we're" in a time of renewal, a time of looking back to past times to find inspiration and moving forward in a new way. I feel like a bright, shiny new penny. I know that sounds ridiculous but I'm bursting with joy and praise and I could swear I'm glowing.

I'm documenting all this because there will come a time, probably soon, where I will get frustrated or feel overwhelmed more with life than anything and I can come back and reread about our Renaissance.

I do want to say something about reading homeschooling books- I've been rereading a few:

  • Educating the WholeHearted Child by Sally & Clay Clarkson
  • A Charlotte Mason Education by Catherine Levison
  • The Charlotte Mason Companion by Karen Andreola
  • Home Learning Year by Year by Rebecca Rupp
  • 3 R's by Ruth Beechick
  • You Can Teach A Child Successfully Grades 4-8 by Ruth Beechick

TAKE NOTES! Flesh out the main ideas of each person, pay close attention when they say, *I did, we did, we decided*. I've read these books before and many others and yet I feel like I'm reading them for the first time. I don't know if it is because my jaded view has been lifted or what.

I've appreciated the comments left by those who read our blog but the well wishes for me to relax...I'm not sure if I'll EVER qualify as a 'relaxed' homeschooler. My idea of relaxing would still be rigid to others' points of views. I've been plagued ever since we started to figure out HOW we were going to homeschool, I've adopted The Well Trained Mind because it was the closest method I could find that was printed out for us with resources to boot. I had ideas of my own but with inexperience (not like I have that much now either!) the ideas aimed too high or required more work than necessary. I'm tempted to delete all that is at this blog and start over.

Really, I am. I don't want others to see my old posts and think, "My goodness, look at all she's doing, why am I not doing that. I must be failing my children because I'm not doing hardly any of that for my own." Believe me, people have SAID this to me. I look at some of my old posts and realize how confused and desperate I was to find our path. Trying anything to bring it all together.

It's Wednesday and we're having a fabulous week. Thankfully, it's week 1 of this quarter (9 weeks long) so we're off to a great start!



Anonymous said...

Just stopping by to wish you a Happy Blogoversary! I have been reading a little bit of your transformation journey and just wanted to say that you are a great mommy.

Southpaugh Homeschool - Heidi said...

First, I want to tell you that the reason I stumbled across your blog in the first place, was because I was looking for something "rigid" to start with. I was also working with Ambleside Online's curriculum suggestions for Year One.
If I may, please don't take the info down, it is nice to see that homeschoolers can and do make changes - - even "drastic" ones - - people learn and grow - - keeping your good example up, for the world to see....well, it is a blessing.
Glad to hear everything is going well for you!!
Oh, and on a side note, I got the books - - LOVE, LOVE the grammar book!! Thanks! : )

Anonymous said...

I’ve tagged you with an ‘E for Excellence’ blog award :)

Amy :)

barrellfullofmonkeys said...

It's so wonderful to see you get in your "groove". I know it was a hard place to find, but you obviously have found it. I think this is what they call "heartschooling" :)

If I may second what was said before, please don't delete your journey! Yes, some may think they're not doing enough but don't we all at first? What you've documented is the struggle to find what works for your family and succeding. It's great to see the transformation. Even if what you've posted isn't right for you now, it can still be very valuable to someone searching for an idea or resource.

Enjoy the rest of your week! I'm eagerly anticipating this weeks report :)

Kathy D.

Melzy Knits said...

I wanted to tell you that reading your blog has helped me tremindously. I am right now figuring out the curriculum for my 12th grader!!! We started when he was in 1st grade and it's been a roller coaster ride. Some of it was super fun and some of it down right bumpy and scary. I was having the hardest time figuring out what to do. We are doing ToG this year but with the price going up, I decided to take a long hard look at it and realized it just wasn't challanging enough. I love the way the curriculum is set up but the books just are too juvinial. I know it's because there aren't enough good books out there that are at adult and college reading level. So, I decided I would look into something else. I figured how hard could it be? Oh my after a month of trying to figure out what we were going to do next year, I read about the books by Rebecca Rupp and I found my curriculum. It is all right there in her books! I was so excited. I even found something for the Shakespeare conundrum I was in. (my oldests doesn't like shakespeare but I want him to read it anyway). Thank you Thank you for posting the books you are reading. They have helped me out tremendously.

Anonymous said...

Please don't take down your old posts. It is such a great record of your journey and discovery and experiences. I find it helpful to new hsers. I have directed many, many people to read your blog. It is an invaluable source to many.

Michelle said...

Hi, I'm really enjoying the weekly reports. Thanks for hosting it.

Would you please remove my name from the weekly report list? #87 Michelle. It only links to my first weekly report & I'd like to put the correct link in so bloggers can read my recent reports, too. TIA. :)

Karen said...

I just want you to know that your blog is encouraging to me.

I'm following a modified WTM / Charlotte Mason path with our daughters. I just can't "commit" to either way. And it isn't because I'm not familiar with homeschooling - I'm a homeschool (K-12) graduate!

Anyway, thanks for your blog, all the great links, and your openness sharing your homeschooling growth (if I may call it that).

mom24 said...

Your whole blog is an encouragement to me! We are all on a journey in which there is no 'perfect' curriculum or plan for all or each of our kids. So it's nice to see you journal your path of discovery for others to learn from. Your blog helps us to 'think' instead of just pluggin along in status quo!
Thanks! So glad that she could spell 'meatballs' - I understand that feeling and it is one of the best reasons to homeschool!

Demetria said...

No, don't take down your posts, please! In fact, I just found your blog yesterday and want to go back and read your older posts.
I'm currently homeschooling my 5 year old using the Classical method (I'm reading The Well Trained Mind), and I'm very we have a lot in common and I'd love to get your feedback on the history program outlined in Well Trained Mind and your opinion on the aspect of Christian classical education. Perhaps I need to connect personally by email with you to ask you a few questions...
Thanks for your blog!