"....Your children shall be like olive plants all around your table." Psalm 128:3

Sunday, August 30, 2015


Happy Sunday, friends! I hope you are having a lovely Lord's Day.
I have been awol for the past week. There has been so much that I have wanted to share about last week- our first week of school. The week came in not with a bang, but a crash...as in the hard drive on our newest laptop, which we bought in April of last year, crashed on Monday morning.
Now, we have Kindles and an old pre-historic laptop that operates at will, but all of my AO bookmarks were on the newer laptop! Ack! And being the techy illiterate person that I am, I googled how the laptop was acting -or not- to diagnose the problem. After some research, I guessed it was the hard drive. So the next day, I dropped it off at the local computer fixer upper and he confirmed it was the hard drive. He performed the necessary surgery a couple of days later, and I am going to pick it up tomorrow. But all of my bookmarks, photos, downloads..basically everything is lost!! Ugh!!
I am trying to remember "in everything give thanks, for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you." (1 Thess. 5:18) But sometimes it's hard to be thankful when things go wrong, isn't it? *sigh*
Anyhoo, I am posting this using my phone, so please forgive any grammatical  and spelling errors. I have never done a blog post on my phone before. But desperate times call for desperate measures, right? ;)
I hope to post about our first week of school sometime this week.
Until then, have a blessed week!  :)

Tuesday, August 18, 2015

Nature Study - Natty and Her Butterflies

We have been having alot of activity around our Butterfly Bush lately. Butterflies of different colors and sizes have been stopping by for a visit. All of us have been enjoying watching these beautiful creatures,

but Natty, in particular, seemed especially interested in them. She began catching them in a net and looking them up in our butterfly field guide to identify them. The other children got in on it, too, by looking outside and letting her know when they spotted a species she hadn't identified yet.  It became a family activity!  :)

Next, she wrote down her discoveries in a notebook: the date, the species, and the location.

Then, she sketched several of the species in her new Nature journal.

By the way, her butterfly study continues: she is filling up her notebook and can identify virtually every species that she sees!  :)

Now some people might  think all this independent Nature study is no big deal, but I do.  Why? Because I am seeing some of the fruit of a Charlotte Mason education. Stopping, observing, sketching  - in a word: keeping. Natty will always remember these days of catching, identifying, and sketching her butterflies. And I will always remember the thrill of watching her and thanking the Lord for leading us to the CM philosophy of education.

"Let them once get in touch with Nature, and a habit is formed which will be a source of delight through life. We were all meant to be naturalists, each in his degree, and it is inexcusable to live in a world so full of the marvels of plant and animal life and to care for none of these things."
~ CM Series, Volume 1, page 61

sharing with Celeste (Keeping Company)

Thursday, August 6, 2015

Prepping for a New Year

Well, friends, it's that time of year again - our school books for the new year have arrived, and I am in a planning frenzy! Actually, the frenzy has died down a bit, and I am in the process of re-organizing our school room to make room for the new books. We have been in dire need of bookshelves for a couple of years, and, thankfully, my mom recently gave us some cedar lumber that belonged to my dear Dad. So hubby and the boys are planning on making new cedar bookshelves as a fall/ winter handicraft project.  I can't wait to see how they turn out!  :) 

But back to the books. Our children will be in yr10, yr8, yr7, yr6, and yr3 this year.  Here is a peek at some (not all) of their books, in no particular order. As I mentioned above, we in the organizing stage, so the books are here, there, everywhere! But here are the ones I could track down.  ;)

 We have Kindle books, too, and some online readings, as well. But I really want the children to have hard copies of the books. So I make sure that they each have hard copies of some of their books.

Now for scheduling...for the past 3 years, I have printed the AO weekly schedules. But this year, I decided to try the pdf versions of the schedules. They are smaller and use less paper and ink!  :) And I have the entire term on one page. I like that. If I need to look ahead for some reason, I can easily find the info on the chart. Now, will the children like them as much as the other schedules? That remains to be seen. Hope so.

I also print the Composer study, Hymn, Folksong, Shakespeare, and Plutarch schedules so that I don't have to keep going back to the AO website to look them up.

For Artist study, I print a copy of the painting and place it under our clear vinyl  tablecloth. 
It's always in view so the children become very familiar with it.   I also have a way of Keeping our Artist study, for those who may interested, but more on that in another post.

Now for the binders..we have previously used these folders (one for each child), which contains their schedules, maps, calligraphy paper, etc.
But the folders became worn, as you can see, and by the end of the 2nd term, they were overflowing with papers.

So I decided to buy each child a binder this year...
 Now, there is plenty of room for all their AO stuff!   And they had such fun decorating their cover pages.

Each child gets a new Nature journal this year. (There is nothing quite like a fresh, new Nature journal, is there?) I got these from Wal-Mart. They are smaller than the ones we have previously used. But the children picked them out, so I went with their suggestion.

Of course, my children aren't the only ones who get all the goodies at the beginning of the new school year. I get a treat, too. And this year it's a hard copy of the Charlotte Mason homeschooling series! All six volumes! No more highlighting on the Kindle! No more endless note-taking!
Happy homeschooling! :)

"All your children shall be taught by the Lord, 
And great shall be the peace of your children."" ~ Isaiah 54:13