Saturday, November 5, 2011

Homeschooling Little Ones Together

 This year for the first time ever, I'm homeschooling more than one child! Grace is attending a private Charlotte Mason school for the 2nd year now, and Moses and Judah are doing school together at home! Moses is in kindergarten (he's 5 years old) and Judah (3.5 years) is doing a lot of what Moses is doing, except modified to more of a preschool level. Clementine is almost 2 years old and of course very "in the mix." 

I honestly had doubts about how this year would go, even though Kindergarten and preschool are very fun, easy and simple "grades" to teach at home. With 3 very young children, would it be complete chaos all the time? Would I feel pulled in 3 different directions the whole time?

So far, it's been amazingly fun and has gone GREAT. Really great. I am LOVING it, the kids are loving it... we're all very happy!

Thursday, November 3, 2011

Little Miss Two-Year-Old!!

Yes, she's two. Yes, she's adorable. Yes, she has some serious attitude and says the cutest things. Yes, we love her to pieces!!

(Thank you Grandma Sue for the great sweater!!)

Saturday, October 22, 2011

Clementine is Two!


One Year Old

Two Years Old

She's not a baby anymore! We love you, sweet 2-year-old Clementine.

Thursday, September 8, 2011

2011-2012 Homeschool Curriculum

I thought I'd share what we're doing for homeschool this year, as Moses is starting kindergarten and Judah is doing some preschool stuff. Moses is 5 years 3 months and Judah is 3 1/2 exactly. Clementine is 23 months and I'm sure she'll be joining in some of the hands-on stuff!

I have a lot of Grace's curriculum left over (wasn't it just yesterday that she and I were doing kindergarten at home together!?) so I'm using a lot of that for Moses, but as I am now realizing, not all curriculum used for a prior child is a good fit for subsequent children! The great phonics/grammar program I used with Grace isn't going to work for Moses until at least next year. (I think I actually started it with Grace when she was 6, so that's perfect.  Now that I think about it, how DID Grace learn to read anyway?? I think she just kind of picked it up!)

Because we're following the Charlotte Mason method, our kindergarten/preschool days will be of a more relaxed approach. The basic principles that Charlotte Mason emphasized included short lessons, lots of nature/outside time, reading lots of "living" books, and training in good habits, so that's what we're planning to do! The habits I hope to instill in these little ones this year will hopefully carry them on to be studious, industrious, lifelong learners in the future.

A couple of great resources that have helped me plan the year include The Early Years: A Charlotte Mason Preschool Handbook and this Early Years Guide from the Simply Charlotte Mason website. Here's a summary of the early years focus:
Habits, outside play, read-alouds, and Bible are most important. If you concentrate only on them, you’ll be doing just fine. Reading, copywork, and math come next as the child is ready. (Some may not be ready until they are older than five; that’s OK!) Handicrafts, art, music, and poetry are simply add-ons that will enrich your child’s atmosphere and help him feel at home with those aspects of Charlotte Mason education when he starts “school work.”
So here's the basic rundown of our school year/curriculum:

 Moses (5 years)

Outdoors: Lots of free play and nature walks
Read Alouds: From Five in a Row, and “go-along” books
Copywork: Writing on lined paper, holding pencil correctly, copywork from FIAR books
Science: Projects to go along with FIAR books
Handicrafts: Projects to go along with FIAR books
Music: Play works of great composers in background while working
Bible: Circle Time and Fighter Verses with Mama, Bible Study with Papa

(The main way that we're organizing our Five in a Row studies is through the use of lapbooks. I get all the free resources from Homeschool Share. Here's what we'd do during our week of reading "The Story About Ping" and studying China and ducks.  I'll try to post pictures of ours once we've completed some.)

Judah (3.5 yrs)

Outdoors: Lots of free play and nature walks (Same as Moses)
Habits: Habit Training (Same as Moses)
Read Alouds: From Five in a Row, and “go-along” books (Same as Moses)
Beginning Reading: Learn letter names and sounds while Moses does reading lessons
Copywork: Trace upper-case letters with finger in sand, rice, or air, 
dry erase markers on placemat, etc.
Math: Learning along with Moses Saxon Math K
Science: Projects to go along with FIAR books (Same as Moses)
Handicrafts: Projects to go along with FIAR books (Same as Moses)
Art: (Same as Moses)
Music: Play works of great composers in background while working (Same as Moses)
Bible: Circle Time and Fighter Verses with Mama, Bible Study with Papa (Same as Moses)

I'm excited to try homeschooling 2 kids at the same time! I've only ever taught one child before, so I'm not sure how it will go to have 3 little ones all together, and 2 of them "doing school". But I'm sure we're in for a lot of fun.  =]

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Another Reupholstering Project!

Remember my first reupholstery project? Since it's still holding up so well, I found the confidence to tackle another similar project. My sister-in-law Mary had this gorgeous number at her garage sale for $3. (She actually gave it to me for free =])  It was very musty and dusty, but I knew it had potential.

We started with some sort of velvety brocade fabric and bronzy-gold metal legs
Of course I started out by removing the nails to discard the old fabric

I discovered this even lovelier fabric under the first!

And lo and behold, a THIRD fabric beneath that!

After I had removed THREE layers of fabric, I decided there were too many nail holes in the original piece of wood and had my dad cut a new one for me. It's nice and thick and sturdy.

Here's where I wing it. I don't have any foam on hand so I used foam-backed carpet.

Handy dandy staple gun

Be sure to have a helper to hold your staples

Wrap batting over the foam (or carpet) and staple underneath

Here's what it looks like from the top

Position your fabric where you want it. I got this gorgeous piece of decorator-weight fabric at Walmart, of all places. I didn't even know Walmart sells fabric. I hadn't even been inside a Walmart for like 5 years or something. But this was a score. $3.50 for a yard.

Staple underneath

Have your helper get her cute pudgy hand in the picture

Here it is done. Doesn't have to be pretty on the underside.
Here's the finished top!
Then I had Richard remove the legs from the old top

He used his handy dandy sander thing to remove a couple spots of rust


I could have done this whole part myself but Richard likes to have an excuse to use his tools

Have your other helper hold the spray paint
Here it is primed
Yeah, it's for cars. But you use what's on hand, right?
Next comes the black paint

Then measuring to fit the top. This is where it would have been nice if I had kept the fabric closer to the edge.

It was a pain to drill through the fabric and batting, but Richard did a great job and got the legs all even and stuff.
Finished product in our living room!

I love how it turned out, and how it looks with the other red accents in the living room.

It's even comfy to use, too.