Saturday, December 24, 2016

lately :: fourth week of Advent ::


We've had the best snowfalls the past few weeks.  Not too much, huge gentle flakes, snow globing the house.



Monday, December 19, 2016

The Luke Turns Five (without the store clerk but with a chess cake)


Last week after nearly a year of looking forward to this birthday our Luke finally turned five!  All year long any time we went somewhere, met someone, talked about something fun, it was made part of his grand birthday plan.  We didn't do about 99% of what he had planned (there was no water slide, we didn't travel to Rome, and we decided not to invite the clerk at the grocery store) but I still think we celebrated well.  


Friday, December 16, 2016

50 Ideas to Celebrate All 12 Days of Christmas (and why more celebrating equals less stress)




There's a beautiful happy thing I've noticed the more our family has tried to live in tune with the liturgical year.  Life makes more sense.  Not only that, but the wisdom of God behind the seasons makes everything so much more peaceful and manageable.  I'm finding this especially true in recent years for Advent and Christmas and especially now as The Mom, the one responsible for organizing, orchestrating, and executing nearly all of the celebrations with so very very much happening behind the scenes to make the magic happen.  Living the Advent season as preparation and the Christmas season as celebration has been in many ways a joyful relief.


Monday, December 12, 2016

lately. {three}


Here's a bit of life lately...Advent agitation, December feasts, adorable toddlers, gaudeteing, and more.  Come on in and let's catch up...

In my head I'm loving that Advent is a full four weeks this year.  I wish my heart felt as good about it but despite the extra time I'm feeling like I just can't keep up with all the needs and people around me.  I'm sure no other mothers EVER feel like that, right?  (Lollllll.)  I don't feel as prepared as I normally do and even the decorating and things I normally love just feel like obligations to check off the list.  Which is okay.  I mean, I can do things and see that they're still good and worthy despite how I feel about it all and I know it will change.  Most likely after I get a good night of sleep or two...or possibly in a few hours.  (I maaaay be a bit moody sometimes?  I recall the husband maybe inferring that once or twice.)  But you get me.  We moms can go from feeling crazy in love to feeling just plain crazy in two seconds flat.  It'll all get done and some day I'll sleep.  In the meantime, coffee and Jesus.


Tuesday, December 6, 2016

A Simple Little Fall-Themed Baby Shower


A few weeks ago over Thanksgiving weekend we had the blessing of being able to celebrate my youngest sister and her new little one!  I hosted the shower here along with my other four sisters and mom.  We chose a simple fall theme and despite my less than optimal photography, I had to share some pictures here for posterity.  Fall is such a fun season and it being Thanksgiving weekend and still November, it was nice to get one last swig of autumn before all the Christmas lights and stockings pushed it out of the way!




Thursday, December 1, 2016

An Advent and Christmas Sacred Music Giveaway! {CLOSED}


It's been a while since I've had a giveaway here but it's time!  I love Advent and Christmas music so much.  I especially love great music and most of the albums I have aren't going to be heard on the local fluff pop radio stations.  (That's probably good because we hold off on the Christmas music until Christmas.  Last year one of the local stations that had been playing Christmas music since Halloween stopped playing it in the middle of Christmas Day so I'm glad we have a whole bunch of our own!)  

Finding music that is more Advent appropriate is tough, though!  I guess that does help punctuate the silence and quiet of the season but it's lovely to have some good music to help us enter in as well. This album and the first four tracks of this one have joined us the last few years but I am really happy to have found another album that is perfect for both Advent and Christmas.  



Tuesday, November 29, 2016

Celebrating Saint Nicholas - Filled Shoes, Golden Coins, and Secret Gifts for the Poor


I've posted a few pictures over the years but a friend recently asked if I had a Saint Nicholas post and I realized I've never actually done a post just about Saint Nicholas day around here!  How is that?  
Well, here's what we do... 


Growing up we celebrated Saint Nicholas Day every December 6, our empty shoes left in the hallway to be filled sometime during the night by "Saint Nick" and a special Mass said at school where the great saint would make a guest appearance at the end of Mass.  It only felt natural to do similar with my own kiddos from the very beginning (minus the gym teacher donned in a mitre).  So every December 5 we put out our shoes the night before to prepare for Saint Nicholas to come.  

(the baby was too little for shoes so the boys made a box for him :)

I wish we had a fireplace so very much but alas, we have to put them near the faux mantel or the window (one story we have says he threw the sacks of gold through the window).  In the morning the boys find four things:

A Christmas/Saint/Religious Themed Book

(From a few years back!)
Each child gets one new (or new to us) faith or Christmas themed book.  I buy almost everything through Amazon now but once in a while will find something earlier in the year at a garage sale or a Catholic bookstore and save it for St. Nick's.  The suggestions that Amazon gives at the bottom of a listing are really helpful for finding new books.  This is the primary way I've been able to build up our Christmas and saint book collection.  I wrap the book in simple paper tied with raffia and place it behind each shoe.  

A Candy Cane
These dye-free ones are our favorites!  (I never buy the multi pack, though, and just get one or two boxes at our local natural food store.)  The candy cane has rich religious symbolism and is perfect for Saint Nicholas.  The cane represents the shepherding of Christ but can also represent the shepherding of our bishops like Nicholas.  The red symbolizes the blood of Christ but is also a color traditionally associated with Saint Nick.  

Chocolate Coins

I'm making an effort this year to convert our chocolate consumption to fair trade and I was so excited to see that there are fair trade chocolate coins available!  This store has the best price and always has coupon codes to stack on top.  I'm pretty miserly and usually split one bag between two kids ;)

One Real Gold Dollar Coin

Last year we started a new tradition that I absolutely love.  All credit goes to Molly!  In each shoe there is a golden dollar coin.  You can go to the bank and buy them there.  With the coin is a note that instructs them to buy something in secret for the poor, just like Saint Nicholas.  So we take a trip that day to the dollar store or grocery store, the sole purpose being to buy something for someone in need - a pair of gloves, a hat, a few cans of soup, toothpaste, or whatever other thing they choose that they think can help someone.  We have a donation box at our church that goes to a downtown mission each week and whatever they have chosen can be put in the box on our next trip to church.  I just love that this places the focus of the day on modeling ourselves after Saint Nicholas rather than just on the treats!

This year I made a printable note rather than writing one out and I'm sharing it here for anyone who would like.  If you click the image below, you can download it to your computer and print it out.  It's formatted to 8 1/2 x 11 paper but you can decrease the percentage size on your printer if you'd like it smaller.  I plan on rolling it up and tying it with ribbon and placing one in each shoe.  There's also a second option underneath for those who like to pretend that it's really Saint Nicholas bringing the treats. We've never told our kids or pretended one way or the other unless they directly ask.  They don't seem to care as long as there's candy ;)    




We don't do any other treats or toys and are happy keeping it to just this much, especially with Christmas just a few weeks away.  Of course, celebrating the liturgy with the Church is the highest and best way to live the liturgical year so that should always take precedence if possible.  I sometimes will have a special breakfast in the morning like pancakes or coffee cake, though not always.  We do usually have some sort of pasta and red sauce for dinner because of the red and white symbolism (also: easy).   Greek or Turkish food might be more appropriate, though, considering that he was born Greek and presided over what is now Turkey!

So that's how we Saint Nicholas around here.  And now I officially have a post on it.

(Amazon links are affiliate links.  I appreciate so much when you buy through those links!)



Sunday, November 27, 2016

How to Punch the Devil in the Face This Advent



I've become absolutely certain that the devil hates Advent.  

When you think about the whole meaning and purpose behind this sacred season, it only makes sense. The evil one will want to do absolutely everything he can to make us forget it's here or, if we do remember, to only do so in passing or to sabotage it from the very beginning.  After all, what is the whole point of Advent?  



Tuesday, November 22, 2016

What They Don't Tell You About Preteens


I've never really been itching to do the preteen years.  I remember college discussions about what age group we catechetics majors would prefer to work with and my instinct was always toward the tiny little kids or the teenagers.  None of those popularity-minded, angsty, awkwardly self-conscious in-betweens, thank you very much.  I could only remember who I was back then, the environment and peers that surrounded me during those years and I only knew that I did NOT want that. I didn't want those ones. 

I was so wrong.  



Wednesday, November 16, 2016

lately. {two}


Here's a bit of life lately...eking the last moments out of tolerable weather, new chicks, lots of leaves, and more.  Come on in and let's catch up...




Monday, November 14, 2016

Good Vibes Don't Heal Grandma {and other thoughts on intercessory prayer in the age of social media}



I'm a big fan of social media.  It has it's drawbacks, to be sure, but overall it has incredible power for doing good, most of its potential still untapped.  I love that social media has become a common place where people can easily ask for prayers and share their needs.  In fact, I think that's one of its best purposes and perhaps the primary reason that God allowed us to access this reality - to build up the kingdom of God!  It's an amazing tool for bringing Him glory and fostering communion when used well. Being able to know what is breaking someone's heart or where they need - be it an old college friend or a stranger's sick baby or the ministry your aunt is doing - and then bring that before God is a beautiful, beautiful thing. 



Thursday, November 3, 2016

Saturday, October 29, 2016

Three Novenas for the Election (and all are invited)



Hey friends, sooo how 'bout this election, huh?  Ha, just kidding.  I know no one wants to really talk about it anymore, do they?  Most of us are pretty upset that we've been given two candidates who are...this.  It's kinda crazy, right?  I mean, if like a year or so ago, someone would've predicted that the two main candidates really would be left at these?  ANYWAY.  If anything, I think it's prompting a whole lot of us to pray and discern like never before and remember that our hope is only in Him, not in any elected official or earthly ruler.  It's a great lesson in trust and in remembering that we are not made for this world.  



Friday, October 21, 2016

Saint Costumes 101 (and a whole bunch of All Saints' ideas for boys!)



Have an All Saints' celebration coming up?  I love that we've chosen to keep the emphasis this time of year on the saints and the true feast.  Our costumes and annual party are an attempt at that goal. This is my eleventh year dressing boy saints on the cheap and I've culminated some tricks and tips along the way!  If you're not convinced you can pull off a good looking saint costume for your kiddo, I promise it isn't that hard.  If I can do it, pretty much I bet you can, too.  Beneath this list of tips are a round up of some of our saints over the years.  Please let me know if you could use any behind the scenes notes or details and I'll be happy to answer in the comments.  But overall, here are a few costume-making pointers I've picked up over the years:


Wednesday, October 19, 2016

lately. {one}


In an attempt to find the balance between capturing the moments and memories I want to record and not oversharing with the world plus not having the time to do it anyway, here's lately.  A non-obligatory, post-when-I-feel-like-it photo dump memory collection attempt with maybe some commentary and thoughts and tips thrown in the midst.  A little pictogram of life here lately.  Come on over and let's catch up...




Monday, October 17, 2016

18 Ways to Honor Saint Luke



On October 18 we celebrate the feast of the great evangelist Saint Luke.  Without him or the other Gospel writers, can you even imagine?  The world as we know it would be so very different!  We owe so much to all of them and are so in debt to the ways that they listened to the Holy Spirit and shared with us the life of our Lord.  The symbol for Saint Luke is the ox.  He was an unmarried man who devoted himself to the spreading of the Gospel with Saint Paul and recording the life of Christ and the early Church.  He is thought to have had a close relationship with Mary since there is so much in his Gospel from her perspective.  He was an educated Greek, trained as a writer, a physician, and an artist who lived to the old age of 84.  He may have been martyred but it's unclear whether that's true or not.

His feast day has become especially important to our family since we got our own ox-like little Luke just about five years ago.  I've been thinking up some more ways to honor the great saint on his feast day.  So behold my 18 ways to honor the great Saint Luke:



Wednesday, October 12, 2016

A Visit to Panama Rocks


A few days ago we got the chance to stop at the beautiful Panama Rocks on our way back home from a weekend away with the husband's family.  I'd been here years before in high school and my oldest has been begging to go since I told him about it a few months ago.  We had such a fun time climbing the cliffs, exploring caves, and averting major injury.  The hobbits tracked orcs to slay and discovered elven forests to pass through.  Gollum scurried through the cliffs and Shelob was narrowly escaped. In other words, the boys made themselves right at home.  It's since been decided that we need to live here.


Wednesday, October 5, 2016

We Met at an Altar.



I sometimes forget we met at an altar.

As Catholics, man and woman don't meet in a field or on the beach, in a forest or under the local golf course trellis.  We meet at the altar.  The structure for sacrifice.  Perhaps, so used we are to seeing them, we forget.  It is an ancient construct, one that -if we haven't forgotten- should call to mind not roses and flutters but sacrifice and death.  It is a table where life is lost and blood is spilled.  It is there - there! - where we vow our lives to each other completely, witnessed by family and friends and an ordained minister of the Church until death do us part.  Before a table of sacrifice, the Sacrifice.



Tuesday, October 4, 2016

The Briefest of Road Trip Recaps


We just got back from a whirlwind of a road trip hence the blog silence of late.  Traveling with five littles takes mucho preparation for me and then there's the post trip haze to come out of.  We drove through six states and Canada for a family wedding, making a few stops along the way.


Friday, September 23, 2016

Things You Need to Invent (so I don't have to)



Do you watch Shark Tank?  I don't watch it religiously but I really love the idea of inventors and entrepreneurs coming up with an amazing idea and getting their huge moment to pitch their ideas with the hope of making a deal and bringing their dream to life.  Except the sharks are always wrong and every time I think ohmygoodness that is the best idea EVER they HAVE to get a deal, the sharks are all, "eh, your packaging is bad and licensing stuff."  

I've had SO many amazing ideas that should see the light of day but ALAS, you guys.  I don't have the time or "capital" to make them happen.  This is where you come in. This is where you take one of my ideas and for the good of humanity, you make it happen.  You may also make millions of dollars and maybe give me a cut for thinking of it.  Let's get to it.


Thursday, September 22, 2016

Accepting What Your Homeschool Isn't




I was dreading the beginning of lessons with the boys.  At first I just thought it was because the glitter had worn off my homeschool eyes.  It's not exciting and novel anymore.  Not really at all.  Freshly ordered textbooks arriving in the mail carry with them the weight of knowing we actually have to do something with them.  I half-heartedly sharpened a new box of pencils knowing that within a week they'd be ugly and broken just like the rest of them.  It was also partly plain ol' teething toddler exhaustion, I knew.  I've been tired to the bone enough times by now to remember that the seasons of sleep deprivation will pass and that the way they darkly color my vision of life will be healed with a few good nights of sleep.


Monday, September 19, 2016

I don't deserve a baby.



I never would have thought it during the time that the grief was so bleeding raw and crippling. In the days and months after our miscarriage, I felt angry and sad and shocked and despairing.  Losing our baby ripped my world apart and it felt like it would never, ever be quite right again.  In the years since I've realized that while the grief lessened and the wound healed, the life - and loss - of that baby changed me forever.  Losing a baby taught me things that I would never have understood otherwise. Perhaps greater and more important than all of these lessons, though, is this:  I don't deserve a baby.  No one does.



Sunday, September 4, 2016

A Semi-Indian Dessert for Saint Teresa of Calcutta


It's official!  She's a saint!  So we celebrated a little last night!


You see it, right?  TELL ME YOU SEE IT.  Well, I tried anyway.  In honor of Mother Teresa's canonization, I attempted a little hint-of-Indian/hint of MoC dessert for Mother that my family would actually eat.  


Friday, September 2, 2016

The Doctrine Is Love.




With the excitement of Mother Teresa's canonization coming up on Sunday, like everyone probably, I've been thinking a lot about her life and her message.  I don't consider myself a great student of Mother's by any means.  At least, not in the ways that it counts. I've read her book, many of her words, and much about her.  I feel a little connection with her sharing a birthday and a namesake.  I hope she prays for me and I hope I can learn to love as she did. Love was her lesson and I've a long way to go.


Wednesday, August 31, 2016

Snapshots of Summer




We're still in summering mode over here for about another week or so.  Here, schools don't start until after Labor Day and we begin a little bit later than that.  This summer has gone really slowly, I feel. June feels like forever ago.  I'm ready for cooler weather and maaaybe some routine but I'm not really ready for summer to be over.  It's been a good one.  There were many times I thought we were supposed to be doing More.  Of what, I didn't know just...More.  But looking back, there were lots of little summer moments, lots of down time, lots of things that their memories will be made of.  


Wednesday, August 24, 2016

Notes from the Garden {8/16}



I haven't posted many pictures but the garden has been really really great this year.  The husband has been keeping up with it and the early summer drought actually helped us little gardeners out.  We had to water lots but the lack of rain kept all the nasty bugs away until the last few weeks so things were left alone!  


Tuesday, August 23, 2016

Hail, Holy Queen of Our Home {our little Coronation tradition}



Yesterday we had our little traditional home celebrations to observe the feast of the Coronation of Mary.  Every year we have our crowning and some sort of treat to mark the special day.  


Thursday, August 18, 2016

Feelin' the Seabreeze, Squelching the Angst, and Vindicating Fun Mom Status



This past Monday we had the chance to celebrate the Assumption and summer in an extra special way!  Thanks to the folks at Seabreeze, we had an absolutely lovely day and the boys got to experience their first legit amusement park.  For years, we've gone to Olcott and while that is PERFECT for little kids, my oldest two have now outgrown most of the rides.  I was looking at the beginning of summer for something to level up a bit for their sakes.  ::Irrational mom fear alert::  I had visions of them going off to college or something  never having gone to a real amusement park and having conversations with their friends and feeling angst-ridden and rebelling against everything I've ever taught them and resenting everything about their childhood.  Irrational maybe.  But just to be on the safe side, I figured we should get to one and make sure to document it for their future angst appeasement.  Plus, when I was younger I really loved them.  


Sunday, August 14, 2016

A Very Real Way You Can Help Our Country


(I was waffling over whether I would post this or not.  Then the above quote was the first thing I read in my book this morning.  So there's that.)

There are so many people of good will really worried for our country right now.  For years, there have been people predicting these things and praying and trying to move people's hearts and the laws of the land toward what is good.  It's not like we as a nation have been anything near a holy nation for, well...a long time.  But it seems things are coming to a head.  People on all sides of the aisle are dangerously unhappy.  The corruption is blatant, the candidates vile, legislation immoral, and followers are being manipulated into dangerous frenzy.  I won't go on here except to say that so many good people want to DO something but we feel powerless.  We're not.  I'd humbly ask that you please take fifteen or twenty minutes to listen to this and consider truly doing something that can change everything. 


He has a follow up worth listening to here:

And a little bit here:
.  


There is also a 54 day Novena for our Nation being organized.  You can find more information here.  

Do one.  Do both.  Do something.  We have power, guys.  We have a God Who can do anything and who has promised to listen to our prayers and fasting.  We're not praying for a specific candidate to win.  We're not praying for the demise of the other side.  We're praying for His mercy on us and for His will.  It may not feel like much but at the end when I'm called to an accounting for my role here, I'd at least like to say that I didn't just throw up my hands.  I'd like to say that I fought.  And whether we can see the effects immediately or not, this is the best weapon we have.  Please give it a listen and consider sharing.




Saturday, August 13, 2016

The Power of a Rite of Passage {an unexpected journey to Arcatheos}


Years ago my husband was recommended a book from a priest that really changed our perspective on raising boys.  It had a powerful impact and spoke to his heart deeply.  I read it after he did and it helped me better understand both my husband's psyche and the needs of the boys that God keeps entrusting to us.  One of the tenets of Wild at Heart is that it is written in the souls of males a need to know they have what it takes to be a man.  Especially in the western world, there is a lack of training and entryway specifically into manhood - a rite or rites of passage supported by fathers and the rest of the men of the community - as there were and are in other cultures.  The result of that lack of formation and fatherly involvement is not only deep personal wounds but a cultural crisis of manhood, one which most of us can see quite clearly.  

That rite of acceptance from their fathers and other men in the community is something that marks the change from boy into man.  Boys need a way to prove both to themselves and the community that they have what it takes and in that proving, they find the confidence and strength to be the men they are called by God to be.  It's not about machismo.  It's about building virtue and integrity and true strength of character.  

Anyway, I'm getting wordy and not all that eloquent but suffice it to say that it's been in our hearts since then that we would do what we could to provide that for our boys the best we could, though we had no specific plans how.  But the Holy Spirit, guys.  He always provides.  Always.  When we give our families and our children to Him, He is faithful and gives each of them what they need when they need it.  

--->Enter Arcatheos.


Thursday, August 11, 2016

What We're Using This Year {Our Homeschool Curriculum Choices 2016-2017}



I've been hunkering down the last few days getting a bit of a curriculum plan put together seeing that it's, oh, August and I haven't thought yet at all about lessons for the new year.  Our plan is due to the district in a few days so I'm forced to not put it off any longer.  We normally start the day or two after the Nativity of Mary (September 8). We were doing a little bit of daily math, piano, and reading in June and July but that's since petered out a bit.  It helps me to lay my plans all out here (though I skipped last year!) and people have asked what we use so here's what I'm planning on for this year for each child.  (This is subject to change, of course, should it not be working for them or me.  But THIS will be the year when everything goes perfectly and smoothly according to my original plans, I'm sure of it.
.
.
.
HAHAHAHAHAHA

Ha.)  

All the boys will continue on with Classically Catholic Memory probably during breakfast.  We're halfway through Gamma Year.  I only use the book and CD and really only do the history, religion, science, and some of the great works.  I appreciate the framework it gives for those subjects as to what is good for memorization.



7th Grade

Math:

We only use the CDs, not the book or answer keys.  (Be sure to get version 2.0 if you want it self-correcting.)  I bought our copy used off of Ebay.

Writing/Language Arts:

This is a new program for us.  I needed a writing program that was simple and self-directed and this was recommended.  I'm hoping this will fit and take a little bit of the angst away from writing.  I'm not sure if this will be an easier level than he needs but I figured to err on the side of easier and go through it quickly than too advanced and get frustrated.

Spelling:
For spelling we simply use the spelling lists provided by our local homeschool group for the local spelling bee that feeds into the Scripp's spelling bee.  He's supposed to write ten or so words, look them up, and then quiz himself.

History:

He's still working on finishing the first volume but once that is done, he'll be reading the next.  This is a dense book but he's a good reader and can handle it.  This particular child loves reading history and I really only have him read an 'official' book so I can easily record something for the district as our "textbook."

Latin:



He's about a third of the way through this and we'll be continuing on.

Science:
I don't do science formally at all.  They are doing it all day long.  I do hope to at some point get or borrow Physics 101.  We loved their Chemistry 101 series and I've heard good reviews about the Physics.

Theology:

He started this one last year as well.  I'm not certain what we'll do once he's finished.  Probably some sort of deeper Biblical history course?  I've been thinking about the Great Adventure series for years now.

Music:  
Suzuki piano lessons (book 4) from the teacher who comes to our house.

Geography:
I'm hoping to use some good online geography game/programs (like Seterra) for them all.  



4th Grade

Math:

For the younger grades, I really like Singapore Math.  Straightforward and builds upon itself.  I buy direct from the company because it seems to be cheaper and I can buy ahead and get a bunch in one shipment

Grammar:

We were using First Language Lessons the past few years and while it was okay for my oldest, I could tell that the younger two were really just giving me the right answers without it sinking in well.  Plus, they needed me right there next to them to do it.  I already had a couple of these Language of God books from previous years so we're going back to these again.  I think this child especially will do better with an easy to follow workbook approach to learning the grammar basics.

Writing:

Again, this program is new to us this year and my fourth grader will be the guinea pig who tries it from the beginning.  We'll see how it goes!

Handwriting:  Cursive
He hasn't mastered cursive yet so this is a goal for the year.  My super fancy way of teaching cursive has been to grab handwriting paper and write a letter and they fill the rest of the line with the letter.  We do a few letters a day repeating if necessary until they learn it.

Spelling:
Same as above

History:

My younger son got this new CD set and workbook from Grandma as a birthday gift.  They've already listened to the whole thing once through and will be listening lots more I'm sure.  It's very similar to Story of the World but from a Catholic publisher and with some different information and stories.  We'll also supplement with the biographies and history books from our shelves for normal reading time.

Latin:



Religion

We just read through each chapter, answer questions, and talk about it.

Music:  
Suzuki piano lessons (book 1)


I'd like to somehow fit in a little English from the Roots Up with this one and we need to focus on lots of reading this year as well.



2nd Grade

Math:


Grammar:


Handwriting/Spelling:  
Copywork from spelling list and memory work

History:  
Like I mentioned, he's been listening and will relisten to The Story of Civilization Volume 1 - Ancient World with his brothers.
He's also doing the Activity Book.

Latin:

He went through the lessons and DVDs with his older brother so I got him the workbook for him to go through this year.  I have no idea how much, if anything, he retained.

Religion:


St. Joseph First Communion Catechism
This boy should be making his First Communion soon.  We haven't formally planned it yet but I hope he'll be ready sometime this year.  (He tells us he'd like to go to the Holy Land and receive it in the Upper Room.  Ha!)

Music:
I may or may not have the older boys start teaching him some beginning piano.  Or I may possibly work it out to have him start lessons, too.  I try to have very laid back appreciation of all sorts of genres just through listening with a special emphasis on classical. (I especially love the Music Masters set...though I can't seem to find the whole 18 CD set anywhere anymore.)

Geography:

For all the kids, I really like these geography puzzles.  We don't have them all but we've gotten a few as gifts and they're good for learning basic continent and country geography.



PreK/Kindergarten

Reading:


Math:
Very informally learning addition, subtraction, skip counting, etc. through play.  If he seems ready, I may break out the Singapore Math 1A.  He's wanted to try a few times but isn't quite there yet.

Handwriting:
Similar to my style of cursive, I just use plain handwriting paper and teach them how to make each letter.  More often than not, they've already learned the basics of the letter just from trying to write and learning their abc's through different toys and play.  It's just a matter of building the skill to write it well.

Science, history, Latin, grammar, et. al. are all learned but unintentionally so at this point.



So that's the plan and I have no doubt I forgot something.  There's a ton not listed that qualifies as learning, of course, but this is the official curriculum that we're going to start in a few weeks.  It looks so fancy and organized all listed out like this...now to actually, you know, do it.

Hope you're all having a great summer!  We've got a few weeks left here that I hope to savor!


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