4.26.2015

Ten Tidbits: Winter 2015

It's been a long time since I wrote a simple "here's what we've been doing" post, and it's long overdue. As I mentioned when I wrote back in January about needing to re-calibrate my priorities, I want to get back to such simple pleasures. Sadly, I haven't (yet) been successful in regaining the mental and emotional balance I spoke of back then. But that's still my goal...and I do intend to make it happen!

So today I decided I'd take a step in the right direction by sharing some of the activities we've been up to in the last few months - everyday homeschool family things, not advocacy or "politics." Of course, each of these "tidbits" could have been a full post in its own right, but this summary will have to suffice for now:

1. We've seen our former TEACHERS' TOTS FRIENDS about once a month since I closed my daycare doors last June. We really like our new routine now that we're used to it - the girls get themselves going in the mornings while I often (unapologetically) sleep until 7:00, and then we get going with our academics by 8:30. However, when I get a message asking if the little girls can spend some time with us, I have no qualms about completely re-doing our schedule for a day to see them. And I love realizing how God has provided for their family and for us since their mom stepped out in faith to quit her job and I then followed suit by closing my business when He led in that direction.
2. The girls get another "baby fix" about once a month by serving in the NURSERY at church, caring for and playing with the under-two set. Abbie also serves on the GREETING TEAM, taking a turn once a month welcoming people into the church on Sunday morning - a perfect opportunity for our little social butterfly. And Rachel has recently begun serving in the church LIBRARY once a month, which is heaven for our bookworm-girl.
3. Both girls took up KNITTING last summer. Rachel enjoys working on occasional projects, and Abbie has really embraced it! Since we got the girls knitting looms for Christmas, she sometimes knocks out one hat, cowl, or headband a day and has even sold a few. She's also recently taken to knitting purses she designs herself and has even attempted a sweater. Meanwhile, Rachel has plunged into WRITING, working not only on her blog, One Girl's Words with Meaning, but on several other projects, including contributing to the women's newsletter at church and working on the draft of a novel.
4. The girls continue to work on their PIANO skills - in fact, they joined more than a dozen other students at their annual spring recital this afternoon - and both are part of our homeshool association's production of The Sound of Music, which will be performed in mid-May. In addition, Abbie took up VOICE lessons last summer; she had her first vocal recital in February and then tried her hand at a solo-ensemble competition in March, where she sang American Lullaby.
5. We hosted our fourth annual WINTER SLEEPOVER in February, with seven of the girls' friends attending. This year's theme was Cupcake Wars, and we held a cupcake-decorating contest of sorts. But the highlight of the 19-hour event was simply for the girls to be together having silly fun.
6. On a somewhat smaller scale, the girls have been involved for about a year in a "small group" of fellow homeschooled girls they've dubbed Girls4Christ (G4C). They get together - six girls in total when all are present - about once a month, with the moms taking turns planning/hosting. It has been a sweet way to build stronger, deeper relationships that all the moms hope will carry the girls through their high school years.
7. On the other end of the spectrum, Jeff and the girls attended their annual FATHER-DAUGHTER VALENTINE'S DANCE, one of the large-group events that our homeschool group co-sponsors. Amazingly, this was their ninth dance!
8. We've been doing our READERS' WORKSHOP program for about five years now, and we will continue a version of it as we embark on high school-level work in the coming months. But the girls both recently asked if we could discontinue the post-reading book projects as we've been doing them. So each of their recently-completed books marks the last of their projects. That's rather bittersweet for me because it's yet another indication (among many others) of the girls' growing maturity. But I'm aiming to look at transitions rather than at "endings," and I have in mind what I hope will be a new, engaging, age-appropriate post-reading endeavor.
9. Speaking of transitions, the girls recently wrapped up their last "elementary" math book and subsequently launched - just this past week - into PRE-ALGEBRA. Getting to this point makes me thankful all over again for Teaching Textbooks, the curriculum we've used for a little over two years now. TT, as it's affectionately known by its devotees, truly rescued the girls in terms of math after we'd spent way too much time in another program that left them floundering. It's enabled them to learn and master concepts and really progress in a way I wasn't sure was possible not so long ago.
10. Ironically, even though we do a year-round schedule and do not aim to wrap up our various content areas at the same time, we also just finished up our Apologia GENERAL SCIENCE book, the girls' first foray into secondary-level science. We do have the next book in the series - in fact, we have the next three. However, because of our plans for high school, we'll be taking a hiatus from formal science studies until the beginning of October. I've still got a lot to do in terms of getting our Far Above Rubies program organized, but every time I think about it, I get more excited about its potential to maximize the girls' high school experience.
In addition to all this, my husband took a missions trip to Guyana - among other things, he saw live piranha up close! - and I ventured out on "little" excursions to Texas (in February) and Cincinnati (earlier this month), where I was blessed to serve as a featured speaker at two 2015 Great Homeschool Convention events; that's me, below, during one of my seminars in Texas.

But, of course, this is Ten Tidbits, not Eleven Events. So you'll just have to come back to hear about that another time!

1 comment:

Myra @ Busy Hands Quilts said...

I, too, am planning on using Far Above Rubies for my 9th grader this fall 2015. Homeschool Radio Shows (Freebie of the Day) is currently revising Far Above Rubies with a planned release of October 2015. I went ahead and bought FAR used since it was very cheap, just to get started planning in before beginning in August. I'll follow along on your blog to see how you're doing with it.

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