Forgive me for my tardy post on the past two months. With a newborn in the NICU and finally returning home, these have been months of adjustment, flexibility, and change. I’ve read many posts on the Discussion Boards at SimplyCharlotteMason.com about being flexible as a homeschool mom and providing room in your schedule for “life to happen” I’m so glad I read this advice ahead of time when our life fell into chaos for a few months. We have emerged from the storm with a wonderful, sweet baby boy and two eager-to-learn children so I couldn’t be more thankful.
We are so excited because Bud finished All About Reading Level 1 last month! He has exited the lessons with an outstanding ability to read and comprehend. I wouldn’t completely attribute his success to the program, but more to his enthusiasm to learn. I am glad we went through the lessons just so I could make sure there weren’t any gaps in his phonics knowledge.
As a reward, his Dad took him up to Boulder to the newly remodeled Fiske Planetarium for a movie and Christmas laser light show. We don’t have a television in our house so I was little worried that being reclined watching 100 huge televisions would be a little like drinking from a firehose, but he had a blast. He especially enjoyed the beginning presentation on space, the planets, and the moon. He has been talking about the space station all week and building spacecraft with his K-Nex.
We continued our lessons in RightStart Math Level A. Bud is practicing writing numbers and identifying numbers up to 100. Addition was also introduced this month and this program does a wonderful job of explaining how two numbers make a sum. I wish I had done this program when I was in school – it is wonderful!
We do 2-3 math lessons a week for about 20 minutes. Sometimes if the lessons are long I will draw them out over two days. Bud loves the games and they do a great job of helping him practice his skills.
I was excited these past two months to introduce “Family Studies” to our daily routine. This includes artist, nature, and Bible Studies. Our Artist study this month was on Leonardo da Vinci which I wrote a more detailed post on here. We had a great time learning about the artist, his works, and going to a great interactive exhibit.
We also spent some time learning and reading about Moss and Lichen for our Nature Study. We set up a science and nature table to keep all our treasures and books about the subject of the month. I never noticed how many types of mosses we have in our own backyard! They can be so vivid and beautiful.
For our Bible Study this month, we spent some time reading through the Psalms. I asked Bud to choose a number 1-150 and we would read the Psalm. Sometimes a hymn or praise song would mirror the words of the Psalm and we would sing that song along with the reading.
We designed and carved pumpkins. The kids both had fun scooping all the goop from the pumpkins. This is always the part I dislike the most, but they loved it!
This Fall, Bud memorized “Autumn Fires” by Robert Louis Stevenson. It is a great poem and introduced Bud to the idea of metaphors. We talked about how the “fires” in the poem were actually fall colors on the trees. Here’s the poem:
In the other gardens
And all up the vale,
From the autumn bonfires
See the smoke trail!
Pleasant summer over
And all the summer flowers,
The red fire blazes,
The grey smoke towers.
Sing a song of seasons!
Something bright in all!
Flowers in the summer,
Fires in the fall!
Habit Training: Obedience
This is a big one! While I was in the hospital, my mother-in-law came to take care of the kids. She did a magnificent job and we would have never made it thought that month without her. It did become clear though throughout her stay, that once she headed home we needed to buckle down and really get serious about obedience.
We are following some of the advice of Elizabeth Krueger from Raising Godly Tomatoes, but leaving some of it behind (we don’t spank and go crazy sheltering our kids). Mainly, just the concept of repeating something until it is done right and with a good attitude. We have been doing role play with Bud to show him different things like “this is how you put your clothes away with a cheerful attitude…”
“Children, obey your parents for this is right.” Ephesians 6:1
It is tough (especially with another new child to add to the mix), but well worth the effort. We have seen huge improvements in Bud’s behavior even in a short time with “tomato staking”. Sometimes I can get discouraged, but I remember that God put me in this position to guide and teach my children so I need not feel guilty for doing what needs to be done to teach and model Godly behavior.
“Let us not become weary in doing good, for at the proper time we will reap a harvest if we do not give up.” Galations 6:9
Have you used the Raising Godly Tomatoes ideas? How have her ideas worked (or not worked) with your kids?