Week in Review — December 31, 2018 – January 4, 2019

Week in Review — December 31, 2018 – January 4, 2019

Hey everybody!  How was your week?  Sickness and break time still featured prominently in our week, but we were happy to welcome Tim home and get our school space freshened up for a new school year.

Here are a few things I hope you’ll take away from this post:

  • Studying modern artists and composers highlights the value of the classics.
  • Reading together as a family is a catalyst for connection.
  • It’s okay to learn a task right alongside your kiddos.

MONDAY — I’m still feeling so sick today. Grr. Between rest times, I manged to get through laundry and home tidying, so at least I can be sick in peace. Anybody else feel physically worse when you your kitchen is overrun with dirty dishes?

Once things were tidied up and I rested again, I was able to finish listing the school resources we’ll be using this year. I wanted to have them all listed in the front of my planner for quick reference. I’m just not a spreadsheets-bring-me-joy kinda girl, so bright colored markers in my planner it is.

I also continued working on our artists and composers for Art and Music Appreciation. This part usually takes me a while. Sometimes I used the artists and composers laid out by Ambleside Online. This is an awesome resource, by the way. But we’re mixing things up this year.

We’re going to alternate classical composers and artists with modern ones. So, to start out this new school year we’re going to listen to some of the music of Dave Bruebeck and look at the works of Robert Smithson. This’ll be cool. Smithson’s Earth Works in particular are pretty wild. These were on Tim’s list of interesting possibilities, and I totally agree. It’s fun to show kids how artists and musicians build upon the classics and give them their own twists.

Colors make me happy. As does having a quick reference to what materials I’m choosing from each week. I’m sure I’ll be adding to this as we go along.

TUESDAY —  Again, I was feeling really sick. Today was all about resting, podcasts, Legos and Chopin. It was desperately needed.

WEDNESDAY —  Rookie Woman really helped me out today. She offered to take Tiny Tyrant along with her in volunteer work. As Tiny is feeling good, she was more than happy to get out of the house, and Man Cub was not unhappy to have me to himself.

It’s crunch time here as far as getting school stuff organized, so we worked together between rest periods to get stuff together. We cleaned and tidied our school space (which at this time is our living room), and got all our materials together in the one room.

Now we have chairs for snuggling and chairs for working. And the plants make me smile!

We put together a simple work area and moved other furniture around too. The result is a calming, practical space that’ll bring us joy and value for the upcoming months. When we finished, we grabbed blankets, curled up and surveyed our work with satisfaction. I feel so much better mentally having that done!

Best of all, Tim came home today! After being gone for 10 days, it’s nice to have him back in the house. We all spent some time hanging out this evening, just enjoying each other’s company. If you want to see the crazy diving Tim was up to, there’s a video in yesterday’s What’s Up? post.

THURSDAY —  We’ve been participating in the 31 Day Read Aloud Challenge this month. We started our morning snuggled in the living room with our books. Tiny Tyrant is a very new reader, but is massively excited to be participating. She read to me from a couple of her BOB books, and Man Cub followed up by reading from Little House on the Prairie.

When he finished his 10 minutes, I stepped in and read for a while. Reading aloud from the Little House books is a gift for reader and listeners. When my family spends time together reading about the lives of a family who spent all their time together…sigh…it’s a catalyst for connection. I know — I’m gushing. But it’s be so good.

We also did our big grocery shopping for the month, and I am ridiculously excited to announce that for the first time in five years, it felt manageable! I think we’ve rounded a corner. I don’t expect every shopping excursion to be this smooth, but at least now I know that it can indeed happen. Good things here!

While we shopped, we did mental math and narration. I asked the kids to tell me all they could remember about something they’ve watched on TV lately. (Seeing as we’ve been sick, they’ve seen a lot of educational television.) I was stunned by some of the cool things they shared with me and how they worked together to fill in details. Three cheers for narration!

FRIDAY — I did a bit too much the past few days, so I’m trying to lay low today. We started the day with our Read Aloud Challenge again, this time featuring BOB books, Sir Cumference and the Dragon of Pi, and more Little House on the Prairie. The kids decorated their Read Aloud Challenge calendars and marked the days this month they read aloud. Then I spent some time with Tiny Tyrant demonstrating crocheting with just our fingers and the yarn. Man Cub was up next. I demonstrated crocheting with the needle and he kind of took off with it.

Seeing as I just started teaching myself recently, I don’t know that much about crocheting. However, I learned just enough to get the kids started and then we can all learn together. I’m hoping that Man Cub will enjoy crocheting. He desperately needs to be doing things with his hands, moving in some way. It would be great if crocheting turned into something he can do while I read aloud to him during the school year. We’ll have to see how that goes.

Man Cub was tickled at how easy he found crocheting. Now let’s see if I can use that craft to keep his hands occupied so his mind can listen…

So, that was what our week looked like: Sickness and break time still featured prominently in our week, but we were happy to welcome Tim home and get our school space freshened up for a new school year.

What about you?  Did you notice the things I mentioned at the beginning of this post? 

  • Studying modern artists and composers highlights the value of the classics.
  • Reading together as a family is a catalyst for connection.
  • It’s okay to learn a task right alongside your kiddos.

A good balance of classical and modern artists/composers give us a well-rounded view of the humanities and can spark amazing conversations. The act of spending time together with our children in a good story fosters connection — between each other and with ideas. Don’t be afraid of not having all the answers. We don’t have to master a skill before sharing it with our kids. There’s power in learning together.

I hope you have a great weekend!

Leah

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