This fall has been a bit of a whirlwind. We traveled to the Twin Cities twice in less than a month. (Once to see grandparents and great-grandparents.) (Then for a dear friend's baby shower and visiting my first mama friend and her family.)
Meanwhile, I worked my way through another preservation season. Tomatillo salsa, sauerkraut, applesauce, tomato paste, tomato puree, ketchup, pickles green tomatoes, dried vegetables, etc. I am a machine. I know what to do, how to do it, and the strategies for accomplishing such a massive undertaking are in place and well-girded.
Major improvements this year included:
- Prepping multiple meals the week leading up to my 8-10 hour kitchen days.
- Sprinkling in small jobs throughout the week.
- Having a game plan in dealing with ALL tomatoes.
- Harnessing children to pick, shuck, clean, haul compost, etc.
We also started our FIFTH YEAR of homeschooling at the beginning of October. I can hardly believe that number. There is so much wonder and beauty involved with all the hard work. I am so pleased. This is the first year that I am able to so clearly see our progress. It is a structure that has taken many years to create - built bit by bit, year by year, "shoring up the base" as my Grandpa O. likes to say.
Our daily outline involves:
- Circle Time
- Math Lessons
- Reading Practice
Diego is in Year 5, Truen, Year 3, and Jamie, Year 0. The bulk of the responsibility falls on Diego and Truen, but Jamie is right there in the thick of it, insisting on having his own Math Lessons and Copywork. And his understanding and abilities are far beyond what Diego and Truen were doing at this age. Osmosis, I swear it. It is proof of Charlotte Mason's maxim "Education is a Life". Yes. When it is the very air you breathe, you cannot help but absorb it.
Together we are reading:
- The Story of the World: Book 4
- Halliburton's Book of Marvels
- Madam How & Lady Why
- The Winter of Red Snow
- Wild Animals I Have Known
- The Story of Inventions
- Biography on Isaac Newton
- Of Courage Undaunted
- Bullfinch's Age of Fable
We are enjoying these books so much. I read aloud during meal times and snack time in addition to Circle Time. They enjoy it, but I revel in it. LOVE.
Overall, I have a grip on our days and feel very confident and ready for the behemoth task of home education. It is so massive, but I am right where I need to be.
But man: getting up early. I have found myself unable to do it this autumn. It is hit and miss . . . I would say I'm at about a quarter of the time, maybe a third. It is abysmal. I am not pleased. But for whatever reason, I find myself soooo tired in the morning, sleeping in until 7:00 - 8:00 AM with all the bros. Sleeping in feels amazing, but it is grating at me. I feel a burning need for some contemplative solitude again.
Over and out.