Lately I have noticed that we stand at a precipice. Once we step beyond it, we will be officially out of early-elementary years and into…e-le-ment-ary years? What does one call the later years of elementary? I always hear the term early-elementary and I can fully understand it. But not often is there a specific designation for the 4th and 5th grade years. Nevertheless, here we stand on the threshold between the two.
And, can I just be real for a moment? It excites me! Thrills me in all my optimistic homeschool teacher places! I know, I might be alone in that regard. But it is just SO neat to see my student ready for this.
On the other hand, she is ready for more independent learning. And I am NOT ready for that. We have been in this from the beginning, she and I. We have struggled through the harder parts of learning discipline (the tantrums, the tears, the triumphs gained at the expense of comfort). And now she is ready to take some of the reins herself and go for it.
This month I desire most for my kids not to lose sight of the cross. Not to forget the empty tomb. In a world that is focused so entirely on everything other than Jesus, I want to impart to them the beauty of the good news. We will be listening to resurrection music this month. We will be reading the story of the Passover Lamb. We will be meditating on the love brought to earth and expressed in death. I invite you to join us.
The Gathering is such an ingrained and cherished part of our family culture that when I made the announcement this week that we only had one or two more days of March’s Gathering, there were groans of disappointment. These were followed quickly by reassurance that we would have new Gatherings next month. I just love the joy my kids have in Gathering.
If this is your first month of sharing the Gathering with your family: Welcome! I pray the Gathering placemats will be a support to you as you refresh, restart, or embark on a morning time routine with your kids. They are a stand alone blessing – morning time made as simple as placing them at a table and inviting attention to them; but I know extras are always a blessing, too! Those are here today, for you.
We are limping into the last month of our winter term around here. Literally limping. I broke and sprained my ankle at the end of January and have been sporting a boot for what feels like ages. It is amazing how much life has changed by the ankle of one of us.
It feels like we have just had to cut everything down to the basic basics. And homeschool has been the priority because I don’t want to make my children suffer because I am down. We haven’t left the house for a whole lot of stuff other than our community day and Awana. I have driven our car a number of times, but we have just become homebodies in a major way.
The arrival of S-P-R-I-N-G! this month will hopefully breath freshness into our home that is palpable!
Each year we have prepared for Memory Master for Classical Conversations, I have thought about writing an article explaining our process (and my best tips). And each year (3 years) I have gotten behind and have not gotten around to it. Here we are in our 4th year of Classical Conversations and I am finally telling you my simple memory master prep thoughts and suggestions.
A word about Memory Master. This term is extremely foreign to non-CC families. When one announces proudly that Junior has achieved this accolade, the vacant smiles appear and the “Con…gratulations!?! What’s that?” start. Most people don’t understand what a HUGE deal this is.
For those of you reading this, hoping to make a similar announcement, direct your unknowning family members here and I will give a quick run-down.
Is it just me or is it hard to get back into the swing of schooling after the winter holidays? Between the various sniffles and sneezes, we have been struggling to get through our weeks. Thankfully, one of the anchors of our homeschool day is our Gathering.
I can’t point to a lot in the past month that has been successful, but I do know my kids have some songs in their hearts that point them to Jesus. They have some funny jokes they enjoy retelling. And they have some beautiful artwork in their mind’s eye to reflect upon as they lay down to fitfully sleep at night.
And I am thankful to have completed the entire year of Gathering placemats before school started. If nothing else goes right in each day, we can start with some amazing riches. I can’t wait to get to the February Gathering placemats out to share with my loved ones.
You know that thing where you are learning about a topic independently and you get so excited about a bit of trivia, you just can’t wait to share it with someone? And then their response…falls flat?
It is not that they aren’t interested (necessarily), it’s that they lack the proper context. It is impossible to express to the person sitting opposite you at a table, just how fascinating some odd fact about an obscure artist is. Or how it is funny that you never notice little things and then you see them and can’t unsee them and they rock your world.
And that’s the primary reason for learning in community. Discovery is exciting! But discovery amongst peers is exciting and encouraging and engaging. It is just the BEST!