Thursday, September 9, 2010

A Whirl of a Catch Up

 I had all of these amazing posts started about all the changes we have made and loved.  I'll just have to bullet list them here for you because it doesn't look like they are going to be written or finished. (I'll post later on today about why).
  • We still have individual scripture study, journal, prayers (and personal prep) time before breakfast.  We now call this "Foundation Study Time."  Referencing we are building our foundation on Christ each morning (Heleman).
  • We eat breakfast. Green Smoothies.  Love them.  Even Determination is partaking.  It's been a good 5 months since we started.  He was just having oatmeal or another hot cereal.  Now he has an orange juice, banana and 1 spinach leaf smoothie.  He has requested we had a little more spinach every day along with some flax seed.  He still is not prepared to do the strawberries, blueberries or other mixed fruit.  That's the best part though!  So we are proud of him considering he has an aversion to all things healthy that are not a grain or a legume. (meaning all fruits and veggies) This is an example of teach them correct principles and let them govern themselves.  He understands the why and now after 5 months he has mustered up the courage.
  • We still have Family Scripture study after/during breakfast.  We still do our weekly goals and our weekly scripture memorization. We call this "Family Foundation Study Time."
  • We have added "Grammar School" to our line up.   We start with song, prayer, more songs, memorizing "Living Christ," everyone sharing a scripture/thought with history from their morning scripture study, then we have another family scripture study (we've been taking our sweet time doing the Creation-a day every day-I am determined to focus exclusively on the Creation, the Fall, The Atonement and Plan of Salvation right now), math (Life of Fred  for the older two, Saxon for the younger two until they are ready for the first Life of Fred book), piano practice rotating, copywork for littles out of the  Book of Mormon, (Dictation when they are a little older), essay assignments for Liberty, and spelling words from the Book of Mormon.  We are exclusively focusing on the 3 R's right now.  Because I jumped off the conveyor belt 8 months ago I have an entirely different mindset.  I am enjoying every second of this time.  We just do whatever we get to.  Sometimes we do all of it and finish at 11.  Sometimes we spend an hour discussing 3 verses in the Bible and we don't get everything "done."  I DON'T CARE THOUGH! Whew! That's an improvement for me and my check off lists.  Liberating you know.  I am finally just BEing with my children.  I am following the spirit to know what we should discuss.  Oh, life is good this way.
  • When you graduate from "Grammar School" you get to have your Scholar or whatever you want to call it course written up.  We haven't made it this far yet.  I'm envisioning that we will fast together with the youth and go to the temple with them. (Since they have standing youth recommends).  We will discuss what we think they need to focus on to prepare for their life.  Liberty (12) is really almost there.  She is checked off in spelling and reading.  She needs a little work in composition.  We've decided that passing arithmetic means finishing the first two Life of Fred books.  (Oh, and in the olden days they called it the 3 R's. Reading, Writing and Arithmetic. They didn't call it math.  I'm a slow learner).
  • When my children do their spelling and their math they do it all on lap wipe boards.  We are minimizing here by not needing extra paper.  They enjoy the variety of this.  I give them a spelling word and then they write it down and "reveal" their answers.  Sometimes we have guessing game drills.  I know you are surprised.  We thrive on facts in this house.  I'll say what is the date of the dedication of the Kirkland Temple or something and they'll write their answers down and then they reveal and see if they got it right. We use paper for composition and copywork.
  • We have a reading hour after lunch.  We usually exceed this.  The older two boys really needed the "forced" time to read.  This sounds horrible I know.  They are loving it now, because they have pushed through their reading levels.  Determination (10) has read Mrs. Frisby and is 1/2 through a Narnia in the last week.  He is reading every spare minute he can now. Imagination (9) has read a Narnia and he is busting through  The Hobbit with ease this past week.  Determination didn't like doing hard things before now he's pushed through that and Imagination doesn't mind doing hard things but he get distracted and starts a new book every day.  That is solving their problems.  Leader (8)-the one that doesn't like being told what to do-is reading with me during this time.  We've had some tears and some sadness but he is fast improving.  He knows I love him though and he is trying hard.  When his time is up he'll say, "Mom I did it! I did a hard thing!" He is gaining a lot of confidence.  Reading for Liberty is a piece of cake.  She asked if her scholar studies could be composed of her just reading literature for all hours of the day. I smiled and said we might need some sewing, canning, childcare, etc skills in there.
  • We do our family work in the afternoon.  We were being too lazy in the afternoon.  Breaking it up helps "wake us up."
  • Our cleaning is going super.  We are only using baking soda and vinegar to clean.  We still need the castille soap to make laundry detergent so we haven't done that. Liberty loves cleaning this way.  I doubt we will every go back.
  • We have changed our eating.  We still have our green smoothies as I mentioned.  We no longer have lunch at noon.  We have dinner at noon.  We have our big meal of the day at mid day.  At 5 or 6 PM we have super.  This is how all the old timers use to eat.  I remember my grandparents eating like this.  We all ready have noticed a huge difference in how we feel!!!!  Since we don't eat 'lunch' gone are the sandwiches, macaroni and cheese, hot dogs, chicken nuggets and all the nasty lunch food.  I mean the mentality to eat lunch food is gone.  We have whatever we were eating in the evening at noon now.  For super we have corn on the cob or bread and milk.  Whatever. Very simple, very light.  It's amazing to me that we really aren't hungry for super anyway.  We go to bed with lighter bellies.  Mr. Patriot is only home in the evening to eat with us about half the time anyway.  He usually eats left overs for noon and 5 anyway.  We will still enjoy great noon time dinners on Saturday and Sunday together though.  Mr. Patriot is the biggest advocate of this change and has noticed the most difference.
  • We still do geography and history at every meal.  That is simply a way of life for us.  They also continue to focus on their memorizing lists only because they want to.
That's all I can think of now.  I 'm off to pack.


Mr. Smith said...

Wow. Can't wait for the children to be older and pregnancies to be completed - that sounds like fun!

Hrmm, in the meantime, I'll return to just enjoying BEing with my kids now so that I, hopefully, won't miss these times later. :D

Yvette said...

Do you have a recipe for green smoothies? I think it sounds just like what my kiddos and I need to start our day with!!!

Karen said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Karen said...

Sorry, I wrote a comment on my iphone and then when I posted it - I noticed all my typos - so I'm posting it again :-)

Here is what I said:
This is funny because we have also started eating differently - we're doing a "brunch" around 10am (everyone can snack on fruit if they want before that - I'm trying to decide if I want to make the smoothie in the morning or if I should wait until brunch and have it with something). Then we eat our big meal at around 3 - and then supper in the evening. It's taking some adjustment and we don't always do it like this, but I like the concept - and knowing that you're also trying something like this gives me an extra push to do better.

Thank you for all the great ideas in this post. I've been wanting to write about all our changes for the fall, but I keep adjusting things here and there to find what works best - so I don't have a solid idea of how it looks yet. I loved reading about what it looks like in your home though - thanks for sharing!

Jenni Taysom said...

Thank you so much for posting so many details. I am trying to figure out life for me and my family. I know that I am doing the right thing by keeping them home with me, I just have had a hard time trying to figure out the details. I was first drawn to homeschooling by TJed, and then listened to and watched the DVD of Celestial Education (plus a lot of other homeschool methods and theories). All the principles draw me to them, but I am/was so unsure how they should look in real life. As I have lurked around on people's blogs I have felt drawn to certain things and found myself unable to "recreate" things that feel to forced or structured - it doesn't work for me and my kids won't go along with it.
So with all that blabbing I'm simply saying thank you to you so many specifics. I find that I learn the most from those that have been on the homeschool journey for awhile, as they learn what works for them. Most of all this helps me understand that I will have my own journey and will learn and discover and grow along the way - that is part of the process, none of us can just "arrive" and "do it right". It's really about the journey and seeking for my own family what we are to be doing. Just the same, it helps to see examples and find those that embody the ideals I see as important and give me a visual of something to try and have some place to start.
Thank you.

Kellie, said...

Your house sounds just like what I am hoping for. Mine are all little still (oldest is 6.5). I love your ideas and focusing on the plan of salvation is so genius.

Tricia said...

I love it. So interesting.

We have our green smoothies in the evening with dinner now- for the last 6 months. We all crave the cool, refreshing drink with the hot meal. Whenever I skip it at dinner, the kids protest. (!)

Your housing adventure tops everything. I'm almost envious! Can't wait to hear about life in the teensy-weensy cottage! And what your idea of an "inheritance home" is.