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homeschool

Growing Up

A New Gathering

This entry is part 10 of 10 in the series Gathering

It has been such a long time since last summer when I created a year’s worth of Gathering Placemats for the 2019-2020 school year! My little idea to create simple placemats to share beautiful things with my kids was inspired by my desire to create a morning time routine that worked for us and didn’t make too much work for me! The original placemats were inspired by my kids love of reading the backs of cereal boxes.

Thus, as I sat down to start making the Gathering Placemats for the summer of 2020, I had all sorts of ideas of where to go with them. But it was my kids who once again inspired me and the result are these simple Gathering: Birds Placemats.

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Growing Up

Simply Independent Reading

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.

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Growing Up

January 2020 Gathering Extras

When I started creating the Gathering placemats, they were intended to be a way to connect with my kids effortlessly. They were a labor of love to be sure. But once they were completed, I printed them out (and laminated them) and put them out for my kids to enjoy. They are a complete resource in themselves, but there are times (as with all homeschool things) where they serve as a jumping off point for more discoveries, more treasures. Thus, I humbly offer those who are Gathering with their family each month, some extras. Here’s the list for the January 2020 Gathering.

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Growing Up

Saxon Math Strategies to Stay on Track

This entry is part 1 of 7 in the series Homeschool

Lately, I have become obsessed with streamlining our Saxon Math experience. From the prep and planning to the actual doing of Saxon Math. I am looking for ways to make it easier on us as a class.

Currently our classroom (one-room schoolhouse style) includes 2 students – one in Saxon Math 1 and the other in Saxon Math 3. I am trying to teach both of them their different lessons at the same table at the same time.

We start together on the morning math meetings. Then they rotate in to be taught their lessons while the other is working on some sort of math practice. It works for us.

But I am always looking for that extra something that makes it even easier to teach my students.

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Growing Up

Bringing Saxon Math together with CC

This past summer the Classical Conversations topic for Practicum was Math. Groaning on the inside a bit, I attended each of the three days, stretching my brain a bit further each day. I had epiphanies – seriously – about math – I didn’t think it possible! And I enjoyed the challenge more than I would have thought. It was surprising for my history-literature-language loving self.

Another surprise from the three-day Practicum was the frequent aspersions cast upon my math curriculum of choice: Saxon Math. Now, I didn’t feel personally attacked, but I began to wonder, “Should we have chosen a different curriculum? Are we going to have to change it up later on?” And I was a bit saddened by that.

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Growing Up

Simply Organizing All About Spelling

This entry is part 5 of 7 in the series Homeschool

Who knew teaching spelling to my girls would become one of my favorite parts of our day? And who knew that given the opportunity to have an uninterrupted conversation with my husband on a recent “date night,” the conversation would turn to a detailed discussion of various spelling rules? My life, it seems, has recently been organized around spelling and spelling rules. I have Marie Rippel’s All About Spelling curriculum to thank for that!

As I said, it has become a touchstone in our homeschool day. So much so that my 3 year old begs to be part of it. I oblige him at the end of our spelling time, and he is really becoming proficient in spelling simple words by sounding them out.

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