Tuesday, February 7, 2017

Homeschooling in February

There is a rumor going around that February is a horrible month for homeschoolers.  I am actually not sure this is true.  I know for me, May is often torture!  But It makes sense that February would be terrible.  Christmas is past, Easter is too far away.  It is simply just winter.  And often, very winter.

This year has been very different for us.  We had a very unpleasant experience trying a charter school.  The backfire of that time exploded any love I had for homeschooling.  I knew I didn't want to send my kids to brick and mortar, well, 85% sure I didn't want to.  I think there was a day when I did call some school to find out when an orientation was going to be.  But I didn't go.  I know this is my vocation, even though it sometimes really drives me batty.

I seriously considered a year of radical unschooling, and we did take three months to recover.  I spent that time contemplating what we should do and where our homeschool was going to go.  And while I love the idea of unschooling I fear I am too lazy to do it properly.  I also think that I have simply too many kids and not enough money to make it a truly successful endeavor.  I have said these things before and I find them to still be true.

So that left me in a slump.  I was just not sure where to go or what to do.  The whole situation and the following months of  nothing very constructive, had left me questioning everything about our homeschool journey so far.  I listened to a lot of advice.  But in the end I knew that a more formal homeschool was going to be right for us.

While I loved the romantic notion of everyone floating about with fairy wings garnering knowledge like a bee does honey, I knew that was not a possible reality in our hectic and busy life.  I wanted them to have time to do that, but also time to sit with serious study.  I didn't want them to miss an opportunity because the knowledge had not been presented to them.  Gaps will happen, so I am not saying I want them to LEARN ALL THE THINGS! But I wanted them to be able to presented with ideas that might not come up in our normal day to day.

I weighed all our options.  I wanted them to have a Catholic education and plenty of time to explore.  I wanted them to be challenged but also intrigued.  We have been following Designing Your Own Classical Curriculum's history timeline or RC History for a long time, but I knew that I was going to need more help this time.  I love RC History, but was always very uncomfortable that it was not complete and felt I could not use it as our main history curriculum because of that.  So I am using it to supplement the Catholic Heritage Curricula's history timeline.  I am using mostly CHC and enjoying the help the boxed curriculum is giving me.  It is actually giving us more freedom and it has taken immense pressure off of me and I feel less guilty about whether I am doing enough.  Along with Meet the Masters for art and the Life is Precious program for health, we are finally finding a good groove for us.

We have been back in the saddle for a few weeks now and I occasionally freak out and think about throwing that homeschool hand grenade, but I see how we are starting to gather steam.  We are getting it done and having more time for play.  I tossed aside a few things that were simply not working for us but I thought that we had to do and embraced things that I had neglected for too long, even while doing charter schools and such.

This February has been going amazing so far!  But then, it is more like September for us.  So ask me again in May!  Hopefully I will still feel the same.

Wednesday, February 1, 2017

My Granny Stripe

We have been so sick here lately and between trying to get better and homeschool the kiddos I have had little time to come here and update you guys on my madness.  So today I thought I would join up with Nicole and Ginny and share what is on my needles and on my nightstand!

Little Bobbins Knits and Legacy Knitz with countless others inspired me to actually start this project.  I was nervous about since it is fingering weight yarn and I'm making it for my bed!  It is a massive project but one I am totally in love with.

You can find a tutorial on Lucy at Attic 24's website.  She uses DK weight yarn but the main idea about this blanket is to try and get rid of sock yarn stash.  Now I have not made a lot of socks, I am working on that this year, but I do have a bot of fingering weight yarn, so I thought I would give it a go!

I am so in LOVE with this project.  it is so comforting and beautiful to work on.  It is also kind of a kick to see where your color preferences seem to go... or at least where they went, since it is mostly stash!

As for reading I am about to start on A Man Called Ove.  I have heard really good things.  I also recently picked up Searching for and Maintaining Peace but I am thinking I might save that for Lent.

What are you guys working?  Hopefully I will have another podcast up this week, hope to see you then!

Wednesday, January 11, 2017

On My Needles This Week

Joining Nicole and Ginny to share what is on my needles and on my nightstand this week.

This week has been a bit nuts.  We have a virus rampaging through the house.  It has been worse for others but has still taken a toll on our back to school week and, of course... my knitting time!  I know, such suffering.

I actually finished a sock.  Can you believe it?  I really enjoyed making this sock, and I will talk more about it in this week's podcast, so long as I don't succumb overly much to the illness.  But this yarn was a lot of fun.  The colors were so funky and fun.  I am also happy to announce I have cast on the second sock!  I promised myself I would not cast on a new pair until I finish this pair.  And I am dying to start working with the Holi yarn from Madelintosh that I got for Christmas.

I was working on a hat for Evie, but I just couldn't do it.  I was so bored with it and all I had done was the ribbing.  So I frogged it and decided that perhaps I needed to do some selfish knitting.  I cast on the Pasha hat and I am super excited.  I love Jane Richmond's designs.

As for reading I just finished a great 90's romance novel, Until You (which is third in a series of Judith McNaught's books).  I really have a soft spot for these older romances and they always make me long to get back to writing... someday... someday...  When I was almost done with my romance I got notice from the library that a book I had been waiting for had come in!  I loved The Snow Child, so I am thrilled to get into Eowyn Ivey's latest novel To the Bright Edge of the World.  I am hoping to start today!

Looking forward to checking out everyone else's posts and hope you guys will join me for my knitting and such podcasts on You Tube!