Monday, September 19, 2011

Beginning again

It has come and gone again...the first day of school, the departure from the leisurely days of summer and the beginning of the voyage into another year of learning and fun.  Its interesting how we do the same things over and over again and they have a newness about them each time yet a nostalgia and tradition clings to them as we remember having done it all before.  In keeping with our nostalgia and tradition, I got a picture of each one of them and then group pictures.  They have grown a lot since we started homeschooling 5 years ago!

After pictures it was right to work.  We started our day with prayer and our Morning Meeting and then moved onto Bible.  We are doing lessons from the Old Testament this year.  I have been searching for a Bible Curriculum that I liked since we started homeschooling and have yet to find one.  I am looking for something that goes through the Word verse by verse (or at least book by book) and has a great deal of application for the kids so they know that God's Word applies to them in their daily lives.  I don't want Bible to be just another subject.  God's Word is Living and True and is the foundation for everything else we do and learn.  I want it to be a source of joy and encouragement, not drudgery. In the past 3 years I have been writing my own curriculum and they have really enjoyed it but it is very time consuming and with the baby coming I knew it wasn't feasible this year.  I ended up finding something very similar to what I had been writing myself and so far I am satisfied with it and they seem to be enjoying it too.  After Bible we do Language Arts and Math.  I do math one group at a time with them while they work on Language Arts.  We are using Life Pacs for the first time this year for Language Arts. They are enjoying them so far and it is allowing Bella, Hannah and Isaac to work independently.  After Math and Language Arts it is on to Science.  We have lots of different things going on for science but we will be doing a lot of life science, especially the study of animals and the human body.  After Science they kids have lunch and recess and then they come in for Art, Music or Creative Writing (depending on the day).  After our "special" we spend our afternoon on History.  We are hoping to finish up Mystery of History this year.  We started last year but didn't get very far.  I am trying to focus a little more on History and Science this year because...well, because I want to.
The boys had to do some science experiments dealing with inclined planes for the first day of school.

The girls had to make a collection of Earth Elements by finding things around the house.  They did a great job.  I was impressed.

For Art we will be continuing to study color for a few more lessons.  They all colored their Tertiary Color Wheel and then the next week they had to color match items in nature by mixing primary and secondary colors to make tertiary colors.

They all did a great job and the girls named their colors.  They had terrific names like "summer's end red" and "Susie's gold".  I decided that it would be a fun job to name paint colors and I wonder who gets to do that in real life.
We will continue adding to our Mystery of History Timeline this year...we have a long way to go to get to the top!

The weekend after school started we headed to Monson to take part in a 5K run/walk.  It was a fundraiser for the town to support the efforts to rebuild after the tornado.  I walked with my mom, sisters, and Isabella.  A few of Kimmy's friends came and Annika joined us in her stroller too.  Because we were walkers we didn't get a number for the race but Isabella made her own little banner to walk with and I just thought it was the sweetest thing.  (If you can't see it well, it is a little man with sword facing a tornado and it says Fight Back).  We had a great time together.
After the walk we were planning to go tag sale but ended up just hanging out at my moms and enjoying the company of one another for the afternoon.

We have had a terrific time harvesting from our garden too!  We picked all of our basil and I made pesto and dried some.  I still have some fresh in a vase too.  It was a LOT of basil!
I filled a few jars with pesto...
And I plopped the rest on cookie sheets to freeze.  Once they were frozen I took them off the sheets and will keep them in a ziploc in the freezer until I need them.  They are perfect for tossing in a soup or in a pan when cooking chicken or something. 
I also dried some of it in the oven.  It smelled sooooooooo good in my house when I was drying it.  If there was a candle called Oven Dried Basil (and I wasn't allergic to scented candles) I would totally get it.

With some of the rest of our harvest I made a fresh salsa.  It got an A- from Jen's husband only because it could have been spicier.  It was really yummy.  I was going to make a cooked salsa so I could can it but it is just so yummy to eat a fresh salsa that I decided to make it that way instead.  No need to try to preserve it anyway, it was gone in a day!

On the first chilly morning we had, my boys got up and went outside bright and early to go sledding.  They requested gloves but I refused to unpack them yet so they wore socks on their hands.  They are funny boys.  Even if the colder weather doesn't bring me joy, my children's joy does.  I'm realizing that there is always something to be thankful for, in every season.  Sometimes, in some seasons, you just have to look harder for the blessings, but they are always, always there.