Hooligan Zoo

Two Zookeepers… many Hooligans… It's always feeding time at this zoo!

Simplify…….

September is like the new year for me. I don’t get the urge to tidy, purge, clean, organize, or anything else until September. Spring comes and we live on, content in our squalor. January comes, and we continue on as we have been. For me, the urge to make big changes comes in September.

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I’ve been homeschooling for a while now. Well, Zi is 10 (Lord help me), and has never been in school. Some would say I’ve been homeschooling for ten years now.

In those early days, when I was still stuck in the must do school at home phase, I researched and researched. Then I met Sylvie, and Sylvie turned me onto Charlotte Mason.

I was floored. Absolutely floored that you could teach your kids by using literature. That it didn’t need to be a big set of worksheeted curricula, they don’t need to be sitting at a table 8 hours a day, doing penmanship and all the other things.

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The reason we wanted to homeschool in the first place was because we wanted our children to above all else learn to love the Lord and to know how to live their lives for him. That, and we wanted them to love to learn.

And then? I was seduced. I was seduced by all that fancy and lovely curricula that’s out there. The Charlotte Mason method wasn’t enough, I also thought I needed a science curriculum. And then a history curriculum. And oh my, if we don’t have a proper timeline on the wall, then there’s no way our hooligans would know when anything happened. What about geography? Better get something else for that. And then there’s grammarandspellingandmathandandandand…

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I cruised blogs with large lists of different curricula for each child. Schedules, timing, tests… all those things that are simply not. me.

The problem? I didn’t pull those things off the shelves. Or I did, and we did them for a little while, and then we just didn’t do anything. I was overwhelmed. I had strayed so far from the method and system that originally worked for us, that I didn’t enjoy homeschooling.

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It wasn’t even a battle. It was me, all me, and all my reluctance to do all those expensive things that we now had on our shelf.

I felt like it was forced. It was forcing their learning, it was forcing me to do things I didn’t want to do. We were bordering on school at home, and then why was I homeschooling at all?

After much discussion with Ja, and much encouragement from a homeschooling mom who has been there, we decided that this was the year we’ll throw (most) of it out the window.

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I firmly believe in the Better Late than Early mindset of learning. I believe in nature based learning. I believe that kids (at least my kids) learn best by doing, by living, by reading living books. I believe that everyone has something that will work for them, and just because it does work for them, does not mean that I have to make it work for me.

We’re going back to those roots. If you are using this curriculum for this, and that one for that, and you love it, and your children love it, then I am happy for you. I, however, will not be seduced any longer. I am going to use what works for us, what we love.

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So, here’s the way we’re doing things this year. My list, as it were.

We have a bible. We’re going to read it.
We’re going to be using JUMP math.
We’re going to continue with Spelling City (mostly because the kids think it’s fun)
We have a huge selection of historical novels, fiction and non-fiction, all living books.
When we read those books, we’re going to plot the events that happen in the hooligans’ timeline books.
We’re going to plot things that happen on the map.
We’re going to see where things take us. Super interested in dinosaurs this week? Let’s see what other info we can find on it.
We’re going to read read read.

The kids each have four books in their boxes. Every day they choose two of those books to read independently, and tell me what happened (narrate), draw a picture, put an event on their timeline, or whatever they decide.

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And? That’s it! Simple simple simple. I’ve provided good books. We have shelves and shelves of them. As soon as I made the decision, I felt a huge sense of peace float down over me. The hooligans are more relaxed. I’m more relaxed. This is how it should be right now. And for that I’m glad.

Our theme this year is Simplify. Now to just pray that I won’t be swayed from that.

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Supermom

A few weeks ago, we had some friends over for tea and dessert.  We were sitting around the table just chatting and laughing, getting to know each other better.  At one point, one friend said, “wow, you really are Supermom.”

It stopped me in my tracks.  I laughed, and just sidestepped what I assumed was meant to be a compliment, changing the topic, moving on.

Supermom?  Me?

I homeschool my kids, sure, I cook healthy food, for the most part, we’re involved in our church.

My kids are reasonably well behaved and articulate little monsters when we’re out in public.

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But, I think that calling me Supermom?  It puts down every other mother who may be doing something different in their parenting journey.

I think the woman who works all day, comes home, does homework/housework/quality time all in an evening is also a Supermom.

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The single mother who struggles to make ends meet, yet still manages to let her kids know that she loves them?  She is Supermom.

The woman who occasionally loses it and yells?  She is also a Supermom.

The one who spends six days a week in some arena or another?  Supermom.

The homeschooling mother who occasionally lets weeks go by without doing anything official for school?  She is Supermom.

 Funny faces for AmyJ

I don’t think that what you do with your kids is what makes you a mother.  If you let them fingerpaint in the dining room, even though it’s winter, if you grind your own flour, bake your own bread, have a 5 acre garden.  If your five year old is doing algebra, that is not what makes you a Supermom.

Women, especially mothers, are the worst group of people that I know of for comparing and judging each other.  We only let the “good” parts of ourselves shine out, so that when people see us, they don’t have a chance to know about the giant pile of dirty laundry in the laundryroom.  Or the fact that you had macaroni and cheese three days in a row.  Or that you haven’t picked up the math work in at least two weeks.  We don’t share that, and it makes us each think that every other mother on the face of the earth has it together… and we don’t.

When we are only portraying our Supermom traits?  And yes, we all have them, we are doing a disservice to other mothers.  We all struggle.  We all can only make it with the help of someone higher.

Here’s the truth of my Supermom-ness this week.  Monday was the only day we got dressed.  We have had oven baked fries twice this week, and eggs and toast for dinner the other nights.  The laundry is piled up.  The kids have watched an entire season of Little House on the Prairie in just a few days (and I am totally calling that our history lesson.)  My bathroom has mold build up in the shower and the walls, and I can’t get the disgusting crusty scum out of the toilet.  My kitchen floor is sticky from a maple syrup spill that happened on Monday.  Most days this week, I couldn’t be bothered making sure that the hooligans had brushed their teeth before bed.

Do I sometimes have it all together?  Sure I do.  But, most often?  I do not.

If your children go to bed at night, knowing that they are loved unconditionally.  If your children are raised with a love of the Lord, wanting to serve Him, knowing that He created them, and that He has a plan for them, then you, you are Supermom.

Even if your cape is a little tattered and torn.

 Funny faces for AmyJ

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Mr. Literal

We were blessed with a son seven years ago.  A lovely boy who is really all boy.  Tree climbing, hammer using, accident prone boy.

It’s kind of a funny thing, how much like his father he is.  Once, when I was in University, I had written an essay on a poem.  English major over here, so I am very flighty, very much see things in all different colours.  Can often argue both sides of an issue, and agree with both sides.  I had worked very hard on this essay.  It wasn’t a long one, but I had transferred from College and really felt like I had something to prove.

Handed the essay to my loving and sweet fiance.

Waited anxiously while he read the four or five pages.

And fell into sobs when he handed it back with a careless, “No.  That’s not right.”

Not right???  Not right????  It’s about a POEM!

*ahem*

I married him anyway, but I may still be harbouring some bitterness about that whole situation.

BUT.  That brings us to yesterday.  Yesterday and working on Explode the Code with my lovely, intelligent, and very literal son.

It was a pretty simple activity, really.  Reading comprehension.  You read the sentences and had to put an x in the yes or no box.

The sample question was,

“Can a sled fly in the sky?”  and the NO box was nicely x’d.

Then we move to the next question was, “Can he fry an egg in a pan?”  After some discussion over whether it should be a check or an x in the YES box, he happily checked it and moved on.

And then, oh then, dear Explode the Code writers, then you threw him for a loop.

“Will Sam cry if he is sad?”

Eph: hm.
Me: What’s the matter, buddy? You read that really well.
Eph: Well… Momma, I don’t know if he cried. Sometimes things are really really sad, and they make you cry, but sometimes they aren’t that sad, and then you’re just sad without crying.
Me: But, usually if you’re sad, then you would cry, right? I think that’s what the question is asking you.
Eph: **** blank stare **** But Momma, it’s not ALL THE TIME.
Me: **** blank stare ****
Eph: *sigh* Well, I think I’m just going to have to check both boxes.

And he proceeded to put a check in the YES box, and an X in the no box.

Things went fairly smoothly after that, until we got to “Will we trap a bad spy?”  In which a lengthy discussion on how you know if a spy is bad, how you would go about catching him, the possibility of attempting to catch said spy and then failing, which would mean you wouldn’t actually trap him…  all leading to the check in the YES and the x in the NO.

What did this entire exercise teach me?

There is no way on God’s green earth that I am going to teach this boy any grammar “rules”.  There is always an exception, and I fear those exceptions might actually make his head explode.

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The REAL New Year started last week

I say bah to January 1st being the new year.  I also say bah to spring cleaning.  In this house?  The organizing bug hits mid August.  Just in time for the new school year to start in September.

I cleaned out cupboards, we painted bedrooms.  I sorted through all the homeschool books.  Set up schedules and binders.  Printed out a ridiculous amount of stuff in prep.

I’m hoping to start posting a wee bit more, altho, when I say that, then I never do, so we shall see.  Perhaps reading Lisa’s posts will inspire me in some way?

But, today, what I wanted to talk about was this nifty new thing we’ve been doing in our house.  It’s like a communication journal.  The purpose behind it was to get the hooligans to do more writing.  What’s interesting is that it has become so much more than that!

Each hooligan has a journal.  We started out with me writing a little letter to them in the front of the journal, explaining what it was, and asking them to write me back when they wanted to.  I also explained that we might not write in it EVERY day…  I didn’t want to get bogged down in it being another “have to”.

And this is where the kids surprise me.  As they do with every second of their lives, it seems…  I thought that it would be Zi who was mega into it, writing all the time…  but it has actually been Eph!!  He LOVES it, and actually is very conscientious about writing us back in a timely fashion.  Talya ripped all of the pages out of hers, and cut them into confetti.

Sigh.

Here are some wee little examples…  with translation as needed.

Communication Journals

And the response,

Communication Journals

Dear Momma,

I finally wrote back to you and I’m pretty sure that you didn’t cry yourself to sleep.  I love to write back to you cuase I like to write.  Please send me an extra long letter today.  Thanks.  Love, Zi

And this is one of my favourite ones from Zi,

Communication Journals

Dear Momma,

Thanks for taking us to the beach.

I really want a pair of binoculars so I worked out a deal.  I could not have attitude for two weeks, and after that I could get a pair of binoculars.  It might not work too good, but I could try.  Love, Keyzia.  PS.  Please don’t say, “we’ll see”, okay?  Thanks.

So, of course, I responded thusly,

Communication Journals

((She did it, btw… very little attitude for two weeks. Now, however? Not so much. ))

And Ephraim. Oh Ephraim. His letters are phenomenal… even if it often takes both Ja and I to figure out what he’s saying!

September 166

Dear Momma and Daddy,

I’m working on a book that you might like.  And I think that is what I want to be, A writer.  Love, Ephraim

Ja responded to that one with this,

September 167

And one more from Eph,

September 165

Dear Momma,

I’m sorry to say that I couldn’t think of a story.  Maybe tomorrow or next week.  I hope you understand.  Well, that is all I have to say.  Love, Ephraim.

These are seriously one of the greatest things that we’ve started and stuck with in our house.  Probably when Talya is older, she’ll be a little more inclined to not make her notebook into confetti.  😉

I just love how little nuances of their personality comes out in what they choose to write to us.  It’s become a really positive and encouraging thing all around.  Even if it’s been a rough kind of day, to come up with something positive to write in the notebooks is a good way to end the day on an up note, instead of dwelling on the crappy wishIcouldputthemonthebus parts.

Stay tuned for the organizational/scheduley type things coming up soon!

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School time, Chores and Schedules, OH MY! Part 1

Some people think that I’m fairly structured with how our day goes in this house, other people think I’m pretty fly by the seat of my pants. I’ve been floundering a bit lately, so a good friend and I have been hashing out how we can make our days run a little more smoothly.

The main problem that we were finding we were having was that we weren’t getting to the fun stuff… the stuff that you tend to really want to do, but feel it has to wait until the “must do” stuff is finished with.  We were also having a hard time keeping up with chores…  laundry mountain was threatening to take over my life.  (it’s still threatening, but the whips and chains seem to be helping keep it at bay.)

I had worked out a schedule where we were doing a different “fun” topic each day of the week.  It wasn’t working…  I felt like we were jumping all over the place, never able to stick with one thing for long enough to make it worthwhile.  Not to mention that I was still only hitting those subjects about half the time…  and, if it was a rotten day, that we all have, then it would be a good long time before we hit that subject again.

But, that’s the beauty of homeschooling, right?  That we can tweak and nudge however we need to… and keep on tweaking until it fits.  Until, of course, some dynamic changes and the routine needs to be tweaked again.

That being said, here’s the new schedule that we are just trying this week.  I think some things are going to need to be moved around and tweaked, and I have already had to realize NOT to be too attached to the time.  I’ve also gotten some fabulous advice from the woman who suggested homeschooling to me in the first place, Heather, at OMSH.

I think that the idea of teaching our children to teach themselves is something that we want to aim to as well.  Which means that Zi now has a chart put in her box with the list of her readings for the week on it.  She gets to choose what she reads when, and she is going to have to learn to factor in that we are NOT at home all the time.  Good time management lessons that I’m still learning as well.

The first thing I did was waste an hour looking for a ready made template on the web that I could just fill in.  sigh.  Will I never learn?  Then I jumped into the spreadsheet program and made my own!

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I wanted one that went in half hour increments, even though I didn’t want to be crazily tied to times.  And really, like Ja said, this is pretty much the order we tend to do things anyway, but I wanted to make sure that we got all the extra things in there as well.

We just started the routine on Monday, and Monday went really well.  Tuesday, I kind of crashed and burned, and we didn’t follow too much of it.  Wednesday we had some people over, and I was babysitting, so I need to rework it a little bit so that I have a different one for when I’m babysitting.

What’s interesting is that the kids LOVE having the schedule up where they can see it.  They like to know what’s coming next in the day.  I’ve always known that about Ephraim, but I’ve been surprised by how often Zi refers to it.  It takes out (some) of the wishy washy nature of our days.

I’ve also been making a real attempt at menu planning again too.  When I did it before, I had all the meals on magnets, and could just move them around on the fridge.  I, of course, lost those magnets, and have not gotten around to making more, so I’ve just been printing them out off the web, and filling them in (although, I really think that I’m going to make my own template for this too…  I would like a two week template that starts on a Saturday, to go along with our grocery day.).

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So, that’s part one of our scheduling post…  part two, when I get around to it, will be about how we’ve changed the schooling rotation.

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Home again, Home again, Jiggedy Jig

We aren’t really a traveling family.  I like to be at home, even amidst laundry mountain, and we’re generally too cheap to travel far from home.  Also?  I don’t sleep well in beds that are not my own.  It’s a quirk of mine… ((I like to think it’s endearing…))

So, for us to do a trip, moderate for most families, where we were away for four days was a pretty big deal.

We, Ja and I, pawned the children off on my lovely sisters, and went to OCHEC.  I can’t even say how uplifted I was, how challenged I was, how amazing it was.  To be in a building with 1000 other like minded people, to be able to talk to perfect strangers about the joys and challenges of attempting to educate your children at home…  it was just… it was awe inspiring.  I’m not sure that I have the words to say how great it was.

Sadly, I don’t have a lot of pictures to regale you with… suffice it to say, hooligan number three did not make it all the way to Kitchener…

She didn't make it

Also? I am alllllllll turned around on the TVs in the car thing. Whew, it sure was a quiet trip up!! And, for 12 total hours of driving over the weekend?? The only mistake I made was not packing enough movies!

OCHEC was in Hamilton, and there were several of our friends from here in Peterborough that we met up with.  We stayed with two of my sisters in Kitchener, and drove to Hamilton each day.

We hit the seminars, trying to split up so that we could do as much as possible with as little overlap as possible.  The highlight seminar for me??  Oh my, it was without a doubt John Stonestreet from Summit Ministries.  I could not possibly write fast enough to keep up with all that he was saying.

His subtitle to the talk was For What are We Responsible as Christians?  Oddly enough something that a few of us have been discussing in our own groups of late.

Mr. Stonestreet talked about culture, about the effects of culture on Christians, and the effects of Christians on culture.  He talked about how the point of our faith should be that it becomes the lens through which we see the world more clearly.  He talked about knowing the gospel first, then knowing the culture and translating it in terms of gospel.  He talked about preparing our children to know the gospel so that they can influence culture.

He made this “radical” statement,

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Any educational endeavor that

seeks to hide kids from the world

is not a Christian one.

Wow.  The conundrum with sheltering versus having our children be a light to the world has been one where I have struggled, where Ja and I have both struggled very much of late.  I don’t think anyone can argue that culture in North America is where you want your children to be immersed whole heartedly… but, Mr. Stonestreet said they have to KNOW about culture and cultural norms in order to be able to be a part of it, and yet still be grounded in the truth.

Mr. Stonestreet grounded us in reality.  He took us out of our little happy Christian utopia, and plunked us right down into Nazi Germany, quoting Hans Scholl, a young man fighting against the war.

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Isn’t Seclusion a form of treachery? Of

desertion? I’m weak and puny, but I

want to do what is right.

What we need, according to John Stonestreet, is a generation of Christian students who know the world better than the culture does.  Who know evolution better than the evolutionists.  Who are biblically grounded, but culturally literate.  Our children need to internalize culture without being deceived.

And those few notes?  Those are just a very very brief nutshell of the multitudes of examples he gave, biblical verses, cultural snapshots, you name it.  My head was spinning and I was so EXCITED after that ONE seminar!

Another great speaker was from the National Center for Biblical Parenting.  He was oh my gosh, so freaking funny!  Had us in stitches, AND gave us some great tips for dealing with any typical parenting issues.  In our family, we have already discussed with the hooligans how we are going to do “breaks” instead of time outs.  How our family rules are very simple,


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Obey, Be Respectful, Be Nice

Really simple things, but with the whole purpose of changing the parents default setting of anger… The idea is to help the child to learn to take responsibility for their own actions.  Allowing them to figure out what’s wrong.  Is it going to take time on the part of the parent?  Absolutely, but really, isn’t that why we’re all doing this in the first place?

I like to say that we’re not raising children, we’re raising adults.  Our whole entire purpose as parents is to raise these little people into big people, and send them out prepared into the world.

And those are just TWO of the multitude of seminars we sat in on!  There were definitely surprises, like the seminar on Family Worship… I thought that that was going to be a formula, of sorts, you know, “at this time, call everyone together, do this, then pray this prayer…”  Instead it was about every moment being a worshipful moment.  About going for a walk and talking about how the Lord made the flowers.  About how awesome and awe inspiring God is.  It was about making the Lord the centre, and having all things revolve around the knowledge of his sovereignty.  Definitely another challenging message.

Those were just the messages!  Then there was the vendor room!  It was so great to be able to see, to be able to pick up and flip through all of the curricula I’ve heard about and read bits and pieces.  ((I’ll do another post soonish about what we bought, why we bought it, the list I took with me, and how this year is shaping up…))

It was a really great trip.  I feel absolutely renewed, full of anticipation, ready to jump in, and most of all?  I am rejoicing in where the Lord has brought us.  I am rejoicing in the new thoughts He opened up in our minds.  In the reinforcing of thoughts and thought processes that were already established.

Ja and I walked away from that conference knowing and feeling secure that we were making the right choice for our own hooligans with homeschooling.  We walked away feeling more united as a couple, feeling more unified as parents and as teachers.

The only thing lacking?  A seminar on how to conquer laundry mountain.

Ah well.  Maybe next year.

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TOS Review – Family Mint

Finances are tricky…  I think that if you weren’t taught how to properly handle money, then it’s incredibly difficult to teach it to your children.

Family Mint, Helping Kids appreciate money. I mean, honestly, what can be bad about that???  Know what else is great?  Wait…  do you really?  Do You wanna know?  come on, admit it, you totally do…

Okay, okay, it’s…

FREE.

I know, crazy, right?

So, this program, that is really like a virtual bank for yourself and your hooligans (but you are the banker), is completely and absolutely free.

  • Family Mint is money management for kids where parents are the bank.
  • Kids manage their own money by setting goals and entering transactions.
  • Parents motivate kids through:
    ~ Interest rates they set themselves
    ~ Automated allowance
    ~ Matching deposits on important goals

Kids can:

  • Set goals for items they want to save for,  and even allocate money to donate to a charity of their choice.
  • Log into their own accounts to set goals, or request withdrawals which can be approved or denied by the parent when  he or she logs in.
  • View plenty of graphics and visualize where their money came from, where it’s going and how to manage it.

Parents can:

  • Log in and see all of their children’s accounts at one time.
  • Make deposits and set up automatic deposits of allowance each week, if so desired.
  • Set up a set amount of interest on savings, or match deposits made on important goals.

You can use your own hooligans real allowance and savings, or you could just assign them a virtual amount of money to play with.  Either way, what a GREAT learning tool.

This is a bit above my hooligans ability to use on their own, but with some guidance, it’s not too bad at all.

Go, check it out.  It’s Free, seriously, what do you have to lose?

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An old art… not yet lost.

My Gramma was an amazing woman.  She was a crafter extraordinaire, she could make anything you could possibly dream of (including the most delicious crepes you can possibly imagine!)  She was a knitter, she crocheted, she was a seamstress, a potter.  She knew how to cross stitch, embroider, weave.  You name it, she could do it, and if she wanted to do it, but didn’t know how?  She would get a book and learn how to do it.

Now that she’s been gone for a few years, I find myself wishing that I had have asked her more questions.  In fact, just a few weeks ago, I was trying to figure out how to sew pleats on a costume for a friend of mine… knowing that there must be some simpler way to do it than the way I was doing it.  I had the fleeting thought, “Oh, I’ll just give Gramma a call… she’ll know!”

While my Gramma taught me a lot of things, and I mean a lot, she did not teach me embroidery.  My mom used to cross stitch, and I know how to do that (my mom taught me), it was never really and truly an interest at the time.  Which means that I never asked her about it.  Which means that now that she’s gone, I’m in the place of figuring it out myself.

The internet is truly a wonderful thing.  You can google pretty much anything.  The internet, however, does not watch you as you make those first few stitches… it does not put it’s hand on yours to guide you through the faltering routine until you pick up the rhythm on your own.

Learning to embroider

Last weekend the kids and I set out to learn how to embroider.  I did have a very basic knowledge, years of watching my mom cross stitch was still stuck in the back of my brain…

Learning to embroider

It’s interesting, I thought that the hooligans, mine and Rachel’s, aged from 3 to (almost) 8, would fiddle around and play with it a bit, lose interest, and go do what hooligans do… in our house that means doing their level best to drive me insane.

Learning to embroider

They amazed me.  Not only were they patient waiting for their turn to have needles threaded, they stuck with the project for hours.  Literally, hours.

Learning to embroider

Learning to embroider

It’s amazing how you can give a child a challenge, offer no expectations and just leave them to it, what they will accomplish! They each decided on their own designs, and we simply drew it on the muslin (for the older girls) mesh fabric (for the younger kids). They chose their own colours, I gave a brief tutorial on back stitching, promised that I would thread all needles, and they were off!

Learning to embroider

A brief interlude to watch a movie (embroidering all the time), a small break to eat dinner, and they persevered until it was time for bed.

Learning to embroider

I simply can’t believe how much fun they had doing such a simple thing! An art that has been around for thousands of years. The simple act of taking needle and thread to draw on fabric.

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And while those first halting stitches are secured on the fabric, while we listen, while we calm to make them smaller and neater, they are learning an art. They are learning to persevere. They are learning the joy that comes with making something from your own two hands. They are learning patience. They are learning that while they are small, they are very very capable. They are learning a craft that they can pass down to their own children one day.

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Last weekend was not just about learning to embroider. It was so very much more than that.

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Multitude Monday – One thousand gifts

143. quiet house while the hooligans are away
144. Spending time puttering… with no stress of deadlines
145. Learning a new craft as a family
146. Being able to help out friends
147. Spaghetti pie
148. massive snow falls… right before spring
149. Not being too old for tickle fights
150. A man who makes you laugh so hard your tummy hurts
151. Visiting new churches, learning how different people worship
152. The whir of the breadmaker
153. The feel of spring in the air
154. Three year olds who sing whatever comes into their head at any time
155. New books
156. New curriculums
157. Humility, in all its shapes and forms
158. Online and irl friends who give you a pep talk right when you need it
159. Sweet snuggling babies
160. Babies snuggled close in their slings

Learning to embroider

Learning to embroider

Learning to embroider

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TOS Review – All About Spelling Beehive Reader

Remember the whining I did about grammar, spelling, etc, etc?  (Btw, it’s eTc, not eCt…. *shudder*)

No?  Well, click on over here!  I’ll wait!

I love books.  I love pretty much everything about books.  I especially love hardcover books, and books for the hooligans with great pictures.  This Beehive Reader from All About Spelling?  It absolutely measure up!

* It was created for the beginning reader.
* It is a collection of 10 short stories on 160 pages inside a high-quality hardcover book.
* Each page is printed on non-glare paper, making it easy on the eyes for children.
* The reader correlates 100% with All About Spelling Level 1.
* When one is using AAS Level 1, instructions are included in the corresponding lesson when it is time for the student to read a story in the reader, making it easy on the parent for scheduling reading time.
* The reader can also be used independently of the AAS program.
* It is written with natural phrasing and line breaks, making for smooth, enjoyable reading for the student.
* The subtle underlining helps with tracking if needed, but otherwise easily ignored if not needed.
* Beautiful illustrations throughout the book are included, and the stories use simple words and sentences.
* Natural language and real storylines, including some funny stories make reading enjoyable for both student and parent.
* Beehive Reader 1 was recently awarded a Silver Medal for The Moonbeam’s Children’s Book Awards.

“Your beginning reader will delight in finding out what happens when…
…a busy cat lives in a windmill
…a slee
py bear cub takes a nap
…a grumpy duck demands a snack
…a singing bat befriends a lonely king
…a curious boy shrinks from tall to small
…and much more!”

This reader is a fabulous size for little hands. The print is not crazy huge, but it’s not too small either. The stories are charming and, here’s the catcher… Eph WANTS to read it. He wants to read it A LOT. He chooses this book over any other reader we have hands down.

The pictures are gorgeous, simple, yet help tell the story.  The stories are very cute, and even Zi will read them with Eph, although the reader is waaaay under her reading level.

Beehive Reader 1 is available for purchase for $19.95 (American Funds) at the All About Spelling Website.

And really, look at these pics… how can you NOT buy it when you see these?

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