Monday, June 16, 2014

Summer Adventures: Logan Canyon

This weekend we went up Logan canyon to camp. My gosh it's beautiful! From the backyard grapevines to the mountains and valleys, I love the green that summer brings!! 
Joel and the big kids went up Friday night and camped with the Cox family and the little two and I went up for the day on Saturday. I'm so glad we decided to do it that way! When Ollie is two-ish I think family camping will be much more doable. But constantly having to make sure he isn't toddling toward the fire pit, etc. just isn't fun at all. Anyway, it worked out great for all, and it was fun for me to have a little time with Jubes and Ollie. 
Oh, and happy Father's Day to Joel- the amazing adventurer that is passing on his love of life and nature to our little ones! And to my dad, who so lovingly gave me a childhood where I felt safe, unconditionally loved, and believed in. 
Happy summer adventuring to you! 

Sunday, June 01, 2014

A fond fairwell to first grade...

My goodness, it's already that time of year! Time for homeschool mamas to start freaking out over planning the studies for September! ;) I mean, not me, I'm not freaking out, but other mamas may be. Before I start my planning, though, I want to say a little goodbye to our first grade year. A year of losing teeth, learning to read, deepening friendships, fairytales galore, many read alouds with daddy, all of us learning patience with trying to focus with a toddler and babe along for the ride....whew! It was a sweet, challenging year that I wouldn't trade. I feel like I question so often if we are "doing enough", and so I just want to put that aside for the moment and focus on what we did do. I am going to make the twins a book of pictures from our year, there are so many that I love, but here is a sample for you:) 

This was where we thought we'd do lovely;) 
And where it actually happened...
Which worked out just fine!
There were outdoor adventures with Forest school, the Ogden Nature Center, Red Butte Gardens, adventures with daddy, and just lots of time outside whenever it was nice! 

There was art and handwork. Pictures churned out by Amelia, pictures drawn to narrate stories we read, Dover coloring books to go along with whatever we were studying, some Kiwi crate crafts, finger knitting, pot holder weaving, and mama learned to knit (very, very beginner still!), wet on wet water colors, embroidery with grandma, and a few nature craft days with friends....

There were books, and books, and more books read. Here are there 1st grade chapter book read alouds (though I'm sure to be forgetting some):
- Many Grimms fairy tales. Amelia literally slept with the book many nights:) Fairytales were much of our LA curriculum for the year.
- The complete Narnia series 
-Swiss Family Robinson
-Mr. Popper's Penguins
- The Children of the Noisy Village
- Roald Dahl books including: 
-Charlie and the Chocolate factory,
- Charlie and the Glass Elevator
-The BFG, 
-Danny Champion of the World, 
-James and the Giant Peach
We used American Girl books to study a bit of American history this year. We read through the Kaya, Kirsten, Kit, and series and then found books from the library to read things of interest from the time periods.

It makes me so happy and also relieved that the kids love, love, love listening to literature. I know that no matter what else, at least they are getting a feast of ideas fed to them. "One more chapter!" is music to my ears. 
 We also have a seasonal book basket with picture books for each season that we read through. The kids also heard and memorized finger plays and songs that we would do with the little ones a few mornings a week at our "circle time" or "morning meeting". 

For readers, we mostly used BOB books with Amelia this year. Sam moved on to "Little Bear", "Frog and Toad", and now is eagerly reading aloud Magic Treehouse books to me. His first chapter books, so exciting! He is also following in his friend Cole's footsteps and carrying around a pad aand pencil to write when inspiration strikes!:) Here is his first self-written story:)

As far as extracurriculars, Amelia continued with ballet until Christmas when she decided to take a break....she has missed it some, but not enough for us to get back into it at this point. 
They both played soccer, did homeschool PE, took Spanish classes until winter when roads got icy,and Sam ran track and cross country. He is pretty darn passionate about running, that little guy. We love cheering him on! 

Most of our time was just spent living life together and with friends. I'm very thankful to have the opportunity to spend my days with all of the kids, challenging as it may be sometimes:)  

I asked the kids if they wanted to say anything about homeschooling or first grade. Sam thinks it would be super funny to say, "Homeschooling is tough for kids, especially our age. But we have to suffer through it." Oh my.

I guess I'll end it here. I'm excited to begin planning for 2nd grade! Waldorf 2nd grade curriculum focuses on Saints and Heroes, so I have lots of ideas spinning around...saints, animal heroes, missionaries, super heroes! Joel read me this quote today, and I think it will be my guide for the year, 

"Since it is so likely that children will meet cruel enemies, let them at least have heard of brave knights and heroic courage!" -C.S. Lewis