Tuesday, August 26, 2008

This and That

I should really be doing about ten other things, but I have missed "chatting" with my blog friends so here I am. I am, as I am sure most of you are, prepping for the new school year. For many of you it has already begun, but not for us. I still have a few last minute planning/organizing/"how does this curriculum work" kinds of things to do. I really need an extra week of August so I may just take it in September. We shall see. :)

I will have five students this year - the first time ever. It feels a little bit scary, but not *too* scary - really. If I keep saying that to myself it will be true, right? LOL! There is so much to think about with regards to this new year and I feel I have had no time at all to do it. There has also been so much to think about and evaluate for my new "crop" of smallish schoolers. This idea has been on my mind quite a bit. I really like what they discuss for first and second grade, but we are in the midst of a history cycle with the older children and doing *two* types of history is just not what I am available for.

However... and there it is - that "however" - I really love the idea of just reading great books like the history-oriented beautiful work by Ingri and Edgar D'Aulaire amongst others. I really really want to do this with my two little ones. I *want* to do so many things. It is the doing that makes it hard sometimes. These books are worth the time though, and there are so many others that are too. I heard one of the best and most encouraging homeschool conference talks from Rea Berg recently. She extolled the importance of reading real quality literature with your children over the course of their years. It was such an uplifting message! I think we forget sometimes, the importance of just reading. We don't have to *do* something with every piece of literature--we can just enjoy it together. This is the easiest thing for me to let slip by. I don't want to do that this year!

What is the easiest thing to slip in your homeschool? How does a day in the life of your homeschool work? Do you find schedules and plans help you? If so, what few things do you do that really make it come together for your family? I am needing a little help this year! :+)

Saturday, August 02, 2008

Catching up on July 4th

So July has been busy! Can you tell by my frequent posts? Haha. We began our month with a trip to one of the prettiest places - Lake Tahoe. We stayed in the most amazing resort as a kindness of Mark's boss. WOW was pretty much our thought upon arrival and during our stay! What a place. Here are some photos. Many of these are click-able to enlarge them. From Squaw Valley:

My beautiful friend, Grace and her baby girl, Hannah, and me. Grace is the kind of friend that once you have you never lose. She is a dear and precious person and I feel so blessed to know her! And her baby is funny and sassy and darling - all wrapped into one little curly-headed girl. :)

And it was the fourth of July and here is one of my sassy silly girls with Grace's other child, David. What faces!

We took the most beautiful hike. You can see the smokey sky as the CA fires were still in full force at this time.

It was so green and lush and lovely. I didn't expect that in July, but wow, it was so pretty!

I loved this one:

And I got all excited on our hike because I thought I had located hemlock. I started thinking of all sorts of medieval poisons (and Brother Cadfael mysteries) that could be made from it. (Not by me of course, but what I have read over the years.) It wasn't hemlock. It was cow parsnip. LOL

I was so happy this picture turned out. I love the colors of the yellow Mule's Ears and the purple Forget Me Nots. If you click on it, you will see just how pretty it is up close.

We also found Indian Paintbrush:

I loved the look of this with the lush green foliage surrounding it. The name is so pretty too: Thimbleberry. Doesn't that make you think of a fairy? :)

And the Western Columbine was just beautiful:

And this is the best of all. All the beautiful flowers of my own garden:

So that was our Fourth of July. :)