Friday, December 17, 2010

A Time for the Seasons

Mommy's Idea
Timer set for 1/2 hour – let’s see if we can actually get a post out today…  Grrrr – checking in 14 hours later after too many interruptions to count!

It’s still fall.  Isn’t it?  I mean, in town, there are still brilliantly-colored fall leaves blending in with the sweet Christmas lights.  December 17th and all.
In fact, I like Esmé’s perspective better.  We were outside yesterday (these photos were all taken yesterday – honestly!) trying to do a You Capture – Outside prompt, taking pictures of leaves and things.  (Only a couple days late in posting – I am the expert in fashionable lateness.)

She asked:  “It’s not fall, is it?  There are still green leaves!  It can’t be fall yet!”
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My thoughts exactly.  I mean, there are even rosebuds on the bushes.
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Miniature daisies in the lawn. 
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(Finding and downloading and reading my camera manual is definitely on my New Year’s resolution list – up from last year at #61.  I must have taken at least a dozen photos and the camera absolutely positively wouldn’t focus on this daisy.  Its Intelligent Auto setting isn’t so intelligent, it seems.)

Even these dandelion-like blowy things.
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And our onions – all harvested, I thought – have decided to take on new life.
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I’m even feeling compelled to check the birdhouses for eggs.
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But, alas, the grape vines and fruit trees are saying it’s winter, even though the blackberry bushes are still on fall.  And a cherry tree never lies, as George Washington taught us.  (I’m guessing Pinocchio was made from blackberry bramble…)

The point though…  the fact that we never finished our unit studies on Fall – and never even started our Thanksgiving unit studies – has nothing to do with why I have blinders on this December against all things Christmassy.  Umm – not really?  Umm – maybe a little?

It’s hard to motivate myself to put together wintry material when I have two folders of perfectly good, well-thought out FALL/Thanksgiving stuff just waiting to be used, and it’s hard to motivate myself to use fall stuff in December. 

So we are taking a homeschool break of sorts until I can regroup and figure out how we will proceed going forwards.

See, since September we’ve been doing this loopy – er, looping – thing so we can cover EVERYTHING I want my daughter to learn before she starts university.  I have this really long list of what I want to cover in a day, and rather than starting fresh with the next day’s stuff on the next day, we just keep at that day’s list until we get it done before we start the next day’s list, which may not be until next year.  

(Don’t you just love saying “see you next year” and so on to people about this time of year?  It makes tomorrow seem so far off, and I am all for anything that creates an illusion of lots of time.)

The problem with looping is that means we do math maybe once a month.  See?  Big problem – because Esmé’s natural pace of learning is faster than that, so I’m still trying to get her to count to 9 when she can do her 9x multiplication tables.  And I’m trying to get her to write the letter “C” when she is sounding and spelling out words already.

Though in her own fashion, of course.  This completely-self-motivated sounded-out “butterfly” from about a month ago is just so classic – I grin whenever I see it.  Which isn’t often, since it is buried under a mountain of fall-themed printables that we haven’t touched yet.
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As I was saying, I am reconsidering the whole loopy thing.  I’m trying to come up with a short daily list that includes the math and handwriting and Bible (and everything else I want Esmé to learn before she starts university) – so we can get that done quick and then let the themed stuff (book themes, geography themes, beginning-letter themes) take as long as it wants.  Because the themed stuff really does have a mind of its own.  I’ve been hesitating on this, because isn’t that themed stuff the fun stuff you SHOULDN’T be cutting out?  But I’m killing my kid with the “C”s – she is definitely ready to move faster.

That being said, we really do have a couple of Christmas posts lined up.  Just trying to be fashionably late on them is all – and I think we’re just about there… 

Though you know, if we do the overdue Months of the Year-themed post instead – that we were working on in September – it might actually be useful to some of you, because isn’t January a perfect month to study the Months of the Year?

Maybe I should schedule our Christmas posts for NEXT year?  Maybe I should just do all my posts that way?  Is there really a happy sense of fulfillment in timely posts, folks?  Please tell me – I’ve never had that experience… :)


Prasti said...

this post made me laugh...been feeling a bit behind here too. i always say, better late than never :).

i did end up taking a homeschool break for december, but i know that doesn't mean that emma has stopped learning. this month has been nice in that we find natural opportunities to learn, as opposed to our usual "scheduled" time. maybe there are ways you can incorporate the writing, bible, and arithmetic into the themed studies? make it all relate? i don't know...i have a hard time planning it all out in advance. at least you had the fall stuff planned out :).

ShEiLa said...

So lucky to find all these wonderful things... especially in the fall.


love, brandi said...

These are beautiful : )

Michelle Smith said...

What beautiful photos! Love them! We are a bit behind in our schooling this year as well. Hopefully my children are learning though and enjoying what they are learning, too!