rolling along

Fall has arrived here in lower Canada and I've been uber busy organizing kids schedules, extra curriculars as well as educational needs. I'm heading into my second year of home educating all four kids now and feeling much better about the year ahead than I did last year at this time. The logistical challenges (last year) of adding the twin girlies to the mix had me scrambling a bit and making some choices for my older boys that I am not making this year. Primarily I am speaking of the independent curriculum that I had my boys working on. While the curriculum itself was not a bad thing, what I didn't like about it was it had the boys doing a lot of jumping around from textbook to manual to handout, etc., a lot of unnecessary steps in my opinion.

My homeschooling style tends to be somewhere in between organized and unschooling, a lot of room in between those definitions, I know and maybe some explanation would help. I generally don't like education to be contrived, rather organic in purpose, breathing life into learning and kindling the interest already in the heart of a child. This year we will be integrating a bit of Charlotte Mason's teaching style of 'living books' into the boys curriculum. side note: Ambleside online is a great resource for books and there is a Canadian site that has recommended versions for those us a little higher than the 49 parallel.  

For the girls I will be working through the Five in a Row (FIAR) literature curriculum. I purchased it years ago with the intent of using it for the boys but never fully did, this time I intend on following through for the girls. I love the literature focus and the storybooks are so well chosen. We will be supplementing FIAR with a phonics and math to continue to build the basic skills, as well as a couple of AO book recommendations for Science & History. 

This past week the girls and I started FIAR with a book called Storm in the Night. We are currently following the book guidelines, discussing certain subjects on each day and Wednesday we discussed the art of Storm in the Night. We talked, as recommended, about how the author uses colour to convey the feeling of darkness, or absense of light. After our discussion, we had a paint time where we got to apply the same ideas to paper. We used acrylic paints and Benjamin happened to be on a break between his studies so he joined in on the painting.

I think painting is one of the most beautifully artistic mediums available, especially suited for children. It is very hard to find a child who does not want to participate when the colours come out. I feel like the girls really got a grasp on what the illustrator was trying to convey and they did an excellent job with their pictures.The remainder of the week we worked on their lapbooks, they seemed to really enjoy the hands-on element of FIAR. Up next is The Story of Ping, a childhood favourite as I happen to own a copy.

It's very satisfying watching your own children flourish & grow right before your eyes through literature and discussion. Home education is da bomb! 

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