CC Cycle 2 Week 6 Ideas

Hello all!

I’m not sure if this would be helpful to many people or not, so feedback would be greatly appreciated!  I thought I would try to post a few of lesson plan ideas for each week that tie-in with the CC Foundations Guide, as well as share the link to my Pinterest board for the week.  Let me know if that’s helpful!

My son is 4, soon to be 5, and though this is our second year to be part of a CC Community, it is his first year in a Foundations class.  Since he is so young, I am only focusing on Geography, Science, Timeline, Skip Counting, and the Presidents song consistently.  I will include the other subjects if I feel like he is up for it.

Science Memory Work
For this week’s Science Memory Work, we are having a little fun!  We watched The Berenstain Bears Don’t Pollute (Anymore!) and School House Rock Earth!  We may do some of the activities featured on the Pinterest board as well.

History Memory Work
This week, I decided to try out the History Sentence, which focuses on the Renaissance Period and mentions Shakespeare.  We read this cute, quirky book, Will’s Quill or How a Goose Saved Shakespeare by Don Freeman (author of Corduroy).  And wouldn’t you know the feathers were on sale this week at Hobby Lobby?  So, we brandished our quills (and had I had the forethought, I would have gotten some ink as well), and pressed the ends onto an ink pad and tried at our hand at writing with quills.  We decided pens were a marvelous invention.  😉

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Pinterest Board
Here’s the link to my Pinterest board for this week: https://www.pinterest.com/mamimeg/cc-cycle-2-week-6/.

Happy Homeschooling!

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That We Should Live in Them

“You seem so happy,” my mom commented for not the first time in the past two months.  And she is right.  And the best part?  It’s not just a fleeting, savoring-my-favorite-flavor-of-ice-cream happy.  It’s a bone-marrow deep joy bubbling up in my soul.  It has caused me to pause and reflect on our current station in life.

You know what I didn’t see coming with homeschooling?

The complete and utter transformation of my heart. God is so good, and He knew that this homeschooling thing – it would be more than just a “thing” for me and so very much what I needed to be a better mother.  (Please note that I said “better,” not fantastic or great or even just good.  Each of these revelations listed below is coupled with some embarrassing admissions on my part about my human nature.)

  1. It makes me a more intentional mother.
    Some mothers are really good at this, even without homeschooling.  I am not.  I do not naturally find ways to tie learning into our daily life, mostly because I am really bad about doing everything myself because it is quicker and easier.
    Homeschooling has caused me to include my boys in more daily tasks and to find the teaching moments as we go.  We baked blueberry muffins last Friday.  The boys scooped and measured; Creed wanted to count how many holes were in the muffin tins, so we skip-counted by 3s to see how many there were; we talked about how baking, blue, and berry all start with the letter b.  Yesterday while reading our morning Bible story, there was a footnote about the Minoans, one of the civilizations mentioned in the CC timeline song.  Creed was so excited to recognize the word.  None of these are solely “homeschool” practices, and I am certain that they are things my mother did with me when I was a child.  For some reason or other though, I am much more intentional in our daily life now that we have a focused school time as a small part of our day.  Our actual instruction time only takes 45 minutes – 1 hour, but I find that it bleeds over spontaneously into the rest of our day.
  2. It makes me a more patient mother.  
    It is a rather pathetic character flaw of mine that I am more patient with people I am not related to than with my family.  Nothing is more humbling than the moment you realize that truth about yourself.  Seeing my children as students has caused me to be more patient with them.  But never fear – one can not simply turn off “mom mode.”  They will always be first and foremost my children.  🙂  The role of teacher/student though has definitely been a positive change around our home.
  3. It makes me a more peaceful mother.  
    Because I did not want school time to fall to the wayside, I have tried to establish a routine for our little school-house.  Oh my!  That has been such a boon to my housekeeping skills, as well as to my attitude towards chores.  I am easily overwhelmed when there are many items on my to-do list.  When my environment is cluttered, so is my mind.  When my mind is cluttered, I lose my patience.  But knowing that there are built-in times in my day when I will get x, y, or z done has been such a relief to my mind.  I can rest and focus on our Morning Basket when I know that during Morning Break, the boys will play and I will do dishes, make beds, and start laundry.  I can concentrate on Table Time knowing that after lunch, I will finish laundry and do what ever daily task that needs tending to.

Above all, I am reminded of these words from Scripture: “For we are his handiwork, created in Christ Jesus for the good works that God has prepared in advance, that we should live in them.”  (Ephesians 2:10) More than at any other time in my life, I feel certain that I am living out the good works that God had prepared for me.  I have always felt called to teach; my time as a public school teacher is full of treasured memories.  But there is a peace beyond telling in my current role as a teaching mama. What joy it has been to seek out “the good works that God has prepared” and to “live in them.”

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An Ode to the Unnoticed Hero

This morning, as the early dawn’s rays filtered through my bedroom window, I began to waken to the day before me.  Anticipation built in my head and my heart as I pondered what lie ahead.  After taking an extended weekend to spend time with family, and then our CC Community Day yesterday, we were finally getting to settle back into our routine.  How I had missed it!

The boys woke and began playing so sweetly together.  I fixed my hot coffee (unusual for me – I’m a hot tea girl), and then encouraged the boys to come out on the back patio with me.  They played; I enjoyed my mug of coffee, and then we came back in for Morning Basket.  We prayed, we read the Bible, we practiced our Memory Work, we went on a voyage around the world with our maps, we recited poetry, we read a story from the Treasury.  Then it was time for “Morning Break,” and the boys continued to play well together while I stripped the beds for sheet-laundering day and did the dishes.  I listened to my boys chatter while simultaneously listening to homeschool podcast.

In preparation for “Table Time,” I got out my lesson planner and weekly assignment binder.  And then it hit me, how this was all possible.  Other than God (who of course is truly The One who makes all things possible), my days – these dreamy, frustrating, lovely, sometimes exasperating days – are made possible by one sweet, quiet, steady man.  My husband.

He is so reserved.  It is so easy, scarily so, to forget, to take for granted the sacrifices he makes for me, for our sons.  He has an hour commute one-way each day, to a job with unpredictable hours.  He is gone much of the day.  He is so reliable.  Never do I question whether he will be able to hold down his job.  Any doubts I have regarding homeschooling do not stem from his role as a homeschool dad.

People often comment to me that they “couldn’t do that” when they find out that we have begun our homeschool journey.  But you know what I couldn’t do?  My husband’s job.  And he does it so unflinchingly, so steadily.  So today, I just wanted to proclaim my gratitude for the member of our family who makes it possible for me to do what I love every single day.  And he’s pretty cute to boot!  And he belongs to me!

A Peek at Our Morning Basket

I’ve briefly touched on Morning Basket in earlier posts, and have gushed profusely on my Facebook about how much we love it, but I thought I might give a few more details on how we are doing Morning Basket.

First, the disclaimer that I am no expert!  And Morning Basket will look different for every family, but I am using this blog as a record of our homeschooling adventures, and I thought it would be fun to look back later and see how it has transformed over time.  I only instituted Morning Basket as part of our daily routine in June I believe, and we’ve already had one major overhaul, so I foresee many over the years!

Our Summer Morning Basket

Oh, sweet summertime!  Our routine in the summer was to go outside first thing before it got too hot, and then do Morning Basket afterwards.  Since we didn’t have any formal school work to do, Morning Basket just sort of grew and grew.  The boys loved it, and I loved the anchor that it provided in our otherwise blurry-run-of-summer-days.  We did music, art, fine motor skills activities, and of course lots and lots of reading.  We easily spent 2 hours, sometimes 3 each day on Morning Basket.

School Term Morning Basket

Once school started, I quickly realized I needed to trim back our Morning Basket time.  I mean, the main reason I even considered homeschooling is because I feel like children spend too much time in school.  So, I whittled away and moved things around until it better fit our school day schedule.  I am going to give a brief rundown of what our Morning Basket currently includes:

Prayer & Bible Story – I actually have a couple of different options for both prayer and Bible time that we rotate through.20160910_205746

Calendar Time – debating on whether to keep this as part of Morning Basket. I just can’t get it to flow nicely. I think it might be better suited for Table Time.

Memory Work – This includes our CC Memory Work (Presidents, Geography, Timeline, Skip Counting and Science), as well as letter sound flashcards and Mother Goose Poetry. It takes Creed 1-2 weeks to memorize a poem, and I was amazed at how much he seems to enjoy that task.

Children’s Treasury of Virtues – We read one story each morning.  This may be Cruz’s favorite part. He loves these stories, particularly The Knights of the Silver Shield and St. George and the Dragon.

Then, we rotate the following subjects: Spanish, Music, and Art.  I believe I will also use this time for seasonal picture books.  I am getting anxious to add our Fall Books to the Basket!  🙂