Saturday, September 26, 2015

What We've Been Up To...

Out and About:
Two weekends ago we took a quick trip to Pittsburgh  for the wedding of a dear friend of our family.   The wedding was in the afternoon, so we had Saturday morning free to explore a bit.  The cold, damp weather put a damper on our plan A which involved going to a park…so we ended up at the Frick Art and Historical Center.  Michelle loved the art display – especially the 15th century tapestries in the main gallery.  She was also delighted to find a painting by Peter Paul Rubens, the artist we have been studying in our co-op class.  (Interestingly, one of the musical pieces featured in the wedding was Bach's Jesu, Joy of Man's Desiring, which we had also just studied in our co-op class!)   They also loved touring the restored Victorian mansion on the property and the Greenhouse that featured many exotic plants….including many familiar to us from our yard in Africa. J
Greenhouse Scavenger Hunt at the Frick Center in Pittsburgh

In the Schoolroom:
We are about 6 weeks in to our new school year.  We wrapped up our rather disrupted Term 2, and are starting in to Term 3 now.   We are enjoying participating in a weekly co-op each week.  Michelle is especially loving her drama class, featuring Shakespeare's Hamlet (they will also study A Midsummer Night's Dream and then perform some scenes at the end of the year).  I love that she is loving her introduction to "real" Shakespeare.  I am teaching history, literature, writing, and art/music appreciation to third and fourth graders and LOVING it.  While our co-op is technically a classical group, not a specifically Charlotte Mason one, the content lends itself very much to being taught with Charlotte Mason's methods and I am really enjoying applying what I've learned as a homeschooler to a classroom environment and loving what the group dynamic brings to our narrations and discussions.  That's probably a post all its own, though…
Phonics Lesson with Elizabeth

Creative projects?  What?  I feel like we got on a roller coaster when school started again and we haven't gotten off yet.
I guess I ought to make more effort to pick up my crochet or embroidery when we sit down to watch TV or a movie in the evening, or on our next road trip, rather than letting them languish in their basket.
The children at least are doing drama and drawing at their co-op each week.  And we've been nature journaling a little less frequently than I'd like, but still we're hitting it every other week on average.  We've done no handicrafts… but it dawned on me that right now the weather is beautiful, and the light still long in the evening.  The children have all made friends in our apartment buildings, and in the last week or so have been playing a Roxaboxen-like imaginary town game on the playground.  Who wants to interrupt that?  The cold, icky weather and early dark are coming soon enough, and when they do staying in and working on handicraft projects will probably be a lot more appealing.
To everything a season, right?
We get real cozy in our homeschool....

In the Kitchen:
So, the church we've settled into here in North Carolina is really big on potluck suppers.  We had them weekly on Sunday nights during the summer, and now have them every other week on Tuesday (the small group meetings always feature a potluck).   This is a great and good thing – sharing a meal with people is a beautiful and natural way to build community – but I'm finding that I need to increase my repertoire of potluck dishes.  Anyone have a favorite?
Sneaking in a little nature journaling time for Mama while the kids were swimming.

Around the House:
My house is chaos.
Okay, not really that bad.  I still feel like I'm reeling from the start of the school year, though.  We really aren't involved in that many activities, but maybe because of the driving distance to many things I feel like I am always doing something or going somewhere.  I've also had lots of opportunities to get together with friends new and old, which is wonderful…but whew.   I'm still learning how to balance those things that I'd *like* to do with what I *need* to do.   Not doing very well with it at the moment, but trying.

What have you been up to?

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