Monday, April 30, 2012

Learning All the Time

Finally...a homeschooling post :-)

It has been a while since I did one.
We had a very good and busy week here.  I did not realize exactly how much we did until I loaded some pictures on my computer to go with this post.  It is amazing how much you forget you do during the week in all of the busyness of just living and loving little ones.

When spring comes,  my thoughts tend to drift to the next year.  I take some time to reflect on this past year and make adjustments for the year to come.  I usually wake early most days (4:30 a.m.) and most of my work is done before everyone rolls out of bed.  I have been doing much reading the past few months trying to make a transition to a different style of learning than what we are currently doing.

I have mounds and mounds of books read and to be read on my night stand.

I finished reading Educating the WholeHearted Child by Clay and Sally Clarkson and I loved this book!  It was one of the best books on homeschooling that I have read.  This book is filled with so much information that I needed to highlight much of it just to make sure that I could refer back to it from time to time.  I usually do not like writing in books, but, there was no other choice here ;)  The Clarksons are fabulous authors and I always enjoy their books. I cannot recommend this book enough!

That led me to read Read for the Heart which was written by the Sarah Clarkson, the Clarkson's daughter. I am leisurely making my way through this delightful book too.  It is a great book filled with books that the author loved from her younger years.  What better place to find great books!  My next stop is Ruth Beechick :D  I love her simple and to the point way of thinking when it comes to educating a child. I cannot say enough good things about The Three R's.  It is a simple and informative resource to help all homeschoolers, veterans and newbies alike.   I am currently reading You Can Teach Your Child Successfully and will move on to the others after that.

I have a few other goodies on the way too that I cannot wait to get my hands on.  The most exciting one I am waiting for is Real Learning: Education in the Heart of the Home by Elizabeth Foss.  I have been anxiously waiting for this lovely to arrive in my mailbox!

Well we had lots of fun things going on this week in our home.  It began with the arrival of a few new friends...  This cute little chipmunk made his home outside of my kitchen window in our bush this week and has been popping out frequently to say hello!

We also had a Black-Capped Chickadee move into our birdhouse and make her nest.  We can't see if she has laid eggs, but, we keep watching.  She is the cutest little thing and sings the sweetest songs.  So we've been doing lots of bird watching while doing math lessons these days.  One of the perks of learning at home :-)

The boys were surprised on Easter morning with this new little visitor!

 Brown Bear is the softest little bear around!  We have three brown bears in town now.  Lovey Dovey named his Brown Bear and Kit Kat named his Beary Bear.  We are HUGE teddy bear fans here, so they fit right in with the rest of the pack.  Beary Bear loves to come to school and he seems to really enjoy doing math with Kit Kat and when he is read to.

 We couldn't resist to have a Teddy Bear Picnic too!  We have lots of indoor picnics here most weeks.

No picnic would not be complete without a little interference.  With this picnic, it came in the form of a 10 year old and TBone!

The week was also filled with lots and lots of good books!

We began a Character Study on Virtues that I have been wanting to begin for some time now. Erica at Confessions of a Homeschooler has put together some nice work on this.  We began our study on the virtue of being a Good Steward.

We began our day with a little circle time and read from the Book of Heroes.  This is a new find for us and really great!  I had no idea where to start, but, fortunately the Holy Spirit led me just to the right place :-)  I chose a story each day from the section on Prudence and it really tied in to what I was trying to do with being a good steward!  Love how things work out sometimes :-)


Each study will last four days and then we will move on to the next virtue.  I like doing this during the Easter season as we are preparing for Pentecost and have been talking about the Gifts of the Holy Spirit.

Speaking of the Gifts of the Holy Spirit....
We always like to decorate for the liturgical season and I love Easter and Pentecost and embracing everything that is given to us by the Holy Spirit.

Our walls were looking pretty bare after taking down our Lenten items so we were busy this week.

I just happened upon this template for a wonderful tree and found a whole bunch of yummy fruit to print out with a different Fruit of the Holy Spirit on each.  I printed it all out on card stock, painted the tree and colored the fruit.  It really came out cute!

 From our book basket this week we read lots and lots of great books. 
 Most of these books came from the list of  Read for the Heart.  

  They are wonderful stories and we especially loved Does God Know How to Tie Shoes.  It was a beautifully illustrated book that was very sweet!  The Money Tree was a great read too and teaches a good lesson :-) 

My youngest is learning to read now and LOVES, LOVES, LOVES to read Hop on Pop!  It is always a big hit around here when they are learning to read. Fun book and love Dr. Seuss!

Of course we filled in the rest of the days with lots of playing outside, the 3 R's and a few other goodies.

The week just flew by and everyone really enjoyed themselves and I am happy that my boys are starting to get the idea of being good stewards and making prudent choices.  Today I caught my oldest telling his brother that he was not being prudent while we were checking out at Walmart.  I almost fell over since Walmart does not usually bring out the best in my kids! Not that they tend to make bad choices, but, sometimes we all need a little encouragement.

All in all it was a good week :-)


  1. What an abundant post with great resources...many I have never read! Thank you for sharing and I will definitely write down some of the picture book titles too...Especially "Does God know how to tie shoes!" Have a great week, Ann-Marie:)

  2. Great post! You have some really good reading there- you will LOVE Elizabeth Foss's book. LOVE it. :)

  3. Ann-Marie, thank you so much for your prayers and offerings for my nephew Jack. When I read your comment the other day, it made my day. :)

    Your boys love bears, I can tell. we are big fans here of the brown bear book, as well. and we have the small stuffed brown bear. Eric Carle's books are so wonderful. We also love Clown of God. Thank you for the review of the Book of Heroes by Holy Heroes. I've seen them for sale, and now know they are wonderful. I like your Holy Spirit activity. and will be printing that tree for our use too! your chipmunk friend is a cutie. i so love watching the wildlife around our home, and we like to leave little bits of bird food on the grass for our fury friends so they don't have to try climbing the bird feeder.

  4. oh, almost forgot to mention ... how did your second son's irst Communion turn out? Beautifully, I'm sure. would love to see photos of his special day.

  5. Wow this is amazing! I have never had four responses to a post :-) I love it! Tiffany, thank you so much for always reading and replying! Sarah, I promise to get Posy's blanket to you soon. I finished it (finally). I am not the speediest knitter in town, lol! Gardenia, we had such a wonderful day yesterday. It was truly a blessing. Thank you for asking. I am so happy to pray for Jack. I am having our prayer group pray for him too. We love Eric Carle too! He is fabulous.

    Thanks ladies. You just made my day!