If we value the pursuit of knowledge, we must be free to follow wherever that search may lead us. ~ Adlai Stevenson

Tuesday, January 17, 2017

Nose to the Grindstone...

image courtesy of Saxton Studio
My winter break has come to an end. Today, the junior college starts back up, and next week, the university. So I am prepping like crazy for classes next week! I have almost finished my syllabus and a reading schedule for the first few weeks, so I just need to polish those up. This week, I am visiting the classes I work with as an instructional assistant, and next week, I will be teaching and studying. This semester, I am teaching the same students as last semester, moving them from English 100A to English 100B. The class I am taking is in composition theory/application and rhetoric... a practical class for a college instructor!

The Boy is also gearing up for classes, which for him start tomorrow. He's taking Figure Drawing and Comparative Mythology. The mythology class will likely be the most academic class he's taken so far, but I am pretty sure he can handle it. It will provide us with a great opportunity to practice his essay skills!

We started homeschooling again last week, so here is a brief run-down:

Math: Both used their "new" textbooks to do review work, which went well. We're using Jacobs Elementary Algebra (The Boy) and AGS Basic Math Skills (The Girl).

History: We started reading A Little History of the World (3 chapters), and watched the first episode of Mankind: The Story of Us, which lined up very nicely.

Literature: We read 3 or 4 more chapters in The Messenger, which we'll probably finish up in the next week or two. We'll most likely then read the fourth book, Son, before moving on to something else.

I also found our science book for spring! It seems very readable, I love the illustrations (as do the kids), and I love how it presents everything in an interconnected fashion. We'll start reading from it this week, and I'll weave in a few hands on projects here and there, though the bulk of our hands-on work will be gardening and nature observation.


I hope things continue to go as smoothly for the rest of the spring! I still have writing to work in as well, and spelling for The Girl, but we'll get there.

Monday, January 2, 2017

January Tidbits...

I always find Kim's monthly planning posts so inspirational, so here are some January plans of my own, mixed with some Monday musings!

New Year's Eve Cat's Cradle fun
January 1st: New Year's Day
We enjoyed a relaxed day, mostly at home. I made the kids some great pancakes for breakfast, and we checked out a new neighborhood park.

January 6th: Twelfth Night
We'll take down the Christmas tree, and I'd like to experiment with some Three Kings Bread (though this recipe for an orange bread looks really good too!), or we'll make The Girl's Applesauce Honey Cake. Maybe board games by the fireplace!

January 12th: Full Moon
I'd really like us to start paying more attention to the Full Moons, starting with this one, the Wolf Moon.

January 16th: Martin Luther King Jr. Day
We'll read or watch his "I Have a Dream" speech.

January 28th: Chinese New Year
We will celebrate the Year of the Rooster with a Chinese inspired dinner, probably something with long noodles (healthy Chow Mein?), fish, and other good-luck goodies (dumplings, etc.). Maybe we'll try making fortune cookies again, and/or Chinese lanterns.

Plans This Week
We're starting our Minimalism overhaul. Actually, The Boy started yesterday, of his own free will, in his bedroom. Like his dad, he collects odds and ends for projects that rarely happen. Unlike his dad, he's willing to get rid of some of it. I haven't asked the kids to go through their rooms, just to help with the rest of the house, so this is impressive! I'm starting today with the living room. We've discussed what to do with everything too: clothes will go to Goodwill and a local women's and children's day shelter; books to the library bookstore and the shelter; toys to the shelter.

I'm also going to start work on my syllabus for the spring semester!

Homeschool Thoughts
We're leaving TabletClass behind, and are returning to Jacobs' Elementary Algebra for The Boy. It is not that TabletClass was bad -- on the contrary, it is very good, but Jacobs is just a better fit. And The Girl will start using AGS Basic Math Skills alongside the Key To Math series. The Boy is also gearing up for two classes at the junior college this semester: figure drawing and comparative mythology. We plan to start back up officially in a week or two (depending on the arrival of The Boy's math books), though we're still reading from the Afternoon Basket in the meantime (which I need to update!).
Lovely recent afternoon walk

Around the House, Kitchen, and Garden
We've got nothing but rain in the forecast for the next week or week and a half, after a gorgeous two weeks of icy cold sunshine, so no yard work really.

I'm making plenty of veggie-heavy soup these days, as this is definitely soup weather. Meal planning is going well these days!

Rainy days will be focused on housework, reading aloud, and planning (as detailed above), maybe watching some documentaries and movies.

Have a great first week of January!