Saturday, August 8, 2009

Tomato Count...and some clearing up

The tomatoes are DONE. And let me tell you, everyone around here is absolutely thrilled at the lack of a juice-covered table, steaming pots of water on the stove, cramped hands from days of relentless cutting and dicing, and the endless packing canning jars!

But, 200# of tomatoes later we have 86 quarts in the pantry :o) certainly worth a little arthritis in the hands and the growing aversion to the color red, I think :o)

And the clearing up part -- yes, I am THE poster child for your basic Type A personality. I'm not really over-board on it, but I suppose in some areas I'm pretty darn close.

The schedule I posted -- oh buddy, if you had my in box! -- is not what we'll be doing. This isn't "school at home" with some odd 45 minutes for class and 5 mintues or so for hallway and locker time. Sure, we are absolutely doing thos subjects, and probably lots of other things added as well, but we don't school (at least not traditionally) from 8 am to 3 pm, Monday thru Saturday.

Our longest subject time would be Math for the middles and olders. Typically we do one lesson plus added sheets daily. It averages anywhere from 30 mins on to an hour and 30 mins. Just varies depending on the particular work that day. We don't math for random information, we math for comprehension and understanding.

Reading by far is our biggest non-typical subject area. We read a lot. We have a regular reading subject, book work and written or oral composition and perhaps run-of-the-mill comprehension questions.

But we 'read' for everything. Our science right now is the Nim's Island unit. We are, under that subject cover of Science, reading the book, reading about all manners of tropical island attributes, coral reefs, island volcanoes, marine life in general, marine animals, weather charting, tropical storms, boat safety, mapping skills and so on. And we are hands-on with projects in and around most of those sub-topics as well.

We aren't really doing much in the way of history right now because we've branched off with so much interest in the Science area.

With that reading, we also have our Bible reading and lesson daily, going through reading lessons and phonics (we blend Learning to Read in 100 Easy Lessons with our McGuffey's) and our plain reading-aloud fun stuff that doesn't fit any current topic branch.

Geography wasn't listed on the schedule, manily because we put it up after North Carolina. We are using The Trail Guide to The US, and I plan to get the TG to The World this year as well. We love it so far (just 1 state in) but, as usual, we branch and bunny trail and a state a week probably won't work with each tag along the Trail. We read about pirates/privateers, flying and Kitty Hawk, a quick history of the Wright Bros. And lighthouses. It took 2 weeks, between reading, mapping activities, and such. We probably need to set out a definite scope per state plus the TG work. Give me a couple months on that one.

English and grammar work are stock textbooks. We use Rod & Staff for Math and English, grammar and spelling. One lesson plus associated reading and/or page work. And we have flashcards set up for the parts of speech. Kind of like a "Memory" have a part of speech and you select a couple other cards -- are they your part of speech or not. We're so fancy here :o)

Bible is fun -- we use the lessons from Padfield (I'll post the link later -- it's on my HSB or .org. I forget). We read X chapter(s) and have questions. We have a Children's Bible to read the lesson from as well (the youngers like the pictures, and the stories are written more to their comprehension level). And we might do coloring pages from the Calvary Chapel Curriculum (link's on the HSB blog, too)

The olders have their own study materials -- Daily Truths for Godly Youth, Christian Ethics, A Woman After God's Own Heart, etc. We are also planning to start our Keepers at Home/Contenders of Faith program back up weekly (probably Saturdays).

All in all, aside from just the fun of reading, proper school itself might take 2-3 hours at most. Some days could be longer depending on attitudes and such. But even on a worst day, we aren't going to be sitting here with glazed looks on our faces for some 6 hours! That would be insane.

Yes, we do get up early. There's no profit in lounging in bed. We have things to do daily here, 7 days a week. Animals need feeding, and most of them remain healthier and happier when fed (and milked) on a schedule.

Sure, it 'ties us' as one said, to home but that's what we want. We are homesteaders remember? We can't tend to the animals, the garden needs (the farm market canning in our case) or do the things we should be doing unless we are home. We have mowing, bush hogging, putting up hay, barn repairs and remodel, pens to clean out, fencing to build, animals to care for...bread to keep bakes, dinners to prep for, sewing to do, mending to's all HOME.
I do believe in schedules. I am better with working them out on paper than fully implementing them but really, that simple means I NEED that schedule all the more! Children left largely to themselves without direction are out of control. They are not adults who can manage time and activities (LOL...then again, neither are most adults!) And they need structure to help develope those good habits and skills. They don't need to be micro-managed, but they can't grow properly when thrown to the winds either. Here, Wild Child has to be structured right down to brushing his teeth and such. He gets lost amid chaos if left without a plan, a goal, for his time. And that pretty much includes sun-up to sun-down for him.

So, giving the mailbox time to cool off :o) I just thought I should try to clear that mud from the last post a bit, lest someone alerted DHS that I was violating Child Labor Laws or something :o). Seems an awful lot of people were rather miffed at my approach.
I could have kept it simple and reminded everyone that on this blog, I am Caesar and have supreme rule (HA! snap back to reality here sister!)
But I laid it out there waiting for notes.
And I sure got 'em!

How about sharing you daily structure, your school routine, etc? Leave a link for me -- I like seeing how everyone does their thing as Keeper at Home and Mom and such :o)


Blessedmom said...

Hoping there was no offense taken in my comment and that it was just too long to post, if so, that was not my intent. If not, don't worry about what everyone thinks, they are not their living your life knowing what goes on, all they have is a small peek into a window of what is going on in your homestead. Still working on my post with my schedule and such, hope to post it later today.


LizBeth said...

Face it, Deanna. You're loved.

Reading is wonderful isn't it? I used to teach (though I wasn't a traditional teacher particularly -- I always felt like the kids got the short end of the stick, and I got out early and cashed in my retirement!), but it was still a real transition from the classroom to home. I had to put the "home" before the "school," you know what I mean. I finally threw out most of the "comprehension exercises, etc." in favor of reading for the pure joy of it. I remembered hating all that stuff (book reports, yitch!) when I was in school, but I read all hours of the day and night for the joy of it and got so much more from that than the stuff with all the questions and vocab lists, etc. So I finally took the dive and let my son do what I would have loved when I was in school. He devours books, and he knows what he has read because he has been able to eat the book instead of look for the "right" answers. I told him that the authors wrote the books to be read, not dissected in projects.

Having a whole houseful of kids to school at one time requires some management I didn't have to deal with, certainly. I know you can't allow yours to read all night if they want. The goats would never forgive you!!!

Have a great weekend! Liz

Scarlett said...

I think your children will grow up to be wonderful happy adults! No flaming from me. I just hope to get back on a farm soon so my daughter can get a taste of the real life. I don't know how you get it all done, but power to you!


Jeremiah 6:16
Thus saith the LORD, Stand ye in the ways, and see, and ask for the old paths, where is the good way, and walk therein, and ye shall find rest for your souls.

Blog Archive