read with Emma:
Charlie and the Chocolate Factory
By The Great Horn Spoon
The Ballad of Lucy Whipple
The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe
Totto Chan, the Little Girl at the Window
The Birchbark House
The Game of Silence
Crying in H Mart
The Elegance of the Hedgehog
1/2 Great Expectations
The Awkward Thoughts of W. Kamau Bell
A Tree Grows in Brooklyn
Nora Roberts (double book)
The Little Book of Hygge
Raising Good Humans
Little Beach Street Bakery
We All Want Impossible Things
This year I was sick for half of it but couldn’t really read. I kept up reading to Emma of course but alone I could give in to sleep. Also this was the year I discovered the magic of vacation reads. I would grab a book off the shelf of the many bookcases at my Dad’s senior apartment. Then I would retreat to the bedroom and read for a spell. In September I had use of the air conditioner, in December soft blankets. Emma is old enough for me to check out and would watch movies with Grandpa and not interrupt me. That was the best.
School started this past Monday and we met with our advisor on Wednesday. We started out with a new method that I read about at the end of the last school year. The parent/teacher writes out everything expected of the student for the day in the morning and the child/student can choose the order to do the tasks and can check them off when completed. Since Emma begins her day with assistance from maiki for math that subject begins after breakfast. Then she has choice as how to proceed.
Sometimes we go to the gardens, sometimes we have an errand or activity and I will try to include those on the list. If she finishes before six p.m. she has free time and afterwards we are settling down with more unplugged activities for the evening.
Started off slow this week with three subjects each day. I was glad that the bulk of my decision making about the days events happened in ten minutes in the morning and I was able to pass on more responsiblity to Emma. I felt more organized and she was happier to know what was going to happen. I had read that this method was wildly successful when homeschooling more than one child but it was just as effective for one too. Decision fatigue can be the hardest part of my days.
This year we are incorporating piano instruction with Hoffman Academy and studying U.S. History. I am looking forward to reading a lot of great historical fiction together. I decided we would study cursive more frequently for a bit since she her finger skills are more developed. We will also continue with knitting club. We are all looking forward to the new school year!
We have great luck checking out holiday books from the library. I reserved them online and we have been picking up a book every few days for a while now. We really enjoy the Moomin comics after reading through all the books. Reading “The Family Under the Bridge” to Emma for the first time this year. We haven’t begun “The Christmas Carol” mouse book but last year she watched the “Muppets Christmas Carol” so she is a bit familiar with the story. The “Lighthouse Christmas” has a sweet story with a real flying santa and the Chirri and Chirra books are our new favorite picture books. The “Lost Christmas” book (picture below) was so pretty but easier to enjoy outside in good lighting. “Christmas in Noisy Village” is also a favorite (last photo) and we read chapters from our books at home each year to hear about their traditions.
Emma joined the clean up in the bonsai garden a couple afernoons this week. She loves to sweep up the many fallen leaves with their rustic style brooms.
I bought this adorable pinnafore on Thred Up and I was so glad that the size ten fit so well. I love buying second hand whenever possible and this Crewcuts apron style dress really caught my eye.
We played a new game called Lost Woods and it was super fun.
Been listening to maiki read great night time books like Children of Noisy Village, the stories of Betsy and Tacy and Moomin Valley. During the day Emma reads Pippi Longstocking aloud.
We have made the most of the warm weather and are ready for cooler temps to come. Emma told me she prefers to walk around the lake once it cools off and I could not agree more. We like to get bundled and go bird watching around the lake, taking in all the trees and calming open space.
Lately we have had to stay inside so much more than usual. In addition to focused time on homeschooling subjects like math, phonics and geography we do all kinds of fun activities and projects, only now it’s all inside our apartment!
We were fortunate to receive a few Kiwi crates from a friend a few weeks ago. We excitedly opened the first one and with maiki’s help Emma constructed a zoetrope. The box included illustrated strips to put in the spinning zoetrope to watch the simple animations. Also included were blank strips that Emma can draw on and a flip book as well. We have two more Kiwi crates and are eager to discover the fun inside.
In the last real session of our knitting class at the library it was decided to cast off Emma’s knitted project so she could play with it. It has become a cape for Elsa. Turns out it is a perfect fit for a snow queen with its flecks of silver thread. Pretend play is a constant in our home.
After a trip to FLAX we came back with new clay, drawing paper, a few choice brighly colored pencils and this kit to create your own miniature library. So much creativity pours forth after trips to art stores. 🙂
As always we are playing lots of games like mancala, checkers, Uno, Set, Connect 4, Dragoon and Brain Quest. Games are fun and great learning tools. Also jigsaw puzzles are perfect for times like this. Emma loves a particular Christmas puzzle and wants to construct it again and again with one of us.
Our family read books all day and night. I checked out a bunch of Cynthia Rylant books from the library before it closed and we love every one. maiki and Emma have reading Greek Myths this school year and the Cynthia Rylant version is a great one. I love Emma’s illustrations of the characters.
We finally finished the Long Winter and were extremely relieved when spring arrived at the end of their story. I find I can relate to the parallels in our current situation but am only comfortable reading it when our own cupboards a little fuller. Here is another of Emma’s illustrations to celebrate that we also are joyful for spring and we do not have to experience forty below temps in Oakland.