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Archive for September, 2008

I have just fallen in love with felt projects….more links to follow…but meanwhile… I had to share this one from one of the Montessori email groups…

Wee Felt Nests and Haybales 

Felt is so much fun to play with as an adult.  I am currently collecting wool blankets to felt for projects..some of which I got for free or practically for free from garage sales and thrift stores. I have also found great sources of the other kind of felt from freecycle….gotta love freecycle…it is a great source of many of our art supplies!

and while you are treasure collecting… don’t be so quick to dismiss those cookie and candy tins you see at garage sales and such. They are great for storing felt food and other homemade themed treasures…more to follow…. :o)

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And so we begin another school year. It is chaotic…there is a mess in neat little piles everywhere…books, papers, school supplies…

even though we try to keep up with the dishes, the meal times seem to come on us faster and faster and we just can’t keep up! the kitchen could use a fire hose cleaning… got a hose I can borrow??    I guess it would help if I had a drain in the floor….

I am very visual and clutter drives me nuts…especially when my arms are too short to reach the kitchen sink with any degree of comfort, not to mention that I have to do all my cooking on the back burners of the stove to prevent accidents and a burnt pregnancy belly….short arms hinder there too.  Trying to get the kids to do their chores without evaporating into thin air is a challenge, (they can smell weakness) and I don’t know how so much stuff seems to collect on the floor…  where does it all come from?! I can’t reach it. Dh has joked about putting a nail at the end of a pole to help me…

but! somehow we are doing it. 10 ring circus style…and the more we do it the better we get at it, but we have to be willing to have all we know turned on its ear for awhile until it finds its own level of normalcy… (the mysterious element of life that has no definition really, it just is an imaginary goal of mine…)

As for school…

I so much want to form connections with the children in all subject areas. I want to help them bookmark in their brains the things we are covering. I want the precious time we have together to count.  I don’t want to waste anything.  I want it to MEAN something to them. The funniest times I have with the younger set are when we attempt to give them a grasp of things, most specifically  the passage of time.  Sometimes this works…sometimes it doesn’t…

Yesterday we were covering the beginnings of Salvation History with the 8 and 9yo…. When trying to elicit the response to the question “Who was it that was the father of many nations?” I got the answer:

“OOh! I KNOW THAT one! Abraham Lincoln!

gulp. ok…time to add pictures… lol

I am trying to get my 8th grade son and twin 9th grade daughters to be more independent. I want them to polish their writing and communication skills in oh so many ways. I find that the largest success comes from letting them choose their time to study any given subject area and I try to get them to write about the things they are engaged in and not be afraid of having to polish and re-work things a few times to accomplish a well written and well thought out piece.   I don’t mind if they do a weeks worth of American History at once and just a few other subjects in any given day as long as they are spending that time in concentration and not in idle exposure. For my one dd in particular, this has proven to be a great antidote for her retention issues. She really needs to immerse herself in only a few things every day to do them well instead of spreading herself so thin that she gets overwhelmed with the workload.

They have discussed ‘pegs’ on the 4Real board and on sweet Melissa’s blog many times.  Great idea! It is working.  I find myself musing about them in a different way though…. I think the best peg to pin my sons to lately is the one that attaches to the seat of their pants and hooks them to a dining room chair so they will not flee in fear from the gray substance that comes out of the center of those sharpened wooden sticks they call pencils and forces them to actually START to scribble  on pages of paper that are much too white and daunting.

This has got to be the hardest year yet.  Maybe it is the thought that I have older children that will only be with me for a few more years.  I have a baby coming in 5 weeks.  My house and my budget are too small for all of my wonderful ideas.  Who knows why, really.

and yes, I am praying, a LOT!

…For God’s balance.  …His kind of connections and ….His Wisdom in everything.

My puny wisdom doesn’t stand a chance around these children, their being made in God’s image and likeness and all… otherwise I just feel like a sitting (very pregnant) duck.

His is the only force that will reckon with them.  Good thing HE is perfect.  at least I am willing to keep on trying to steer this ship anyhow despite my limitations and hormonal weaknesses…lol!

I believe they call this the beginning of spiritual growth….

I haven’t had any good chocolate in months.  I am feeling its loss…

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