{Daughter Diaries} #63

Daughter Diaries #63 | The Open Home

Dear Blossom, your love of the arts is plain to see. Be it a landscape by Constable or a sculpture by Degas, a concerto by Mozart or a hymn that hits the soul, you appreciate it all, eager to soak in it’s richness and beauty. I love this about you and I love that such a simple element of our homeschool has such importance to your heart. Dear Bubbles, your little hands aren’t always able to execute your desired art, but when it comes to weaving it turns out that your eager hands are swift and able. Try to remember it doesn’t have to be perfect to be beautiful, there is a lot of joy and beauty to be found in the process. Dearest Daughters, may you continue to seek beauty in all it’s forms.

What beauty have you noticed lately?

 

{December Gratitudes}

Gratitudes December 2019 | The Open Home
For the last days of autumn and the joy of the outdoors.
Gratitudes December 2019 | The Open Home
For advent mail and conversations that never end.
Gratitudes December 2019 | The Open Home
For family fun and fabulous faces.
Gratitudes December 2019 | The Open Home
For sweet family traditions and legacies that live on.
Gratitudes December 2019 | The Open Home
For family fondue and memories in the making.
Gratitudes December 2019 | The Open Home
For friends and family and simple festivities.

These are the inserts from our gratitude journal in December, reminding us that God is good and we are blessed.

What have you been thankful for lately?

Homeschool Day in the Life (with a 6 & 4 year old)

Day in the Life 2019 | The Open Home

Following on from my post last week about our homeschool rhythm I thought I’d unpack that a little further with a day in the life post that will hopefully help you to see how that rhythm flows in practice as well as give you a glimpse into what home educating young children can look like.

This day in the life is from a Wednesday earlier this month. Lets jump straight in.


 

Day in the Life 2019 | The Open Home

7:10 – Today’s wake up call from Bubbles felt a little earlier than usual but it was in fact a pretty average time for her. I quickly snuck into the girls room where Bubbles had already made a spot in her bed for me, morning cuddles are a regular thing for us and it gives Blossom a bit more time to wake up.

7:30 – Bubbles couldn’t possibly wait for breakfast any longer so we girls headed downstairs in our pyjamas to start the day. I prepared breakfast whilst the girls squabbled over some random nonsense which continued on and off over breakfast. Apologies were necessary from both sides and bad attitudes looked set to persist.

8:20 – The Husby left for work whilst we got on with our morning chores. Blossom emptied the washing machine and sorted the laundry into piles whilst Bubbles helped me to unload the dishwasher.

8:40 – We finally finished chores and started table time but Blossom, who was still in a grump following the earlier squabbles was now feeling reluctant to do her maths. Rather than battle it out and force her to work under duress I suggested she complete just the one page of maths today instead of the usual two and that seemed to help.

Day in the Life 2019 | The Open Home

(On a side note, we’re currently using Oxford International Primary Maths, just in case you’re interested. It’s the only workbook and curriculum we are currently using in our homeschool and it’s working well for Blossom who considers herself “a maths whizz”).

After maths Blossom moved on to her copy work (writing practice) which today was simply a list of words, but some days it’s a line from a poem, hymn or scripture we’re learning. 

Day in the Life 2019 | The Open Home

Whilst Blossom got on with her work Bubbles chose to play with the mathlink cubes for her table time activity and was busy laying them out and counting them with me, declaring “this is good mathing!”

Once Blossom finished her copy work she too joined in with the hands on maths and started to play with the math sticks, as we call them, making up her own sums.

9:20 – Once the essentials were done it was time for my workout. The girls headed upstairs to get dressed and then busied themselves playing for a bit before joining me in the lounge (Bubbles still in her pyjamas!) whilst I finished my exercise.

Day in the Life 2019 | The Open Home

10:00 – I usually head straight upstairs to shower and dress after my workout but as the girls were both still grumpy and on the verge of another fall out I suggested we do our morning basket straight away which they were eager to do.

We did our morning basket snuggled up on the sofa in the lounge and today we covered:

  • Devotions

We read the next chapter in The Jesus Storybook Bible (which we’re really enjoying), looked up a verse and song for our advent devotions, recorded some gratitudes in our gratitude journal and then said a short prayer.

  • Art Enrichment

Next up was our art enrichment slot which, as always I started with a poem. This term we’ve been familiarising ourselves with the work of A.A. Milne and today we read “The Old Sailor” from “Now We Are Six“.

Next up was composer study. This term we’ve been studying the work of Tchaikovsky, starting with his ballets, first Swan Lake, then Sleeping Beauty and today we started The Nutcracker. We watched a short youtube video of The Royal Opera House’s “The Waltz of the Snowflakes” discussing the music and story as we watched. The girls remarked that the snow most be getting heavier as the music was getting faster.

  • Main Lesson

On Wednesdays our main lesson is usually history but we wrapped up our stone age studies last week ready to focus on advent readings and activities throughout December. So today we continued reading “How Winston Delivered Christmas”  and also read today’s advent picture book, “Babushka.”

Day in the Life 2019 | The Open Home

10:45 – I finally had the opportunity to get showered and dressed now that morning basket was over and the girls’ grumpy attitudes were gone. The snuggles and books seemed to do the trick and they then played happily together downstairs whilst I got myself ready upstairs.

11:30 – Most days of the week we head out mid to late morning for an outing or group, but not on a Wednesday. Wednesday is our catch up day and the day we have more time to work on crafts. With all the earlier squabbling we were running a little later this morning though and there was no longer time left to fit in the craft I had planned to do before lunch.

Instead I got on with some laundry and prepped lunch whilst the girls continued to play happily in the lounge, singing the Twelve Days of Christmas together as they did!

12:00 – I finally managed to convince Bubbles to actually get dressed in time for lunch and she kindly told us a “silly stone age story” whilst we ate.

Day in the Life 2019 | The Open Home

12:20 – After lunch we quickly tidied up the lounge together and then snuggled up once more for our current read aloud, “Holly & Ivy” The girls are loving this book and would happily sit for me to finish the whole thing but today I cut it short so we could fit in that craft we didn’t get round to earlier.

12:45 – Time for some painting! As a neat freak I tend to steer away from messy crafts, but both the girls love to create and Bubbles in particular loves the sensory process of painting so I’m making a real effort to include it more often.

Today they painted some colourful skies (a moonlit one for Bubbles and a sunrise for Blossom). Next week they’ll add some black pieces of card to the picture to make some stone circle silhouettes.

Day in the Life 2019 | The Open Home

13:30 – The girls usually join their grandparents for a playdate on their farm on a Wednesday afternoon but they were poorly this week so the girls joined me on a couple of errands instead for part of their afternoon activity.

First we popped into my office at work so I could collect a few things to work on from home and then we headed to Waitrose to stock up on a few groceries.

15:00 – Once home I prepared the girls a snack and allowed them a mid week movie in leu of their playdate so I could get some work done at the kitchen table. Brother Bear was chosen, one of the movies I recently introduced to help bring  prehistoric history to life.

16:30 – The Husby returned from work and thankfully got on with making dinner so I could continue my work at the table.

17:30 – The girls had an early dinner together today and then joined the Husby in the lounge to read books and play whilst I snuck upstairs for a hot bath.

18:30 – Tired and grumpy yet again, Bubbles trudged up the stairs and we started her bedtime routine early whilst Blossom hid in my bedroom, unwinding from the day and getting herself changed for bed.

Day in the Life 2019 | The Open Home

19:00 – Bubbles is tucked up early tonight with no bedtime call backs. I folded laundry with Blossom in my bedroom and then we did her reading practice together using The Complete Book of First Experiences from Usborne. I then read her a bedtime story from our beloved Milly-Molly-Mandy before tucking her up in bed around 19:45.

20:00 – The Husby and I finally sat down to dinner together and then chilled out in front of the TV to watch The Big Bang Theory for the zillionth time. Tomorrow is his day off so Wednesday is effectively our Friday night so we have that weekend feeling, so much so that I ended up falling asleep on the sofa before retreating to bed early.


 

So that’s what our homeschool rhythm looks like in practice.

What does your (home) school day look like?

 

 

{Autumn Nature Study}

Autumn Nature Study 2019 | The Open Home

“Why be indoors when you can rightly be without.” – Charlotte Mason

The autumn started with such promise, our conker hoard was large this year, but October proved to be the wettest October for many a decade and the rain persisted well into autumn making nature walks increasingly difficult.

We still gathered and explored where we could and diligently kept an eye on our beloved ginkgo tree to be sure not to miss it in all its autumn glory.

We learnt a lot about seasonal weather and bird migration this autumn and have also signed up to the RSPB Wild Challenge and are looking forward to working towards our bronze award in the new year.

Here are some of the snapshots:

Autumn Nature Study 2019 | The Open Home
Golden sunshine on our first conker hunt of the season.
Autumn Nature Study 2019 | The Open Home
Sensory fun!
Autumn Nature Study 2019 | The Open Home
Bubbles’ first nature journal entry.
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The return of welly boot season.
Autumn Nature Study 2019 | The Open Home
Autumn nature walks in Cumbria.
Autumn Nature Study 2019 | The Open Home
Nature walk at Derwent Water, the home of Squirrel Nutkin.
Autumn Nature Study 2019 | The Open Home
Gruffalo spotting and squirrel hunting on our way up Orrest Head.
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A successful climb to the top of Orrest Head.
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Rambling in the Lake District.
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Wild and Free.
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Fabulous fungi.
Autumn Nature Study 2019 | The Open Home
Rock climbing our way to Rydal Cave.
Autumn Nature Study 2019 | The Open Home
Exploring Rydal Cave.
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Autumn views at Rydal Water.
Autumn Nature Study 2019 | The Open Home
Autumn crafts.
Autumn Nature Study 2019 | The Open Home
Nature walks with our fellow Nature Explorers.
Autumn Nature Study 2019 | The Open Home
Blossom’s bird migration work.
Autumn Nature Study 2019 | The Open Home
Ginkgo magic.
Autumn Nature Study 2019 | The Open Home
The simple joy of autumn leaves!

 

What did you enjoy most about nature this (wet and windy) Autumn?

{November Gratitudes}

Gratitudes November 2019 | The Open Home
For gorgeous girls and the glorious ginkgo.
Gratitudes November 2019 | The Open Home
For living history and Granny expeditions.
Gratitudes November 2019 | The Open Home
For a successful school term and fun along the way.
Gratitudes November 2019 | The Open Home
For patience and perseverance and breaks in the weather.
Gratitudes November 2019 | The Open Home
For scarves and boots and autumn in all it’s glory.

These are the inserts from our gratitude journal in November, reminding us that God is good and we are blessed.

What have you been thankful for lately?

Snapshots of the Lake District

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Snapshots of the Lake District |The Open Home

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Last month we embarked on a road trip up to the English Lake District. It was quite an epic journey for us and our girls who, living on a small island aren’t used to being on a car journey for more than 20 minutes or so!

We’d been wanting to make this trip for a few years now and I’m pleased we were able to do so whilst the girls were both still young enough to find joy in all the Beatrix Potter attractions.

We visited Hilltop, Beatrix’s home in Near Sawrey, the Beatrix Potter Gallery in Hawkeshead and the inspiration for Mr Gregor’s Garden at Lingholm. We also saw Owl Island on Derwent Water the setting for Squirrel Nutkin and Esthwaite Water, the setting for Jeremy Fisher. On the journey up we also stopped off at the Tailor of Gloucester Museum, in Gloucester.

We also enjoyed soaking in the beautiful scenery of the Lake District. We climbed a fell, found the Gruffalo, explored a cave, saw a steam train and even swam in the Lake (one of us at least!).

I also had the chance to pay my respects at the graveside of Charlotte Mason and also visited the Armitt Museum in Ambleside, which is the home of all her educational archives.

It was a great trip, but I think for our next holiday we’ll leave the car at home and fly somewhere instead. Road tripping is tiring!

Where did you go on your last road trip?

 

 

{Daughter Diaries} #62

Daughter Diaries 63 | The Open Home

Dear Blossom, it’s the most wonderful time of the year! I’m delighted that you girls love autumn as much as I do and I love that you want to spend more time snuggling on the sofa and going for long walks with me. Quality time really is the best. Dear Bubbles, I want you to hear me loud and clear! “You are kind, you are smart and you are important.” You are also sweet and tender, wild and cheeky and I love all of you, ALL of you. Dearest Daughters, may my love for you fill your hearts and bless your souls.

Gotta love a golden ginkgo!