Monday, October 14, 2013

Fall Term is (Finally) in Full Swing!

An update is long overdue!  In the midst of harvesting, goat breeding, and barn building, we are forging ahead into our fall term. Last week, we took a field trip to the apple orchard down the road.  They did a great presentation on apple trees and how the press works, all while satiating our seasonal cravings for cider and donuts.  Well, perhaps my cravings are more perpetual than that.

For each term, we study a different composer and artist, as well as three folk songs and three hymns.  Our folk song this month is "On Ilkla Moor Baht 'At," which happens to mean "On Ilkley Moor Without a Hat" in Yorkshire English.  I never would have guessed that one.  It's subject?  A man goes courting in the cold without a hat.  He dies from catching cold, gets eaten by worms, which are eaten by ducks, which are eaten by humans.  In that way it all goes around.  (Wait, what??)  In searching for a YouTube video to use as a pronunciation guide, I stumbled across this rather untraditional version.  You're welcome.

Wednesday, September 11, 2013

Postponing Studies

After a great first week of school, we are now quickly falling behind.  I am starting to understand why school was originally scheduled around harvest time!  I have more produce than I can handle, and it is a constant struggle to keep up with teaching and preserving.  Because of this, I think we will pull back to a few simple morning lessons and resume the heavier readings when harvest season eases up. Until then, I will try to ignore the admonishing voice of my perfectionist side.

Tuesday, August 27, 2013

A Country Birthday

(previously posted on Fidelity Hill Farm on July 13, 2013)

Today was my daughter's 7th birthday party, and it was so much fun!  It was "country" themed, with games like redneck ring toss (with toilet lids), duck decoy ball toss, and an old fashioned sack race.  The theme was made complete when our cat decided to bring into the house one dead mouse during lunch, and then one live chipmunk during our gift opening time!  The chipmunk proceeded to run straight under the cabinets, and we haven't succeeded in getting him out yet. (How many rednecks does it take to...)

Of course, I was really excited to discover that we received some of our school books as birthday presents!  We now have Joan of Arc and The Little Duke to add to our collection.  Both of these books look so great that I have a hard time putting them aside for another six weeks.

My uncle, a dairy farmer from Florida, surveyed our land during the course of the party.  He concluded that we need to add two Jersey cows and four more goats to the herd.  The husband is now ardently searching craigslist for more animals.  Time to bring the girls up to speed on milking!

Duck decoy ball toss

Lesson Planning

(Previously posted on Fidelity Hill Farm on July 11, 2013)

This past week I have been obsessively lesson planning.  It is a rather inconvenient time, as the garden is being overtaken by weeds and my oldest has a big birthday party this weekend, but I'll take advantage of the inspiration when it hits.  I put together a tentative weekly schedule for this next year.  I've found that the more organized I am on a daily basis ahead of time, the more I can simply follow a checklist when I lose steam. For strict Amblesiders, I switched some of the literature stories with the Book of Virtues to coincide with our habit training.  I also decided to try undertaking Plutarch this year; we'll see how that goes!

Weekly Schedule (AOy2)

Circle time: Bible, folk song
Readings: Our Island Story
      Child’s History of the World
       Little Duke
Math, copywork, free read
Circle time: Bible, poetry
Readings: Shakespeare
                Book of Virtues
                Pilgrim’s Progress
Math, copywork, free read

Natural Science
Circle time: Bible, art
Readings: Burgess Animal Book
Nature study
Math, copywork, free read

Circle time: Bible, recitation
Readings: Tree in the Trail
Trial and Triumph
Math, copywork, free read

Foreign Language/
Language Arts
Circle time: Bible, German
Catch up