Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Yarn Along--Lists and lists and lists

It is Wednesday, and that means it is Yarn Along time, hosted by Ginny at Small Things.

 I haven't made a whole lot of headway on Adrian's hooded tunic this week, as I have been getting sidetracked by a slew of other things.  I am fighting the urge to cast on something else, but I know that if I do, it will be very hard to turn my attention back to finishing this one.  One sleeve and a hood left to do, and some serious blocking (oh, why did I let myself be charmed by these colors and a good price into purchasing a wool/acrylic blend?).

 I have several things going in the reading department.  I am still reading a biography on St. Elizabeth Anne Seton, which is very good, but I haven't picked it up in a few days.  Nor have I been reading Adventures in Orthodoxy, as fun as that one is.  Instead, I am turning to the business of planning for the year ahead.  It is obvious to me (and must be to everyone who knows me) that I am seeking some change.

I am rereading Elizabeth Foss' Real Learning: Education in the Heart of the Home.  I think my love of books and nature, and desire for some structure fits in well with the Charlotte Mason approach to education.  But I a am tiptoeing with trepidation into what has hitherto been unknown territory to me.  I am reading, thanks to the generous loan of a friend, A Little Way of Homeschooling: Thirteen Families Discover Catholic Unschooling.  I am trying to cover our bases and yet not "do school" at home.

I am also still going throug these books--Honey for a Child's Heart, Designing Your Own Classical Curriculum and A Picture Perfect Childhood--for the book lists they contain.  I have no formal courses for science, geography or history this year; rather, I am using texts as guidelines and trying to fill in with lots of books at all age levels.  This ought to prove rather challenging, as our local libraries are, um, somewhat lacking, there are no used book shops around (unless you count the one that has, it seems, nothing but pulp romance and western novels) and we have a really tight budget.  Anyway, I am hoping it will work and that the kids will learn something anyway.  Luckily, we have collected a fair number of books ourselves over the years.

Check out the Yarn Along on Small Things--if you like knitting (or crocheting) and books, you'll find loads of inspiration!


  1. Real Learning is on my "someday I'll get my hands on it" list. I'm really looking forward to reading it. I love the concept of Charlotte Mason like you - books, nature, and structure.
    Good luck with your plans for the year. I'm looking forward to seeing what books you all enjoy :)

  2. Blessings on this change of venue in our homeschool, Nadja! We used an unschooling/Charlotte Mason approach off and on through the years and were truly enriched by it. Our children learned to really love learning with this approach. But: It's definitely more Momma-planned necessary than I would have liked sometimes.. NOT planning a curriculum requires more planning than you'd think -- and comes with an unavoidable bit of worry, too, especially at first... when you're afraid of what you may be leaving out that will be reflected on the SATs -- or whatever... Canned curriculums "feel" more fool proof and free the teacher not to have to think much... But, I look back on the unschooled days with way more fondness! As the kids do, too.

  3. I'm busy making school lists and rereading my favorite homeschooling books too. I lean towards classical more than CM or unschooling, but I figure there are a lot of ways towards the goal of a good education. You just have to find the one that best suits Mama and the kidlets.

  4. I'm glad the book arrived safely... I had to restrain myself from going nuts with tape! Did you notice? ;-)

    I hope to re-read Elizabeth's book, too, this summer... but, I've got a couple other books that I'm making my way through now... one is a novel, the other is by John Holt.

    Have a great day! +JMJ+

  5. Those two books "Real Learning" and " A Little Way" have been on my reading list for some time.
    We unschool but like you I find lots of inspiration through other types of learning too.
    Charlotte Mason is a favourite :)
    I remember reading "For the Children's Sake" and being totally inspired.

  6. Annita, thank you for the book! And really, John Holt? I will have to look into him myself...

    Lisa, I am seeing that it does take more and not less planning, especially with 5 learners ages 5-12. It has me a bit frightened, but I am hoping that we will find the days a bit more pleasant than heretofore. I really want the kids to love learning, especially my boys (Una already loves learning, but she has an academic bent).

    Jordana--I thought we would go the classical route, but it just isn't working for us. We are such a farm-nature-art-crafts kind of family that the Classical method was just getting in the way of our doing the things we wanted to do around here. It became a matter of "get done with school so we can have fun" rather than the school being fun. I am still using what I consider "nutrient dense" programs for the basics: IEW for writing, Teaching Textbooks for Math, and we
    will have foreign language. But the other topics can be so dry...

  7. Those two homeschooling books (Foss and Andres) are my all time favorites. They have helped me so much!

  8. The tunic looks great and you'll feel a big sense of accomplishment once it's done!

  9. The tunic looks great. Someday I hope to make large sweaters like that but for now it is small projects that don't take a lot of yarn.

    Perhaps you could swap books with other homeschool families near by? It could be a borrow type thing.


Thanks for taking the time to leave a comment, I do so appreciate it! I usually respond to questions in the comments section, so check back if there is something you wanted me to respond to!

Note: Only a member of this blog may post a comment.