Our first term of the school year ended a couple of weeks ago, and the beginning of our second has started more slowly than I anticipated. Both boys have had a few days of illness, which has meant lighter school days or having to take an entire day off. And Thanksgiving week arrived, overlapping our fever-filled days. We keep moving forward, and I do my best not to get anxious about my original calendar. The beauty of year-round schooling is that I built several breaks into the year, so instead of four weeks off at Christmas, we will take three.
What was most meaningful of the second half of the first term? My heart says, "Fall Break!" We were able to once again go to San Diego for a few days, which enabled us to visit the zoo, relax at the beach, and eat so much delicious food. Other than break, we spent our weeks continuing to meet with both our local Charlotte Mason group and our non-CM co-op. O.T. for Bug came to an end for awhile, and I am still trying to figure out the next steps to take for his therapy needs. I feel that after all of these years of therapy, there is only so much to learn and implement, and so now we are doing our best to practice these skills and build strength during the day. Swim lessons also ended. Both of these endings have allowed a bit more margin in our schedule.
One of the blessings of end-of-term were exams. I saw a lot of growth in both boys in their narrations, and it also allowed me to see what books and activities they did not connect with or understand. I am so thankful for the practice of narration for my child with communication difficulties. Narration is hard, but he was able to answer more exam questions this year than last year. His sentences are short, but narration allows me to treat him as the person God created him to be. I can meet him where he is at developmentally, and we build on that throughout the year.
As we look ahead to term two and three of this year, and even beyond, I made the decision to start transitioning back to more of the Ambleside Online curriculum for C, which is where I began when he started in year one a few years ago. I am still using Tea Time, Morning Meeting, Classical Studies and some of the other AMCM books - and will continue to use part of this curriculum long term for G because of his needs. But looking at the big picture, I knew we needed to make a shift back to what seems best for C. The few books swaps I have made in the last couple of weeks have been good decisions, and I am seeing better connection and understanding. There are so many wonderful options and ideas for Charlotte Mason homeschooling out there, and I don't take it for granted that many who came before me had to figure things out completely on their own.
One last exciting thing that has been happening behind the scenes for the last several weeks (months?!) is that I have been asked to help with my friend's amazing new resource for Charlotte Mason moms. Common Place Quarterly is a print magazine that will be coming to mailboxes in January. It is a lovely compilation of encouragement, inspiration, and ideas from Charlotte Mason moms and educators of all walks of life. The contributors are amazing women, and the magazine will feel like a good conversation with friends over a cup of coffee (or tea, if that's your beverage of choice).
I have many other thoughts on topics other than homeschooling I hope to blog about over the next few weeks, but I wanted to get caught up a bit on how things are going at Mason Fulbright Academy. today For now, I have a pecan pie to pick up and pumpkin bars to bake. Happy Thanksgiving!