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Winter, Homeschooling without Mom, and a Family Reunion (Weeks 21 and 22)

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Rain after the snowstorm

This past week we had some real winter in Ontario, with temperatures down to -30 C and half a meter of snow—except on the roof where it took my husband two hours to clear away drifts that were a full meter high.  I, however, was at a family reunion on the prairies and missed it all most happily.

The last time I went away for most of a week, homeschooling consisted of watching the winter Olympics and maxing out our internet plan.  This time, however, our university students were at home and each supervised a younger sibling.  My husband moved his study into the living room to be available, too.  As a result, the learning continued and even improved, with Miss 13 actually getting proper lectures in math from an enthusiastic math major!

So the girls worked hard and continued with all their basic book learning, although the assigned hour of reading did get skipped the days I was away.    On the other hand, there was lots of snow shovelling, as well as laundry and cooking to do, and when I got back we made curtains.

And out on the prairies, I had a lovely time with all my siblings, most of their spouses, my parents and in-laws, and most of my nieces and nephews, celebrating a birthday, talking, laughing, eating, visiting a museum, walking in the frigid prairie wind, going to church, watching determined little ones learn snowboarding, and doing a creek scavenger hunt (i.e. photograph all the creeks in a long drive on country roads).

As for reading, I did not do much, just like the girls.  On the plane I whizzed through The Happy Christian, which I will be studying with friends, and I also read The Peaceful Wife and Christians Get Depressed Too.  I’m still working on Prayers that Changed History, Bonding with Your Teen Through Boundaries, and, for school, the lovely Zondervan Atlas of the Bible, The Gift of Music, and The Children’s Homer (again).

We were reading Dune Boy out loud before I left, but then I lost my voice (perhaps partially due to reading aloud too much), so the girls finished it on their own.  In our Bible reading together we finished Nehemiah and are back into Jeremiah, and my husband got to Ephesians during family mealtimes.  On my own I read Psalms, and—it’s funny—I’m just a dozen or so Psalms behind where my parents are reading at mealtimes.  Somehow going through them twice in such a short space of time adds to my understanding.

As for useful links, there was very little access to the internet while I was away, but before I left I did see this map of learning theories.  Surprisingly, it doesn’t include Charlotte Mason’s insights (although it does include John Holt’s), but that may be because her ideas were largely confined to Britain until the modern homeschooling movement started, if I understand correctly.  In any case, it’s interesting to reflect on some of the current learning theories and compare them to what we are doing in our individual homes.

And here’s a very useful tip to maximize brain work simply by scheduling appropriate breaksHere I discussed how I’ve been applying this idea for years.

This post is linked to Kris’s Weekly Wrap Up and Finishing Strong.

One Comment

  1. Kym says:

    Thanks for linking up at the High School Lesson Book! Good to see you again. 🙂 How nice that you were able to make the trip to your family reunion and that your older kids could be home with the youngers.

    Stay warm!

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