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Dawn
I'm a homeschooling mom of 4 boys ~ 18, 13, 11 and just born 5/26/13!
Interests: My interests include my family, my faith, home education, nature study, reading, journaling, planners, baking, crafts ... and coffee!
Recent Activity
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Happy Weekend, my friends ... Several posts back there was some conversation about magazines and folks wondering what I read and if we might talk a bit about magazines in general ... And of course, I'd love to! But let... Continue reading
Posted 6 hours ago at By Sun and Candlelight
Thank you, all, for your thoughtful and lengthy comments - I appreciate your time and attention so much! I really like the weekly rhythm idea ... and I've had a similar system in place for a long time. Mondays- bedrooms, Tuesdays - bathrooms, Wednesday - kitchen, etc. The problem for me is I have so little time to get things done and so many (wonderful adorable) distractions that I'm just not getting any individual tasks done. I need a list that says - say, on a Monday - strip beds (check), start laundry (check), neaten bureau tops (check), sort boys' laundry (check), vacuum around furniture (check) ... etc. The things that are actually part of that day's routine. I can hit a small task quickly and mark it off. That kind of thing. The other problem (if you will, and I hate calling it that because I am so very fortunate to have the blessings in my life I do) is in this new house, we've been here almost two years and it's a lot bigger than my old house with more and different rooms. When we bought the house it was pristine. And while I certainly don't expect that level of cleanliness I am feeling bad about areas I notice that are dusty and grimy and looking far shabbier than when we moved in. I feel like if I have a "System" (that "magical" system lol) I will be able to do a little bit each day in a thoughtful scheduled way that will see to those areas that have been completely neglected since we came here. Like woodwork and light fixtures and ceiling fans and drapery and fire places and under the appliances and coat closets etc. I feel like we're sliding down this slipper slope and the house is getting kind of wrecked. But again, these are such first world problems, I'm almost embarrassed to bring them up ... it's mostly about preserving our property and making my family feel comfortable and cared for. And enjoying our home instead of spending too much time "catching up" on chores when we carve out the time. Ok, I have a little guy pulling on my sweater - must go for now! :) Thanks again everyone, SO MUCH for contributing to this wonderful conversation!!!
Kristie, I too like the division of tasks - public and private. I do schedule the public rooms in the fall (before holidays) and am working on bedrooms through the spring when we get windows open and aired out. Garage in the summer when it's cool and attic in the winter so we can breathe up there! That's the theory anyway. :)
Amy, first of all ... (((hugs))) ... been there, know that. Earlybird is *very rigid* about a lot of things. And we do too much for him, absolutely ... so it makes sense (for him) when we ask him to change his behavior (and take on some new responsibility which is completely within his realm of ability) that he balks. I probably rely on the "if you do this, then you will be able to do this" method. If you clear your dishes you will be allowed to use the iPad in bed. Something like that. Bribery or reward, I don't know? It's probably *not* what we're supposed to do. Like, EB really hates and fears going to a dr. appt. We have to take him into Boston next month to see his neurologist (the nicest man). We never know how it's going to go (last time was awesome, the time before that was beyond horrible). I prepare by filling a backpack with all kinds of "surprises" ... new little toys and coloring items and snacks. He knows he will get these things once we're sitting in the room and he's behaving. Last time this worked well, but it doesn't always and I"m not sure it's a good practice, tbh. It's just what gets us through. (Like moving a tv-dvd player into his bedroom when we're hosting a family party.) Maybe we should be expecting him to behave and handle things and just DO what is asked of him without all the goodies ... but then I know he really is held back by fears and anxiety. The clearing of dishes though ... he needs to just learn to do that without any reward. THAT is something we are working on a lot. So I know where you're coming from, Amy. Absolutely. I will try to get a post about handling and helping our special needs kids up soon ... a lot of people have been asking about that. That could be a whole new series since there are a lot of aspects to discuss - behavior, learning, diet, faith formation ... Please feel free to come here and chat, I am so glad you feel the pull to do that. If I could set these comments up as more of a chat board, I would. If anyone has ideas, please lay them on me. Blessings to you! Peace & Strength, too ...
Tracy, you really were in the war zone when it came to this storm! I hope your house is ok? And now we have more snow coming tomorrow (4-6 inches) and at least another 6 on Monday! I guess our "quiet" winter is over for now in New England!
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Today is National Carnation Day, my friends! Carnations, in the language of flowers mean: fascination, devoted love and other nice things depending on color. (White as above ~ sweet, innocent, lovely.) I just adore this flower - for one thing... Continue reading
Posted 2 days ago at By Sun and Candlelight
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Thank you, all! Yes, it has been so nice having Bill home (and Crackerjack, too, because his classes were all cancelled). Missed our Bookworm - I know Bill did, especially, because BW brings the muscle when it comes to shoveling! ;) BC cancelled classes so he's having his own "snow days" at his dorm. :) Speaking of Bookworm - thinking of him today on his patron saint's feast day. (St. Thomas Aquinas) He's always loved books and learning and I'm grateful for that part of him - as well as his kindness and gentle nature. :) Blessings to all!
Ugh, I wouldn't want to be anywhere but home during a snowstorm. Hope he makes it home safely (and soon). :)
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Good afternoon, my friends! I'm stopping in to let you all know we are through the blizzard and doing fine - our power has held *knock on wood* and we woke this morning to a bright and glorious day! Many... Continue reading
Posted 3 days ago at By Sun and Candlelight
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Good Tuesday morning, my friends ... I know a lot of you have heard about the blizzard hitting New England today ... and yes, it is here! I thought I'd check in (while we still have power) to tell you... Continue reading
Posted 4 days ago at By Sun and Candlelight
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Katie, I will do a post about how Bookworm did high school and what Crackerjack is doing now (he's a sophomore this year). His classes are not actually co-ops - I don't teach or share in the teaching in any way. He takes Spanish and Art at a local tutorial center ... this wonderful organization began with two mothers and a handful of kids around a kitchen table. They hired a tutor for a subject they didn't feel comfortable teaching ... and it grew from there. They now have approx. 100 homeschooling families involved - they work out of a local church. Tutors are hired to teach small classes of homeschooled children - CJ takes Spanish and Art. And he has lunch there with the kids once a week. Lots of social opportunities and a feeling of community, which is nice. The other classes he takes is at someone's home - a friend of mine and a long-time homeschooling mother who has a similar situation - small classes taught by tutors and 10-12 students, all homeschoolers from the area. These are Chemistry (with lab), World History and World Literature. The history and lit are meshed so that the readings tie into the historical period in which the kids are immersed. For CJ who is incredibly social, these classes are a wonderful fit. And for me, with the birth of Little Bear, and the growing needs of Earlybird, these outside classes are a blessing. He has not as yet taken any online classes but we might look into that. I'd also like for him to do dual enrollment next year (and senior year) at a local community college. This is what Bookworm did ... I think Bookworm had a nicely varied transcript - classes at home, with other homeschoolers, at college, etc. He also had a lot of volunteering/community service and it didn't hurt he had excellent SAT scores! :) Wow. I guess I just wrote my post here, lol! But I will do one at some point (soonish) because I know a lot of us want to talk about high school years and getting these wonderful kids into the schools of their choices! Thanks for commenting! :)
Thank you, all, very much for your lovely comments - and your prayers and wishes for our safety in the face of the blizzard heading towards Boston (and all of the northeast). We are laying in the supplies and feeding the birds and hunkering down ... hoping and praying we don't lose power/heat!
Ooh, thank you, Ellie! I will pop over and check it out! (And of course, I'm extremely interested!) :)
Carol, it all goes in tote bags and is moved upstairs to the boys' bedroom! A few things go in our bedroom closet. :)
Thank you, Judith - I will check it out! :)
I'm so glad! :)
Lol, Amy - yes, it looks like that through most of the year! Except for when we are hosting a gathering - say a birthday lunch or Sunday brunch with the family or Thanksgiving/Christmas/Easter/Mother's Day etc. I try to keep it neat but it's not a room we use otherwise - entertaining aside. :)
Helena, never apologize for long posts - I LOVE them! :) It sounds like you're having a great time with homeschooling so far! I like your idea of the blank calendar grid and writing in what you did. That's an easy way to keep track of things! We're doing a portfolio for the first time this year for EB - I've always written summary reports. I don't know where you are, but in MA things are usually pretty casual as long as you are in contact and provide something to show what you are doing and how they are doing. I'd be happy to write a post where we can chat about homeschooling through high school. It's not something every homeschooler chooses to do and it is a challenge - but wonderfully rewarding! Thanks for your comment and talk soon ...
I hope you do, Ellie! I'd love to read your thoughts on this! :)
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Continuing on with our Q&A series, a few ladies asked about my homeschool planning methods, so I thought I'd tackle that subject today. :) From Leah: How do/did you give your boys their assignments? Did they each have a planner... Continue reading
Posted 6 days ago at By Sun and Candlelight
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Well, in the midst of all this journal talk, life at home is marching on to a familiar and happy beat. Yesterday was the Feast of St. Agnes as well as National Squirrel Appreciation Day ... representing two sides of... Continue reading
Posted Jan 22, 2015 at By Sun and Candlelight
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Welcome, Elaine! And thank you for such kind words ... Blessings to you and yours! :)
Thank you all very much for these lovely comments and happy wishes!! :)
Our cats are strictly indoors so if they ever got out I'd be more worried (read: frantic) for them than they chickens!
Shirley Ann, I love both of these magazines! They are incredibly beautiful! I can buy them at Barnes & Noble but I don't get there as often as I used to. I often order them through an online magazine stand that has all kinds of British mags and ships them very quickly to the US! I also get Jamie and Mollie Makes on occasion. :)