Friday, July 31, 2015

Are We Classical?

I feel like I can finally say that over the last year we have really settled into a better rhythm in our homeschool...

In fact, over the last few years I had been trying to follow the recommendations found in the book The Well Trained Mind by Susan Wise Bauer.  Ohhh my...and I do love Susan Wise Bauer.  Ask my husband...a lot of school-things are usually prefaced with "Well...Susan Wise Bauer says..."

I have really gotten myself invested in the 4-year cycle and the memory work mindset that comes with a more classical approach to homeschooling.  There is NOTHING wrong with that!  But-- last year it just got to be too much.  A couple of years ago we did Classical Conversations...then switched and did a year of a "mom-led" classical coop using the CC materials.  Midway through the year we dropped it due to moving, moving and more moving.  We did our own thing for a semester because we just needed a break from trying to keep up!  As we approach this next school year I've been debating on doing CC or the CC coop again and I am so torn.  In the time that we have been away we have relaxed a lot more. School has become more fun and enjoyable.  It wasn't like that when we were doing the coop.  I was always stressed on what we NEEDED to get done...what we NEEDED to know each week...and NEEDING to get our presentations ready...  I'm not sure I can hang with all the "needs" of a year of coop.  There is so much more to enjoy about homeschooling and I'm afraid to lose it.  My kids have a LOVE of learning that gets somewhat squashed when we get caught up in all the things that we NEED to do...  

I have flip-flopped a lot over the last 5 years...trying to find a good fit for us.  Something that fits our personality.  I never seem to find that perfect niche.  But, we are getting there!  Our curriculum choices evolve every year and seem to better reflect the kind of learning environment we want to have.  My kids are happier.  I am happier.  

I will be sharing more on our curriculum choices over the next couple of weeks and I'm really happy with what we have decided on!  I think it will really reflect the family style learning that we are trying to get rolling in our family.  I hope you stop back by to find out more!  Thanks for visiting Swinging On Small Hinges!  :)

Thursday, July 30, 2015

What We Are Reading This Week....

We have some new reading this week!  We love the Big Head series and we decided to learn more about Robert E. Lee and Ulysses S. Grant!  Biographies have really been our thing recently and the girls really enjoy this book series.  They also compliment very nicely with our History Pockets we have been working on for the last couple of weeks!

In addition to the Big Head books Kayley and Maggie both enjoyed reading Vinnie and Abraham, a true story about a young woman who carved a gorgeous statue of Abraham Lincoln out of marble.

And Civil War Sub, the true story of the Hunley submarine.

For fun both girls read Abe Lincoln's Hat on their own.  A silly story about how Abe kept important notes in his hat until the day he lost them!

Kayley has also been reading Sassafras Science Vol 3.  She adores these books...they are kind of like a science version of Magic Tree House.  They are actually a full science curriculum but Kayley enjoyed the 1st book so much that I went ahead and purchased 2 & 3 so that she could read them for fun.

 As for me...I have a book review coming up next week and so for this week I am reading Will My child Be Ready?  You can watch for this book review coming up in August!

We sure love our books around here!!!  Thanks for stopping by!

Tuesday, July 28, 2015

Kansas City - Crown Center *Birthday Weekend!*

We had such a good weekend!  It was so nice to get away just for a little while.  Since Saturday was my birthday and Sunday was Kayley's birthday we decided to run off to Kansas City for the weekend and spend time at Crown Center!  We stayed at the Westin - which is so convenient!  You just go down the elevator and you are already in Crown Center.  No driving all weekend!  

We went to Sea Life and spent an hour or so at the aquarium!



From there we headed to Kaleidoscope...sponsored by Hallmark.  You get in for about 45 minutes and it is art stations.  Kids do a bunch of projects.  Best part?  It is FREE.


Then we quickly visited the Hallmark Visitor Center and learned a little about the history of greeting cards...

And enjoyed getting a bow out of the bow machine.

We hit the Crayola store where we stocked up on Crayons. 

Then enjoyed lunch at the Crayola Cafe where art was encouraged on your placemat!

From there we visited the Lego Discovery Center.

You could find out how many Lego bricks you weigh.

 They had rides!

We enjoyed dinner at Fritz's.  
Where a train chugs overhead and drops food off at your table.

Here comes our food!

We walked over to Union Station, which was mostly closed but still beautiful to look at!

The view from our hotel.

Time to head home!

We did celebrate Kayley's birthday with cake and ice cream on Sunday night so she did get to blow out candles and open presents...  I'll upload those pictures next time.  :)

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