Co-op Ends and the Blog Begins

Co-op Ends and the Blog Begins

Ah!  It’s the first post of the new site.  I am so excited!  If you have not met me before, please read the About Me page.  I am not new to the internet.  For those of you who remember and have happened to find me again, hello, old friends.

So here’s the scoop on this new blog.  Yes, the title has a meaning.  More on that below.  The general roadmap here is to give you a witty, yet insightful, rewind of our goings on, week-by-week.  Included in that is sure to be details on our curriculum, bad advice, opinions you never asked for, and generally a fun time.

I’m sure this will all take on a general format eventually. I’ll use some headings so feel free to skip ahead to the parts you came for.  Off we go!

The Week

Sunday:  I teach Kindergarten RE (Religious Education.)  Today was our second to last class for the year because we take a break in the summer.  This drives me nuts.  I grew up Baptist so taking a break from Sunday school is like going on vacation from God.  Weird.  But this is a college town so many of our teachers and families skedaddle after May, leaving a bit of a skeleton crew.

I struggle at the end of every year about whether or not I should teach again.  It’s a 75 minute class and that is just way too long for Kindergartners after they have already sat in Mass for over an hour.  I know in my heart this class is not what they need at that given moment, yet that is the schedule and kids will be dropped off.  Someone has to teach them.  Next year we will be moving into a new facility with a new, hopefully shorter, class time, so I may give it another go.  Plus, I have my own kiddo in the class next year, if I decide to take him.

St Francis X April 2017
The New Saint Francis Xavier – Coming Soon!

Monday:  Monday is known around here as PE day.  I now have all four boys in the one hour class.  I get to sit on the bench and read or talk to other moms!  It’s a dream that has been five years in the making.  One day I might even be able to drop them off and run an errand.  Not yet though, Josh still needs me to stay.  If you would like a more formal introduction to my youngest offspring, see My Peeps.

Tuesday:  The day had such promise, but then I was lazy.  The night before I did not take time to pre-read the school books or do much prep.  Then I slept in past the time that the boys got up.  Then we went to the park after breakfast because it was going to be almost 90 degrees in the afternoon.  (I live in Oklahoma.  You’ll hear about the weather a lot.)

All of that adds up to not a lot of book learnin’ getting done.  We have a doozy of a time doing any school after lunch and today was no exception.  I think the boys watched The Secret Life of Pets on Netflix, and I took a walk down memory lane reading my old blog.  Which has led me to start this blog, so you’re welcome.

Wednesday:  So last year in September, three of my mom friends from our local Charlotte Mason support group decided to start a fine arts co-op.  Being a fine arts major in college (Technical Theatre) and also a willing participant, I was recruited to teach the class for the 3rd-5th graders and design the Shakespeare study for all of the classes.  Today was our last meeting of the year!  The 6th-8th grade class performed a scene from A Midsummer Night’s Dream.

This was our first go at joining a co-op and it went really well.  There was a little program for the nursery room crowd and lots of play time.  The Mighty Mights loved it.  We ran four 6-week terms from September through April on Wednesdays from 9-noon.  It was just about the right amount of time.  Anymore would have been too much for both the teachers and the kids.  Over the course of the year we covered hymns and folk songs, picture and composer study, poetry and Shakespeare, literature, handicrafts, and nature study.  Now it is a bit of recovery and on to planning for the next year!

As you may have guessed, after six years of searching, testing, trying and lots of reading, I am a Charlotte Mason homeschooler now.  And if you’ve read Consider This, you know that this philosophy is deeply rooted in the classical tradition of education.  You’ll be hearing a lot about this way of schooling from me.

Art of the Week (click for captions)

Wednesday continued to be the most exciting day of the week.  Instead of going to work, Hubby went up to his mother’s house.  Her little hilltop was hit by two F1 tornadoes overnight.  It was trees everywhere.  He spent the day playing lumberjack so they could get out of their driveway.  No one was injured and the structures are mostly undamaged.  The biggest problem is the water line was broken when some large trees were uprooted.  That will likely have to be replaced entirely.  Yikes $$.

Since I was home alone with the boys, we ate poorly and watched a movie.  I found the old 1970s Alice in Wonderland on Amazon and rented it.  We’ve been trying to find it after reading the book (twice) and performing the play (which I solo directed) last year.  It was fun, but I think I am finally over Alice for a good long while.

Thursday:  It’s pretty apparent by this late in the week that we will not be getting much schoolwork done.  We spent the day doing chores to recover the state of the house and laundry.  I took them on an outing to Sprouts and that was pretty painful.

The afternoon was a playdate with my bestie, JoAnn, and most of her kids.  She has a new baby that Josh was dying to meet.

Friday:  No school for today.  We picked up the yard in anticipation of more storms and played outside until it was too hot.  The afternoon will be spent making birthday cake and cookies and re-watching Moana.

This is the first year that I am trying year-round school.  Typically we are on a long break right about now because mid-April through June is filled with birthdays and activities.  Well, July started getting packed, too, and I just can’t handle a full three month break.  We will instead just work in some school days and weeks when we can and take off when other activities crowd out schoolwork.  For more information on our 2017 school year plan, see The School Year.

The Stats

We logged days 58-60 of 180 school days for the 2017 calendar year.

Ambleside Online:  Still working on week 8 of term 2.

At the Feeder:  This week we saw the return of a Golden Finch!

Weather:  Spastic swings from 90-40 degrees throughout the week.  I ran the heater and AC in the same day more than once.  Also, it was pretty soggy.

The Goals

A few years ago I discovered the Paleo diet and followed it for a couple of months.  I’ve struggled with digestive issues my entire life, and I have never felt better than I did those few weeks.  It is only getting worse as I get older, so my goal for the summer is to clean up our eating habits.

This week, I stumbled upon a new-to-me way of making salad.  You chop and shred everything up really small.  I used my food processor to chop red cabbage and broccoli.  I’ve always hated large chunks of broccoli in salad.  It was awesome and the two big boys even ate it.  The big boys ate salad!  With kale!  Dad and the Mighty Mights did not.

Next Week

We have a big weekend ahead with my niece/Josh’s birthday party.  Usually we go to the zoo every year, but it looks like the rain is going to push us indoors to the science museum instead.  I think we will end up getting a yearly membership, so we will have to go back again once or twice to make it worth the cost.

Hopefully the rest of the week will include 4 days of school. (Probably 3.)  It is the last week for Sunday school and PE, so the summer mentality will be in full swing.


The Rest of the Matters

So that concludes the weekly run-down.  This section of the post is a bit more free form: ideas I’m mulling over, homeschool issues and planning, Charlotte Mason stuff, etc.

I promised to tell you the meaning of the blog’s name.  Let me get into the time machine and pull forward a bit from the old blog, Our Catholic Homeschool:

I drug the boys to my women’s faith study this morning.  We are trying to come up with a catchy name for ourselves before next weekend’s stewardship fair.  I threw All The Maters out there.  We’ll see if it sticks.

It didn’t stick.  And apparently the plural of mater is actually matres, so maybe it was for the best.  I just thought it would be a neat name for our mother’s group that discussed all matters of the faith.  I think they didn’t want to make the group exclusively for moms.

I don’t attend the group anymore since we started going to co-op.  It was an entire morning gone every week that could have been spent doing school and the babysitting was getting expensive.  I was the only homeschooler in regular attendance.  So while most moms had one or two little people to pay for, I had four.

Anyway, I can use the name for my blog, a place for all the mothers to hang out and discuss all that matters.  See you next week!


The Link Ups

This post is linked up to:

The Weekly Wrap-Up hosted at Weird Unsocialized Homeschoolers

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