The Family

The Family

Wednesday, November 25, 2015

Thanksgiving Program

On Monday Jack participated in his first Thanksgiving program. To be clear, it was his first ever anything program.

As a homeschooling parenting this is one of those things I was sad to think might never happen. Luckily, another mom took it upon herself to organize a homeschool Thanksgiving program.

There was also a time, a few years ago, when Jack never would have agreed to something like this. I've always been slow to push my children into any activity, so when I brought this up I thought he might immediately say no. I think I started the conversation with something like: "Now hear me out before you say anything..."

After telling him that the program would be full of his friends from art class and that everyone would sing the songs together, he shrugged and said "Ok!" To my delight, he actually enjoyed learning the three assigned songs:  "My Country Tis of Thee," "Over the River and Through the Woods" and "This Land is Your Land."

We practiced them for about two weeks. Only once, after about eight straight days of singing the songs, did he complain about it being boring, which by that time I felt the same way.

The children chose either a Pilgrim hat or Indian headpiece to wear for the program. We had to make them ourselves based on some links the organizing mom sent out. Because I desire to be crafty, but am not, I got our babysitter to make them one afternoon when she was at the house:-)

It was a wonderful program. Some of the children had reading and speaking parts. Each child also had to stand and say what he or she was thankful for. We ended the program with a Thanksgiving feast prepared by all the parents.

You'll notice Mattie in some of the pictures below. This was the practice session before the program. Stage fright hit big time once the dads and grandparents started filing in. She sat grumpily with Matt and me throughout the actual program. She was fine come feast time, which is typical. Everything for this child is food related!

Tuesday, November 17, 2015

Monday, November 9, 2015

What We're Reading

Here is a list of recent and current books we've been reading in our house:

1. Chronicles of Narnia Series:

We are reading this series in the order shown here, not the order in which each book was published. This order provides more of a chronological account of the Pevensie children before getting into other characters not related to those high queens and kings of Narnia. These are wonderful books about adventure and bravery and no boy or girl should go through their childhood without experiencing these noble stories.

2. Goosebumps:

After finishing the Lemony Snicket's series on Audible last week, Jack begged to hear some Goosebumps stories. They are for sure a stark contrast to the C.S. Lewis classics mentioned above, but I've always been a sucker for a spooky story. Jack and I went to see the movie a few weeks ago - it was great I must add - and he wanted to read the stories. I thought listening to the stories, each read by a different narrator, would be the way to go. When I looked up the order of the books on Wikipedia I was stunned to see more than 60 titles. He keeps telling everyone that we are going to listen to every single one of them. Not sure if my wallet will agree.

3. "The Lowland" by Jhumpa Lahiri

This one is for me. It's been on my list for a while, and I finally checked it out at the library last week. It's a moving story about two brothers from India, one timid and content with living on the sidelines and the other more passionate, yet also reckless. The noble actions the older brother takes after the death of the other, rebellious brother, is a story not often heard.

4. "Teaching From Rest" by Sarah Mackenzie

Sarah Mackenzie is one of my new favorite people. Her podcasts about building a family culture around reading aloud are encouraging and inspiring. I flew through this book, and it, along with "Teaching the Whole-Hearted Child" by Sally Clarkson and "A Well-Trained Mind" by Jessie Wise and Susan Wise Bauer, will be a yearly read. This short book gets straight to the heart of the matter. And don't let the title fool you. She's not talking about being well-rested. I actually have to hurry up and finish this post so I can tune in to Sarah's book club on Periscope!