Saturday night, while researching read alouds on Ambleside Online, I read the sweetest post on The Virtues of Tea Time. I began daydreaming of lovely togetherness, sweetness, classical music and poetry. I decided this is something we absolutely must begin in our home.
Sunday afternoon, we had our first tea. It was just as I had dreamed. We listened to music as the water boiled. We sat together and had sweet talks, read poetry from Where the Sidewalk Ends, (I had purchased a beat up copy the day before from our library for $1.) and a Bible story. We also ate a simple sampling of fruit with our teas.
The next day, we decided to make Lemonade Scones in true English tea fashion. We enjoyed our baking time immensely, but by the time we were almost ready to sit down, we weren't in as pleasant of a mood as I had hoped. I think waking early to take our doggies to the vet for a check-up, then a full day of lessons, and a baking session in the late afternoon, with clean-up, made us all a bit tired. My nice, pleasant togetherness didn't turn out quite as I had hoped. We were all a little cranky by this time but still managed a somewhat sweet time together. Plus, the little ones didn't like the herbal teas they had chosen for this particular tea time. Poor Jonathan shuddered all over, like what happens when you taste something very sour, as he sipped his orange-mango tea. (Daddy joined in and couldn't help but laugh at us... that big laugh was contagious and helped lighten the mood.)
We didn't give up. We've had tea time each day this week. Caraline in particular adores this time together. It is truly a highlight to her day, too. She has a special little butterfly and bumblebee tea cup that we found earlier this week at a department store (on sale!) that she loves, too. And tonight, we had a special visitor for tea, Nana! The kids talked all day about waiting to have tea until Nana arrived.
Wednesday we enjoyed Summer Nights at our church. After a wonderful lesson on humility, and a great group dance number from our pastor, our family pastor and a few other fellas, we set off on a journey around the church campus in the spirit of the Amazing Race. We participated in a few of the activity stations, and then the boys were ready to fish! Our church is blessed with a beautiful campus and lovely pond.
And Jonathan wanted a picture taken of his slugs and snail. He loves searching for little critters. Nature exploration happens daily around here. It is important to my husband and me that our little ones enjoy, appreciate and learn first-hand from the world that God has created for us.
We Love Read Alouds!
What chapter books are we are reading right now?:
Ozma of Oz from the Wizard of Oz Illustrated Series ~ almost finished! This is a fun read. (This Kindle version is only 0.99 for all 15 books and with the original illustrations! Plus, the formatting is perfect and it has links for each book and their chapters.)
Pinocchio ~ listening to the free audio and reading from the free Kindle version we downloaded from Audiobook Treasury. I love how uncluttered and easy it is to navigate through this site! I do have the LibriVox app on my iPhone and it's wonderful and FREE, too.
And, we listened to the The Magician's Nephew (Aubible Audio) in under twenty-four hours. I didn't expect us to finish so quickly, but every free moment we gathered around to find out what would happen next. We couldn't listen to it fast enough! It is absolutely fabulous. We are looking forward to reading/listening to the whole Chronicles of Narnia series.
and Kingdom Tales. It's a fun, exciting story too.
A Fun Finger Play:
Just something silly we did over and over this week. It's is a fun way to learn the basics of subtraction. (Make sure your speakers are a little low.) Enjoy the monkey sounds. :)
Favorite Songs We are Singing Around the House this Week:
We are enjoying My Father's World: Exploring Countries and Cultures. So far, First Language Lessons and Writing With Ease are working beautifully for oldest two. Even Jonathan is listening in on their lessons and retaining a wealth of knowledge! We decided to stick to BJUP for Spelling. Caraline made the final decision on which Spelling curriculum to use, and I think she chose well. I like the way BJUP explains spelling rules and word families ~ so do Ry and Care.
Caraline is doing Saxon 5/4 independently (I just check her answers.) and she isn't even using the D.I.V.E. Cd-Rom. She loves Saxon. Ryan is enjoying Saxon 2, too. I like how hands-on the lessons are for the younger grades.
I'll try to update more of our curriculum choices next week. I will say that we are all excited about a new review product for the Schoolhouse Review Crew that we will begin next week. It's called Homeschool Spanish Academy. We will have our own, private Spanish lessons with a native speaker face-to-face through Skype! How cool is that!
We will be out of pocket most of tomorrow (Friday). It's homeschool convention time in Atlanta!
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We are linking our Weekly Highlights with our friends at Homegrown Learners' Collage Friday and Weird,Unsocialized Homeschoolers' Weekly Wrap-Up.