Educating Our Oaks in Advent 2017

Because I am so tired, a goal for Advent was to do less. We work hard for the fifteen weeks that make up a CC semester, and then we need a break. So, for the last couple of weeks, I have required each boy to do these things:

  1. Chores
  2. Participate in the Council of Oaks
  3. A math lesson (until they reached their goal for this term… which was roughly half the book)
  4. Read for an hour (can be broken into segments)
  5. Practice your instrument.
  6. Go outside and move as the weather permits.

That was pretty much what I did also. A little math, a little reading, a little exercise, a little fellowship.

For our Council meetings, we read bits from Cindy Rollin’s Hallelujah: A Journey through Advent with Handel’s Messiah   and we listened to Handel’s Messiah(Each word is linked to a different version, but both albums are available through Prime Streaming.)  Cindy leads us through the entire Messiah, not just the first part, so that we don’t miss the purpose for the birth of Christ: that we all can, through His sacrifice, be forgiven for our sins. There are poems and scriptures to read and ponder in the book, including Christina Rossetti’s In the Bleak Midwinter, which is what we agreed to memorize here and worked on.

I am pondering a focus word for next year. I think we can agree that I wasn’t great at creating Margin in my world this year. It is simply very difficult to get everyone where they need to be around here. I did get better at working in the small moments of time. I am looking at some new habits to work on next year in the areas of exercise, health, and downtime. Those ideas aren’t fully formed yet.

Educating Our Oaks in November 2017

November is glorious in Oklahoma. This year the colors have been brilliant, the sky has been a beautiful azure blue, and temperatures have been pretty mild. It is December 1. We haven’t turned on the heat yet, but the air conditioner is definitely off.

This was a particularly busy month. Every day on my calendar had more than one thing outside the house scheduled. It was a month of finishing-things-up. Josiah and Gideon finished up their term in Foundations and Essentials. Micah took blue books for Challenge 2, and I gave exams for Challenge 3 and wrote progress reports.  There were meetings, field trips, and dentist appointments.

Rejoice:I have still been staying up late with Jon and Micah, so I am not getting up early enough for a long and quiet morning study period alone with my coffee. I did write a gratitude-based series on Instagram in November, and I was consistent with Bible study but not personal reading.

Relate: Our CC community is now on recess until January. We miss seeing our friends consistently, but we were all very much ready for a break from the pace of life when classes are in session. Jon and Micah and I continued to work companionably at the big table in the evening. Occasionally, one of us tutors him in algebra or Latin or edits work for him. Most of the time, we are all working on our own projects. We have enjoyed hanging out with him as fellow autodidacts.

Remember:  We had three or four Council of Oaks meetings a week and did memory work each time. We are on track with Foundations memory work, but the younger boys fell behind with the Essentials memory work because they didn’t want to take time to recite a chart for an adult in class.  We did a few more Spanish and German lessons and learned our hymns and poetry. It feels like we are behind in Scripture memory work, but in reality,  I had delusions of grandeur when I made the Memory Work Packs for each month. I’ll fix that.

Reason:  Math, Algebra 2, and Calculus are all on track. Logic and Latin are on track. English grammar is too. Check. Check. Check.

Read: Josiah and Gideon and I finally finished Abigail Adams: Witness to a Revolution by Natalie Bober. We read it a little bit a day over fifteen weeks, and it was enjoyable.  Abigail was quite a behind-the-scenes hero of the American Revolution, and her story was engaging.

Record:  I wrote mostly on Instagram, and I met the monthly challenge on The boys all wrote essays for school, and Micah wrote his blue book exams. I did a lot of essay reading and coaching.  I have a couple of ideas for article series for this blog, but I can’t decide where to start.

Books Finished in November:

By Micah: Jane Eyre, plus a lot of other school reading and internet research

By Josiah: Nathan Hale’s Raid of No Return and Natalie Bober’s Abigail Adams: Witness to a Revolution.Of Courage Undaunted by James Daughtery, And a pile of re-reading. He is still finishing up The Silver Chair and Johnny Tremain.

By Gideon: Nathan Hale’s Raid of No Return and Natalie Bober’s Abigail Adams: Witness to a Revolution. Of Courage Undaunted by James Daughtery, And a pile of re-reading. He is still finishing up The Last Battle and Johnny Tremain.

By Me: a whole stack of cookbooks (none of which I would particularly recommend), a book about dot journaling, (from which I learned nothing new), and I started eight books and finished none of them. For recipes and bullet journaling ideas, Pinterest is still my go-to.

(Links in this post are Amazon affiliate links. Any funds earned through them go to support our homeschool.)