Archives for June 2011

For my children

Over the past few weeks I have been making small changes around the house, and making little plans in my mind, all geared toward my youngest children and our return to homeschooling soon.  It is all too easy to fall into a pattern of shuffling my younger children along on school days, while trying to meet the (educational) needs of my older children.  My experience is that this results in my girls being unhappy, fussy, and demanding. Their unhappiness has a trickle down effect that gets me, and then gets the whole family.  I do not think that working to meet the needs of my younger children first necessarily translates to my spending more time sitting in the floor playing with them though, but more into preparing a home environment that best meets their needs, and providing a bit more structure and routine.  By meeting their needs first I hope to maintain a more peaceful home, and a happier home, as we head into our next school year.  Over the next few weeks I hope to share some of my plans, some of the changes I have made, and also, just a little of the way I do things.  Today I will share a bit about Beatrix’s world.
In our bedroom, Jonny and I keep a few toys and books, because after all, our bedroom is also Beatrix’s bedroom.  This is also where my rocking chair now resides and Beatrix spends time playing while I rock, nurse and care for Silas.  She has very few toys, as more than a few is too many for her (and for me.)
There is one basket of woodeninterlocking blocks, a mouse family, and a basket of wooden animals.
The simple wall shelves that Jonny built years ago, are still serving us well.  Recently I packed away most of the books.  I have been rotating books for years, but realized that I was still packing those shelves too full.  Beatrix is very much a lover of routine and repeating the same favorite books over and over again.  The fun part of that is we reach a point where she is “reading” aloud with me.  We have read The Carrot Seed  every night for many weeks and she has it memorized.  She isn’t bored with it at all.  She loves the simple story, and knowing that we will read it every night.
Often she sits with a book and I hear her repeating phrases from the books aloud while she turns the pages.  She always begins with “Once upon a time…” whether the story begins that way or not.
Current favorites on the shelf, that I don’t see leaving anytime soon are:
A Little Old Man (out of print–but still available used. one of my favorite children’s books ever and  Beatrix’s definite number one favorite right now. A Sick Day for Amos McGee (this is number two on the favorites list.  beautiful illustrations and very lovely simple story.  all my children love this one, and Larkspur almost has it memorized,)  Over in the Meadow (Picture Books)  (we sing this one together, even the big boys love it) and Bread and Jam for Frances.
(looking at A Little Old Man)
While none of these small things are particularly novel, they are important parts of Beatrix’s little world.
For both my big and my little children, I recently asked Jonny to make something to hang a set of enamelware mugs on (updated to add:  we have since replaced the enamelware with these stainless steel cups because the enamelware chips so much.)  I worry about my children drinking enough water, but I can’t remember to remind them all day long.  So I came up with a plan to make water and cups always available and accessible even to my youngest children, and a little bit fun as well.  One of the older boys fills the pitchers in the morning.  We have two large ones, and a small one for the girls to use.  On occasion, I might fill the pitchers with iced herbal tea with honey.
Each mug has a child’s initial on the bottom.  Hand washing the mugs in soapy water periodically is a nice job for one of the girls.  (There is room for another hook on the bottom right for Silas!)
I see my boys drinking more water already. I still remind them to go drink a cup when they come inside all hot and sweaty, but I don’t feel like I have to remind them as often.
Beatrix enjoys filling her mug (all by herself!) so much that she sometimes ends up with a watery mess (small pitcher purchased here.)  I remind her that these pitchers of water are for drinking only.  I provide her with other things for water play, and so far I am not having too much trouble with her playing in the drinking water.
It’s really so much fun to come up with ways to make our little home more child friendly.

Yarn Along

~ Two of my favorite things are knitting and reading, and the evidence of this often shows up in my photographs. I love seeing what other people are knitting and reading as well. So, what are you knitting or crocheting right now? What are you reading? Take a photo and share it either on your blog or on Flickr. Leave a link below to share your photo with the rest of us! ~

We stopped homeschooling at the end of April so that I would have plenty of time to get ready for Silas’ birth.  My plan was to take May and June off, and resume schooling in July (early start so we can spend a lot of time outdoors this fall.)  So, this week my reading has been focused on school and my dresser is covered in my boys’ “living” history books which I need to get sorted out.  A homeschooling mama friend loaned me a copy of Phonics that Work! New Strategies for the Reading/Writing Classroom and I have been reading that, trying to come up with a new plan for one of my children who really struggles with reading.
As far as knitting goes, I am knitting sleeves on two sweaters and because I find that really boring, it is taking me forever.  Well, that and the fact that I have little to no time to knit lately.  I did cast on a new pair of Sheepy pants for Silas yesterday (in lovely Lindon Merino by Three Irish Girls) and am hoping to whip them out quickly, as he really needs one more diaper cover.  If I don’t work fast, he’ll outgrow them before I am finished anyway!  I weighed him last week and he was 11 1/2 pounds! 
So what are you guys (in real life I would say ya’ll) knitting?
Below is a linky list if you’d like to add a link to your own Yarn Along photo.
(**And those of you posting crochet projects, don’t forget to add the word “crochet” next to your name! thanks!)

(1) Make sure the link you submit is to the URL of your blog post or your specific Flickr photo and not your main blog URL or Flickr Photostream. Please be sure and link to your current Yarn Along post, and not a Yarn Along post from a previous week.
(2) Include a link back here in your blog post or flickr photo page.
(3) If you have any trouble linking up, just email me and I will help you!

You can also join the Flickr Yarn Along group to share your knitting and reading photos anytime!