Archives for July 2011

About those plans…

I wonder how many times now I have made elaborate new homeschooling plans, only to realize that those plans are not going to work, a mere week later.  So here I am, to cheerfully recant.  Because, everything is okay now.  I had a couple of days that caused me to say things along the lines of, “clearly I am unable to homeschool with this many children.”  On those days, everything was not okay and I was not feeling very cheerful.  But then I remembered that making things better was simply a matter of rearranging my ideas a bit. The failure of one plan, is not really failure at all, just room for inspiration.
Devoting entire mornings to focusing exclusively on my girls proved unnecessary, and also created a situation in which I never managed to do math (or much of anything) with my boys.  Rather than a four day school week, I found myself needing a seven day school week to get everything done, and there isn’t even that much that we do! Not good, especially when I am really hoping to figure out how to have a three day week (maybe by doing school year round.)  I spoke with a friend about the apparent necessity of getting lots finished in the morning, building momentum, which helps to ensure that everything that needs to get done, gets done.  It’s amazing how hard it can be to accomplish just a few basic things with my three big boys, while caring for my three younger children.
So really all that has changed is that I am dividing my time among everyone, everyday, trying to get as much schooling with my older three accomplished as early in the day as possible.  Rather than spend all morning focused on Larkspur and Beatrix, I just have a personal rule that if they need me, I will not try to push them aside, but will stop what I am doing (unless it is super important that I don’t-rare) and tend to their needs.
While I originally planned to have a set rotation of creative activities for my girls each week, I realized that I feel too strongly about following them when it comes to creativity, rather than leading them in any other way than example (there are others aspects of our days that are always the same, creating the comfort of rhythm and routine.)  That’s not to say that I never plan crafts and activities for them, I just save my ideas for the rare days when they don’t have any of their own.  Because I have a large family, my younger children most often want to model the older children (rather than do what I suggest), and sometimes vice versa!  On the day this week when I planned for the girls to paint with watercolors, Larkspur wanted to paint wooden peg people, and Beatrix wanted to paint rocks.  So that’s what we did!
The boys then decided they wanted to paint too.  They painted a few rocks, but then started painting leaves as well.  That would never be something that I would have come up for them (hey lets paint leaves with acrylic paint!) but it is what they wanted to do and they loved doing it.  Seth is still really excited about all the leaves he painted with shiny gold paint.
This week, I found my girls wanting to spend more time playing together independently than they have in the past.  Rather than interrupt their fun, I gave spelling quizzes and writing lessons to the boys!
Their play also inspired a bit of simple crafting when Larkspur declared that her geese needed a pond.  She, Keats and I collaborated on a simple felt play scene using a large piece of wool blend felt, some bulky wool yarn, and various shades of blue wool roving.  I used pinking shears to cut the green felt, and then needle felted the roving and yarn to it with Lark’s help.
 And regarding my own sanity, when I found myself feeling a bit crazy (and bored!) with the lessons I have to do with the boys, I remembered that last school year I always kept some easy mindless knitting nearby.  Giving a spelling test is so much nicer with a set of needles in my hands.

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! ~

This week I found myself needing an easy project, and a fun read.  So:  I cast on the first of two legwarmers, using Lindon Merino that I bought about a year ago with a pair of legwarmers for myself in mind.  I am terrible at knitting for myself though so I didn’t manage to knit them last winter as I had planned.  I wear legwarmers literally every single day when it is cold though and need another pair.  My other two sets are alpaca and they always wind up around my ankles.  Hopefully these will stay put.  I am using an improvised pattern and will post my notes on Ravelry when they are finished.  This colorway looks a bit funky in this photo, but no matter how many different places (and how many different shutter speeds/aperatures) I tried taking the photo, I couldn’t capture what it really looks like.  It’s actually very pretty with the bright colors (which are not neon in the slightest as they appear in the photo) being balanced out by shades of brown, gray, and black.  I typically wear really boring clothes, mainly in neutral shades (Jonny teases me because most of my clothes are brown) so I think my legwarmers should be a bit wild, right?
I am reading Knitting Rules!: The Yarn Harlot’s Bag of Knitting Tricks and really loving it.  Stephanie is laugh out loud funny and I am wondering why I haven’t read her other books yet.  I think I spend too much time reading serious stuff.  Anyway, I am loving this so much that I find myself reading bits out loud to Jonny.  He never really got into knitting though, so doesn’t appreciate her humor as much as I do, especially when it is after midnight and he is half asleep.  I hope you all are having a lovely week.  I updated on the Knit for Japan project, so check out my last post if you missed it!

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 to make yourself easier for other crocheters to find! )

(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!