mornings for the girls

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The past year with my little girls has been a little rough.  Between having a new baby in the house and three older brothers whose lessons I cannot neglect, I am afraid that I let my girls down a bit.  I have not managed to spend as much one on one (or one on two) time with them as I would like.  I have honestly found it difficult just to accomplish the bare minimum with the older boys.  So now I am in the process of revamping our days so that I am once again putting my youngest children first on the “schedule” each day rather than trying to finish up lessons with the boys first thing.  The boys spend the morning working on their chores, the lessons they can do on their own, and playing.  Silas is either with me or with his brothers.

I needed something that would help me with some loose structure and ideas for Beatrix and Larkspur and I think I have found it in a sweet little program called Twenty Six Letters to Heaven.  I typically politely decline to review books or curricula here, but when Sarah, the author of this program, wrote me asking if I would be interested in taking a look at it, I felt like she might actually really be filling a need for us.  This Catholic curriculum is geared toward preschoolers in a traditional letter each week format, but it is easy to include older children as well, and that is how I am using it.  I have honestly never followed a letter each week program before.  I guess I have always found myself wanting to do my own thing, and felt too limited by curricula of any sort for younger children.  Now that I am homeschooling with such a wide range of ages though, I find that my spontaneity and creativity skips out on me in the face of all the good, the bad, and the busy that make up our days.  I am easily overwhelmed by homeschooling materials, but this program is so simple to carry out that I am not intimidated by it at all.  I spent about twenty minutes looking over it before I knew I could do it.

This week we began with letter “A.”  Following along with Twenty Six Letters, the girls and I have focused on a virtue (amiability,) a simple verse from scripture for memorization that enforces that virtue, and we’ve talked about St. Anne.  We have read books selected from the booklist (there is a list for each letter of the alphabet,) colored coloring pages of St. Anne and other “A” themed pictures that I found online.  We’ve also done a few simple crafts both from the book and our own ideas.  Simple construction paper ants were created along with angels from wool roving. Included in the lesson plans for each week are math or science activities and recipes alongside the arts and crafts ideas.  I intend to plan a couple of things for each of four days per week.  While Larkspur is beyond learning her letters, she still enjoys playing along with Beatrix and I.  I do additional work with her in the areas of math, handwriting, and phonics but love that she and Bea can work together learning about virtues, the saints, and memorizing scripture.

My girls are loving the simple format we have followed each morning this week.  I am finding that they play together far more happily during the afternoon after they have had me to themselves all morning.  This is allowing me to spend Silas’ afternoon naptime working with my older boys.  I pray that this system continues to work for us!

If you are interested in winning a copy of Twenty Six Letters to Heaven, just mention so in your comment and I will randomly choose a winner on Monday.

The winner is Katie:  “I would love to look at 26 Letters to Heaven for my little girls!  I too, have avoided a lot of curriculum for the littles, but would enjoy trying something a little more structured.  Your girls are adorable!”

Comments

  1. I am in the same place with my lit tale girls. I would love to do this with them. I just don’t have the time to pull every thing together any more.
    Thank you!

  2. Amanda Carnes says:

    I am regrettably in the same situation. My littles get not as much mommy time as I’d like. I would love to give this a try. We use Catholic Heritage Curricula and a little bit of classical mixed in.

  3. I was trying a letter program that was secular. I would love to use one that is Catholic!

  4. Jennifer says:

    I think this may be an answered prayer. I’ve been wanting to do “preschool” with my oldest but haven’t really known where to start. Thanks for the giveaway!

  5. I love it. All of it. The book looks amazing!

  6. Hi Ginny,
    Christian Light Publications also has an amazing Learn to Read program. I’m currently teaching my third child to read and I have gone through three programs so far with him. Nothing seemed to stick until the CLP program. It’s a little different, in that it starts with D, M, S, and A. And four sight words for 10 days straight. My son has really retained his letters and sounds and is also able to make words right away and read them. (ie, Dad) I absolutely recommend that you take a peak at this program. I swear I’ve walked right by it at homeschool conventions for the last 5 years, and never realized what a great program it was until now. Lots of wasted time on my part. 😛 My favorite part – it tells me what to say to my son…I LOVE that…lol!

  7. Ginny, this book looks great! Thanks for entering me in the drawing. And thanks for the beautiful pics on your blog! Emily b

  8. Mary myers says:

    Enjoy your blog, and thanks for the chance to win!

  9. If it’s not too let I’d love to be entered!!!!

  10. Ginny,
    You are doing so well with your children! ” Twenty~ six Letters to Heaven”, looks like a sweet little book. Please enter my name in the drawing!
    Blessings to you from Kansas!
    Gail

  11. Dear Ginny,
    I love the look of that book and would love to win it.
    It is hard finding time for all the age groups.It is something I still struggle with all the time.
    blessings
    Gae

  12. Carolyn says:

    Ginny, I’m a new reader of your blog and I love your honesty. I look forward to many more blog posts from you and I’d love to have that book with my younguns.

  13. crissy stokes says:

    Curriculum is too cute! I would love a copy:) Thanks for hosting the give -away

  14. How fun! Looks like Catholic Tasha Tudor-esque! It does look like it would be ideal to fit into morning learning time.

  15. I am not interested in the program since we’re beyond preschool now (so don’t count me in for the giveaway), but I wanted to comment…I completely understand how you’re feeling. I feel like the past several years, my 2 younger ones have fallen by the wayside because lots of emphasis has been placed on my 2 older ones (Who are now homeschool graduates! 13+ years all the way through!!! Can you hear my BIG enthusiastic cry for joy!?) Anyway, I feel in many ways a weight lifted (although this college stuff is a big burden too) and am looking forward to spending more specific time with my 2 younger ones.

    Don’t worry. All will work out in the schooling realm. You have your hands full and are in a difficult (but fun) season of life.

    • P.S. – love those matching dresses! Did you make them? And did you make the girls’ tops as well – the brown one and the blue one? Lovely.

  16. I know just how you feel, I have been feeling that I have neglected my 4 year old this year. For many reasons that I won’t go into he has been amusing himself a lot. This sounds like an awesome program, I would love a chance to win. Thanks, Ginny. Good luck with the new routine, it sounds great. Boys do need that morning time to release some energy, chores and such before lunch sounds like a great idea.

  17. I would like to use this with my wee ones. Love the idea of having a plan for them without hving to create it myself.

  18. Love the idea of mixing learning letters with religion! My daughter and I would love to win.

  19. Sounds great – I´d like it 🙂

  20. I’d love to try Twenty Six Letters to Heaven. Thanks!

  21. Ginny…this one was on my to buy list for the upcoming year for Roman and Fiona…it would be geat to win one… 🙂

  22. I’m betting that the more kids one has, the better idea it is to have some kind of pre-written “framework” for ideas. Otherwise the creativity gets sucked up in all the sleep deprivation, never to return. 😉 I felt that a bit even with my 3rd. Now that I have a 4th, I’m sure I’ll be depending on something-or-other to help me with special activities for the littlest (when she’s older, of course!)

    I’d love to be entered into the giveaway. Thanks, Ginny.

  23. Sounds like a lovely plan. I would love a chance to win a copy. Thank you.

  24. I had been looking at this book as an option for my own little preschooler. I would love to win a copy 🙂

  25. I would love a copy of this book. I think it would be great for my kindergartener and my 3 year old. Is the book geared only for girls or would it be OK for a boy?

  26. Christy says:

    That book looks just my style. Simple and to the point. And yes it is so hard to not neglect the little ones in home schooling. I try to hard not to but invariably it happens. Having a book like this seems like it will help.

  27. Betsy M says:

    I also have a difficult time spending some one on one with my younger ones. We have been trying to have some special craft or reading time on occasion and this book sounds like it would be perfect. Thanks for the review.

  28. Michele F. says:

    Isn’t it fun and satisfying to tweak our days in order to meet everyone’s needs better? Having homeschooled for going on 16 years (yikes!), we’ve certainly been through a lot of different schedules. It looks like an adorable book, thanks for the chance! God bless, Michele F.

  29. Sounds like a lovely plan – it is hard to juggle everyone’s needs isn’t it. Your photos look just delicious and calm, and little Silas is just a honey, into everything and everyone isn’t he?!

  30. Sounds wonderful, and I love the art on the cover! Thanks for the chance to win a copy 🙂
    -Jaime

  31. I understand the age gap issue — my older two demand more and more time as they grow older and in their education and carving out the necessary time the younger two need is always a huge challenge — that and returning to kindergarten when we are currently in the world of grade five/six is a mind binder. We would enjoy a copy of book.

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