My Daybook: January 13th, 2016

Outside my window…

early morning here, I love the softness and the quietness of early mornings before the children are awake. Through trial and error I’ve discovered early mornings are my most productive time to write, I can achieve so much in that window of scheduled writing.  I need to log on and not be distracted by emails, blog reading or facebook. I pre-plan posts and then just write, a disciplined approach is so productive for me

 

Talking logging on, I’ve returned to continue writing my Daybook post to discover PC has been writing for me!  It was all ‘tongue in cheek’ but I’m going to leave some of his thoughts in italic so you can see, it appears he is keen to talk books. First some background, my friend D has been reading The Life Changing Magic of Tidying Up and researching the KonMari method. She rings me daily and shares what she has just read, we then tackle the clutter in our respective homes with support from one another. We have thoughts about what to take from this method and how to apply to Christian families of large age spreads but that’s a whole ‘nother post in the making. Meanwhile I have been on a deep decluttering binge for over a week and I’m now up to the books, 8000 homeless books, while our home library is being ‘remodeled’

 

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I am thankful…

for my husband, for many reasons, lately I’ve been giving extra thanks for his various talents and ‘can do’ attitude. He has worked tirelessly on creating our beautiful home, I am very aware of how blessed we are and grateful, and now he’ll be all embarrassed 😉

I am thinking…

about culling more books

well….guilty as charged.  In amongst caring, loving and educating our children and running our home my mind is thinking “how many bookcases can I cull today?” What’s my method? I lay all the books one bookcase at a time, on a sheet on the pool table, spines up. I then call the children to come and select what books they “think are worth keeping.” Once the children have made their selections, depending on why they haven’t selected the books left I put many in the ‘give away’ pile. This culling is at a deeper level than I’ve attempted before, this time I’ve ‘let go’ of my books, if none of my children love my childhood books then it it’s time to let go. I’m also moving along books that may have merit educationally if the children won’t open the books then it’s time to find a new home. As the children are involved in the process one bookcase a day is their limit so I can’t push too hard. I dream of culling 1000 books, can we do it? We’ve culled three bookcases thus far and already have seven boxes to move along. We have many wonderful treasures that are getting lost amongst the sheer numbers, less can be best

Just received notification that our annual book sale is this weekend, I love this book sale, but should I really attend! What do you think??

Learning all the time…

although school holidays continue for a few more weeks, until the end of January precisely, we started back with a few lessons this week. Easing our way back in focusing on the basics; reading, writing, spelling and maths

 

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Celebrating the liturgical year……

as we’ve just concluded the Christmastide I was totally surprised at Sunday Mass to hear Father J discussing the formation of Lenten groups. Easter will be early this year!

From the kitchen…

I made home made yogurt earlier this week and today I made a grain free lemon drizzle cake that the children raved about! So I shall be making that recipe again. My thoughts are turning again towards ‘healing your gut foods‘. It all seems so daunting, I’m not keen to go through the whole program, wanting to take shortcuts.  Have you any experience with the GAPS diet? Any tips, direction?

I am creating…

space to fill again

no, no, no PC! This is not how it’s meant to work, we’re meant to leave the space as space!

I’m creating order out of chaos, well it wasn’t chaos as I did have an order amongst the clutter of one house squeezed into half. I’m creating room to breath, passing on items we don’t use, don’t need, this is exhilarating!

 

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I am working on…

I should be working on lesson plans for the year but my spare energies are currently focused elsewhere 😉  We’ve started back with the basics and will chug along this way for the first few weeks, but I do need to be considering which direction our broader knowledge base will travel this year. Talking planning, Living Books Library’s post Staying on Track is resonating with me …but most years I get to repeat that same schedule and don’t have to re-invent the plan… after nearly two decades of homeschooling I don’t need to re-invent the plan at all. Though I’ve been contemplating for a while that while this is an advantage it can be a handicap too, at least for me. I’m finding it hard to be enthused, I’m rather stale with the same approach for the past few years.  What to do, any suggestions for breathing new life into tried and tired home education lesson plans?

I am going…

to our local home education planning meeting this week. For many years we’ve only had a small group but all of a sudden home education numbers just seems to be exploding, so exciting! This week we’ll meet and plan activities for the year that will meet the needs of a wide age group with varied interests, it’s a challenge but we’ll do our best

I am hoping…

my husband will let me get rid of his books

actually according to the KonMari method, he needs to let go, it has to be his decision. I’m planning to gather all his books together onto two bookcases, then as with the children he needs to ask, “is this worth keeping” and select only those books to put back on the shelves. However this could be tricky as PC tends to think in the ‘might’ philosophy, “I might read this one day, I might need this one day” I sympathise, I used to be a little of the ‘might’ philosophy

 

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I am praying…

for a young married couple who are expecting

for our children’s employment opportunities

for the health of a loved one

I am pondering….

a conversation I had with an older and wiser lady yesterday. Whilst away on holidays, she received a phone call from her son to say, “Mum brace yourself, I’ve bad news” her thoughts raced to her children and grandchildren imagining all sorts of horrors as her son continued, “Your house has been broken into”. Her response was “Oh thank goodness, is that all!”  Yes thieves stole her jewelry and their safe but as she said to me, “they are only things.” Her family was safe that’s the most important matter and she’s quite correct

I am reading…

looking over my 2015 book list at goodreads, I recorded 125 books read last year, though I did read more I was a slack recorder some months.  Generally this time of the year I enjoy sharing book posts of ‘what I read in 2105,’ if you’ve been waiting for those posts I’m sorry to disappoint you but my brain is elsewhere this year, so the chances of those posts are unlikely

 

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I am listening to…

finally digging deep into the Read Aloud Revival podcasts. My brother B gifted me an ipod4 for Christmas!! which I’m listening to podcasts on.  I’m being chronological in my listening, I’ve completed Reading Aloud to Older Kids, in which Andrew Pudewa inspired me to add ‘reading aloud to a sibling’ to all of our children’s daily lessons, even my fledgling readers. It’s all rather exciting, Princess (14) is reading Lord of the Rings to Jelly Bean (11). JB is reading a Littles book to Jack Jack (9). JJ is reading picture books to Bass(4) and Jem (7) is reading board books to Bella(2) although she is being difficult, wanting to hold the books herself. Michelangelo (16) is reading a Squire’s Tale to all three younger boys.  So much rich literature reading happening and sibling bonding, love it!!

I am hearing…

quiet, peace, I love being awake before the children, it re-juvenates me having that quiet time to myself, though I won’t have long, a half hour at best before they awake

I am struggling…

not struggling now I’ve created space in my home, a new year sweeps in bringing fresh promises, love the start of the year

 

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Clicking around…

Staying on Track – learnt wisdom, totally concur

Why the British Tell Better Children’s Stories “Their history informs fantastical myths and legends, while American tales tend to focus on moral realism.” most thought provoking

~I’m also looking for another photography course or linkup to inspire me to pick up my camera more often, I’ve fallen out of the habit.  Any suggestions?

Around the house…

are heaps and heaps of books

and boxes and bags of other ‘released’ items waiting to be taken to new homes and so much has already been taken to town. When I came home from holidays I was feeling so overwhelmed by the sheer weight of possessions. Admittedly when your whole home of belongings is crammed into half your home it’s to be expected, however as we release more and more I’m feeling lighter and lighter. I’m now feeling so at peace that I’m not bothered by the prospect of the library possibly taking a few months, happy to live with displaced books

One of my favorite things…

the enthusiasm of brand new learners. As Bass will be five in March he is officially a Kindergartener and is so keen to “do more schoolwork.” He has long had an incredible concentration span so I suspect he will ‘keep me on my toes’ making certain he is challenged

 

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A few plans for this week…

de-cluttering around the house, lessons, lazy summer days. Settling back into lessons early means we don’t yet have extra curricula activities to fit into the margins of our day. This is a huge attraction of starting early as the days are more relaxed, they still have that slower holiday feeling

A little peek at my day…

a full day at home with no interruptions, got to love and treasure those days

So I am thankful for a schedule, even though it is likely that it will be disrupted with in any given week–or day. This is where the discipline in Mason’s definition of education comes to the rescue. A regular diet of lessons is critical, and the structure of having a plan in place makes the chances of using that plan greater….

LBL’s Staying on Track has many ‘pearls of wisdom’ do go and read

Erin

Hi, I'm Erin, I've been sharing snippets of our Living & Learning since 2006! You'll find here large family logistics, home education, owner building, rural life, book reviews and hundreds of pages with book recommendations we've personally used.

8 thoughts on “My Daybook: January 13th, 2016

  • January 14, 2016 at 3:44 pm
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    Loved reading your day book! Cheering you on with the book purge – it’s a worthy time investment and once you have it all done and sorted you’ll feel greater ownership of the books kept! It’s daunting though. Keep at it!

    Loved seeing all the kids – everyone is so big!! And…that was a fabulous article by Liz! Glad you linked! Enjoy your organizing holidays. ????

    Reply
    • January 16, 2016 at 6:46 am
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      Jen
      I thank you, I need the encouragement book purging at this level is hard! Though it helps that I have a friend who will happily take most of the ‘harder to let go of’ ones, to know they will got to a good home eases the angst. Only 4 cases to go 🙂

      It’s a shock isn’t it how much they’ve grown, actually the pics were taken on a slope so some look taller than siblings than they are. Though our 14yr old daughter is indeed 5ft11! Her goal is to be taller than all her brothers, she isn’t far off it!

      Yes only recently discovered Liz, but love her Pearls of Wisdom.

      Reply
  • January 16, 2016 at 6:12 am
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    The back and forth between your comments and PC’s made me chuckle. I read Marie Kondo’s book a while back and have found many of the principles helpful although some are hard to implement “as-is” with so many small children underfoot messing with piles. Books are the hardest category for me as a mother of children vs. a single woman like Kondo. As a child, we went to the library frequently but my main source of reading material was browsing my parents’ shelves, full of their own books, books they’d purchased or received for us, and handmedowns from my grandparents and great grandparents. I found so many good reads that way, so it’s hard for me to cull my shelves based solely on the books I myself want to re-read in the future without accounting for my kids. So far I’ve done well at culling those I thought truly boring for anyone or not worth re-reading for myself. Likewise, I liked her advice on culling books that cause guilt every time you walk past them because you “should” read them and just can’t get into them. Those steps alone created so much more breathing room in our shelves. I think your approach is brilliant since you have a broad span of ages and a panel vote by the older kids is a great predictor of what the younger ones might enjoy. We are hard at the decluttering as we prepare to sell our home and move. Shocking when you find unpacked boxes in the garage from the last move five years ago – clearly not necessary belongings!

    Reply
    • January 16, 2016 at 6:59 am
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      Sarah

      Thought PC’s cheekiness would cause a chuckle 🙂
      Yes I do think MK isn’t in touch with decluttering with a family, this has been the subject of much discussion with my friend. However we’re keeping her general principle in mind. I found it totally frustrating when I would clean a space of toys and the children would see ‘space! place to play’ and set up a game!

      Books are so hard and I think at your stage in life to be truthful even harder! Cause yours are so little you don’t yet know their reading taste. My oldest is a voracious reader, well all our children are readers, but she is so eclectic and not put off by boring covers, I figure if even she hasn’t cracked in open in 20 years no one will. Many she has tried and if she declared too boring to finish, I tossed. Sounds like you’re like my daughter. Your parameters at this stage are good, I wouldn’t toss anymore yet until you know. The breathing room on the shelves is wonderful, makes me so happy! Yes I’m very lucky the children are old enough to participate and help in this process.
      Are you moving away from family!? Or just locally? Oh wow! were you tempted to keep any of the box contents?

      Reply
  • January 20, 2016 at 11:25 pm
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    Your decluttering has totally inspired me. I love the idea of the space that you’ll create. I have so many books that I’ve been holding onto for sentimental reasons but I know I’ll never read them again. I hardly ever reread fiction. I also just listened to a podcast about the gut being the second brain and now I am going to follow your link to the gut cleansing diet. It’s all so interesting. I hope you’re having a lovely evening. love Kate x

    Reply
    • January 21, 2016 at 8:45 pm
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      Kate
      Hi there!:-) So pleased I’ve inspired you, I’ve learnt so much and have much more to share, hoping to devote a post or two to the process soon. Book de-cluttering I believe is a special process in itself, at least for us booklovers.

      Can you share the podcast link, love to listen. PC has been reading about the gut and 2nd brain too. Hoping also to share a little more on this gut cleansing journey as I go. Fear is holding me back for some odd reason.

      Reply
  • February 9, 2016 at 5:37 pm
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    Loved reading your husband’s comments. So funny!

    Reply
    • February 16, 2016 at 6:35 am
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      Erica
      He made me chuckle too 🙂

      Reply

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