Homestead Update

Well, we’re as busy as ever here. Had visitors last weekend so this weekend is catching up/jumping back into regularly scheduled things.

We had a nice and uneventful Father’s day. That particular holiday usually finds someone sick or injured in our family, so it was nice that nothing terrible happened this year- yay for no stomach bugs!

We are 6 weeks out from the “new school year.” I use quotes because technically speaking, we school year round. But what T minus 6 weeks looks like for me is a lot of list making, long range planning, and preliminary perusal and preparation of the next levels’ curriculum.

My 5 year old is on track to begin All About Reading Level 2 and All About Spelling Level 1 the first week in August. He’ll also be doing Math and primer Latin. It all sounds very overwhelming for a 5 year old, until you see how the daily lessons break down. It comes down to 1 daily math lesson (20 minutes or so) 4 days per week, 1 Latin lesson per week on Monday or Tuesday (I haven’t 100% decided which day I’ll use for introducing new weekly material), 1 spelling lesson per week, and 3 reading lessons per week. That means on any given day, my little guy will only have to concern himself with a maximum of 2-3 subjects, which is not really any different from what we have been doing.
My 3 year old daughter is actually really difficult to assess with her mastery of content. She hates verbal assessments (answering Mama’s countless questions) and loathes written book work (which for the 3 year old is just coloring, and cutting and pasting) what I’ve determined, is that best case scenario, when she isn’t messing with me and answering incorrectly on purpose and then laughing hysterically about it, she is only 1 year behind my 5 year old, who is starting 1st grade material. Worst case, she’s operating at or slightly above her age level, so either way, she’s ahead of the curve. Which means since she does better with more relaxed instruction than my type A son who wants formal table learning all the time (EVEN ON SATURDAYS- Geez son, give Mama a day off!!), we can afford to mosey our way through curriculum at her pace and still be ahead in terms of grade level and her peers. So, I’m not gonna worry about that and I’ll continue to let her set the pace for now.
My 2 year old will start having more learning time 1:1 with me this year, doing more sensory games and activities and continuing to have blanket time with his siblings. Blanket time is a LIFESAVER when it comes to homeschooling the older kids. He knows he is to stay ON the blanket with blanket-time-only toys, until it is his turn for instruction, or read aloud, or whatever. We’ll be introducing him to more nursery rhymes, songs, colors, shapes, and he’ll have free play and some structured play.
The baby of course is being a first-class infant. She’s rolling around (all over the house actually, but not quite crawling yet) and soon she’ll be ready to introduce solids! I don’t like introducing food until after 6 months. I tried at 4 months with my oldest and let’s just say I’ve since grown older and wiser.
In the gardens, we have pumpkins and watermelons flowering. The potatoes are just about ripe and ready for harvesting, as are the green beans. The cucumbers are just now starting to sprout and leaf out so they should be flowering by mid-July. It’s a kind of sparse time in our flower gardens; I don’t have many mid-summer blooms. I know- it’s a travesty. The hollyhocks are doing fine though, and the sunflowers will be in bloom soon. The blackberries are just ripening! I’m really excited to get out there and harvest plenty for fresh eating, jams, and pies.

We’re splitting and stacking firewood to dry for winter, a task we’ve gotten better at streamlining since last year- having better tools helps tremendously.
The newest chickens should start laying their first eggs within the next couple weeks! I’m excited to see those black copper maran eggs!

Other than that, we’re working on maintaining the gardens and keeping weeds under control, doing our best to enjoy the beautiful summer weather interspersed with heavy thunderstorms!

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