January Schooling

It doesn’t feel like January today. The stoves are burning low and the rain is pouring down, washing away feet of snow in a day. It’s warm enough to be out without a jacket, except that the rain is chilly and soaking.

We’re all indoors today. Even the goats refuse to step out of their shed. So this morning, we made a big pot of tea and set to work reclaiming our homeschool-schedule!

Structure is good for us. The kids like order – in moderation – and we get more done when we have a rhythm to our days. But in the deep cold from Christmas through Epiphany, we lost our rhythm. The days were full of at-home celebrations and desperate attempts to fight the cold weather and cabin fever. 

We didn’t do much schoolwork; so this week we’ve been easing back into it with lots of readibg aloud and a little bit of math. Today was our first day back on track entirely!

Our school-days involve lots of reading aloud. We start with Scripture in the mornings: Proverbs right now, which pairs well with the Psalms Seth has been reading at night. Then we chose from a selection of books and subjects. Today we read “If You Lived with the Iroquois” and reviewed “American History for Young Catholics”. We read poems in Spanish and English from “The Tree is Older than You Are” and worked on remembering “arbòl” and “blanca” as vocabulary words. We read Tomie dePaola’s St. Patrick, the Catholic Faith for Little Ones, and Yarrow narrated from the story of Noah in their children’s Bible.

Our morning reading is the primary school-time. Depending on the day Yarrow could be narrating from the catechism, history, the Bible, or a saint’s life. As well as reciting a poem from one of our favorite collections. Ilya works on ‘listening without interruption’ and remembering little bits.

Afterwards they have playtime for at least an hour before we sit down to work at the table: math and copywork, possible drawing and painting as well. Today, with all the rain we drew and colored and wrote and worked sums. So far we’ve been loving Saxon Math because Yarrow loves the repetive work that helps her build confidence as she challenges herself with new aspects of older lessons. Her copywork right now is from the Gospel of John. Ilya is tracing numbers and letters because he desperately wants to be as big as his sister!

Most of our reading is review right now. We’ve read through these books in September and October, but after an Advent full of exciting library books, we’re reviewing our regular texts before moving on. January seems like such an ideal month for reviewing and reclaiming.

Along with all this though, Yarrow is devouring books herself. St. Nicholas gave her a book about stars and space for Christmas and she is reading it herself as well as The Lord of the Rings – her favorite books at the moment.

At bedtime, Seth reads aloud and as he makes his way through The Lord of the Rings, Yarrow follows after on her own, reading through the tale and reliving it all again and again.

She also reads aloud to Ilya! Everything from The Happy Man and His Dump-Truck to The Hobbit. I love seeing the two of the cozied up together in front of the wood-stove with books and laughter. 

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