Saturday, January 11, 2014

Saturday Commonplaces 6

A newsletter with random thoughts and happenings from my week.

I was putting MM down for his nap yesterday morning. Before I went upstairs, I told the boys to clean up because it was almost teatime. Well, I took so long up there that my boys decided to take matters into their own hands. I came down to this:

The teakettle on the table was the work of my five-year-old, and the bananas and pickles were carefully prepared by my three-year-old. He carefully got out our pretty china plate (we use it every day for teatime). He peeled a banana and cut it into fourths. He left the other piece off the plate because there were only going to be the three of us at tea. Then he got the pickle jar from the fridge and speared three fat pickles and put them beside the bananas. Yum! I was properly grateful, and only added some cheese and crackers to eat with the pickles.

Outdoor Life
I debated not admitting this here, but I have to be honest. We only spent three and a half hours outside this week. My excuse was the sheet of ice everywhere after Monday's rain. Tuesday I sent the boys out (kept the baby in with me) and spent the time in fear as they boldly scaled the hard-as-rock mountain of snow with their sled and went hurtling down towards the sheet of ice at the bottom. I greeted their return indoors fifteen minutes later with barely concealed relief. Wednesday I bundled up the baby and went out with them, but even so we only stayed out for half an hour. MM actually loved holding my hands and sliding. Thursday I finally decided to embrace the ice, since it was what we had, and put the boys' new skates on them. We hauled a kitchen chair out to the ice, and they had their first ever experience on skates. SA was very keen on it, and we did it again on Friday.

I've been thinking, though, a year ago I would have used the ice as an excuse to spend the week indoors. Though I didn't reach anywhere near my goal this week (ten hours), I did better than if I had no goal at all.

I was planning to work on the habit of attention this month, but some more urgent things have come up. Persistence is something I've had to teach a lot about this week. I prepared SA well for learning to skate. I told him he'd fall a lot at first, everyone does. He'd just have to get up again. He accepted this wholeheartedly, and is counting up his falls. ("How many falls until I'll be able to skate, Mama?" "I don't know...maybe twenty?") So far he has counted six falls. (He's still using a chair.) Another habit we need to start working on is self-control. JJ has a quick temper, and is in the habit of throwing things the instant he feels upset. He calms down fairly quickly afterwards, but somehow we have to work on that moment when he first loses his temper. I'm not sure how to help him get ahold of himself (any ideas?), but I'm sure we'll learn together.

I've done some more reading lessons with SA that I hope to put up soon. I'm also working on reading Charlotte Mason's Original Homeschooling Series following a discussion schedule at Ambleside Online. I'm going to try to post my notes for that. So much to post, so little time... but of course real life comes first.


  1. You made it out more often then us hehe! the ice here is no fun at all. Our road is so icy that I haven't been able to drive for a couple days... with tires that have studs in them!!!! So we stay safe indoor until the city come but salt on the roads!!!

    1. Ice can be scary, especially with three little ones who are very active and don't want to slow down. Hello cabin fever!