Saturday, March 23, 2013

Saxon Phonics and Other Things

We have all been under the weather, much like we were in February, which tends to bring my melancholy mood to the surface even more. 

Except I sort of enjoyed the excuse to stay at home all week. 

After talking with my friend who is a reading specialist, did I already tell ya'll this?!, I ordered Saxon Phonics first grade for Ada, and we are loving it.  No more tears; no more frustration; Ada asks to do school; thank you, Lord, and thank you, Lynn, for the suggestion!!  It is heavy on review from lesson to lesson, even reviewing the alphabet each lesson, so for most of the lesson, Ada feels very very confident, so even if she struggles a bit with the new stuff, she isn't struggling for the entire lesson.  It's like 85 % of the lesson is easy for her, and the remaining 15 % is a challenge.  It's been an answer to prayer, truly.  And we will never go back.  (I should mention that Saxon first grade is really more of a kindergarten level, at least right now.  We will continue the book through Ada's first grade year, and it should pick up in difficulty)

In fact, with John, not next year but the next, when he is four, turning five halfway through the year, I am going to do Saxon Phonics K as a pre-k program to get him ready for Saxon 1 in kindergarten.  We will continue to use Saxon 1 next year for Ada's first grade year. 

So, if there happens to be a reader out there who is a homeschooling mama to a child who isn't absolutely taking off with reading, Saxon Phonics!!!  Really, it's so great.  I repeat, an answer to prayer.

I can't believe we are almost to the end of the school year.  We only have three more weeks of CC!!!!  And I plan to homeschool through the end of May, and then I plan to fully enjoy our summer.  Live it up.  Lots of library and outside and pool and sprinkler and everything else.  I have never been so ready for summer.  I can't wait!!!! 

And these longer days that we are having (okay, the past two days have been doom and gloom, but before that) are so very good for the soul.  Sunshine and more sunshine does more for my mood than anything else.  Well, if I am out getting exercise in the sunshine that's the best mood booster of all.

Also, in case anyone is wondering, we have decided to stay here in our little house for a while longer.  The more we tried to get things in line to move, the more things weren't falling into place.  And all of a sudden, Scott and I both were very sure that we were just supposed to stay put.  And the longer we stay, the more I am happy in our tiny little space.  Of course I one day hope to move to a three bedroom home, but it has been eye opening to me that I will always prefer a small space.  A cottagey feel, if you will.  It's nice to come face to face with what actually feels like home to me.  (Okay, I wouldn't mind a cozy little cottage with a gigantic kitchen, but you know...)

The only problem with this small space is the serious lack of closet space.  We have two tiny bedroom closets, a linen closet in our tiny hallway (see the theme?), and, praise the Lord, a great storage/laundry room.  But, all four of us are sharing these two tiny closets, and that is about to drive me crazy.  I have been frequenting goodwill a lot lately trying to rid this house of stuff.  And I need to learn to utilize the storage space that we do have.  Always a work in progress.

We also recently took down John's baby bed, and we replaced it with a twin bed that we found on craigslist.  I am so thrilled with the transition, except, the bed takes up more space than the baby bed did.  Oh well.  I am also not going to try to make their room matchy matchy.  Instead, Ada has her pink, girly side, and John is going to have his boy side.  The eclectic look fits our house, anyway.  It helps that their wall color is so neutral.  I want them to each feel like they have their space even if it's a small space.

This post has no real point, I guess.  I just feel that never ending need to get it recorded, these small, yet so very significant to us, details of our life.  This moment in time, when it's us four, and we're crammed into this space, and life feels settled.  I want to soak in this feeling, drink it up.  These days of routine and homeschooling around our kitchen table and John and Ada playing and fighting and playing and fighting, and in the end it all adds up to a life that is so very rich. 

 Ada and Luke are officially pen pals.  Which takes care of Ada's handwriting lesson each week.  Two birds with one stone, right?
 Saxon phonics, we are forever grateful. 
Just so you know what John is doing during school.  Playing under my chair. 

Spring, you keep teasing us.  We think you're here to stay, and then all of this cold and rain.

Ada's "mixed-media" artwork.  Nature as art. 

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