September has been a busy month for us, in a good way.
We started off by coming home from our road trip to Washington State. We had a really wonderful time at a family camp there, and got to visit some friends and make some new friends too. The kids did surprisingly well. We spaced it out over 3 days of driving each way, and aiming to drive about 7 hours a day. The last day on our way there we ended up spending about 9 hours in the car (Seattle area has really bad traffic), however the kids did REALLY WELL. I was mostly worried about how the baby would take it. The older two are easily entertained, but the baby just eventually gets tired of being in the car seat and doesn’t understand why we’re in the car so long. So, there were some tears but not very much, thankfully.
Shortly after we got home it was my husband’s 30th birthday! He’s still so young, hehe! I attempted to put on a surprise birthday party. It almost worked (isn’t that how it always happens with surprise parties?) He did get a whiff of it coming the day of the party. But he still played along well. 🙂
September was a busy time with the garden harvest. I can’t get over how happy I am to have a garden this year. In May we moved out of our very small house with a tiny yard in the city to our current home which has more space inside and out. It’s so freeing to just see the children playing outside so much in the fresh air. And a garden! There was a garden tilled and ready for planting when we moved here. We moved right around planting season and were very busy with moving so I felt like I couldn’t put a lot of effort into the garden right away. I also know very little about gardening. Surprisingly, the garden did prolifically wall. We have had so much produce coming in from it, and we are very thankful to God who makes all things grow. It’s been so wonderful to see my children learning about plants and seeing their food grow in the garden. They would get very excited as each plant would get ready to harvest.
Along with gardening, came something new for me that I have never done before: Canning. There were so many tomatoes coming in, that I decided to go ahead and try canning. To be honest I was a bit scared of it, but after researching it some and reading the guidelines in the national food preservation site, I went ahead and canned a bunch of tomatoes. The jars in the winter will remind us of our happy days in the garden.
And the other exciting thing about September, is of course, homeschooling! I feel like I’ve been looking forward to this all my life. It has always been my dream to marry, have children and get to stay home and homeschool them. Before I had children I was teacher in public school. With homeschooling it’s like you get all the best parts of teaching without all the negative aspects of public school teaching.
Malachi is just in Kindergarten and this is what we are doing for our various subjects:
At the beginning of the day after breakfast we have “morning devotion time” where we do some singing, reading from an old children’s devotional book, Bible and we pray. Malachi has also been working on memorising a Bible verse for each letter of the alphabet since about spring. We are at “S” now.
Writing: We are using “A Reason for Handwriting”. I just like that it’s simple. It gives him a little simple handwriting practice and then a picture to colour. It’s nice and relaxing.
Reading: I was strongly considering getting a more comprehensive reading curriculum, but at the end decided to go with the very simple “Explode the Code”. Again, because it’s simple. He’s only in Kindergarten and I don’t want to push him at this age. He enjoys doing school and I want to do it gently just a little bit each day. He’ll gradually learn to read, there’s no rush. We also read the “Bob Books” that are good for beginning readers. I have to say I just love seeing those gears click in his brain as he learns to sound things out. He is so excited about being able to read some simple words that he also tries to sound out words that he sees in other places, and sometimes he surprises me with the words that he figures out!
Math: We went with Math-U-See. I thought it would be neat to go with this program that has good manipulatives. I remember learning math in school and knowing how to do it but I didn’t necessarily understand why it worked the way it worked. I hope the visual manipulatives will help in that. We will see how it goes.
Science: Here I just handpicked some units based on what I think Malachi would find interesting. For the fall we are learning about insects. So I basically requested a whole bunch of children’s books form the library about bugs and along with Pinterest for activity ideas, we just learn about bugs!
Social Studies: I’m using “Come Sit By Me”. It’s a lovely, gentle (Canadian!) children’s curriculum based on children’s literature. We are doing the “Canada Coast to Coast” Unit and in September we read and learned about BC.
Read aloud: Other than the books that we read for school subjects, we’ve also been reading some chapter books. I found this neat little set of Little House chapter books for younger readers and we are enjoying those.
In September we’ve also been busy with the Fall Feasts! We first had Rosh Hashanah. Ben’s family has traditionally done an appetiser supper for the beginning of Rosh Hashanah and it’s been a really fun and delicious tradition. We all make the yummiest finger foods that we can think of and bring them all together and have a meal of it. (Along with apples dipped in honey, of course!) It’s such a blessing to see the young cousins growing together learning about the Torah and doing fun traditions to go along with it.
Lastly, our September ended with Yom Kippur. It was a serious day, and also a peaceful day, praying together as a community and focusing on the atonement that we receive through Yeshua.