Saturday, December 3, 2016

Life Updates

Until this past week, I've neglected this blog for over a year. I've missed writing out my thoughts here, and sharing my life with faraway friends in this way. And with a little bit of extra time know and the fresh motivation a new year brings - I think I'm ready to dive back into blogging!

What have we been doing this past year?

Well, homeschooling is an exciting new adventure! Yarrow and I are working through a blend of kindergarten and first-grade level work. Most of the inspiration and direction in our homeschooling has come from the Charlotte Mason perspective, specifically through it's Catholic interpretation in the Mater Amabilis curriculum. I've edited a bit to fit better with our life and views, but the tone is ideal and the philosophy of learning is so very inspiring! 

We focus a bit more on regular reading of the Bible, poetry, art, and music than the curriculum calls for, and I've adjusted the history reading to focus on Native American, pre-Columbian perspectives for our first term. I'm hoping in the spring to include some interesting perspectives on post-Columbian early America, but still appropriate for a 5 year old. So far we've enjoyed "If you lived with the Iroquois", "All Our Relatives", and "The Discovery of the Americas" - all of these books we read aloud at breakfast, along with the Bible, Sing-a-Song-of-Popcorn (poetry), our current art book, a saint story, and our catechism lesson (we're working with the Faith and Life series). We don't read anything but the Bible every single day, we switch it up. And after breakfast we work on Yarrow's reading practice. She's reading "Harry and The Lady Next Door" right now, and so proud of herself for being 'A Reader.'

Ilya loves the read-alouds in the morning, and during work times he can usually focus for a little while coloring his name, or another word in bubble letters, practicing colors - he adores purple! - and tormenting the dog.

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Along with homeschooling, I'm working on building my own interior life. "Mother Culture" is what Charlotte Mason types call it. I didn't know it had a special name. It seems essential to all people..and so easily neglected by us all as well. 

I have been neglecting mine, but slowly I'm building it back up. 

As we're transitioning to our less consuming way of life, I'm reading Marie Kondo's "life-changing magic" book..or I was, until I lent it out. Now I'm reading "The Joy of Less" and trying to change my direction from someone who constantly buys and purges to someone satisfied with the things she has. Someone attracted to less. It's difficult. I find myself wanting to create a false sense of perfection by getting rid of everything and then buying in all sorts of attractive replacements, instead of being content and patient in the slow work of building my home. It's a challenge!

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And I've contacted a studio that will rent out kiln space to me! Since I still have no where to throw this winter, all that means is that I can fire the bisque-ware that is languishing in my shed. But I can fire them! And perhaps I can get my wheel fixed up, cleaned off, and going again! 

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I read somewhere...and have absorbed the quote, if not the author..that "the gospel is never good news unless it is subversive." 

And with all my notebooks and planners, daily things, schooling, baking, reading, and praying.. that is the end goal. Subversion. To change the world from my own hidden corner of it. That my faith might find it's way up into the sunlight and alter the landscape. It's an exciting goal.

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Where are you in life these days? What has changed since we last connected? What are you doing, and where are you going? I would absolutely love to know.

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