I gently lay a cloth over the table and set out the tea things. On the wall, our back-to-school banner hangs above the plate rack. The sideboard proudly sports a display of Eastern European-flavoured objects: matryoshka dolls, an accordian, brightly embroidered clothing, little felt and cardboard figurines that I picked up on a trip out there when I was a teenager. I pile a stack of books beside my plate and step back to survey my work.
Everything is ready.
The first week back is always my favourite. I try to make it special. Enticing. All of us are rested and eager to get back to schoolwork. The girls don’t complain yet, not even about math. We’re just happy to be learning.
The winter break was lovely, but it feels good to be teaching again.
In this week’s newsletter, you’ll find inspiration from The Grace-Filled Life and elsewhere. I hope you have a wonderful weekend, and for my fellow homeschoolers, a good start to the new term.
This Week on TGFL
The Grace-Filled Life: 2019 Reading List – This is my personal reading list (some great book recommendations!) for the coming year.
Tea with Jael: Just an Ordinary Girl – Do you ever feel like you’re just too ordinary for God to use in extraordinary ways? If that’s you, read this.
This Week in Books
This week, here’s what we’ve been reading:
- Home Education by Charlotte Mason – I’m continuing to read this volume on home education for a book club that I attend.
- The Read-Aloud Family: Making Lasting and Meaningful Connections with Your Kids by Sarah Mackenzie – Reading aloud to your children is proven to have lasting, positive impacts. This book is a must-read for every parent.
- Heidi by Johanna Spyri – I’m reading one of my favourite childhood stories to my children, and it has made for some of the most delightful afternoons this week! We’ve spent hours lost in this story, laughing and crying.. If you’ve never read Heidi to your children, I highly recommend it.
- The Singing Tree by Kate Seredy – This book tells the story of life on the Hungarian Plains during World War I.
- Silver Threads by Marsha Forchuk Skrypuch – This beautiful book tells the story of Anna and Ivan, a Ukrainian couple who fled to Canada just prior to World War I. Life is hard in Canada, especially when Ivan tries to enlist in the Canadian army but is thrown into an internment camp instead. In the meantime, unable to clear the land on her own, Anna is in danger of losing it to the government. But there is always hope. And in this case, a little bit of magic too.
We’ve started our study of World War I, using The Story of the World, Volume 4: The Modern Age and a variety of other resources. It has been interesting to listen to my girls debate the cause. (Was it the bullet that killed Archduke Franz Ferdinand? Or was it pre-existing enmity?)
Some of our classes started back again this week! Our weekly science co-op, with 14 students (all the younger siblings have playtime downstairs) is embarking on a study of the human body. In this week’s class, the children learned about organs, systems and cells. They made a model of a cell out of jello and candy.
My younger daughter started art classes this week at a local community centre.
Next week, my older daughter will start art classes as well. We’ll also be back to our Wednesday night church program and Friday French classes.
Snippets from Around the Web
Looking for some extra inspiration? Here are some beautiful articles from around the web:
- Why Did God Call Me to Stay Home? (This Bit of Life)
Don’t forget to check out The Grace-Filled Life Facebook page. It’s your one-stop spot for encouragement, inspiration and laughs throughout the week. You can also find TGFL on Pinterest, Twitter and Instagram.