Friday, October 25, 2013

Ye Olde School Medieval Monday, NEXT week!

image (and fascinating discussion of trombones in ancient art) found here

Welcome to Ye Olde School Medieval Monday
October 28, 2013
Vintage Faith classrooms
noon - 2:30

Children are welcome to dress up in Medieval-Renaissance appropriate clothing.

Please bring a finger food item to share--we will have a Medieval feast!  *It is perfectly fine to bring food that is not historically accurate.*  We will be talking as a group about the foods they would have eaten at this time, and why, and so it is will work well if we have some foods they would not have eaten. : )   If you would like to bring a food that is more historically accurate, I have found some web pages here, here, and here for starting points.  *Whether you bring historical or modern food, please choose something that is not very messy and can be eaten with fingers.*  

Some quick food options from Medieval times:
--dark bread (rye, barley, wheat)
--figs, dates
--apples, plums, pears
--roasted nuts
--chocolate gold coins (for taxes ; )
--apple cider

For extra ambiance, see if you have any wooden or metal plates or bowls to serve your foods in.

Please remember to bring plates, napkins & cups for your family.  We're striving to make our gatherings as waste-free as possible. : )

If you and your children would like, the kids can also come prepared to share a favorite book that takes place in or a historical character that lived during the Middle Ages or Renaissance periods in world history.  Each child who comes prepared will share briefly, if they desire; older kids may write and present a report if mom wants. ; )

Questions or comments?  Please leave them in the comments below, so that everyone may benefit from the discussion.


Monday, October 21, 2013

Operation Christmas Child Shoebox/Birthday Party!

child in Bosnia who just received a shoebox--from the Operation Christmas Child facebook page

Hello Vintage Homeschool Moms,

Hope everyone is getting plenty of opportunities to enjoy this beautiful fall weather with your sweet families! In the last Old School email, Lisa mentioned that we might consider having an Operation Christmas Child (OCC) Shoebox filling party. Our family  would love to host a small scale OCC party and invite you all to Hidden Beach Park on Friday, November 8th, around 11:30ish. Our family will provide the boxes and take them to one of the designated drop off locations for mailing, *unless* your family would prefer to take your own box(es) home & deliver/mail at your own convenience. That is great, too!

Lastly, I would like to mention that two years ago we were honored to be able to host a small OCC Shoebox packing party on my son Jack's birthday, and we look forward to hosting again this year. Like last time, Jack has requested we bake his favorite mini cupcakes to pass out to all his homeschooling friends. While there will be sweets offered, I will also have some healthy snacks to share as well. And again, this OCC party is my son's wish to help fill some boxes for some precious kids, so please only bring gifts for OCC:)

And just a friendly btw--if you are having a rough morning (hmmm, this happens a lot at our house on Friday mornings!!) or if you do not have time to bring something for a shoebox that day, PLEASE please just bring yourself and your kids!

We hope you can join us!


Thursday, October 3, 2013

Old School Monday gatherings--Beginning THIS MONDAY!

Hello Vintage Homeschool Moms!  There are even more of us this year, with lots of new homeschooling families to welcome.  Becky and I have thought up a few fun events for this Fall that we want to invite all of you to.  Please pass around this info to all the homeschool moms in your circle!

Our first Old School Monday is this next Monday, Oct. 7, from  noon till 2:30.  As usual, we will meet there in the two right-hand downstairs classrooms in the Vintage Faith Children's Ministry building.  This will be our annual "back to school" share day, and our theme is "What We've Been Up To."  This is a great opportunity for your kids to prepare something to share with the group. 

Some things your kids may have been up to, that they might want to share:
--What they did this past summer
--Something they learned this week
--Something they did recently that was exciting
--Someplace they went recently

You get the idea.  There are also many ways your kids can share their information:
--They could make a display
--Or make an old-school poster board presentation
--They could write a story
--They could show some photographs
--They could write a play and act it out
--They could write an old-school report
--They could present an interpretive dance
--The new moms hopefully realize I'm joking. But yet, I'm not!
--They may do it individually
--They may collaborate with siblings or friends.

Again, you get the idea.  There is only ONE rule:  Any child who participates must have a writing element in his or her presentation.  It can be as short as a page, or paragraph, or sentence, depending upon the age of the child.  But there must be writing of some sort in the presentation.

I apologize for not posting this sooner and giving you more time to get all into it--and yet, I know most of us do these things only a few days beforehand anyway. ; ) 

So, there you go!  I hope you encourage your children to participate, if they want to.  But no one has to if they don't want to. However, any child who participates will earn a prize!

And let's make this first gathering a party!  You are welcome to bring lunch for your family, or to eat before you come--whichever is easiest for your family--but please bring one food item to share with the group.  Also, please bring your own dishware & cups. 

But of course if nothing else we hope you just bring yourself and your kids. : )

Here is roughly what Monday will look like:

12:00 - 12:30 -- arriving, setting up displays, eating lunch for those who want to bring theirs
12:30 - 1:00   -- Circle time, introductions, story
1:00 - 1:30     -- kids can share whatever they prepared (don't forget their writing!)
1:30 - 2:30     -- kids can play in the gym, moms can chat!

Hope to see you there!

The rest of the Vintage Homeschool Moms gatherings we have planned this Fall:

Monday, October 28--The Old School Medieval Monday (Middle Ages costumes optional)

Monday, November 25--The Old School Monday Timeline Day

Friday, December 20--Our Christmas Party

In the past we have had an Operation Christmas Child shoebox filling party, which would need to happen by early November.  If anyone is interested in doing this, please let me know.  The likely date of such an event would be Friday, November 8. 

Any questions or comments?  Please feel free to leave them in the comments below, so everyone may benefit from the discussion.

Catching up--Welcome to Fall 2013!

Lisa here.  Boy, it feels like it has been forever since I have posted anything here--that's what happens during summer I guess!  And now here it is OCTOBER and I don't know if any of the rest of you are trying to keep from hyperventilating, but I am.  This summer was the fastest summer EVER, and so we just were not ready for school to begin when Ocean Grove officially began mid August.  Our summer felt like it was just getting good!  So I pushed back the start of our own little family school--The Redwood Academy--for another couple of weeks, and also decided to build in some grace to the start of our year by dedicating the entire month of Sept. to planning, sorting, organizing, and slowly implementing.  Although our classes and activities began when the official school year did, I gave myself permission to not have my act all together like I normally would, and that amount of psychological buffer really helped me not start the school year in despair.  : )  It also helped me start the year being the mom I want to be--so much more patient and unstressed than I would have been otherwise. 

Let's just say, I spent last month feeling like every day was "bare bones" school, and it's been painful how sloooooowly we are grinding gears to get ourselves into a good rhythm of schooling again. This would be exactly why we don't normally take long sections of summer off--once we lose momentum, and our minds and bodies get used to loosey-goosey, it is just too hard to get up and running smoothly again.  But believe it or not, I have not been frustrated by the slow start this Fall, because I started with realistic expectations for myself and the kids and made GRACE my plan--instead of frantically making an idealistic plan and then being miserable trying to force everyone to meet it. 

I'm not calling that slacking, or complacency, ladies--I'm calling that wisdom! ; )

Compounding this unusual re-entry into schooling this Fall is that we have been crazy busy.  No, I mean CRAZY.  Like one week in Sept we had NINE special events/meetings in one week--on top of the usual classes, schooling, etc.  The next week we had seven!  And this is me saying "No" to a lot of things--these are just the things that I could not or really, really did not want to say "No" to!  Now it has slowed to an average of 3-4 special events a week--which is still too much!  But at least now I'm home enough to keep the dishes washed. ; ) 

This busy life would also be why we usually try not to do too much--we can't HOME school when we are not even at home!  (Yes, of course we car-school daily--have to make the most of those drives to and from classes!--but that cannot take the place of the learning that happens when we are settled down and focused for long stretches of time at home.) 

Moms who are starting out new to homeschooling, please heed my words.  Do not feel like you are being a boring mom if you keep your kids home most days.  Do not feel like you are being a negligent homeschool teacher if you don't have your kids enrolled in classes every day of the week.  Busy is not better--you need plenty of time to focus on your kids without the stress of watching the clock.  And they need plenty of time to engage with activities without being interrupted.  And I highly encourage all of you new-to-homeschool moms to build in some breathing room for yourself into the day too.  Any of you who have been around me for more than one day know I am a big proponent of quiet times! 

So, I would love to hear from any of you who care to leave a comment how YOU are doing here at the start of the school year!  I would esp. enjoy hearing any new routines or things you have implemented this year that you think are going well. 

It is a little scary to realize that we've been homeschooling now for. . . 7 years.  This is our eighth.  I can't believe it!  But just this Fall, I am starting to realize that over the years I really have acquired some wisdom!  So this Fall I would like to do some more writing here and share with you all some of the things I think I have finally figured out that work well for us, or that make me happy--just in case they work well for you or make you happy too!

And all of you, please consider sharing your stories here too!  I keep learning new things, and some of you come up with the best strategies for more effective and fruitful teaching and living.

.   .   .   .   .   .   .   .   .   .   .   .

Now, with all that said, I want to let you know that we are ready to announce our Vintage Homeschool events for the Fall!  So, keeping your family's "busyness" needs in mind, please put them on your calendar, and consider joining us.  We have some fun things planned!  I should have the first post up tonight. : )

Happy Fall Semester 2013!