Thursday, May 28, 2020

The Bumpdate That Finally Was Written

We officially finished the school year today, celebrating with double chocolate muffins from the grocery store and a bike ride! Despite all the craziness of COVID-19, homeschool stayed on track for us and I'm very thankful for that.

It's nuts. The fairs are cancelled and we can't go many places (not even church yet?!). One of the best parts of the homeschool life is the freedom to go on field trips, visit friends, meet up with our co-op, go to the library... and we are missing that freedom so much. Though many are "homeschooling" during this time by necessity, not by choice, this "COVID homeschooling" isn't a good representation of what homeschool life is actually like.

None the less, we're making the best of what we can do. We did get our own camper - that's cool, right? I'm just praying we can make a few trips to our favorite state park this summer.


The school year itself went SUPER fast. I think much of that had to do with the busyness of schooling three kids at home, add a pregnancy on top of that and starting a brand new business endeavor and there you have it! I think that's why time flew!


It's a beautiful chaos; very loud, messy, with lots of moving parts.

So, about this bumpdate! I have been putting off writing much about this pregnancy mainly because I sit down to write and then overthink everything. Usually there are other things that need to be done and it sneaks ahead of writing down any details about Baby 4.0... 

but NOT TODAY!

I'll keep it short and sweet because Baby 4.0, I haven't written much about you, but we love you just as much as the other three tornadoes :)

B4's Pregnancy Wrap-Up: Week 23

Baby 4.0 is a GRAPEFRUIT this week, almost a foot long and weighing in at 1.10 lbs. In my pregnancy with our third boy, I had written that I didn't feel as big as I looked. Well, this time I'm feeling it. I feel good, just "out there". 17 weeks to go, maybe?


How I feel for the day depends a lot on Baby's positioning - which is pretty crazy, considering he or she isn't that big yet! I'm running around 12 miles per week broken into 3 runs of 4-miles each and then strength training 2 to 3 times per week. My average pace has been faster than the previous pregnancies and I have done more strength training!

ZYIA Active's Black Swirl Tank // Jade Bomber Bra // Dark Navy Seamless Shorts

I have been following Heidi at G Training's Prenatal Strength Program for the past three months now and I know that run-specific strength work is keeping my hips and back strong. That has to be the #1 complaint I have heard with moms in subsequent pregnancies - the hip and back troubles.


While I'm not feeling like I "need" to keep running through this whole pregnancy, I DO feel like strength work is an essential element. I ran through the past three pregnancies but I feel like, in the long run, strength is even more important (especially pelvic floor!). Pregnancy really is an endurance event. 

My goal in this pregnancy is to stay healthy for baby and for myself in order to recover postpartum as smoothly as possible. And to stay sane and hold on to some energy as I chase the other three kiddos, that would be nice! 

With possibly 17 weeks to wait before meeting Baby 4.0, I feel impatient but I'm also trying to make the most of all the things we CAN do right now with the kids being "older" - at 2.5, 5 and 7 years old. (I just pray the pool opens up so we can have one fun activity that isn't cancelled!) It's easier to just up and go as the kids get older. 

Yet I feel excited too; to meet our newest little one (boy or girl??!!), to take on new adventures as a family of 6 and to chase new running postpartum running goals! I have some ambitious goals for the future that I may write about one of these days.

Sometimes it's hard to look forward; to imagine what life is going to look like after all of this. The times we are living in are so uncertain and, honestly, confusing. But I find peace knowing that God is in control and He will bring good out of all of this. I don't know what's coming next but God does, and I trust Him.


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Thursday, May 7, 2020

A Gentle Feast: Green Year Term 2 Review

We finished up Term 2 of our school year, well, a while ago (March 6th) and I'm determined to get this quick review typed up before Term 3 is complete. Our Spring weather has finally arrived and, aside from all the COVID-19 craziness going on now, we are so relieved. It's been hard to make myself sit down to type this up! 

Because this is a Term 2 review, I am not going to touch on how COVID-19 has affected our homeschooling (that will come for the Term 3 review). It hadn't affected anything here back in early March! Our co-op group still met as usual and the Library was open and well back then. Feels like forever ago. 

We continued to thrive on the A Gentle Feast Form I curriculum for the term and overall everything has gone rather smoothly while homeschooling with a two-year-old in the house. (He is a huge blessing and also one of trickiest parts of homeschooling in this season!) We also found out Baby #4 was on the way at mid-Term 2 and we are all SO excited! I found that homeschooling while being absolutely exhausted and dealing with morning sickness is extra challenging. Thankfully by week 12 of the pregnancy, the morning sickness got a little less intense.

Let's jump into the pictures. 

What I MOST appreciate about A Gentle Feast is that everything is laid out for us to work from and most resources are available in our spiral A Gentle Feast manuals (check out my Term 1 review here). For the information that isn't in the manual, I just plan ahead and pull it up on my phone or the desktop. 

I made a few slight changes to some of the subjects. One being that we follow along with Happy Hymnody's Hymn of the Month schedule and use Children of the Open Air for Solfa lessons. That really doesn't change things too much - it's really just a matter of having the links ready to pull up while resisting any other online distraction.

The full-color prints for Artist Study in the Morning Time spiral is such a helpful convenience. All of the kids, even Mr. Two Year Old, and myself take part in this picture study. We keep it brief and it's enjoyed by all. For our Composer Study weeks, I pull up the song selection on YouTube and we listen, sometimes with it just playing in the background. Classics for Kids is a helpful podcast resource we use for some composers.

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The history read alouds were all loved again this term. I'm not even sure I can say we had a favorite! It's amazing how choosing the right living books can make history come alive! I thought history was boring back in my school days but reading these alongside the kids has really changed my heart on the subject. I will say the illustrations in any d'Aulaire book are impossible not to love. (My opinion at least) Their Pocahantas this term and Leif the Lucky from last term were both amazing.


For natural history, we continued in the Burgess Animal Book for Children and added the Little Flower Folks for this term. For the Burgess book, we listened to the audio of each chapter in the Libravox library. That was so handy and it allowed me to keep the toddler busy or play with preschooler while we all listened. The Little Flower Folks book was hard to find but I did finally find it at a good price on an eBay auction. Whew! The book is gorgeous and stories were interesting but I decided to pick and choose which assigned readings we did out of this. Some of the sections were quite lengthy and a little hard to understand for my very young students - ages 2, 4 and newly 7 years old. We supplemented both the Burgess and Little Flower Folks studies with colorful pictures from our North American Wildlife book. The colored pictures helped with longer readings! 


For geography, we continued on in Home Geography by C.C. Long, did some map study and also read As the Crow Flies by Gail Hartman. I supplemented some of the chapters with books such as "Wonders of Rivers" by Rae Bains, a few other Troll Associates books and hands-on study whenever possible! 




We read some of the Blue Fairy Book by Andrew Lang stories but intend to finish reading that throughout the summer. It's a great book but keeping up with all of the read alouds on limited attention spans has been a challenge - namely with 2 and 4 year old boys.  Dangerous Journey was too good to put down and the kids often didn't want to stop with our weekly reading. We finished it a little faster than planned because it was that good! After reading The Evergreen Wood last year, Dangerous Journey by Oliver Hunkin was a natural progression for us in the Pilgrims Progress theme.


For our Spanish studies, we followed along with some of the A Gentle Feast song selections for Form I Spanish and then did our "own thing" quite often too. Weekly, we go through the Usborne's First 100 Words in Spanish book and then read a couple Spanish read alouds from the Learning Together series. 


Our first grader moved on to Singapore Math's Dimensions Math 1B books about half way through Term 2. He's enjoying their approach and I enjoy teaching it! We will likely keep plugging through some math (and reading) throughout the summer too. For reading, he is working through the 100 Gentle Lessons in Sight and Sound: Level 2. Just like Level 1, the variety and methods of teaching have been a great fit for my first student. We'll see how this works with boy #2 in a year or so!


Preschooler worked through his own Pre-K workbook because he insisted on having his own "school" to do. When not working on that, he colored. A lot! This kid is my color-crazy artist! (Oldest bro prefers black and white)


And then there's this guy. He's our wild and adventurous Mr. Two. Watching him explore life is sure fun! He learns along side the older brothers and enjoys many of the read alouds. At the end of Term 2, he has been taking part in the poetry recitation and that has been so cute to see! 

With only three weeks left in Term 3, I'll be back soon to write that review. Hopefully I'll be more timely - my goal is to write it up before our summer break is over :) 

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