What’s working lately?

We are 1/3 of the way through our year of school. Here’s what’s working right now.

Field trips:
We’ve taken some pretty awesome field trips thus far.

Washington, D.C.
Highlights included our days at the monuments, the Library of Congress, and the National Portrait Gallery. (More on the trip here.)

The Denver Art Museum. We met my parents for the Monet Exhibit, which was packed but beautifully curated.

(Look how Monet captured the water and the reflection of the boats. It makes me want to paint the photo I took above of the Washington Monument reflected in the Potomac.)
Monet’s Grainstacks in Snow have always been my favorite.

The Colorado Symphony Orchestra’s concert for Beethoven’s birthday. This year I bought our tickets early, and we got to sit right behind the orchestra. It was fantastic being so close to the musicians, and being able to see the conductor’s facial expressions. Plus, the CSO rocks.

By the time the performance started, all the seats across were full.

The Denver Botanic Gardens. This trip was made especially wonderful by Aunt Mandy, who was here visiting.

One year, I tried to schedule us a field trip once a week. That was too much, even though no one was juggling AP classes or extracurriculars yet. One year, I just didn’t have it in me to schedule anything ahead, and I didn’t manage to arrange any field trips. By the time February rolled around, we were all sick of each other and our work.

This year, the kids are old enough that I (mostly) let them opt in or out of our field trips, depending on how their work is going. They’ve mostly opted in, which makes me think one field trip per month might be just about right. (Thanks, Goldilocks.)

We are still loving our weekly Poetry Teas. (Poetry Tea is a suggestion from Julie Bogart of Brave Writer.) We don’t have a huge agenda. We just drink tea and read or write poetry. Sometimes my 10th grader tags along for tea and does her biology homework while Phoebe and I write poetry. Sometimes all three of us exchange words and write poems together. It’s my favorite part of our week.

Okay, so not everyone gets tea. Sometimes they get milkshakes.

The other thing that’s working around here is the habit of work. Charlotte Mason promised me when the kids were little that laying down the rails of habit would pay off later. How I clung to that promise! And for the most part, it has worked. The kids are in the habit of getting their work done every day, and doing their chores, and treating each other with kindness and respect. I am so grateful for the work we did in those early years to make routines and habits of work and kindness.

What’s working in your home school this year?

One thought on “What’s working lately?

  1. Ben got a folding bike for his train commute to North of Boston for his co-op. If one of his connections is late, he still gets to work on time.

    We bought wide mouthed soup thermoses for lunches, Matt’s tutorials have a long line for the microwave.

    Some weeks I’m making an extra pot of hearty soup just for commuters, it never makes it to the dinner table. I think all three of them are having growth spurts. Maybe it’s just all that cycling Ben is doing.

    K is up to the middle of the ocarina book where there are more accidentals and syncopated rhythms. Breaking up new tunes into scales, rhythms, then marking all the notes has helped. Still a few frustrated huffs though.


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