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There are a thousand thousand reasons to love this life, everyone one of them sufficient.

― Marilynne Robinson, Gilead


drawing and listening to an old Sheryl Crow CD

journaling

chopping peaches for dinner

learning to kayak

daydreaming

cleaning the kitchen together after dinner

snacking on an early summer nature walk

making salsa from our garden

sketching in the mountains

sifting through recipes in a library cookbook

sanding wood for home projects

saving seeds from our garden

playing with sparklers, talking about light in darkness

reading and listening to books

writing a play and creating characters for it

reading in a hammock


I realize most everyone in the northern hemisphere has begun their fall routine and been whisked into the hubbub of pumpkins and fall leaves and school supplies. With Liam turning 13 this month, our home and time turned largely to finishing home projects and preparing to celebrate this life-transition for him. As a result my homeschool posts have lagged a bit, although honestly I’m still piecing together what this upcoming year will look like for our family, even as we’ve already begun it. It’s comforting to remember my ducks don’t always need to be in a row to begin our school year, but I do intend to write about our goals and such very soon. For now, I need to pay tribute to our summer of learning, both formally and casually––and also resume sharing our monthly recap in images and books here.

As with many homes, our homeschool tends to take a laissez faire attitude in the summertime. Routines relax. Home projects and travel ensue. Late evenings feel inevitable. After the energy and work Springtime requires of us, it always feels welcome to shift a bit. Still our family lives together best with a little bit of structure in the summertime, a loose expectation for the day. This summer we focused on daily practice of math facts, spelling, and reading (for Olive), some of the weak spots that can easily be lost with too long of a break. The rest of the day was given to play, reading, exploring, and home projects. And probably too much to the latter part than any of us like. Below I’ve linked to the books we read, independently or together. It takes so much time to write reviews for each, so if you have any questions about any of them, let me know.

As for myself, Eligible was a fun, quick read, but if you adore the original Pride and Prejudice, you may be saddened by some of the short-comings of this modern re-telling. Although a witty premise, it sometimes seemed to try too hard. Gilead is soulful and rich. And A Constellation of Vital Phenomena is both beautifully crafted and heart-breaking, as anything written around late-1990s Chechnya might be.


BOOKS WE READ THIS SUMMER

Liam | Little Britches | The Phantom Tollbooth | Where the Red Ferm Grows | The Hiding Place | Charles and Emma: The Darwins’ Leap of Fatih | Darwen Arkwright and the Peregrine PactHarry Potter The Sorcer’s Stone | Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets | Harry Potter and the Prisoner of AzkabanWarriors: Rising Storm | Warriors: A Dangerous Path | Warriors: The Darkest Hour

Burke | Call It Courage | The Lord of the Rings: Fellowship of the Ring | A History of the US: The New Nation | The Story of Napoleon | The Louisiana Purchase | Diary of an Early American Boy | The Life and Work of Robert Fulton | From Submarine to Steamboat | Darwen Arkwright and the Peregrine PactHarry Potter The Sorcerer’s Stone  | Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets | Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban | Warriors: Rising Storm |  Warriors: A Dangerous Path | Warriors: The Darkest Hour

Blythe |  The Hobbit | Pollyanna | The Story of Napoleon | A History of the US: The New Nation | Diary of an Early American Boy | The Louisiana Purchase | The Life and Work of Robert Fulton | From Submarine to Steamboat | How to Train your Dragon | Survivors: The Empty City | I Survived the Shark Attacks of 1916 | I Survived the Japanese Tsunami of 2011 |

Olive | Rapunzel |Hansel and GretelWilliam Carey: Bearer of Good News | Palace of Versailles | Seeker of Knowledge: The Man Who Deciphered the Egyptian Hieroglyphs | several Junie B Jones books | Frog and Toad | Eli Whitney and the Cotton Gin | Lewis and Clark: Explorers of the American West | Lewis and Clark: Into the Wilderness | The Life and Work of Robert Fulton | From Submarine to Steamboat

Myself | Gilead | The Way of the Happy Woman | Skin Cleanse | Eligible: A Modern Retelling of Pride and Prejudice | Carl Sandburg: Selected Poems | A Constellation of Vital Phenomena 

Read Aloud | North! or Be Eaten | Trial and Triumph | Of Courage Undaunted | Paddle to the Sea | The Wind and the Willows (our own copy was purchased in a used book shop, but I love Ingpen’s illustrations in this one)

3 replies
  1. Hannah Carlson
    Hannah Carlson says:

    I love your book recommendations and your ideas about summer. Also, do you have two kitchens?

    Reply

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