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
chopping peaches for dinner
learning to kayak
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 Pact | Harry Potter The Sorcer’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
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 Pact | Harry 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 Gretel | William 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
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)