Wednesday, September 16, 2015

Summer days


Long time, no post! We've had a busy and full summer and I just haven't made it a priority to sit down at the computer very much. To catch you up to speed on our summer...

summer days

Auntie Em came to live with us for nearly two months, much to the delight of everyone.

summer days

We took an unforeseen trip to New England -- and decided to drive there with all three kids! Our route took us through Canada, stopping at Niagara Falls, and took me to eight new states (having never been further northeast than Pennsylvania).

summer days

My favorite day out with the kids, while Douglas was occupied with a music workshop, was taking them to Mystic Aquarium in Mystic, CT. We love Raffi (at least his early albums, not so much the later ones) and his song "Baby Beluga." Edmund has been very interested in marine creatures this summer and the chance to see beluga whales up close was not to be missed!

Of sewing interest, I can now say I've visited Mood Fabrics in NYC and am the owner of some lovely Liberty of London cotton poplin as a result!

summer days

Back at home in the sewing room, I cut down this vintage full-size quilt to twin-size for Lavinia's bed. It was an old, worn quilt given to my mom by a friend of hers to use as a play mat for grandbabies. The binding was completely worn and there were some ragged holes around the edges, but I figured if I cut down the size a bit, it could still be usable. Since Lavinia has been in need of a quilt or comforter for her bed, my mom was glad to pass it on to us.

summer days

I found some matching lavender polka-dot cotton at Walmart and made my own binding, handstitching the back for strength. Yes, it took forever, but it looks nice and neat.

summer days
[First day of homeschool 2015!]

Most recently we've started up homeschool for the year. Edmund is in kindergarten now so everything feels a lot more official. I was kindly gifted some Sonlight curriculum from two friends, so we are using that for Bible, history, geography, read-aloud time, and science. I'm using Singapore Math workbooks for math, and making my own way with phonics/reading. For handwriting, I'm doing a bit of an experiment and we're using Cursive First -- we'll see how it goes! Edmund has really blossomed with his artwork this year and I love to see what he draws, too.

summer days

I had fun designing a coat-of-arms for our school in Adobe Illustrator. This binder is the key to my success this year, with everything planned out as much as possible! I'm thankful Sonlight does that for you, and it was easy to make up our own math schedule. For me to succeed as a homeschooling mom, I've realized I must have everything PLANNED OUT -- or else it won't get done!

If you're curious about our school name, Seekings School, it's a nod to my favorite children's books by John Masefield, The Midnight Folk and The Box of Delights. (Seekings is the name of the house where Kay, the protagonist, lives.) But, of course, it has a delightful double meaning for seekers after knowledge and truth!

16 comments:

  1. It looks like you had a great summer! Your quilt is gorgeous!

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  2. The beluga whales at Mystic Aquarium love to ham it up for the camera. They are delightful :)

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    1. Yes, I got the impression they know how to crowd-please! :)

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  3. So glad to see a post! Your trip sounds great (I live in southern NH, I totally would have flagged down your car had I known you were in NE!) And that quilt... glorious! I love the idea of cutting it down to a useful size, never thought of that. Best of luck with homeschooling! We're still figuring out our path for that here.

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    1. Thanks, Ashley! Aside from driving through the state, we stopped at Portsmouth for a late supper. It was delightful! Cutting down the quilt worked mostly because it had such a large, plain border -- so lopping off seven inches or so didn't affect the look of the quilt at all! Hope your homeschooling goes well. It's a challenge to figure out. (By the way, did I see your Dottie Angel frock on her Instagram account, or was that a different Ashley Pond?) :)

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    2. Oh my gosh, that WAS me! I have barely any internet presence at all, so to see myself on that Instagram was a hoot. I made five or six of those dresses this summer. So fun and easy!

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  4. hooray for rescuing quilts! (and for handstitching the back of the binding - probably my favorite part of the process because it's so mindless it becomes meditative). I love the embroidered birds.

    Your summer sounds wonderful. I'm going to see about the books that you took your school name from. Always love to find good books.

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    1. I think I could learn to enjoy the handstitching, too. Any tips for not getting sore fingers?

      I've been on a kick of reading older children's books lately, especially ones recently republished by the New York Review Children's Collection (who republished my nice hardcover editions of the two John Masefield titles). It's fascinating to discover these lost gems.

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  5. The vintage quilt is lovely! I think the polka dot binding was a terrific idea. The picture of you and your children is beautiful!!

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    1. Thank you, Sarah! I wasn't sure whether to go for plain lavender (as the original binding was), but I'm glad I added a touch of whimsy for my three-year-old. :)

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  6. Laura,

    So glad to see you had such a lovely summer! I'd love to make it back up to New England again -- a brief jaunt to a very windy/snowy Rhode Island a few years back was my last experience in over a decade. The beluga whale is fantastic!

    And congrats on surviving such a long trip with three littles in the car :-)

    Blessings,
    Shannon

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    1. Thanks, Shannon! Car survival was no mean feat, as I'm sure you'd know -- but really, the kids did very well! :)

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  7. Cursive First sounds so intriguing...how's it going so far? I am looking for a good handwriting book and have never heard of doing cursive first instead of printing. Our daughter already prints fairly well, but teaching cursive is a must in my mind and I'm so glad to see that others are teaching little ones something beyond print.

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    1. Confession, Janel, I have been slacking with it because I didn't get a daily checklist planned out before we started. I am not a huge fan of this curriculum only because I want something that TELLS ME WHAT TO DO EACH STEP OF THE WAY! ;-) And this does not... at all... seems like it would be good for a teacher who is really passionate about teaching and LOVES to figure out a route on her own. I get confused and overwhelmed reading the teacher's manual.

      I've had him practice making some of the letters with his finger in a tray filled with salt, and a few written worksheets. I think he is entirely capable, but he hasn't caught the spark yet -- maybe because I haven't either (he enjoyed the salt tray but I've had to cajole over the worksheets). Edmund can also print already as well, not the neatest but I never really taught him (we skipped the handwriting in "100 Easy Lessons"). Anyway, I'm persevering!

      Apparently cursive was taught first before the '20s and '30s. I asked my 91-year-old grandmother and she told me she learned cursive first. Many the elderly people I know have the most beautiful handwriting, so I figure they must've been doing something right back then. :)

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  8. It looks like you had a wonderful summer! I hadn't looked at your blog in a while and I had fun looking through it tonight. Have you heard of the Italics handwriting program? I loved it so much, I learned it myself so I could teach it to my children. When you talked about handwriting and doing cursive first, I thought you might really like this method. It's the least transition between printing and cursive and it's really beautiful. It seems like something you might like. www.handwritingsuccess.com It's the Getty Dubay Italic Handwriting method. I have to say too, Laura you are an amazing seamstress. Everything you do is just beautiful! What park were those swans at? That day looked idyllic! Such great pictures. Well, bless you. I hope your pregnancy is going well too. :)

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