(Pssst! I'm part of this week's Weekly Wrap-Up over at Weird Unsocialized Homeschoolers! Click over to check out all the other posts, full of tips and tidbits that work in real life.)
The weather here this week has been absolutely gorgeous! We’ve spent as much time as possible outside, soaking it all up. The boys camped out in the backyard Monday and Tuesday nights.
Monday evening’s mock-camping included roasting hot dogs and marshmallows over the campfire for supper. Our property backs up to some woods, so the boys heard plenty of wildlife through the night. Onyx, our dog, faithfully slept just outside their tent and ran off anything that sounded too close. Bird thought the potential for wildlife sightings was so exciting. They all slept really well come Wednesday night, though! Tuesday morning Daddy took them fishing at a fishing pond about a ½ mile down the road from us. No catches this time, but they had a lot of bites. Ordinarily Daddy takes the boys on a real camping trip in the mountains once or twice a year, but it’s really nice to have a rugged yard as an impromptu and super cheap option for spontaneous camping “experiences”. It’s a great chance for Mom & Dad to have a date night in, too! :)
With the weather as it’s been, and with the “campsite” set up for a few days, we ended up doing much of our schooling outdoors as well. The boys took their independent work outside, and we carved out time for extra nature study and art projects.
As part of our still-going unit study on The War Between The States, the boys built a lean-to and set up a mini reenactment camp. They used the instructions from the book Great Civil War Projects You Can Build Yourself to build the lean-to, except they decided to make it larger than specified.
Bo has been helping Dad clear part of our property for a garden by cutting down a bunch of small trees, and those trees make great poles for a lean-to (and for other projects - the boys have been using the trees for all sorts of creative buildings). I had very little input in the lean-to; I just kept an eye out and made sure everyone was safe. I was happy to see the three of them work together as well as they did (isn’t it nice when it works out that way??!). The lean-to probably should have been about 2 feet shorter than they made it. The proportions are off a bit. I still think they did a pretty great job, though...especially for figuring it out on their own.
Once the camp was set up they donned their costumes, sang camp songs, and spoke solemnly about the war. If the hurricane holds off tomorrow, they plan to have coffee and hard tack in the camp before tearing down.
We had another really refreshing visit on Thursday with a friend of mine and her children. Her son has had a series of doctor appointments she’s driven into town for, and I’ve had the privilege of tagging along to supervise (play with!) her littles during the appointment and tack on some lunch and fellowship afterward. She is one of those amazing women who is so laid-back, kind, godly, serious (but not too much so), and truly refreshing to the hearts of the saints (Philemon 1:7). I’m so thankful for her friendship!
We’ve also begun meeting some new friends, and were introduced to a local homeschool group. I’m not big on co-ops, but this more casual group is a bit more my speed. They meet once a week, with no obligation (just come when you can), and allow the kids to play in both organized and unorganized activities while the moms fellowship and encourage one another. It’s a pretty large group, and includes a large number of boys between 10 and 17 - and since ours are 10, 11, and 14 we fit right in. Our boys have had lots of opportunities to interact with younger children, but not as many to interact with other young men. I think it’ll be a good opportunity for them - and for me. It’s so nice to start making new connections after moving to a new area!
That wraps up a super fun week of "school where you are"! Have a blessed weekend! :)