homeschooling | planning | teaching & learning

Homeschool: Trello Planning

By on April 23, 2018

 

Trello 2018 6th gr

We’ve been using Trello this year with my daughter as her way of keeping up with her assignments for the week. It has been an awesome addition to our schooling day and I wanted to share how we’ve used it and how I’m using it to plan for her 6th grade year. Above is a picture of the main Trello screen. My boards are at the top and her individual weekly boards are separated into the three terms that we form our schedule by. To be honest, we are still trying to figure out how to make the idea of three terms work for us with the rest of our schedule. I am hopeful next year I can do a better job at framing our term schedule into the rest of our commitments in order to have off weeks in between terms and also have exam weeks.

Trello 2018 6th gr

This board is a look at my daughter’s weekly board. I started out this year allowing her to move items around throughout her day. She couldn’t move them to another day, but she could modify where they were in her schedule. A few months into our year I realized that this was not going to work. She (and I) needed a more set schedule; enter the set times. The only thing that she is allowed to move around are the cards from the first column; which contain her reading assignments for the week. While she has a set time in her day where she goes and does that independent reading, she can choose which assignment.

One of my biggest struggles is keeping track of all the things I’ve pinned or saved in Pocket or just found on the Web. I’ve got all the boards set up on Pinterest, I save particular things to Pocket and I even started subscribing and saving videos via the Youtube app. But in the end, it was making my brain hurt trying to remember. I would come back to a Pinterest board or Youtube and realize I had totally forgotten the thing I had wanted to do. The more I learn about Trello, I’m realizing it will be the answer to that problem; especially as I start to plan for next year. I can create a board and include all the books I need to get from the library, all the videos I want to watch for a specific lesson and link websites – in addition to setting up checklists for hands on activities, narration prompts etc.

Trello 2018 6th gr

Above is a look at where I am as I plan for her 6th grade year. As I started to plan for 6th grade, I started out the way I normally do at Ambleside Online.  I went through all the artist, composers and poets I knew we were going to do (some from AO and some from Cycle 1 Classical Conversations), and at that point I went ahead and created checklists for each of those. I attached photos of the works of art, links to composers to listen to on Youtube and any books that I might need to reserve from the library.

Trello 2018 6th gr

We are using Beautiful Feet Ancient History for our history basis next year. So I went through each lesson in the guide and where there were links printed, I went ahead and linked them on the corresponding checklist. I put items on the checklist that I need to prep for and also what her assignments will be for reading.

Trello 2018 6th gr

I’m still figuring out how detailed to get with her literature readings at this point. I’m not sure if I will just use these boards as general information for each book and various activities or narration ideas or what. And I know that while all the information will be on the screen in one spot, my general outline will still be in the paper spreadsheet form that I used this year.

A little bit about us: The advent of May means the end to our third year of homeschooling our 5th grader and our first year of homeschooling our 8th grader. This means next year, I will have a middle schooler and a high schooler in the house. (enter shrieking). We are Classical/Charlotte Mason homeschoolers and I try to frame my day with a Charlotte Mason style outlook. We participate in Classical Conversations and enjoy immensely the community it provides us. My son is finishing up Challenge A and is entering Challenge I in the Fall (yes he is skipping a level – just email me if you want details on that decision). My daughter is entering her last year of Foundations/Essentials and we don’t know where we are going from here with her. To add to all that, I am going to be a Challenge B director next year (taking on the class that my son is leaving.)

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embroidery | etsy | hand embroidery | patterns

Embroidery: New Pattern!

By on April 22, 2018

It seems like ages since I’ve worked on anything embroidery related. Once I finished up my last custom orders a few months ago, I had zero desire to pick up a needle and thread. It was by far the longest stretch I’ve ever gone with some sort of creative depression and just block. I did manage to work on a few things down in the studio, but the days of sitting and just enjoying stitching were not there.

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I decided last week to finally put out into the world this redraft of an old pattern that I made early in 2017 for a custom request. She really loved the Helen Keller quote, but wanted a design with mountains; so I drafted up this pattern for her and then it just sat on my computer. She sent me a photo of her stitching (super cute), but I had no interest in going anywhere else with it.

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In the end, I actually think this is a way better design than the original and it is a super pattern for beginners. It’s easy to trace, has some great stitches for beginners (backstitch, chain stitch and split stitch) and I’ve actually designed this pattern in two sizes – either for an 8-10″ hoop or a larger 10×10 square.

You can purchase your own copy here.

Happy Stitching!

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journal

A Heritage

By on April 17, 2018

My home growing up was filled with handmade items. We had quilts laying around that my grandmother had made. Every year my aunt sent us pillowcases that she had embroidered Aunt Martha’s designs on. My mother sewed my clothes on and off for years while I was younger. And up until she passed away, my grandmother Ida would come stay with us and I don’t think we had a visit where she wasn’t making things while she was visiting.

When I went to visit extended family, their homes too were filled with the same sorts of things. My grandmother’s home in Oregon was overflowing with things that she had made or other family members had made. I remember the back bedroom with this tiny little bed perfect for my 8 year old self. Overflowing from it were little handmade dolls and stuffed animals and other crazy creatures. The bedding, from the pillowcase to the bedcovers, were made by the hands of those that surrounded me in that house. But in those memories I don’t honestly remember my mom or grandmother sitting much with me in an organized fashion and sewing. Maybe I didn’t have any interest at the time. I honestly can’t remember. But I do know that this life surrounded by handmade things was very natural.

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Fast forward to today and I’m still surrounded by things that either I’ve made or things passed down to me and to my children. My daughter pulled out my old life size Annie doll – complete with all her matching clothes from the 1980’s movie. I sat there thinking about this doll and the connection that she is to a woman that I dearly miss. And I thought about this home that we’ve made for our children complete with a mix of things handmade and store bought.

I wonder at what point handmade things became this Pinterest thing and not merely a natural thing in our homes? At what point did life transition from making things as a fact of life to making things as a hobby or to be fashionable? When I was growing up it was not unheard of to have toys that your grandparents or even parents had made. It was becoming a little odd, but definitely not something that we felt like we needed to write up a tutorial for to share with the world. We’ve lost such a connection to making things as necessity that the necessity has become that we make a tutorial or a pattern or teach a lesson or find a class.

I’m thankful for this connection that I have to my past generations. And I’m thankful that making in our house has become a little more natural of a thing. Because that’s what making is. It’s not a skill that someone possesses and someone else doesn’t. It’s something that all of us are able to do. We are all makers and designers. Whether we make things with metal, fabrics or food.

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patterns | quilt | sewing

Sewing: Sugar Skulls Quilt

By on April 9, 2018

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Back before Christmas I was fastidiously working on a gift for my brother and sister-in-law. Alas, since we are all in the world of social media, I couldn’t really share much while I was working on it. I knew pretty early on that I wanted to do a quilt for them and one day while paging through Tula Pink’s latest quilt book I found this pattern for a sugar skull quilt and knew I’d found the pattern.

Then I started looking for fabric and when I saw Alexia Abegg’s Sienna line that it would be perfect. But then I had to wait…and wait…and wait, because it seemed like the fabric was never going to be released! I even chatted up with her mom at Craft South in Nashville and finally found out that it had been delayed.

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Thankfully it came out by mid-November and I was able to get it and get started. The background fabric was a solid that I found at our local quilt shop. It’s not a solid navy and kind of has a shibori element to it (which was perfect since my sister-in-law does fair share of indigo work herself.

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I absolutely loved working on this quilt. It came together really easily and I was super happy with how it turned out. I decided to quilt it on the diagonal and I’m sort of wishing I had done a little bit of a wavy line in it – but maybe not.

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bibliography | book review | book reviews

Reading: March 2018

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I know it’s nearly mid-April, but I honestly have been spending so much time on the computer doing other things that I haven’t felt like writing at all. I also haven’t been reading quite as much either because of this…

Currently

David Copperfield – this monstronsity is our June book for my book club and I started it way early because I knew I’d never finish it if I didn’t. I really loved the first third, the second third has been a little bit “ehh”, but it’s sort of ramping up again. I go in spurts and sometimes can sit and read it for a while and other times honestly fall asleep. I really do love Dickens, but sometimes his descriptions are so laborious that it’s just too much. But I do love the character of David and he’s so humorous, which seems strange to me as he is a Dickens character.

Reading People by Anne Bogel – I really loved the first couple chapters of this book and then it started going into all the personality types and I got all confused. I get it, but sometimes it all just bogs down in my head and I just wonder if it’s really worth it for me to understand it? But it is a good book and I thing she does a great job of bringing a whole bunch of information into a concise little volume.

Caddie Woodlawn – the chick and I are reading this one at night. It’s pretty good; rather Little House-ish, but kind of funnier in some ways.

Finished

Know and Tell: The Art of Narration – hands down the best Charlotte Mason-ish book I’ve read yet (besides CM stuff itself). Totally helpful and something that I know I will use and refer to tons. I highly recommend it!

What’s Next

I need to start reading The Hiding Place, as that is our next book club book and I want to start reading Steven King’s memoir on writing. But first I’ve got to finish this darn encyclopedia.

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