Rowan Grows :: 3 Months


Rowan has been such a wonderful kid. These past three months have been gentle on us. For a couple who would previously have said we were NOT fans of the newborn stage, this is a gift. We're newborn converts! 

Coming back to the newborn stage for the third time (and most likely the last time) it feels very sweet to experience. The first time mom gitters have been long gone, and our very difficult newborn Elias prepped us for some pretty brutal days and nights.

So to have Rowan come and be the sweetest, most chill baby ever? We can't help but keep praising this little man. It helps the other two are just as wild about him as we are. Elias perpetually is looking for him (and we've had to get on to him more than once for sneaking into the babys room while he sleeps to share toys!) and Eowyn loves her baby brother. We've had to have a few conversations about not exclaiming that Rowan is her favorite over Elias :P We'll wait and see how she feels when she has to share her toys with Rowan too!

These past three months have been a gift. Being a family of five has been incredible.

Life Lately + Homeschool Update


September is officially here! I can't believe it! Today we have a 3 mo (update post coming soon) and we have a month of homeschooling behind us. The weather is starting to cool down (which means highs of 80's instead of 90-100) and it all feels wonderful. The promise of autumn always does.

This last month of homeschooling has held days of us getting into the groove of co-op, mini-field trips (and one big one to the ATL Aquarium!) and doing our school work. We saw some fun strides with our girl starting to grow confident in her work and we're seeing little man follow along suprisingly well. The two have grown in their friendship at super warp speeds and that makes me thrilled. Eowyn is having a blast at co-op and being around other homeschooling parents is both encouraging and enriching (I've loved to see the different teaching styles and have benefited from  all the clever songs parents know for teaching concepts.) Eowyn has been asking to do school time even on days that aren't official homeschool days, which is encouraging. The hurtles are still there: keeping Elias entertained when we have written work to do, accomplishing what we need to do while having a newborn, balancing the whole mom + teacher +home-keeper act, but each week it gets easier. We're feeling comfortable enough to add some fun crafts to the already assigned schoolwork.

Some of our favorite activities have been making raisins from grapes, understanding a sun dial, playing astronauts and being "space geologists" by collecting 'samples' of dirt from the moon (and getting a bit too much moon dirt on our faces.) ;) Our girl is a huge fan of math and science. She loves processes and comprehends anything she gets to act out. When certain work is proving difficult, chocolate chips per page completed have saved the day!

Basically we're keeping it fun.

Our school time doesn't take much time every day (2 or so hours max-with interruptions.) This befuddled me for a little while until I realized that traditional teachers have to spend a great deal of time in classroom management. So I'm grateful we get to spend the extra time doing fun things like going on adventures to the parks, making 'moon cakes' etc.

In other realms, we're finding ourselves officially settled in. We had our first game night a week ago and I feel grateful to have dear friends to invite over. We're finding our budget, routine and the like normalizing.  Everything seems to feel very ordinary. What a gift! Rowan is the best baby we've had yet (more about why in the 3 month post!) and the other two are pretty awesome too. We've a great triad of kids. All our library visits have given me opportunity to pick up some good reads, and so I'm enjoying some cleverly written YA novels in our evenings alone (we J-type introverts schedule our alone time :P) Ben is back to building video games, and I'm completing more craft projects.

There's a calming feel about this season of ordinary. Especially after years of everything being new, I'm grateful that it doesn't feel quite so intense anymore. I'm ready to catch my breath and see it as a deliberate act of God's kindness that the transition into three kids and homeschooling hasn't left us feeling like we're drowning.

The autumn holds pumpkin patches, science museums, and other mini adventures. We won't be on social media as much as we have been for the remainder of the year. So be sure to check here on the blog from time to time for updates.

Have a wonderful labor day weekend!

First week down! :: Sprague Homeschooling


Well folks, we did it!

 We made our way through our first official week of homeschool. It's been a good week overall. We're praising God for that!

Here are five things we've already learned:

+ Co-op is the bees knees.  Eowyn getting to see her mom as a teacher for other kids really enforced the idea that this school thing is for real. Also having other children who are homeschooled is wonderful for my girl who loves to have a group to belong to. Elias has a hard time being away from his mom, but we're working on that.

+ Eowyn is, like a whole lot of other kindergartners, a gal who loves movement for learning. The activities and games really allowed her to lay hold of ideas. I'm a big fan of the curriculum so far.

+ Having activities that are exciting to Elias (but not totally exciting to Eowyn so as to not distract her,) are key to getting through some of the more concentrated bits of schooling.

+ Getting to see my girl build on new skills is seriously exciting for me. I knew I loved the planning element of homeschool, (I'm a researcher at heart!) but I was wondering if the actual plow-meets-the-field would feel a bit rough. While figuring out how to motivate my girl is something I'm still navigating, we're figuring each other out. Also, the ground work we laid in preschool really has payed off.

+ We had a really rough day out of the five. Even in that, it allowed me to see the absolute beauty of homeschooling. When you're a homeschool family, learning isn't confined to a certain set of hours. We have a 'field trip' that goes along with her unit happening tomorrow (saturday) and if she isn't able to complete her work M-F, we have saturday and sunday to make sure we're ready for the next unit. The flexibility in learning and commitment to making sure my kids understand concepts is what is nailing down this whole thing for me.

What we're looking forward to:

+ Each week this curriculum grows. We'll be adding more math elements as well as reading elements in the upcoming weeks. I think Eowyn loves seeing that she knows so much, but a good challenge will be good.

+ Continuing on at co-op. While there's only one other kindergartner in her class (the rest are 1st graders) I love the nature of the co-op and what it'll mean for her. I think being able to see what her 1st grade friends are able to do will spur her on to also try new things.

+The flexibility of being a homeschool family has me excited even for next year. We have Ben's fast pause (a month long sabbatical of sorts) that we plan to take overseas, Lord willing. Getting to do this and not worry about interupting her schooling (but actually enriching it!) is a gift I can already anticipate enjoying.

+ Elias learning right along side Eowyn. Tell you what, he is picking up little bits of information all along the way. I'm really curious how much he'll have picked up come the end of the school year. What a gift to be able to be exposed to these concepts early on. Also, he looks pretty great as a box robot. :)

+ Growing in confidence. I'm still working out kinks around when to do certain bits of schooling, juggling a newborn, and entertaining a toddler. All the while trying to keep our house from insanity. This week showed some promise for rythyms and I'm hopeful that come the end of the year we'll really feel like we know how to get on with our days and weeks. I'm becoming more successful in involving them in my daily activities of cleaning and the like, so even in that, it's been fun to see our kids grow in their responsibility.

It's been an eventful week. With Ben having to work through the weekend last weekend, and Eowyn needing to have her tooth pulled due to it starting to hurt last week, I'd say we rolled through the punches and are landing on both feet on the other side. One week down, several more to go.

To follow along on a more regular basis, follow my instagram @simplespraguehomeschooling 

Cheers to the weekend! While the learning doesn't stop, we'll be leaning hard into rest.