Have you had a great July? I sure have! It’s been a busy and hot one, that’s for sure!
I can’t believe school is starting up again so soon. I don’t even feel like we’ve had a summer break! Sure we’ve been busy doing lots of things, but since we homeschool, we don’t really ever have a break when it comes to learning. And, we didn’t take a family vacation this summer as we’ve been working hard on our big summer project landscaping the mountain where we live. That means we’ve decided to put off our vacation until fall.
Anyway, I’m back today with another sneak peek into my life by sharing 5 things I’ve loved this past month with you, and I’d love it if you’d share some of what you’ve been up to this month in the comment section too!
Favorite Herbal Product
It’s been HOT here in Tennessee, and we’ve been dealing with a lot of mosquito bites and poison ivy this month. This Scratch-No-More salve that I made a while back has been a favorite of my kids lately. Seriously… one even slept with it so it would be close at hand when his poison ivy started itching at night! LOL!
Get the full recipe right here. It makes a great addition to your natural medicine cabinet!
So, the new school year is approaching which means I’ve spent a portion of the summer piecing together our new curriculum.
Judah is 8 and will be in 4th grade, Isaiah is 6 and will be in 2nd grade, and Uriah is 4 and will be in kindergarten. Yes, they’re all a year ahead of where they’d be if they were public schooled, but it works for us. They have a good grasp on what they’re being taught each year, our school days are mostly laid back and enjoyable, and it keeps us from feeling like we’re on a timeline, believe it or not.
Anyway, this year, I’m moving even further into the “classical” style of homeschooling. We have core textbooks that we use for our main subjects, but they’re backed up with a lot of classic or “living book” literature that reiterates what’s being taught in the textbook. All of this literature helps apply the lessons they learn in their textbooks to life and makes the learning stick a bit more. Another thing I love about the classical style of homeschooling (besides the focus on good literature) is that it’s cyclical and you’ll repeat everything again in 4 years. That helps me to know that if they don’t get it all the first time around, we’ll be covering it all again.
Because I now have 3 in school, I’m still new to this whole “classical” thing, and I don’t want to spend HOURS doing school (I seriously don’t think it should take all day), I decided to get a guide that sort of helps keep me on track and guides me in the books we use… for the most part anyway. After lots of research and sampling, I chose to go with the Wayfarers curriculum guide by Barefoot Ragamuffin. It tells me which subjects to cover each day (and we only have to cover the ones we want to cover), what chapters to read from each text/book, and it gives a review with some extra info that’s fun for the kids at the end of each week.
Honestly, I’m a bit nervous about keeping up with it all, but I’m also really excited to school the boys this way. Ultimately, I want them to have a really good knowledge base, I want them to love reading, and I want them to have fun learning. If we can accomplish this during our homeschooling years, they will be able to pursue whatever career they chose to pursue.
Favorite Natural Product
A company called Tranlin sent me some eco-friendly tree-free paper products to try out recently, and after using them at our family’s 4th of July picnic this year, I must say, I’m pretty impressed. We used their “paper” plates, bowls, and napkins for our cookout, and they held up so well! They’re strong, the liquids didn’t seep though, and you’d never know they were different than regular paper plates.
My favorite thing about them is that they’re not made out of paper, but instead, they’re made out of the leftover wheat stalks that are typically thrown away. Now, I’m not against paper products at all, but I do think that it’s wise to harvest and use trees in a sustainable way. I also think it’s pretty cool to make common, everyday household items out of products that are normally viewed as “waste.”
They also sent me some of their tissue paper and toilet paper to try, but I haven’t gotten around to those two products yet. Here’s hoping they work well too!
Our family has coined July as “Mum-Mum Month” because Dean’s mom has so many fun things planned for the grandkids during July. First, there’s The Cousin’s Party where we celebrate all of the grandkid’s birthdays with one big party. Next, there’s a day where Mum-Mum takes all the kids out to see a new movie at the movie theater and then out to eat somewhere delicious. Lastly, she takes all the kids out for a full day of fun activities. This year she took all the kids to the Creation Kingdom Zoo in Gate City, Virginia and then to Just Jump, a trampoline park, before getting them dinner and taking them to a school park for a picnic and time to play.
Yes, it’s crazy I know, but she LOVES her grandkids, and now that the last of her kids are growing and doing their own thing, she loves to spend time with these little guys… all 18 of them!
As you know, we’re in the middle of a big landscaping project on the mountain this summer (an update is coming soon). Part of our landscaping project is building two retaining walls in front of our house to plant food, herbs, or pretty plants on. Right now, in the middle of the project, we have dirt everywhere, and every time it rains, the ditches fill with water creating huge mud pits. As you can see from this photo, the boys love playing in the mud!
Thankfully, I don’t mind so much. I simply soak their clothes in the wash with hot water, some detergent, and some extra oxy-clean free (only if needed) and then soak them in the bath! Don’t you know, country boys like playing in mud!
So that’s it for this past month! I hope you enjoyed seeing some of my favorite things from July, and I’d love to hear about what you and yours have been up to this past month below!