Welcome to TwoCowgirls, the blog about our crazy life in Downtown Saint Paul!

Sunday, March 27, 2016

The Year With No Winter Doldrums

Looking back on our past few years of homeschooling, I have found that I'm always hit with a pretty bad case of the winter doldrums.  The intensity of my winter doldrums has seemed to increase over the years.

This year, I haven't had them.

I think there are two reasons why.

1) Winter getaway to Florida.  It helped to leave the frozen tundra of Minnesota for a couple weeks of sun and beaches.

2)  Scheduling time, not content.   We started implementing a few "ingredients" from the book The Phases of Learning by Rachel and Oliver DeMille.  While we're not following their plan perfectly (we're newbies!), I have picked a few things that were fairly easy to implement.  The main one, is doing "kid school" every day.  Kid school runs between 30 minutes to an hour per kid (depending on what we've got going on that day), and we use that time to work on topics I feel they need to work on.

Elise loves math and language arts, so we end up spending most of our time on that.  She seems to be a natural speller, so I don't feel too bad taking it slow (or ignoring altogether) with the spelling curriculum.

Millie doesn't like math anymore, so I've been introducing her to games, and fun activities that introduce and reinforce concepts.  Math Geek Mama is my new favorite resource!!  I had no idea there we fun ways to introduce advanced concepts at the middle school and high school level!!

After kid school, the girls do independent work.  They have been learning about the fall of Rome, and the beginning of the dark ages.  Millie is researching ponds and streams, and Elise is researching weaving.  They read about their topics, and then present what they've learned at the end of the week, during our Friday tea party.

They seem like such easy changes, but they really have (I believe) been the biggest contributing factor to my lack of winter doldrums.

Here are some pictures from the past two weeks:

Welcome to the family, Lily Rose Bun Bun!

Final snow storm of the year (we hope)

First Communion!

Weisman Art Museum

Find out what other homeschoolers were up to, here!  

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