Year-long knitting

As the new year approaches I find myself thinking of year-long projects to start and (hope) to finish throughout the whole year of 2017. In my searching I happened across the Year in Temperatures and Knit the Sky projects. I thought (and over thought) about how to do these. I just love the conceptual idea of knitting the sky, one row a day, and adding a rainbow in when I see a real-life rainbow. But that would require also having an entire rainbow of compatible yarn on hand. And if I was going to have an entire rainbow anyway I might as well knit the weather as well!

So, I am!

Rebecca and I have decided to knit the weather together–her in Colorado after her January move and me in Illinois. It should be a neat way to compare the differences. I’ve purchased my yarn from Knit Picks and am eagerly await its arrival.

Here are the colors for the temperatures…

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And here are the colors I chose for the sky…

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Both projects will require just one row per day. So far I’ve been picturing a simple stockinette tube with the strands run up the middle and then likely kitchener joining it to be round like a super-sized cowl. That way I won’t have to weave in 365 loose ends, which I would very much like to avoid.

For the sky I will simply observe during my day and pick what I deem the best choice. For the temperature I’ve organized the colors in 10F degree  increments. If you’re joining, please feel free to adjust to your area’s climate!

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I also anticipate falling behind, because that’s easy to have happen, especially on a long term project such as this. So I have created a one-page print out of a whole year calendar that can be used to document one or both projects in order to more easily play catch-up.

One project, row per date:

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Both projects, two rows per date:

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We would love it if you joined us on this knit-a-long! Or get creative! I’ve seen blankets done with this concept, even cross-stitch! I love that there can be so many variations of the same theme–observing and documenting the year.

Homeschooling, fall 2016, age 7.5

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Reading

I still don’t touch this formally as she is an avid reader. She enjoys a variety of reading levels, from “too easy” for her ability to well beyond what I would ever imagine her reading and comprehending.

Once again we briefly used this “reading level assessment” and she could get through the 6th grade words easily and hung up in the 7th grade lists. Her compressension has tested around mid-3rd grade.

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Writing

I’m trying to get better at adopting the Bravewriter lifestyle again for our family. Tuesday Teatime is difficult to remember; maybe we’ll do it as a family after dinner instead. Her handwriting is still tediously slow which means she prefers to dictate to me which I’m trying to feel more positive about because I’m pretty sure the more confident independent writing will come with time. Lily will also attend weekly homeschool classes again held by a group of families at our local library. This includes a writing class where she completes assignments in class and at home each week. She did well with this class last year!

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Math

We have found that Math in Focus is a good fit for her! It is Singapore-style math workbooks and we completed 2A and a lot of 2B over summer. Conceptually she’s ready to advance more but the computations and memorization aren’t quite there, so we’re going to circle around with some review and introducing concepts through stories like Sir Cumference and activities like Family Math. We also play math games such as Clumsy Thief and Mobi Max. I’m trying to convince her that memorizing her math facts will make those games easier 🙂

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Science

Science-y stuff continues to happen informally and happily. Nature class with our homeschool group is a great exposure to a lot of things, as well as being a part of the Jr. Naturalist program at our local nature center. We have also begun to slowly work through REAL Science Odyssey, Life as a more formal curriculum.

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Art

An art class is also included in our weekly gatherings at the library, and they vary from painting to drawing to repurposing recyclables. She also enjoys crafting a lot of miniatures for her dolls for play, as well as drawing along with the Art Hub for Kids YouTube videos.

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History

Story of the World Volume 1 on audiobooks is still a hit, and I have also added volume 2 on her little iPod. We’ve begun to do some activities from the Story of the World 1 activity book. She’s still into reading historical fiction for pleasure, so I will continue to encourage that. Over summer we began reading the entire Little House series and she is a HUGE fan. We will also once again attend a monthly class at our local history center which touches on various topics from Abraham Lincoln to Frida Kahlo.

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Music

Lily is still playing her violin. She started in October of 2014 and has continued to practice just about every day since then. I’m continually amazed by how much she keeps improving at (what I consider) a difficult instrument. So many strings and a bow and fingers!

Physical Education

Also tied in with music is her ballet classes at the local park district. She has also chosen to begin gymnastics classes again. Oh, and monkey bars are a pretty consistent favorite pastime 🙂

Miscellaneous

Lily is also once again involved in Girl Scouts at the local grade school with friends that live on our street (amongst others who attend that school). The troop is bridging to Brownies this year! We make sure to schedule playdates with friends at least weekly. Im confident life will has hit a good weekly groove again once fall really gets going.

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Door County, Wisconsin

We had a great trip with my parents! The Farm was wonderful to visit, as always, and the weather was so pleasant for exploring nature and shops and fun. This was our second trip up there and I feel like it was even better than our first. We’re already planning the next one!

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I love to-do lists

I’m not sure if my love for to-do lists is being transferred to my daughter or not, but they sure do keep me on task and make me feel accomplished when I get to cross off the completed items.

I keep a Google Tasks to-do list (several, actually) on-going with long term and short term items to take care of. And I’ve found that when I have a lot planned for our day it does us best to write it all on our wipe board out so nothing gets forgotten about.

Some of the things on the checklist in the photo are pretty standard for our days, but occasionally they need a little gentle reminding (i.e. not me nagging)…drink water, practice violin, do a chapter of math. Other things we’ve been meaning to do but they keep getting pushed back…read another chapter of Harry Potter together, take a bath (I know, ew, LOL), pick projects for the Junior Naturalist program. And then there were all the things that were just relevant and needed to get done today and I didn’t want to forget because there were so many little things.

A bath is planned, the weather is a little too warm to want to be out tonight so a family board game is in order…and we’ll see if we get around to reading another chapter of Harry Potter or not. We like the book, don’t get me wrong, but it just hasn’t sucked us in like some others have.

There was plenty of time for her to read (a lot), play with toys (a lot), run to Target, go to the library, I sewed a little bit, dinner’s going in the crock pot…I’m calling today a success!

Oh, and Lily’s blog was sparked by her request for a “Laura Ingalls prairie photo shoot” in an overgrown field near my parents’ house. She then told me she wants to write a blog using the photos. We’ll see how far her project goes: https://lilysblog38.wordpress.com

A Monday in May

Had a rather feel-good day…plenty to do and accomplished a balanced amount of homeschooling (something I’ve been striving to do). I always wish I could look back on more glimpses of “a day in the life” for what our days looked like at any given time, so here was today, a Monday in May.

8:00am – Out of bed, me drinking coffee, Lily eats cereal and reads a book from the Mallory series by Laurie Friedman, one of her most recent favorite finds at the library.

9:00am – Reading together and “school work”…We read Your Fantastic Elastic Brain; What Do You Do With An Idea; and Billions of Years, Amazing Changes (a book about evolution). We wrote her writing assignments together for tomorrow’s homeschool co-op classes (formal paragraph from a 5-finger outline, and creative writing where she’s doing some Little House on the Prairie fanfic). She dictates, I write…her hand doesn’t keep up with her brain and I’m aiming to separate “writing” from “handwriting” to ease frustration and increase creativity. We worked on math (Math in Focus 2A, chapter 4 on bar models with addition within 1,000).

10:00am – Lily plays with Play-Doh, I go take a shower. She moves onto playing with dominoes which then quickly become building blocks with cars added in.

11:30am – We meet her violin teacher for a sushi lunch date (teacher is my cousin’s wife), and head to her house afterward for Lily’s violin lesson.

1:30pm – Lily rides her bike up and down the block while I open all the windows in the house and sew a quick project. She joins me in sewing and sews a mini quilt for her dolls.

2:30pm – We try a guided mediation on Youtube…something I’ve been meaning to try but have never carved out the time to do with her. She thought it was pretty boring 😉

3:00pm – We walk to the Girl Scout troop meeting at the neighborhood grade school.

5:00pm – Dinner

5:30pm – Walk to the park

7:30pm -Time for family board games! We’ve recently picked up a ton and now enjoy Hive, Quirkle, and so many more. We played Roll For It and Mobi Max tonight.

8:30pm – Bed time…we read a chapter from The Shores of Silver Lake and then it’s lights out until tomorrow.

 

Homeschooling, spring 2016, age 7

Reading

I don’t touch this formally as her love for books is strong. She’s breezing through a lot of the American Girl series currently, and likes some “easy” (for her) series like Heidi Hecklebeck. She also really liked Iva Honeysuckle and wished there were more than two of those. She has a Goodreads account that I use for book suggestions by adding in the titles that she likes.

Once again we briefly used this “reading level assessment” and she could get through the 5th/6th grade words with ease. I was actually pretty surprised at that, I wasn’t expecting that ability to keep going at this steady rate. In our use on MobyMax.com she’s testing at a mid-3rd grade reading comprehension, which seems about right based on what I’ve observed.

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Writing

Lily attends weekly homeschool classes held by a group of families at our local library. This includes a writing class where she completes assignments in class and at home each week. During class there is free writing (sometimes from a prompt) and listening to everyone share. For homework she has creative writing (she likes to create what I can best describe as fanfic, such as more American Girl stories, or expanding on Winnie the Pooh class tales) and she also has formal writing where she makes a “five finger outline” and expands it into a paragraph on alternating weeks.

Using Handwriting Without Tears books have recently come back into favor because I have promised that once her printing improves a bit and stays consistent that we can begin working on cursive. She is very excited for that!

 

Math

Math continues to ebb and flow. For a while she liked Khan Academy, but that fell out of favor. Then we were doing Life of Fred, but when she got stuck in “Cats” and started back in at “Apples” she revolted at the thought. We’ve touched on Kumon workbooks, random math games and just writing down/shouting out math problems randomly. MobyMax.com has been a great addition to our routine (it fits in a few times a week) and her math skills are getting stronger with practice. It’s been a difficult lesson to realize you have to work at some things–that not everything just makes sense right away.

 

Science

Science-y stuff just keeps happening informally and happily. Nature class with our homeschool group is a great exposure to a lot of things, as is just living life. MobyMax also has science units that she’s enjoyed so far.

 

Art

An art class is also included in our weekly gatherings at the library, and they vary from painting to drawing to repurposing recyclables. I’ve noticed a decrease in art-making at home and I’m not sure why, though I’ve made note to create more opportunities.

 

History

Story of the World Volume 1 on audiobooks is still a hit, and I really ought to add volumes 2 and 3 to her little iPod. She’s definitely getting into reading historical fiction for pleasure, so I will continue to encourage that. We also attend a monthly class at our local history center which touches on various topics from Abraham Lincoln to Frida Kahlo.

 

Music

Lily LOVES playing her violin. She started in October of 2014 and has continued to practice just about every day since then. I’m continually amazed by how much she keeps improving at (what I consider) a difficult instrument. My brass-playing brain can’t wrap around all those strings and finger positions!

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Physical Education

Also tied in with music is her ballet classes at the local park district. She’s finally at the point in the school year where they start working on the dance routine for the end-of-year recital, and she really enjoys memorizing the routine.

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Miscellaneous

Lily is also involved in Girl Scouts at the local grade school with friends that live on our street (amongst others who attend that school). They meet monthly and so far it’s been a nice addition to her activities. Other than that we make sure to schedule playdates with friends at least weekly. Life has hid a good groove, lately.

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