AO Year 4 - Term 3

We just finished out year 4 of Ambleside Online's online curriculum (our first year tackling everything listed) and I'm so impressed with what an impact it has had on our family.  School is easy and enjoyable, and I can't imagine ever going back to a worksheet-style curriculum.

Here is the link to our Term 3 daily schedule:

AO Year 4 Term 3 Daily Schedule

Because of my husband's work schedule, we chose to school Tuesday through Saturday, and because our flag football season fell during term 3, the schedule was adjusted to give Saturdays a lighter workload.

As with any school curriculum, there were some books we really loved (Ocean of Truth), and some that we just trudged through (looking at you, Abigail), but all in all, it was a great year.

We also left Plutarch behind after term 1.  That's the beauty of AO, you can easily adjust as needed for your family. 

If you're looking for the Year 4 daily schedule in its entirety, I will link to the other terms below:

AO Year 4 - Term1

AO Year 4 - Term 2

To parents just starting out into Ambleside, this can be done and it's so rewarding.  You've got this!! Have a wonderful school year!

90's Day

Sunday we woke up itching.  Itching to go somewhere. Do something.  Be outside.  

Bent suggested a road trip, and I was feeling nostalgic, so we headed to my old town.

The boys grabbed their road trip entertainment (Bent brought a book, and Cole brought a notebook and a pen, which made me feel even more nostalgic: 90's baby! When those were your items of choice on a road trip rather than "can we: bring our tablets/dvd players/use your phone."), and we set off.  We jammed out to all our favorite songs on the way and when the boys were tired of their books, they just looked out the window and let their minds wander.  

azaleas at rainbow springs

When we arrived we found that the azaleas were in full bloom, and many of the other trees were spotted with new buds or beginning to bloom - yes it's February, but it's Florida, "winter" is only 2 month long here. Everything was beautiful.  

We set up blankets on the hill, kicked off our shoes, and I read my book (but  mostly people watched), while the boys played ball until they were breathless and glistening with sweat.

We took a stroll along the gardens, took in the waterfalls, attempted one of the back trails, and debated jumping in the river, but decided against it since we were running out of light and didn't want to make the drive home soaking wet. 

The boys truly enjoy days like this. Days that cost little to nothing except time, and that bring adventure and memories.  

raising wild folk
raising wild folk
  raising wild folk

My goal for 2017 was to "Be Here Now," and after an entire year of reciting that mantra, I find it much easier to live every moment as it happens, and cast aside worries and regrets.  

2018 is my "year of the 90's."  1990's, that is.  When there was just enough technology to make life a bit more convenient, but not so much as to swallow you whole and make you forget about the beautiful world around you.  

In the 90's you had to make your own fun, use your imagination, play outside. If the weather was bad, you could come in and watch tv, or play a video game, but it wasn't life.  Cole and Bent aren't technology obsessed, but Jon and I feel everyone benefits from adventure, exploration, and outside time, so we are making it our goal this year to provide the right environment for the kids to experience life in this way.

We could all do with a little less technology, a little more nature, and a lot more imagining. 

If you're local, or road tripping through Florida, I cannot recommend Rainbow Springs State Park enough (yes, I might be a little biased since it's where I'm from, but it really is beautiful). It's only $2 per person, and if you pack a picnic, you can easily spend the entire day there swimming, canoeing, trekking, and soaking in what's beautiful about Florida.

Saying Yes.

When the kids heard that it was snowing a mere 2 hours north (and not the kind of snow that melts before it hits the ground, this was actual snow), we were met with cries of, "Can we please please pleaseeee go see the snow?"

Sure it would have been easy to tell them no, that daddy was working, and it was a weeknight, but something in me thought, "why not?"  I called Jon at work, he rescheduled the rest of his appointments for the day (it was a slow day anyway), and we hit the road.

We originally intended to drive to Savannah, but our gas light came on around 2 hours from home, and when we pulled off for gas, there was actual snow on the ground!  Another family was already there, all bundled up, watching as their children built a snowman, so we pulled on the kids mucking boots (we're from Florida - that's all you need down here), and let them run wild in the field next to the gas station.

Sometimes, you just have to say yes.

Yes to adventure.
Yes to exploration.
Yes to experiences.
Yes to the unknown.
Yes to making memories.

Your whole family will be better for it.
Trust me.

We will always remember that time we hopped in the van, drove across the state line, and played in the snow by a roadside fruit stand.

Making Time

I needed more time.  
Especially since the time change, there just hadn't seemed to be enough hours in the day.  Sure, we'd been getting our school work and house work done, but there was just not enough time for doing nothing, and well, I needed more time for.... nothing

When I think back to just 5 years ago, there was always time.  So much everyday that I'd find myself wondering what I could do to busy myself until Jon came home from work.  We were still homeschooling, so that can't be used as an excuse, because we could get our work done and still take  a walk to the grocery store for dinner ingredients with time to spare.  
If I'm honest with myself, I know what's changed (and it's not the addition of a child).

It's likely the same thing that prevents you from finding more "me time," more time for stillness, contemplation, reading, being.

It's social media, and it's something that I'm ok with admitting I struggle with.  I have a love hate relationship with social media.  Facebook used to be so great for staying connected to far away family, old friends, and people from across the country that you met on your honeymoon and now get to watch their children grow up. 

Instagram has been awesome for peeping into peoples beautiful (albeit sometimes made up) lives and imagining how lovely it must be to bake pies from scratch using organic ingredients from your garden out back of your cliff top house in Switzerland (you know what I'm talking about....).

But let's be real.  They are time sucks, and it's so hard to avoid them.

Even with notifications turned off on my phone, I'll check in to facebook, and before I know it, 20 minutes have gone by and I haven't even interacted with anyone I know.

But I've watched a video of Jimmy Fallon and Justin Timberlake, seen someone complaining about the president, seen 10 cat pictures, more complaining about the president, complaining about the people complaining about the president, found out what my Fairy Princess name is, taken a quiz to see what type of shoes I would be if I were a pair of shoes, and so on and so on and so on until I've wasted all of that precious time I was looking for earlier.

Sure, it doesn't always happen in a large chunk like that.  Sometimes, I check in a few times a day for little nuggets of nothingness here and there, because, that's what it is, nothingness.  I haven't actually retained anything from that video recipe for making caramel apple streudel that I watched for 8 minutes.

Anddddd there's my precious time.
That's where it went.
That's why I've been reading the same (actually really fascinating) book for a month and am still at page 104.

raising wild folk
banana leaves
I've decided I don't want to live like that anymore.  I'm tired of wasting time on scrolling that I could be using on things I really care about (ie. reading, gardening, crafting, learning), so I decided I was going to make a concentrated effort to find myself more time in 2018 by deleting my personal facebook account.  

I'm on day 2, and while I have noticed a slight compulsion to reach for my phone, only to realize mid-grab that there are no notifications to check, I'm already feeling much happier. 

Yesterday, we found the time to have family movie night, color gorgeous meditative coloring pages of wolves for the Wolf Moon, and the Hubs and I even enjoyed a cup of eggnog and read our books (yes, real books - no phones needed) by the fireside together after the kids went to bed.  It was heaven! 

This combined with the return of the light now that solstice has passed, and my head is spinning with all the possibilities of what I will do with my new found time each day!

Is there anything you've let go of for the new year?

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