Wednesday, September 4, 2013

September Life and Learning Menu

So long, Summer.  Hello, September.

I started pulling together monthly Plans and Possibilities menus three years ago, but let the initiative go as other things took priority.  Now, as the traditional school year begins in my town, so, too, does my desire pick back up on cataloging seasonal ideas to guide and enrich our daily life and learning activities at home.  Thus, I have dug through notebooks and piles to collate the many September-related ideas I have jotted down throughout the past few years.

As I did this, I realized that my former categories for listing Plans and Possibilities no longer work for me.  They were too academic-based, and, although we still focus on learning in a variety of “subject”-specific areas, the truth is that we have come to do so in a more “real life” sort of way.  Lines between what is “school” and what is “life” get blurred.  Activities that focus on specific academic subjects blend.

To better reflect the way we approach life and learning now, I have tweaked the category titles for my September Plans and Possibilities list.

The way the list is now organized, I think, will better help me to select ideas and activities from it to put into actual practice – following my children’s needs and interests while also guiding them to explore new topics and experiences.

My intent is to use the list as a springboard for mapping out our weekly schedules and preparing our home environment for learning.  Each week, I intend to select books to read, trays or baskets of activities to enjoy and meal plans to delight in centered around items selected from our September Plans and Possibilities menu.  Likewise, every day, I will look to the menu as I decide which daily living activities we might focus on and what outings, if any, we might head out to enjoy.

With our September Plans and Possibilities menu at the forefront of my mind, I hope to embrace life and learning with my children that is full, but not too full – purposeful and enriched without being overwhelming and overly-eclectic. 

I offer the list I have collated here in hopes that it may also inspire or supplement your own family’s September plans, both this year in the future.  As I do, I invite you to share forward your own favorite observances, activities, book basket picks, recipes, crafts, traditions, etc.  So, thanks in advance for leaving a comment about them.

Now, without further ado:

Our September 2013 Plans and Possibilities

Family Sabbath Days and Daddy-Kiddo Date Opps

Daily Living Activities and Household Tasks to Focus On (with and without the kids)

  • Re-focus on Five Before Breakfast (Life Skills / Practical Life)
  • Focus on Fruit First as a part of Better Breakfast Month (Health / Practical Life)
  • Re-focus Hair-Hands-and-Face Routine. (Health / Practical Life)
  • Rebuild Intentional Morning and Afternoon Rhythm of Experiences, with time focused on developing skills and knowledge, as well as exercising imagination (Blend of Topics / Subjects)
  • Re-focus on Lunch-and Rest Time, encouraging a time of quiet and resetting each afternoon (Health)
  • Re-focus on Times before Eating (Care of Environment)
  • Family Journaling (Writing and Art, Personal History)
  • 5 T’s for Bedtime (Practical Life/ Life Skills)
  • De-critter Attic (Care of Environment)
  • Start Attic Access Project (Care of Environment)
  • Put on New Screen Door (Health and Care of Environment)
  • Switch Out Seasonal Clothing and Purge Outsized Clothing (Care of Environment and Virtues)
  • Continue to Declutter and Organize (Care of Environment)
  • Knock Off Items on Monthly/Seasonal Task List (Care of Environment) to be shared another day)
  • Purchase and Plant Spring Bulbs (Science)
  • Clean Out and Wash Car (Practical Life / Care of Environment)

Books to Read

Work Tray, Basket and Project Ideas/Themes

  • Baptism Presentation Reprise (26, Jack’s Anniversary)
  • Make a Liturgical Display with the Kids -- Liturgical Season: Ordinary Time/ Color: Green, Dedicated to Our Lady of Sorrows, September Overview
  • Read Saint Stories – Begin map work. (Geography, Faith, History)
  • Birth of Mary Feast Day (8) Consider doing related Workbox and Montessori activities as we have done previously as an extension and enjoy playing with Life of Mary 3-Part Cards.  Perhaps invite friends over for a simple early or belated birthday tea for Mary like the one we had by ourselves before.
  • Virtues Notebooks – Responsibility, Order (Faith and Character)
  • History/Geography Notebook – Ancient History, Etc. (History, Geography, Art, etc.)
  • Phonics (for Jack and Nina)
  • Shiller Math and other Math
  • Ducks
  • Bees
  • More TBD based on children’s interests

Outings and Field Trips

  • Bank -- how to deposit money in personal accounts (Math / Life Skills)
  • Library Programs -- Scavenger Hunt for Themed Books (Library and Technology), Library Animal Art (ELA and Art), Lego Build (Science, Math, Engineering, Imagination), Game Day (Life / Social Skills), Embrace the Arts Story, Music and Movement (Music, P.E. and ELA)
  • Young Homeschoolers Playgroup (Life / Social Skills)
  • Eco Science Club (Science)
  • Young Cultivators Club (Social Skills, Practical Life / Life Skills)
  • PE Class (Physical Education, Social Skills)
  • Adoration (Faith)
  • Play Dates (Social Skills)
  • Friday Gatherings with OLQOS group (Social Skills, Faith, History, P.E)
  • Drama Kids (Speech, Language, Movement, the Arts)
  • Anniversary Walk on Beach (30) (Family History, P.E.)

Anytime Nature Observation(Science/ Art)

  • Dragonflies
  • Golden Rod
  • Seeds (bristles, burrs, helicopters, wildflowers bursting, etc.)
  • Apples
  • Crab Apples
  • Milkweed Pods
  • Bees gathering last of honey
  • Foliage beginnings
  • Squirrels gathering nuts
  • Leaves
  • Ant Tracking
  • Camouflage
  • Decomposition
  • New Moon (5), Quarter Mon (12), Full Moon (19)

Considerations for Menu Planning and Power Foods Labs Inspiration (Practical Life / Life Skills)
 Additional Inspirations – Local, National and International Observances
What are some of your favorite seasonal stories, themes, crafts, recipes, celebrations, household tasks, etc.?  Do share!

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Looks like a awesome list!!! I am definetly checking out those free events! And the I love nature walks this time of year!


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