Monthly Wrap-up: February 2015

Since our break week is drawing to a close, I want to post my month in review. February has been an interesting month, a good month, but a busy one.

Books and Things

  • The new science selections at Ambleside Online are wonderful. For some books I feel like I’m following great scientists around. Others it’s like being inside their heads. And the science biographies are opening my eyes — seeing how ideas were born, tested, and improved. If I had learned science this way, I would have loved it.
  • I love how the boys are enjoying, and responding to, their books. How they are being pulled out of themselves, their place and time, and into the thoughts of the great minds.
  • We have made improvements on the house, partly due to a very light school week (as in each child has finished a few readings). Can I say how nice a break has been?
  • I spent most of the month simplifying our schedule. I love simple, and I finally feel like I have something balanced and do-able. It has literally been years since I felt that way.
  • The older boys (11yo and 12yo) are starting Elementary Greek. From glancing through it looks like a gentle, step-by-step program.
  • Last summer my husband bought me a whiteboard. The actual board, which is 4′ by 8’… It is very, very, useful, here is my eldest son’s math lessons, worked on the board (number patterns).

Writing multiplication statements the “algebra” way (partly rubbed off), and a bonus lesson on capitol letters vs. lower case letters (for the littler ones). The car is what DS12 does every chance he gets. ๐Ÿ™‚

Being Out of Doors

  • I’m no longer going to track the 1000 hours out doors. I’m just not the tracking type. I’m glad I tried, but trying to keep tabs on how long which children had been outside just seemed to cause stress.
  • We have still been spending a good bit of time outside though. We spent a few entire DAYS outside, with a campfire, during February.
  • We noticed many of the trees and bushes are budding out while on nature walks, the birds are singing more as well.
  • Grass. Even brown and dead, it is lovely.
  • My eldest son (12) and our “little dog”, Raven, posing on one of our nature walks.

Jonathan (12) and Raven (about 2 …). What a beautiful day!


  • My older boys have finished their handwriting refresher course, and my youngest son has nearly finished the basic italics section. So I should have some Commonplace buddies soon!
  • The nature journals have been neglected again, although my son (and I) are doing well on our science journals.
  • It arrived! A beautiful Book of Centuries for my eldest son. We’ve added King John and the Magna Carta from Birth of Britain. We also added Copernicus from Great Astronomers, then went back and put in Ptolemy as well.
A Day at a Local Fun House. Isn't she cute? She's shooting rubber balls from an air cannon. That's my Montana girl!

A Day at a Local Fun House. Isn’t she cute? She’s shooting rubber balls from an air cannon. That’s my Montana girl!

Looking Ahead

  • I’ll be setting up a copywork jar for the older boys. If they find something in their reading, lovely! But if not they can draw one (or three) from the jar and still have lofty thoughts to enter in their copybooks.
  • I can’t wait to try out our new, super simple, schedule. And our new chore system.
  • Spring. Is. Coming. (Just the thought makes me deliriously happy.)

Closing Thoughts

From the Idylls of the King:

For men at most differ as Heaven and earth.
But women, worst and best, as Heaven and Hell.

Because it was my favorite quote this week.


  1. Stacy

    Please share this ‘simple’ schedule. We are just starting AO and I am wondering if I will ever find it simple.

    1. Amy Hines (Post author)

      It’s in my drafts. ๐Ÿ™‚ I try to only share things that work (or at least post huge warnings on anything untested). I’ve been to too many websites where there is a great idea, and then the next month another great idea, because the first didn’t pass the life test. But I hope to post on the schedule, and how we got to it, next week.

  2. Betty

    I would LOVE to see your new simplified schedule! I would also love to see what the inside of the BOC looks like. I am thinking of getting one for next year (Y4) but wish I could see the inside and how the pages are laid out before spending so much money for it! Love your blog!


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