Anchor: a person or thing that can be relied on for support, stability, or security; mainstay: Hope was his only anchor.
When we work to become the author of own family life, we take on the authority to provide our spouse and children and ourselves stability. An effective way to do this is through the use of rhythm. If you have small children, it takes time to build a family rhythm that encompasses the year. If you are homeschooling older children and also have younger children not yet ready for formal learning, the cycle of the year through the seasons and through your religious year becomes the number one tool you have for family unity, for family identity, for stability.
I love August. August reminds me of beaches, sunflowers, picnics, going back to school and therefore less crowds at all our favorite outdoor spots. August is beautiful sunsets and lapping waters. And birthdays – there are two in our family this month!
This month we celebrate:
August 9th – The Feast of St. Herman of Alaska – for this feast, we plan on reading this lovely book.
August 10th – Our first day back at school (we have camping trips in September and October, plus a wedding in November, so might as well start when the counties around us are starting this year and get going!)
August 15th – The Dormition of St. Mary – August 15th – on this beautiful day, we tell the story of the Dormition of St. Mary and read this little book.
August 31st – The Feast of St. Aidan — we plan to tell the story of St. Aidan and the horse he was given by King Oswim
Ideas for Celebration:
- Making beautiful triptych to celebrate the life of St. Mary. There are many wonderful ideas regarding this on the Internet.
- We have about another month of tubing, swimming and water park availability to us, so we hope to take advantage!
- Gazing at the stars
- Walking in the mornings
- Celebrating the back to school with little things to use during the school year
The Domestic Life:
I always find this a good time to take stock of needs for fall/winter in clothing, shoes, outside gear.
I also think this a great time to go back to manners. My older children seem to be in an expansive place and forgetting their manners with each other and me, and while that seems common for this time of year (but worse this year!), I think it is a good time for all of us to be kind to each other and sink into some structured rhythms
Rhythm is the key word for this month. The structure does us all good!
Kindergarten: We will be celebrating the festivals above. Our circle will be centered around the garden and sunflowers and our story will be modified version of Hans and the Wonderful Flower (adjusted for the season and where we live). I have plans for steps toward jumping rope, fingerplays and foot plays, baking bread and cookies, creating a “painting” with sand and shells, modeling snails and dragonflies, making walnut boats, make lavender sachets,drawing, painting, and more.
Fifth Grade: This month will be a review of all four math processes, estimating and fractions and measurement. We will also be continuing work with spelling and grammar and looking at what makes a good sentence. Our main lesson will focus on Botany, one of my favorite fifth grade blocks. We will have a number of lovely painting and drawing experiences, along with modeling out of plastilina and modeling beeswax. We also have a number of botanical gardens in our area which we are excited to experience.
Eighth Grade: We will be using this month to focus on math review of everything we have learned in grades one through seven, and looking specifically at platonic solids, loci and volume. There will be lots of drawing and modeling transformations to go through sequences. We will be diving into the book “Across Five Aprils” in preparation for our American History block and I have some activities planned to go through this book.
Self-care is so difficult for me. It really wasn’t too bad up until I hit forty or so, but then all the children were older and had things going on and there just seemed to be no time in the day. So, one thing we are doing is looking at combining the nature pyramid and the physical fitness pyramid for children so I can also work in some physical exercise. And, then my plan is to also have my own time to exercise at the gym or walking on the trail by my house. I am also re-working our menu planning.
I would love to hear from you and where you are in this most expansive time of summer.
Blessings and love,
My children have also … uh … forgotten their manners lately. Glad to hear it may be related to the time of year! We are way out of our rhythm and my 6-year-old actually requested to re-start “school” so just today we started a simple little summer circle time. It was lovely. She was disappointed I didn’t have a story to tell her. She is definitely hungry for more than just the play, play, play we’ve been doing.
In August we celebrate Lammas. On Santa Lucia (13th December) we planted some wheat indoors in a pot. We have watched it grow all year and it is now time to harvest it and thresh it and grind it in a coffee grinder. This weekend, our local water mill, which dates back to Saxon times and was listed in the Domesday book, is actually milling. We will go and re-aquaint ourselves with the workings of the mill and collect some flour and more wheat seed. At home we will make the harvest loaf, in the shape of a wheat sheaf, from the flour. In England it is customary to make corn dollies so they are part of our nature table display, along with sunflowers and grasses. We make straw decorations and re-read The Little Red Hen. School doesn’t return until September here so we are in the throes of a lazy, hazy summer with long days outdoors. The raspberries are ripe, the blackberries are ripening and the apples are growing big. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lammas and http://www.sturminsternewton-museum.co.uk/?page_id=8
So lovely, Tania! Love hearing from you!
Blessings on your August, which sounds so lovely.
Appreciate your update!
We added a 4pm tea/snack before 5:30 dinner to our rhythm and a 6:30 snack before bed, the warm milk with cinnamon and touch of honey and toast with raw honey, as recommended in the “heaven on Earth” book – we love this new ritual for our 2.5 year old!
I also got a couple Mother Goose books and am adding verses – not as difficult as I’d thought and they are quite catchy, I even catch myself saying them by myself! Much to do but as you recommend we are starting with a little something!
I also made a meal plan for the whole month for the first time ever! As recommended in the book “confessions of an organized homemaker” I made sheets of our common meals by category (we have 6 categories for 6 days of the week, with one leftovers/wildcard: eggs, beans, salmon, soup, main dish salad, and pasta/risotto). Then it’s easy to choose one dish per week from each category.
Curious how you are redoing your menu planning? I’m obsessed with this topic and have struggled with it forever!
Thank you again for lavishing your time and attention on this blog/us readers! Very grateful for your efforts.
We are in the middle of moving, but restarting our school year rhythm tomorrow to get some peace before the storm. Funnily enough, I live *right by* where Across Five Aprils takes place (and the author’s birthplace). My kids got a kick out of that when we read the book. 🙂
That is so exciting! Congratulations with getting your school rhythm re-started!