Sometimes we need an easy win, right? More often than not food can be a contention between parent and child. Sometimes it’s the type of food, sometimes it’s the way the food is presented. I’d say my greatest struggle with food and kids is when we are out and about craving a treat, and I have not prepared something in advance.
Now we won’t go into anaphylactic shock if we eat certain foods, but if we make our particular sensitivities a habit the effects will be devastating, short term and long term. So, when I get stuck with not great food options, I feel extra lousy because it’s a product of my poor planning. The kids know certain choices aren’t good for them (they can feel it instantly!), and yet they want them so bad and when they don’t have something to fall back on- cue the understandable bad tempers. Guilty frustrated mom, hungry frustrated kids: it’s a crummy situation overall folks. Luckily, there is a way to prevent that. My ”easy win” is pre-packed treat boxes full of things my kids have picked out at Costco. They’ve read all the labels and been empowered to make “treat” choices within our diet restrictions. Once we are at home we portion and prepare the snacks popping them into handy glass or stainless steel containers then store them in the fridge. Boy, does it help with all our hikes, piano lessons, library trips, Field Trip Fridays, to and from church, 4h meetings- pretty much anywhere the snack cravings hit! The one rule we like to follow is that these are for on-the-go only, otherwise none of the leftovers at home would get eaten, haha!
Let me show you some of our favorite snacks.
That’s all for now folks! What treats do you prepare so that you can have something quick and healthy on hand?
Do I already have Easter baskets assembled for the kids? You bet your hot cross buns I do! I get endless teasing for how early I do things but I simply do not care. There is peace in planning and I get better deals if I gather things throughout the year for their baskets. Yes, you read that right, I got some of these things last year on a clearance sale. Don’t worry, I don’t get the candy a year in advance, haha!
There is nothing I love more than putting together a Easter basket for my kiddos. This is a tradition that I am so glad that Husband brought into our family from his childhood. This year I thought I’d do a little peak into what I usually do for their baskets. While it’s tempting to fill it with a lot of toys and tons of candy, I bet you can imagine that I tend to err on the side of practicality- you’re right! However, I’m not a total curmudgeon and I have some really great brands I recommend for candy options; No Whey, Choc No No’s, Yum Earth, Enjoy Life, UnReal, Project 7, and Smart Sweets.
Naturally, it wouldn’t be a gift giving situation for my kiddos if it didn’t involve BOOKS! Gotta have some good reads with those treats. This year the bigs are getting their own Bibles. They were due for something more substantial since they haven’t gotten a Bible since their toddlerhood. C also is getting Ember Green, a new series I’m excited for him to start, Dinotopia, and a Trixie Belden mystery. Miss A is getting a Trixie Belden, The Jolly Postman, and Just Plain Fancy. Pickle is getting giant coloring book for church and a WaterWow. Pickle is also getting some chalk for our outdoor chalk board- can’t wait to use that more again, she’s going to really enjoy it this year.
All three are getting matching summer pjs and some neat homeschooling t shirts with different sayings on them. C’s says, “Join the resistance, homeschool” in StarWars print and he’s just gonna love it! A is getting a shirt that says, “Not all classrooms have four walls” and Pickle’s shirt says, “The world is my classroom.” I think that they are gonna love them!
I splurged on the super cute wooden bunny name tags, but I figure it’s okay because all the baskets were thrifted, right?
Planning Easter was never so fun! I can’t wait for the baking and cleaning frenzy to start. For Catholics in particular, Easter is our jam, much bigger than Christmas! We are the Easter people! I try to make Easter as big of deal as possible. The practical part of assembling the Easter baskets early is to mentally check it off. That way I don’t end up buying all the cute spring nicknacks that flood the stores and am more intentional about their gifts.
Our field trips have been taking us outside more and thank goodness for that! The sunny weather cannot come soon enough. Meanwhile, I’ll be content with overcast skies for our outings, just as long as it’s not a downpour. It’s is frightfully difficult to find motivation for hiking when a proper PNW rain starts. I’ve been incorporating history successfully into the field trips AND hikes. I had the idea to do grave stone rubbings, which for the life of me, I cannot think why I haven’t thought of before.
Auburn has a historical cemetery right in the middle of town! Some even say it’s in the dead center…get it? Haha! When we went to this cemetery I was astonished to find a Civil War veteran buried there. The kids got a rubbing of the grave stone, we took it home and did some research and WOAH! You will not believe the high drama that surrounded this guy’s life. Check out the story here. One of my favorite things to discover with the kids are all the mysteries behind the lives these people had. It feels like we are real historians learning about the local people who came before us. Fun fact, Auburn used to be called Slaughter. Slaughter! Who would have thought?!
This past week we made the trek out to Franklin Ghost Town which didn’t disappoint. We accidentally ended up hiking 4 miles instead of 2.5 but that’s another story. Anyways, we saw the 1,300 foot mine shaft where some miners died (suspected murder!) and the small decrepit but touching cemetery, the remains of the coal car tracks, and the ruins of the powder house. The kids got great rubbings of some of the graves. Of course we are always very respectful and gentle when we get rubbings, only getting them from grave stones that are in decent condition and not roped off. The kids are very into doing the rubbings and finding these “lost in time” historical sites, as C calls them. There were at one point 1,100 citizens in the town, and 15 different nationalities and languages being spoken! Talk about a diverse group. The mine shaft has an incredible view of Mt. Rainier, it feels like you can just reach out and touch it.
We also stopped by the Black Diamond Cemetery, another historical location know for its paranormal activity! While we were excited by the potential spookiness, we didn’t see or hear anything out of the normal. Just a rooster crowing. Or was it? Haha. I tried to convince the kids it was someone howling, and I received quite the eye rolls which I may or may not have been aiming for, haha! There were many Italian names on the old graves which makes me wonder if Black Diamond hosted a large amount of Italian immigrants at one point- must have right? There were some really beautiful quotes on some of the stones with tragic implications, such as young woman and two infants buried together, since the infants didn’t even live a day we assumed she died in child birth.
A week or so ago we went out to Point Defiance Park which is a labryinth of trails and I accidentally ended up adding a mile or two to our hike (hm, I’m noticing a theme here). We finally made it to the ancient mountaineering tree! This tree was a sapling when William Shakespeare was born- wowza! The bigs and I chatted all the way back about what that tree has seen, or not seen, and how noisy it’s life must be now.
If you’re wondering where Pickle is in all these pictures, she usually munching on a snack in the backpack. She is hiking more and more and covered about a mile all on her own on this past weekend’s adventure, “Me wun, mama!” Im definitely ready for her to “wun” as much as she wants. I will bring however many raisins I need to bribe her; she’s getting big! I’m so grateful we can have these adventures throughout the kiddos childhood, I hope they have fond memories of these days. I know I will.
I recently read an article that discussed how stay-at-home moms are around their children all the time but frequently are not present. Boy, did I feel that to my core. The author mentioned how it’s so easy to be so overwhelmed by the noise of motherhood that we don’t ever really listen– which made me think to myself, “Abby, when was the last time you really listened to the kids?” Oh, I’ve heard them. I hear them all day long and sometimes night. But it’s been a bit since I’ve listened to their little hearts.
I have to be honest with you. I struggle with being present. I have difficultly focusing on all the little joys of motherhood because, well, all the big burdens of motherhood get in the way. We are the foundation of the household and if we slack I feel like the whole house will crumble. Whenever one of my kids is chatting endless in my ear I must admit, my mind wanders to the endless list of things I need to do. Let me elaborate.
My kids have the opportunity to earn what I call “special time coupons”. If I need a set amount of time with one child during school but Pickle has reached her limit, I ask the available child to entertain her for a few minutes so I am available to give undivided attention to the issue with school work. These coupons can be cashed in to add extra time to the individual special time they each get night with a parent. I was astounded that both big kids always cash in their coupons for time with me. ME! I’m the one home all day with them, I’m the one always doing things with them. I was surprised they didn’t want time with Husband. However, my daughter illuminated me with this one comment; “I feel like I never get to chat with you mom.”
Oof. Cue the mom guilt.
I felt horrible when she said that. All those parenting books I’ve read never talk about how to balance parenting with, oh ya know, homeschooling, 3 autoimmune disorders, household finances, housework, chef duties, maid duties, driving duties, extracurricular coordinator duties.. the list goes on and on! I can’t do it all! Actually, apparently I can, just not well. So when I daughter said that, I felt enough realization to ditch all my social media permanently. I didn’t need another pointless time sink. And things improved. Lately however, I feel like I’m slipping. I’m overwhelmed and over worked. Being present has taken a back seat. With my autoimmune illnesses does come a certain amount of brain fog occasionally, but this just feels like I need another jolt of fire to bring me back to the present. I want to be able to tune out all the background noise and listen more.
Do I have a plan? Not really. Except maybe, “let it goooo!!” (Sorry, I had to). I find if I am not reactive to my stress, the whole household functions better. Is that a lot of pressure? Heck, yeah. Or maybe it’s a opportunity to harness the grace of motherhood, the epic calling that is being the bottom line to an entire family. There is peace and beauty in the struggle, I am sure of it. I have felt it before and I’m searching for it again. In the meantime, I’ll try to soak up all the little joys in the journey.
It feels like Lent got here in quite a hurry doesn’t it? Usually, January and February drag by, but this year I think that we were so busy I didn’t even notice them come and go. With some days in the high 50s, but some nights dropping to 20 degrees, it feels as if Spring is trying to push open the door that February keeps trying to hold shut.
The chickens are starting to lay again and my Lenten rose is starting to bloom so that can only mean one thing: Easter is coming!
Lent and Easter are my favorite. Well, okay, some of my favorites. I’m really just a fan of all the holidays. Who doesn’t love an excuse to make fancy food and relax? But Easter always feels a bit extra special because of the hardship of Lent right before. The sacrifices sure make the victory that much more sweet. I have very fond memories of Lent and Easter growing up. Our Lent traditions were strict and the older we got the more strict they became. Not because our parents made it that way, we imposed them on ourselves because the journey of being shriven was undeniably gratifying and rewarding in itself. Rather than dreading it, I look forward to Lent every year. Our Lent doesn’t feel quite as strenuous as I remember it being at C and A’s age but I’m sure my perspective is warped by time. It might also be because the many of the typical Lenten foods abstained from are eggs, dairy, and oils which is our modi operandi around here 24/7. However, the older they get the more creatively stringent our Lents will become.
I’ve only added a few new things to our morning basket to reflect the season. Since Lent is so long I’m sure more spring related activities will be added later once we are in the swing of things.
To switch up art a little the kids will be working through some tutorials that we bought off of Art Hub For Kids. If you haven’t heard of them, check it out! They definitely been a highlight for A the past few years.
I’ve gotten out our Lent cross and cleaned it off, now I just need some nontoxic tapers for it. We light a new candle each week of Lent at dinner time and say some special prayers every night when they are lit. On Easter the candles get switched to all white.
We’ve used Catholicicing.com for our Lenten calendars for the past few years, and a new addition is that they have a Byzantine version now- neat! I also got a printable craft of the Last Supper for the kids to do. I’m looking forward to that as a new addition this year. I highly recommend Catholic Icing, she’s a great resource and has lots of freebies.
I was glad to pull out the kids Lenten blocks that we made a few years ago. Luckily, the personalized three categories of prayer, fasting, and alms giving still apply but I think this might be their last year before they have to be repainted; new prayers need to be memorized and I’m sure the kids would like the opportunity to think of other things to fast from. Even though our family gives up things and takes on things as a family unit for Lent, they get to roll these everyday to make the fasting season a more personal journey, until they can really guide themselves through prayers, fasting, and alms giving for 40 days.
I hope you enjoyed the wee tour of our Lenten basket folks! May you have a fulfilling and rigorous Lent.
I’m a little behind on sharing our morning basket for February but, better late than never, right? This is a short month for us, since I scheduled a week long break during this month, which means the morning basket does not have quite as many activities in it. Nevertheless, we’ve been keeping quite busy and loving the new materials.
The past few months I was inspired by my own personal struggles and decided to incorporate things I am currently learning into the kids schooling. I kept thinking to myself, “If I only knew that my body was sending me signals of distress and how to handle them sooner!” After much research I purchased an activity unit study about stress response that was designed for kids. I can’t recommend it enough, it is presented incredibly well. If only all people had this type of training as children, I can only imagine how much better the world would be, I know I wish I had! Check it out here. I spread the activities and reading out over a week but it could easily be used longer than that. For example, the posters I kept 8 1/2 by 11, laminated them, and have been reviewing them with the kids, as well as a belly breathing chart I made for the kids (and me!) to practice with. A and C took to it more than I thought they would and showed me how in tune with themselves they are.
We have been still using our art cards as inspiration for art discussion and drawing. The kids don’t seem to be tired of them and sketching is a nice way for them to keep busy while I read aloud. However, I’ve got my eye on some new ones, stay tuned.
We are listening to our gospel cd over again, and I am still really glad it’s part of the morning basket. It’s a great morning matcha companion for those of us that aren’t inclined to hit the ground running. The kids can listen while I stare off into the fire zoning out plan our day- school starts before I even change out of my pjs! Just kidding, I wear my pjs like all day. The states and capitols have just about been mastered! I’m proud of the bigs!
My mom got us this gorgeous Panagia book. The illustrations of icons are so beautiful, the kids and I are loving looking at a page at a time and reading it together. Our trusty old poems book is still going strong. A has almost finished The Village Blacksmith and C has tackled about half of The Midnight Ride of Paul Revere! They’ve each memorized about 6-8 poems since August.
This is an ugly but effective way to contain alllll our math flash cards. C is working through all the multiplication and division facts 1-12 and A is working on all the addition and subtraction facts for second grade. Hopefully, all of these will be memorized by next year.
I’ve added more games to our morning basket, just to start the day off on the right foot. Admittedly, it is difficult for me to make myself get to them every morning, but I am always so glad that I did. We alternate between memory and slapjack these days, both of which are so fun and provide good chances for sportsmanship practice. I’m not sure if IKEA still carries these memory cards, but if they do you should get them. They have really pretty pictures and are very sturdy.
Of course it would not be a good February morning basket without Valentines! I had this big elaborate plan to have Valentines made from scratch with doilies and glitter but…it was expensive and frankly, I got bogged down with other things. SO, Amazon to the rescue (like always) and we had some simple Valentines but got some great stickers to send out with them so I don’t think the kids felt too neglected. We did end up making a few homemade ones with the extra stickers which even C enjoyed despite not enjoying art very much.
I thought I’d give you a little sneak peak into Pickle’s school time basket. As with all toddlers, things have to mixed up quite often so I ended up getting a few new items for her basket.
Pardon the terrible photo, the natural light didn’t want to come out at all. The gray busy board is from my in laws and I just love it! It is a fantastic fine motor skills activity. The blue board is a wipe on wipe off board from ages ago that Pickle really likes to use over, and over, and over! I made those animal imitation cards for C out of 3×5 cards and masking tape and a sad little pipe cleaner, haha! What can I say, things were tight. I am proud of how well it is holding up though! P acts out the cards for Recitation. The Around the Farm book and little reader books are starting to grow on her. The Water Wow is just always such a winner as is the sticker book. She prefers to do those with people rather than on her own though. The dice in the middle was a gift from my friend years ago. It has a pocket with color coordinated cards that utilize fine motor and gross motor skills. Toddlers roll the dice then pick a card and act it out. It is a big hit with P! The little jar is full of leaping frogs that she is enjoying figuring out.
Well, I hope that you enjoyed this little peak into our mornings! I’m always looking for suggestions on school materials for our morning basket and things to keep a toddler busy, so let know if you have any ideas! I’m off to prep for freezer meals this weekend. I am doing some of our favorites this time, plus a new sweet potato shepherds pie recipe I’m really excited about, I’ll let you know how it goes.
Located in the Point Defiance Park in Tacoma, the Fort Nisqually History Museum is just 30 minutes away from us and yet, this was the first time we’ve been there. We have been missing out! This was one of our best field trips yet! While most of the buildings on site are modeled after the real fort built in the 1830s, the history of the fort was so well preserved that the layout and details are historically accurate. A few of the buildings are the original buildings. The kids and I had so much fun, we could have stayed there all day. I cannot recommend this experience enough.
In my opinion, the fee for the four of us to go was very modest for the experience provided. The kids got a scavenger hunt with a small prize at the end, the employees were dressed in authentic period attire, and they were extremely kid friendly. I was very grateful for their relaxed demeanors with my particularly wiggly toddler as well as their willingness to explain aspects of the fort and their jobs. The employees go about their assigned job on the fort as if they really live there. We got to see them smoke some real ham in their smoke shed. The pig had been butchered on site a month ago and has been preserved in salt as the guy said, “We use everything but the squeal!” They did this just casually, it wasn’t a set up demonstration, we got a private show!
The buildings are set up with amazing period artifacts. The kitchen garden is actually used, and their lavender was being dried in a store room. It was just the coolest! By far one of the best things was the blacksmith shop. We watched them light the fire with flint and work iron right in front of us, all while in authentic attire and using a real 1830s forge!
When we saw they had chickens naturally we had to inspect them. They had the most gorgeous speckled Sussex rooster and we couldn’t get enough of him. C and I decided we need a speckled Sussex. Or two. Or five. No plastic watering or food holders here! They even kept the chicken coop authentic.
While wandering around we came across a whole building full of 1830s children’s toys including some stilts which the kids were quite interested in. We didn’t notice till later that Pickle had pinched some of the glass beads used in one of the games but luckily we were able to return them after we found them clutched in her tiny fist a few buildings later. To be fair, they are the same type of bead that I hide in the sandbox for her to find so… understandable mistake. She will tell you otherwise however.
Most of the buildings had 1830s wood stoves actually in use and if you look at the photo above, you can see they chop all their wood on-site!
You can see the outside of the kitchen and the garden in the photo above both. The garden is rather dormant right now obviously but the kitchen had something hanging from the rafters in it being processed for something, and I’ll tell ya, it smelled terrible. I always like to think I’m all hardcore and could live off the land but I’ll tell ya right now- NOPE. I don’t think I’d make it. The smell might be something you get used to but the other daily, let’s say, necessities is not something I’d handle well. There were several privy’s around the fort and while they are not in use I’ve gotta be honest, the pile of corncobs right next to seat ready to be used for wiping was a humbling notion for this pampered bum.
We had an incredible time at Fort Nisqually and I highly recommend checking it out, if you have kids in tow or not, it is a learning treasure trove for all! I plan on going back during one of their workshops on tin smithing or leather working later this year. I’d imagine it would be interesting to go during each season to see what the fort employees duties are. Let me know if you go, or maybe we will see you there!
My mom recently gifted us some amazing ground pork sausage that she got from what we like to call one of her “underground mob boss sources”. She may not like the nickname but my mom is a legit homeschooling/healthy eating mafia don. She has been in the business for over 30 years. She had to wander around libraries to find ideas for homeschooling y’all, and like, order curriculum from tiny form in the back of a paper catalog. That is not for the faint of heart. I often wonder how she figured out so much and found all the sources she did (and does!) without the internet or without knowing anyone who was homeschooling or raising their own food. When I’ve asked her she usually just says she “read about it”.. how mom?! She is the one who needs to write a blog; the Don needs to enlighten us all. Anyways, back to the pork…
I was able to use the pork from mom to make the most delish sausage. While we ate it for dinner it would make a fantastic freezer meal for breakfast.
Simple Breakfast Sausage
1 lb ground pork sausage
1 medium size sweet potato
1 tbs allspice
1 tsp salt
Preheat oven to 400 degrees
Shred sweet potato and combine with all the rest of the ingredients
Shape the ingredients into small sized burger patties
Bake at 400 degrees for about 30 minutes or until internal temps is at least 145 degrees
We try and go hiking at least a few times a month and in the summer I can usually get four hikes in a month- nothing beats a hike in our lush PNW forests. However, don’t think that I’m some magical wood nymph with little forest nymph children who frolic effortlessly over hill and dale. Our road to hiking as a family was won with lots of training, patience, and strategic bribery (and I’m not just talking about the kids, haha!).
I was tired of always sitting at the same playgrounds with C and A when they were little and quite frankly, I was bored of the monotony. But, C and A were 3 and 1 at the time, and I knew no matter how buff I got, I just wasn’t going to be able to wear two backpacks full of toddlers, so I had to figure out how to get at least one of them walking for an extended period of time. So, how to get toddlers interested in hiking…
Enter geocaching! I’d like to brag a bit here- it turns out that if you rename geocaching to “treasure hunting” toddlers get quite interested (woohoo!), well at least the 3 year old does- the 1 year old was pretty content with being bribed with crackers. The geocaching app can’t be easier to figure out, and if you pick a kid oriented cache or two out ahead of time, you’re golden! Make sure you got good walking shoes and plenty of snacks (and maybe a few dollar store toys to swap in the cache) and enjoy the outdoors with your children.
Once our bigs got older bribery wasn’t really needed. They don’t mind hiking, and even bring things along with them such as slingshots and notebooks should a perfect rock appear or a opportunity for sketching present itself. Occasionally we do still geocache, which is quite fun for us in a different way now that the bigger kids can help look more effectively.
I thought I’d share some of our favorite kid friendly hikes that we have taken in hopes that you can feel inspired to get out hiking with your kids if you happen to be in Washington. All of these hikes are do able for older toddlers and for a parent packing a baby or spare toddler or an excessive amount of snacks. However, we still do all these hikes and my big kids love them! I highly recommend the app All Trails for directions and pictures.
Maple Valley Gnome Trail – a MUST DO with kids. My two year old can easily spend an hour walking this trail- it’s that fun!
Cedar Butte Trail
Flaming Geyser River Trail– while the geyser isn’t particularly exciting, this state park is a great destination for an afternoon.
Lake Fenwick– this is a bit of a challenge simply because of the stairs, but kiddos can do it! It’s great counting practice too, haha!
Cougar Mountain Indian Trail
Coal Creek Trail– look for the coal pieces in the creek on this historical trail!
Saltwater State Park– book some extra time to spend at the beach!
Franklin Ghost Town Trail– don’t be spooked! This hike has a lovely waterfall, but I recommend it in the summer as it can get washed out in places.
Iverson Railroad Trail and Westside Road– keep an eye out, and you’ll see Mt. Rainier in all her glory on a clear day!
West Hylebos Wetlands Trail- this is not only a lovely walk, it has a historical cabin right at the parking lot- so neat!
Echo Peak Loop Trail– this is one of our favorites and a hidden gem. The views on a clear day are killer!
Franklin Falls – short but well worth hanging around the falls for a couple of hours. Pack a picnic!
Dash Point Trail
Shangrila, Anti- Aircraft Ridge Loop – sounds weird, but it’s a great loop with even better views.
Myrtle Falls via Skyline Trail– this is on Mt. Rainier, so you could easily spend a day puttering around Paradise.
Nisqually Vista Trail– also on Mt. Rainier
Silver Falls Trail – lovely views on Mt Rainier- usually this is great done in tandem with the Grove of the Patriarchs hike, but alas, the Grove of the Patriarchs in closed until further notice. If they open back up, GO!
Well folks, that’s a few of our most favorite kid friendly hikes! I hope your able to try some or let me know if you have any other good suggestions, we love to explore! Cheers!
During my own homeschool years my mom always held what she called “Recitation” at the end of each school week. We have carried on this tradition and I find it an incredibly valuable homeschooling tool. So, what exactly is it? According to the Merriam Webster Dictionary the this is what Recitation means:
rec·i·ta·tion // ˌre-sə-ˈtā-shən
Definition of recitation
1: the act of enumerating a recitation of relevant details.
2: the act or an instance of reading or repeating aloud especially publicly.
3a: a student’s oral reply to questions b: a class period especially in association with and for review of a lecture.
And according to the Oxford Dictionary it means this;
1: an act of saying a piece of poetry or literature that you have learned to an audience.
I like both of these definitions because that’s exactly what Recitation means for us. The kids have an opportunity to demonstrate what they have learned in a way that doesn’t just boil down to grades on a sheet of paper. Letter grades can be a very limiting tool to gauge a students knowledge, particularly in the elementary school ages. Demonstrations, narrations, and memory work provide the kids (and me!) evidence of learning and skills mastered. So you’re not sure if you kiddo is learning history? Have them tell back to you what they know! Write it down and then let them read it at Recitation.
Our Recitation is every Friday night and the kids and I recently discovered something about each other- it’s our favorite day of the week! After collecting science projects, math tests, art work, history maps and projects all week, each child gets their stack to show Husband. They start with the poem they are working on memorizing, then usually they show him their math tests (if they have one that week) and talk about what was hard or what was easy. Then comes the science demonstrations where lab reports get read aloud and crafts or projects are shown to Husband. For example, sometimes the project is just weather data, and sometimes it a big project that’s been worked on all week like a diorama.
Even Pickle has caught on and loves to show all her “glue” projects to Husband. Even if it’s the third time he’s seen them that week, haha! Lastly the kids usually read aloud their books reports for whatever reading they have been assigned or from books Husband and I are reading aloud. Occasionally, the bigs will also play a piano piece for Husband. Whomever is not giving their recitation is encouraged to be a good audience member and listen respectfully, although sometimes we get great conversations going about a school topic, which provides even more learning!
I highly encourage making Recitation a big deal even if you choose to only show case poetry. We commit to it each week, no matter what, even if we need to shift it to Saturday. This gives everyone some accountability for all of us and a sense of pride in our work. After Recitation we celebrate by having brownies and ice cream and watching a movie as a family- it’s just the best!