Start Here: 20 Principles Live Online Video Discussion - This has been a little tricker than I had expected, because there's been a number of people who signed up but who either had to drop out or just don't come. And discussions don't work as well when people don't come! At this point we have two active discussion groups, and we decided to run them as open groups where people can join in any month. We've picked up some new members, and we have a reasonably decent number of participants.
Charlotte Mason Conference(s) - This one has been rather challenging, and has had a lot of twists and turns! Celeste and I ended up having a very successful retreat last spring, and now we're set to have a conference in the Bay Area in February (CM West :: Conference in the Redwoods). The conference sold out in about three weeks and now has a very healthy waiting list, so that is extremely encouraging. There will also be a Seattle Charlotte Mason conference in September, and we expect to start selling tickets for that in the spring. I hope that it has the same sort of reception that the Bay Area conference had!
Shakespeare Co-op - This has gone very well. We had a good group in the spring session, and an even bigger group for the fall session. I moved the meetings to a park in Auburn for the fall session, and that made it possible to have a bigger group and made it more centrally located for participants.
Sorting Books - Other than taking forever, this project is complete and I ended up getting rid of a good 1/3 of our books. I also was able to get some new bookcases, so we actually have quite a few empty shelves! It is always good to have room to expand, right?
Reorganizing the Study - I conquered this over the summer, and am generally pleased with the results. I also made my second son very happy by making room for a guinea pig cage in the Study. He's wanted pets for ages, and while he still would like a dog, a cat, and chickens, he at least has some critters to care for and hold. I also completely went through our craft cabinet and consolidated the supplies such that each of the three older children can have a shelf of their own for works in progress and personal items. This has been such a big help in keeping the table clutter at bay.
Girls' Bedroom Re-do - This turned out well, and the girls are quite pleased with their new furniture, trim and bunk beds. Next time though I'm going to buy a pre-finished bunk bed rather than an unfinished one...
Somewhere In Between
Teaching from Rest Live Online Video Discussion - I wanted this to be a more local discussion, with the hope that the people in it could potentially meet up. I had a lot of interest, but very few people actually showed up to the discussions, which was disappointing. Initially I thought there was enough interest for two discussions, but no one came on the second time slot, even though there were at least 4-5 women who signed up. The discussions that did happen were generally good though, and while it hasn't created any new friendships, it did help to deepen an already existing friendship.
Nature Study in Nevada County - This just didn't work out. I had a good turn-out for the first one, but none of them came back the second time! I think there were few reasons for this. First, I didn't provide clear direction for a stopping point, so they ended up stopping at a not so great spot instead of at the pond as I had intended and mentioned at the beginning. I was with a two year old who adamantly wanted to walk, so I couldn't provide clear direction during the walk. I also didn't provide very good leadership about what we were trying to do. Were we out for exercise? To take a walk with other families? Were we supposed to be looking for something in particular? I also didn't communicate clearly the value of returning to the same spot the following month. There seemed to be a general sense of, "oh, we've been there, we don't need to do that again" and a slight spark of interest in perhaps meeting up at another spot in a different month. I had one family come for several months then drop out, another come once and not again, and another talk about coming month after month and never actually ever coming. Clearly a lack of communication of vision on my part had a lot to do with the failure of this project. Perhaps if I had figured out how to communicate the value of nature journaling and exploration more effectively to people who aren't already on board, as well as found new avenues for advertising the group I might have been more successful.
On the plus side, however, I did find a group of CM educators in the greater Sacramento area over the summer and we've been meeting once a month since July. In the Summer we met by the American River in Fair Oaks, and in the Fall we moved up to theAuburn State Recreation Area. I much prefer the meeting place in Auburn as it is about an hour from me instead of an hour and a half, as well as being more scenic. Also, it is far easier to get together with a group of people who already understand the whys and hows of nature journaling than starting from scratch!
First Saturday Adoration and Social - I had high hopes for this one, but then I found that the bulletin is out of date, and the church in the next town over doesn't actually have Adoration on the first Saturday. I might be able to get something going in Auburn (really, what is it with Auburn? That seems to be the place I need to go to make anything work - too bad it is at least 50 min away) but then that's another day I need to be driving down there, and in the evening too so I haven't tried.
Surprisingly, there weren't that many substantial new projects that cropped up in the course of the year. As I mentioned, I started participating in a new nature study group. I also helped start a new online discussion group where we are reading through Charlotte Mason's second volume. This one is through CM West, and has had a good response - better than the 20 Principles discussion. We have more people signed up for it and usually have more participants as well. I also ended up helping a little with the CMI Western Conference in August of 2016, and really enjoyed attending it.
Around the house, I went through papers over the summer as well, which was nice to get done. If I'm remembering correctly, "all" I have left in Kondo's method is the miscellaneous. I've made a start on that with the craft cabinet and the pantry, but there's still other looming areas like the hutch, the top shelf of my closet, my fabric collection, and more boxes in storage.