- Still making our way through the NT via The Children’s Bible in 365 Stories. We’re almost up to the crucifixion, so this is familiar territory for the girls. They attend so many rehearsals of our church’s Easter drama that I think they could just about quote entire passages of the NT by now!
- Learned verses one and two of “The Lord’s My Shepherd, I’ll Not Want,” and working on verse three. I think this is the longest, slowest hymn I’ve ever heard. If the words weren’t so meaningful (coming from scripture, you know), I think I’d give up on it. We also reviewed a different hymn from last year each day.
- Still plowing ahead in Psalm 1. I think Lulu has all the way through verse three memorized, possibly even parts of verse four. Louise and I trail behind her by a verse or so.
- JBQ–Still working on quotation questions from the gospel of John. The trick here is that they have to quote the verse (with no mistakes!) in response to a question, so they have to know not only the verse and its “address,” but also the question that goes with it.
- Lulu has had “The Birthday Child” by Rose Fyleman memorized for some time now, and this week she picked out her next memory piece–“Some One” by Walter de la Mare. Now I just have to get it typed up and in her memory notebook! Louise is still working on “The Months” by Christina Rossetti and is showing great fortitude in the face of this task. One of the brightest spots in the week was when Lulu helped Louise study her poem while I was tending to the DLM. 🙂
I also shared a random poem most days from The Harp and Laurel Wreath: Poetry and Dictation for the Classical Curriculum.
- We enjoyed several fun picture books, of course, several of which will make a future appearance on a Read Aloud Thursday. I should also mention, though, that I invested a lot of time in an adaptation of Sir Gawain and the Green Knight by Michael Morpurgo, only to ultimately abandon it because I wasn’t ready at this point to discuss Sir Gawain’s unseemly behaviors with my girls. (It has been way too long since I’ve read a lot of this medieval literature. I really should brush up on it!)
Language & history: Our history and language studies are completely intertwined right now because we are using Story of the World as a source of narration, copywork, and dictation. This is difficult for me–I’m never really certain if the questions I’m asking Lulu are helpful and if we’re going in the right direction with her two-sentence summaries. I think I might end up just buying the second volume of Writing with Ease in order to set my mind at ease. Going into this year I was really trying to simplify things and not overdo things, but I think I still need the hand-holding. In terms of content, though, the girls have really enjoyed this week. This week was chapter three–“Christianity Comes to Britain.” We also discussed linking verbs, and Lulu surprised me that she remembered the definition of a verb from last year even though we haven’t reviewed it. I’m thinking now that I’m just going to go ahead and come full circle completely and buy the second volume of First Language Lessons, too. I feel like I’m really leaving something important out since we’re not doing formal grammar lessons. 😉
Louise keeps plugging along in OPGtTR. She completed lessons 80, 81, and 82 this week. We’re at the point now at which reading is still hard work for her, but we’re nearing the top of the hill, I think. She also began reading one of the Bob books, but she hasn’t finished it yet.
Lulu completed lessons 8-11 in RightStart level C, which was more or less review for her. However, it was looking at and talking about addition in a slightly different way. She completed an addition table and we discussed different strategies like the two-fives strategy, doubles, and near-doubles. I love that RightStart formalizes the type of mathematical maneuvering that my own daddy taught me informally at home when I was a little girl. 😉 Lulu completed a timed addition practice three days this week. She is a child for whom competition and timing is very motivational, so I go with it. She also attempted some work in Math Mammoth about clocks and time on her own, but she needed my help so we set it aside for later. Of course, we also played a math card game on most days. Lulu loves games!
Louise completed lessons 50 and 51 in RightStart level A, which involved lots of counting by 2s and a few story problems. She did very well with the problems and figured out which numbers went where in the part-whole circle. One thing that was problematic this week was the concept of adding one to a number. She understands that the sum of one plus anything is simply the next number; I think it’s just using the “Asian” terminology that trips her up (i.e. one-ten two instead of twelve, etc.) She also did the first two pages in Math Mammoth Addition 1 with no problem and completed a few lines on her 100 chart. Of course, there was also the requisite playing of Go to the Dump and Memory.
Lulu began reading a series of books about nutrition/the food groups for her self-directed, informal science lessons this week. However, I began to feel the urge to make it less self-directed and decided that narrations from these books would work great as mini-books for a lapbook or notebooking page. This is still a work-in-progress, though. I’m also feeling the urge to add back more hands-on activities in our homeschool. I’m still thinking about this and our schedule.
The girls did a variety of activities for handwriting practice, including pages in their handwriting book, copying book titles into their booklogs, and for Lulu, copywork, dictation, and the writing of her own narrations.
Today I planned for us to end our week with a trip to the pool, so we did our weekly nature study early last evening while Steady Eddie was at a meeting. Look for a post about our nature study some time early next week.
On Fridays instead of doing all our memory work for circle time, I pull out a couple of fun math books and we read at least a chapter in our current chapter book read-aloud, Hans Brinker.
(I’ve been doing this only at lunch time or snack time throughout the week.) This was our third week to solve a riddle from The Grapes of Math by Greg Tang. I also read Twelve Ways to Get to Eleven by Eve Merriam, and I had Lulu do the mental math as we went through the book. We also read a chapter from By Pond and River as a complement to our nature study; this happened to also perfectly complement the picture book we read today, Even an Octopus Needs a Home (this is a terrific nonfiction picture book which I hope to review soon). I love it when that happens! Both girls also read aloud to me–Lulu from The Twenty-One Ballons and Louise from her Bob book. After circle time, the girls
- had individual math time with me–Lulu for a lesson (plus game, etc.) and Louise for a game.
- sketched and colored their sketches of the specimen we collected during yesterday’s nature study.
- wrote letters to their pen-pals! This included a discussion about friendly letters and their proper format, as well as what to say in a letter. Lulu wrote her letter herself, with help from me on spelling some of the words. Louise wrote some of hers and I wrote some of it that she dictated to me.
- We did a short picture study/narration on a Cimabue painting.
I am once again attempting to keep up with what Lulu reads this school year. I tried last year and ultimately gave up, but I’m going to try to be more diligent about having her list her books in a log. This week she read
Except for Hannah, Snowbound Mystery, and Roman Diary, all of these books are ones I have either read aloud to the girls or they have listened to in audiobook. I think the fruit of all of our reading aloud is now becoming evident–Lulu reads all the time! Some of those titles are rather challenging for a seven year old, and I think being introduced to them through read-alouds probably gave her the confidence to attempt them herself. This makes me happy. 🙂
This week I tried something different. Most mornings after piano practice but before circle time, we went for a walk to a nearby church parking lot. The girls ran across the parking lot and around its perimeter while I timed them, and the DLM tried to keep up with them. I had high hopes that this would make him take a longer nap, but I can’t say that it did. 🙂 We enjoyed it, though; it was good to get out and get fresh air early before settling into our lessons.
This week the girls also helped with some household chores that are not typically their domain (yet!): they vacuumed (with assistance) one morning before lessons, and one afternoon we worked together to make banana muffins. Life skills are as important in the long run as history, really, don’t you think?
What I’m pondering:
Oh, so much. It has been a good week, even a week with a pretty major interruption. I was out of the house most of one morning for an appointment, and my mom kept the children. I left a few school assignments for them, and they did them all. We managed to get everything else done after lunch that day. I’m learning to be more flexible!
I’m still pondering what’s missing from our days: spelling, formal grammar, and formal science, and I’m expecting to add all of those back in next month. I’m also pondering how to get more on top of things in terms of planning and being fully prepared for the week. I’m also wondering if the amount of work Lulu has to do is enough, especially given just how much this child reads every day. Should I give her more, or is this truly the beauty of homeschooling–that she can follow her own interests?
Well, I could go on, but I won’t. This post is already about four times longer than it should be. 🙂 I’m linking up at Weird, Unsocialized Homeschoolers, so if you haven’t had enough homeschoolish talk, head on over to read what others have to say about their weeks.