It was a short week in terms of school, and it really didn’t feel very productive. It seems like we’ve slipped into the “just get it done” mode without a whole lot of creativity, but given the extreme business of this season of our lives I’m trying to accept that this is the way things are for now, but it will get better. (I work every weekend and Steady Eddie is taking two upper-level graduate classes, in addition to working full time and being extremely involved with various responsibilities at church. Life gets crazy.) We had a field trip on Thursday and took the day off on Friday for some much-needed recuperation and catch-up time.
Here’s a quick summary of what we did accomplish:
Lulu, age 8 and grade 3:
Language: Grammar Island pp. 96-106. Still taking this slowly. This week it was parts of the sentence and active verb predicates with direct objects. Whew! Lulu has slowly warmed up to this curriculum and seems to enjoy the story aspect of it. I’m not sure she fully gets it (in fact, I’m pretty sure she doesn’t), but she seems to be grasping bits of it. We’re going for exposure, not mastery, at this point. I’m enjoying it.
Writing: WWE 3 Week 5. Honestly, this is a week I thought about skipping, but since my sweet husband had already prepped the work for me last weekend by pulling it out of the big binder and it was ready to go, I went with it. (Does the format/layout of WWE 3 drive anyone else crazy? I hate how the reading passages are on the backs of the student sheets. I know the students are supposed to read the passages for themselves now, but it would’ve been so helpful to me if Peace Hill Press had just followed the format of the previous two WWEs since that’s what users are likely accustomed to. Okay, rant over. 🙂 ) I’m just not sure the average (or even slightly above average 😉 ) third grader is ready for full-on poetry analysis. In fact, on the day of the first lesson we just read “Jabberwocky” and enjoyed it (and some YouTube videos of it) with no discussion whatsoever. On Wednesday I did introduce the concepts of rhyme, meter, foot, etc., but it was a bit over Lulu’s head and interest. She is my child who has always said she doesn’t like poetry, and I’m not sure that analysis is the way to get her to like it. Next time I’ll go with my gut feeling and skip such lessons. Just listening and experiencing it are much, much better. This is my favorite rendition of “Jabberwocky,” performed by the fabulous Renee LaTulippe, poetess extraordinaire, editor and author for the All About Learning company, and round 2 judge for the poetry category for this year’s Cybils.
The girls (and the DLM!) like this one best:
Math: More fractions (RS C lessons 138-139) and lots of subtraction review with Math Mammoth. Fractions seem to be fairly easy for Lulu so far. (Whew!)
Handwriting: Still enjoying it. 🙂
Spelling: I finally waved the white flag of surrender on AAS and decided to go with another curriculum, as much as I love AAS. It just wasn’t getting done and was adding too much stress to days that already seem packed. I chose Spelling Wisdom from Simply Charlotte Mason, which is quite a departure from what we’ve been using. I hope this method of studied dictation will be both simple and fruitful. I’m planning to start Lulu on this next week.
I failed to give Lulu any assigned reading this week beyond a Demi picture book about Marco Polo. She also made a notebooking page about Marco Polo listing five facts she learned about him. I think we read some together from The Little White Horse at the beginning of the week, but I failed to write it down.
Louise, age 6 3/4 and grade 1:
Language: We’re languishing somewhat in FLL 1. I think I’ve lost my enthusiasm for it for one thing, and for another it just seems too repetitive for my old first grader. We did lessons 15 and 17 this week. I’m still not sure what to do.
Writing: We did four lessons in two days from week 6 of WWE 1. The reading was from Mary Poppins, a story both my girls are very familiar with because I’ve read it to them, they’ve listened to the audiobook many times, they’ve watched the stage version both live and on video (on video more times than I could count). Louise insists on writing her own narrations, and I’m conflicted about letting her. On one hand I don’t want her to establish bad habits (i.e. spelling, etc.), but I also don’t want to squelch her enthusiasm. I’m trying to walk to middle road here by letting her do it once a week or so and having her write her narrations as copywork on the other day.
Handwriting: Started in the Getty-Dubay transition book this week.
Math: RS B L 42 and lots of addition review from Math Mammoth. I ended up skipping a RS lesson because Louise has never used the “Asian way” of naming the teens, so there was no reason to go over our way of doing it.
Since we finished the Beverly Cleary book we were reading together last week, I have not assigned another book to Louise for our shared reading. However, she asked me to read a Nancy Drew book with her, so we did that during Lulu’s piano lesson Tuesday afternoon.
Together: More from Romans, more from The Children’s Homer, more SotW over lunch. Picture books in preparation of the Cybils. (Isn’t it nice to involve the girls in mom’s “homework”?) The girls also got some new American Girl titles (Caroline and Marie Grace or Cecile, I believe) at the library and have been devouring them. We stopped by Goodwill on our Thursday fieldtrip and picked up some new books there, too. I suppose our creativity comes in through reading, huh? The girls also discovered dominoes and had fun one morning making their own domino rally (or whatever you call it when you line them up and knock them over). We’ve also been practicing our CC memory work (as well as attending CC each week), and the girls have been working on their Awana verses and assignments.
Thursday was one of the highlights of the week. Steady Eddie took off work and we headed to Nashville for some good, old fashioned family togetherness. I had to make a stop at one of the libraries at Vanderbilt for research for one of my projects at work, and then we were off to the Zoo at Grassmere. It was a nice afternoon.
On Friday we took the DLM for a long-overdue haircut, and then around lunchtime an eagerly awaited list was posted on which both my girls’ names appeared. This week they tried out for parts in an upcoming children’s community theater production of The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe, and they both got non-speaking roles as animals. They’re very excited about it, and I think these small roles will be a great way to wet their feet in the world of theater. We ended Friday afternoon by attending the homecoming parade for my high school alma mater and the school both my nephews attend. My older nephew rode in a nice, shiny, expensive bass boat as a part of the school’s fishing club, and my younger nephew toted the tuba in the middle school marching band. I’m not sure who was more excited, though the almost-fourteen year old was too cool to let on how excited he was. 😉
I’m looking forward to a week off from our weekly CC meeting next week. I’m thinking of next week as a week with an extra day in it! 🙂