Well, here I go again, trying to reduce to a blog post a very full week. I really, really want to blog our weekly learning and schooling, but I always let it fall by the wayside because by the time Friday afternoon rolls around, I’m tired. I keep trying, though, because I think it’s a valuable activity.
We started school again this week, after about six weeks off. I really meant to write up a post about last school year (‘though technically, what we’re doing now is mostly still a part of last year’s curriculum, so it’s not too late! 😉 ), but I just didn’t have it in me to clean it up (the mess, I mean) and blog about it, too. I’m going to be honest here and say that I really didn’t want to start school this week, but Steady Eddie and I had agreed that we wanted to try a 3 day/week schedule for the month of July both for the sake of having a schedule (which is really my salvation!) and because we’re taking a longish vacation in the fall so we want to have a few weeks’ schooling in the bank against the time we’ll lose while we’re down south playing with Mickey and Minnie.
I’ve tried a couple of formats in my weekly wrap-ups, and I still haven’t found one I love. I want this to be useful for me and interesting for you, my dear readers, and I’m not sure it can always be both. I’m still working on it.
For this month, I’m really aiming for school to be done by lunchtime or shortly thereafter. Of course, this is largely dependent on what time we actually get started, which is directly related to how much stuff I need to do (laundry, dishes, etc.) before I can ignore the house for the rest of the day. For summer school we’re doing lots of reading aloud, math, phonics lessons, some handwriting, and the required daily piano practice. We’re also doing a geography unit, which I hope to blog more about later.
Coming off a very busy and fun Independence Day, the girls slept late Tuesday morning and were happy to be back into a routine. This is how the week went, more less:
We’re finally in the New Testmant but still plugging away in The Children’s Bible in 365 Stories. I’m eager to finish this one, not because there’s anything wrong with it, but because I really want to actually read the Bible to my girls instead of Bible story books. I know I could do both (and probably should!), but my default mode is to finish the Bible story book and then try to focus on systematically reading God’s Word to them. I’d like to take it a step further and do some sort of little study with them, maybe, but I’m not sure they’re old enough yet. Any suggestions?
We haven’t picked back up our memory work yet, unless you count my random singing of hymns we’ve learned as I putter around the kitchen. 😉
Lulu is finishing up RightStart B this month. This week we worked on lessons 99 and 100, which entailed lots of discussion of perimeter, diagonals of rectangles, and estimation and measuring. I love RightStart and watching my girls’ minds work. We also played a game of Corners to help Lulu get back into practice with mental math. The highlight of the week was definitely Thursday’s math lesson in which Lulu had to figure out how to find the length of the hallway.
This was actually the fun and easy part; next she had to write how she did it. Let me just say that Lulu has been fairly resistent to writing up until now. I think the physical part of it was just a little more than she was ready for. I was prepared to have her dictate her explanation to me, but not long after I got started, she wanted to take over. 🙂 I felt like this was one of those big “a ha!” moments in learning for her (and for me!). She was proud of her work, and I was so proud of her for writing this much and trying to spell things on her own. We haven’t done any formal spelling yet, and I did help her with a few of the words (and obviously, a few I didn’t), but this was a huge step for her!
I’m not formally doing math with Louise this month, especially since we got ahead by beginning her kindergarten math curriculum (RightStart A) in January, but we three have played several games of Go to the Dump which is just the game for Louise right now.
Lulu and I are powering through OPGTTR right now, just trying to get it finished. She is a very competent and fluent reader already, but I’m something of a box-checker and I like to “cover all the bases,” especially when it comes to skills. This week we did lessons 215-218. I even reviewed one lesson with Louise! 🙂 I have Lulu read aloud for a bit most school days, too, to practice her fluency and expressiveness (expression?). This week she read from The Eagle by Cynthia Rylant, a book from The Lighthouse Family series which I wrote a little bit about here.
We are using the Getty-Dubay series this year, which is a change from what we’ve used the past two years. I’m having Lulu go back and pick up in the second book to reinforce her letter formations and also to learn the new Italic style. I also purchased book B for Louise, but I think she might need to go back and do book A first. I’ve just had her, my little lefty, practice some curves and lines on handwriting paper while we wait on book A.
We’ve used some really good resources for general geography this week, and I hope to write up some reviews of them next week some time. Stay tuned!
My biggest challenge always is balancing the needs of the one year old while tutoring the seven and five year olds. We have temporarily moved our operations out of our school room and into our den where the DLM can be much more active and safely independent. Still, there are times when I need him to be contained and (hopefully!) quiet. I usually put him in his bed and give him a book to look at, and I am always so pleased and surprised when it works! 🙂
Homeschooling with a toddler is taxing at best, so I celebrate these little victories when I get them!
We’ve ended the week with a magic show at the library and a trip to Chik-Fil-A for Cow Appreciation Day. The library has a drawing each week for some donated prize, and today Louise won dinner for four plus 30 tokens at Chuck E. Cheese’s. The girls are ecstatic, and Steady Eddie and I are just glad that if we have to go, we won’t have to pay for it. 😉 Both girls turned in their summer reading program lists today, too. As a picture book reader, Louise brought home a goodie bag full of the usual flotsam and jetsam: lots of candy, an activity book, little toys and trinkets. Lulu surrendered all her remaining cards (plus one we went back to deliver after rest time this afternoon during which she read enough to complete it) in order to have her name entered into a drawing for $100.
Now we’re just hoping the rain holds off for the girls’ second annual joint birthday party at the pool. (Note: Neither of their birthdays is in July. We just like to confuse people. 😉 ) And with that, it’s off the computer for me and off to the kitchen to mix up some homemade ice cream!
Have a great weekend!
ETA: How could I forget what is surely the most pleasant part of our week, and the part for which I am most grateful for the return to routine? We finished up reading Milly-Molly-Mandy Again early in the week and started on The Voyage of the Dawn Treader for our chapter book read-alouds. We mostly read these while I was rocking and nursing the DLM or after lunch. We also read a small stack of picture books, and the girls have listened to a variety of titles in audio during rest time.