In my life this week…we completed our seventh week of school. Although we didn’t take a big break to signify the end of the first six weeks, we did manage a day-long getaway for Steady Eddie and me and then a weekend road trip for the family. It was nice to have a little break, even if it was too short. We went to Chattanooga on Sunday to ride a genuine steam engine, the Missionary Ridge Local, at the Tennessee Valley Railroad. We did this years ago when the girls were little, and the time seemed right to do it again. It’s actually a museum, with several rail cars that you can tour.
The trip itself is short, and when you reach the end of the line the engine is put on a turntable and turned around so that the train can be taken back to the station. This time we also got to go inside the huge workshop while the engine was being reconnected and see an old steam engine that is being refurbished. It’s a very interesting trip that we enjoyed and highly recommend!
On Monday we went to the Tennessee Aquarium for Homeschool Day. It had also been years since we had visited there, so it was fun to rediscover some old favorites (like the jellyfish) and discover some new (or new-to-us) additions like the dive show, the huge sea turtles, and the Ranger Rick bird show.
One of my favorite things at the aquarium which I don’t remember visiting before is the butterfly exhibit. While it isn’t nearly as nice as the one at the Huntsville Botanical Garden, we did see at least one species of butterfly we hadn’t seen before.
- Circle Time: Owing to our busy weekend, I didn’t have time to get our notebooks all organized for October. Thus, we just continued on with what we’ve been working on since we started school in August. We also continued reading aloud The Peterkin Papers and The World of Columbus and Sons.
- Math: Lulu did more division in RightStart D lessons 107-109. She also did a couple of sections in Math Mammoth (multiplication, I think), played a few math games, and did a section on skip counting in Beast Academy. Louise worked through lessons 27-29 in RS D, all of which were on telling time. She probably could’ve skipped those, but I decided it wouldn’t hurt to have a review. She also played several math games.
- Language: Lulu did lessons 82 and 83 in FLL 3, as well as three day’s worth of sentences from MCT Practice Island. She learned how to diagram sentences with interjections this week, which is always fun. Louise did lessons 19-20 in FLL 2 in which she learned about contractions and practiced writing them.
- Writing: Lulu finished WWE 3 this week! She did the narration and dictation evaluations and acquitted herself well. Bring on level 4! Louise enjoyed doing narration, copywork, and dictation from Ginger Pye this week for FLL 2, and I’ve noticed the audiobook of it has been back in the rest time rotation this week. (One of the great side benefits of First Language Lessons is how often it inspires my children to read the entire books from which the excerpts are taken!)
- Spelling: Lulu is still doing Charlotte Mason-style studied dictations using the selections from Spelling Wisdom. I’m not sure I’m entirely satisfied with this, honestly, but I’m at a loss as to what else to try that won’t take more time than we have, so we soldier on.
- Handwriting: Both girls are still working through the Getty Dubay books. One thing I’ve noticed with my lefty Louise has a hard time making joins. I’ve been having her practice on the small whiteboard and write as large as she wants. That seems to help.
- History: The girls read and did written narrations on chapter 40 in SotW 2. This chapter is about Sir Walter Raleigh and Roanoke Colony, so I read aloud Roanoke: The Lost Colony and the girls read The Lost Colony of Roanoke on their own. I’m not saying this was the best idea because I think we paid for it that night with two girls whose imaginations got the best of them at bedtime. I understand completely because I always thought it was a creepy story, too.
- Science: It seems like something falls of the schedule every week, and more often than not, it’s science. What science they did (besides our field trip, of course), they did with Steady Eddie. I know they planted beans and made predictions about what would happen to the beans they placed in the sunshine, in the cold (refrigerator), and in the dark (closet). They also started measuring the growth of their beans that sprouted and charting it on a graph.
- Fun Friday: Today we had a long-awaited art day with friends. Actually, that happened this afternoon, so this morning it was business as usual, sort of. We started out by making M & M blondies to go with the pumpkin spice M & M cupcakes I made last night to share with our friends. Then we did our Circle Time evaluation in which the girls attempted all of the week’s memory work (no review) from memory. The girls also reviewed the CC Timeline song. We also did our usual reading aloud. Lulu did Beast Academy while Louise and I played an addition card game. Then both girls and I attempted to play a multiplication game in which we were supposed to build the entire multiplication table with cards, but alas, things fell apart then because a certain cute three year old wanted a bit of attention. We changed gears then and had lunch. After lunch I knew I needed a bit of down time before the other children (& mamas!) arrived, so we watched an episode of Wild Kratts. After a bit of prep work for our art activity, the other two families arrived. The next few hours were full of art, books, eating, talking, and play time. It was lovely! The children (excepting the two babies in attendance) made starlight pumpkins.
Of course, we couldn’t just do the art project–I also had to share a book or two. Today’s picks were Too Many Pumpkins by Linda White and Pumpkins by Ken Robbins (this one we used for the photographs).
Helpful homeschooling tips or advice to share…I’ve really been feeling the stress this week. Homeschooling with a three year old and a baby isn’t easy, and it seems like the past couple of weeks that Murphy’s Law has been in full force in our home. (Case in point: I can think of four times in the past two weeks that I’ve had to bathe Benny and strip his bed down to the mattress in the middle of the day because of a mega poopy diaper disaster. This is not helpful to the school schedule.) Having a couple of friends and their sweet kiddos over today was a balm for my soul. Sometimes we just need our friends to help us remember we’re really not in this alone. 🙂
Places we’re going and people we’re seeing…in addition to our out-of-town trips last weekend and our Fun Friday visitors, I had the opportunity on Tuesday night to attend our local crisis pregnancy center’s annual fundraising banquet. This year’s speaker/entertainer (I hate to call him that, but I can’t think of a better term) was Mark Schultz. I knew him as the singer/songwriter who writes terribly sad songs, but I was pleasantly surprised to learn that he is also extremely funny. I enjoyed Tuesday night a lot.
My favorite thing this week was…getting my hair cut! (Sometimes it really is the little things!) That, and the fact that Steady Eddie might possibly have figured out how to solve an issue we’ve had for weeks now with tiny little fruit flies. I hope his solution works!
Things I’m working on…purchasing some curriculum pieces and a few books we need, or I will be working on that this weekend. Oh, and getting our Circle Time plans up to date.
I’m grateful for…the fact that Steady Eddie found my Kindle which I had misplaced and that Lulu found a little charm out of my Origami Owl Living Locket that had somehow fallen out. This is quite astonishing because the charms are tiny.
I’m praying for…my cousin who is extremely sick and in the hospital. Will you join me in praying for her?
A photo and a link to share. . . Does this photo remind anyone of Anne Shirley? 🙂
I can’t resist sharing a link to Cindy’s 31 Days series at Ordo Amoris. She’s writing about Morning Time in her homeschool, and she has lots and lots of experience. This is good, good stuff.
How was your week?