1. Steady Eddie was off work on Monday (after taking off last Friday–an extra long weekend!), so we managed to paint our living room, hang the curtains, and get a little bit closer to finished.
We still have a lot of work to do–a rug to pick out and purchase (I’m eyeing this one now–I returned the colorful one in the picture I posted earlier and in my “Odds & Ends” button above), wall decor to configure and hang, end tables to purchase, lamps to purchase, and a coffee table to either paint (I’m thinking of the one I’ve had forever but is currently in storage at Nana’s) or purchase.
2. It’s extremely, extremely cold here in northwest Alabama. We’re not unaccustomed to cold weather–we have a few days here and there every year. This year, however, we’ve already had more than our fair share, with more promised. This makes for long days on the homefront, let me tell you.
3. Tuesday night the girls and I went to a mother/daughter bookclub at one of our libraries. The book up for discussion was Mrs. Frisby and the Rats of NIMH. We didn’t re-read it since we read it last year, so we were a bit sketchy on some of the details. Still, the company and discussion were good. Next month’s book is Because of Winn Dixie, and then my girls and I are hosting the March meeting, for which we are reading The Saturdays.
4. I met up with a room full of my homeschooling buddies for a moms’ night out at Panera after the bookclub meeting on Tuesday night. Those are my people. They get me. I love them so much, and I am so thankful for them.
5. Despite the cold, we managed to get out to all of our normal weekly activities, which included a luncheon for me on Wednesday at my CBS core leader’s beautiful, elegant, stately home. (That the children got to stay at the church and play was definitely a bonus!) We went to piano lessons after the luncheon, and the DLM managed a 1 1/2 hour nap during that time. (He doesn’t usually nap, but it worked out well because otherwise he would’ve gone to sleep on the way to church Wednesday night.) I took the girls to basketball practice last night after Louise’s art class, only to get there and find out it had been cancelled. (This was after staying out in town for 1 1/2 hours longer than we learned was necessary and eating a meal out at the mall–which we didn’t need to do for both budgetary and diet reasons. ) Ah, well. It did us good to get out of the house for a bit longer!
6. Moving Circle Time to after lunch has been my biggest schoolish success lately. I’m not crazy about doing it at that time, but this makes it possible to finish almost all of our individual work before lunchtime. I find it so personally discouraging to only have math done at lunch time (which happened several times when we did CT first thing), so this is a definite improvement.
7. The girls only did RightStart Math this week (Lulu is in level E and Louise is in level C). I usually have them do Math Mammoth semi-independently, too, but this week we decided that it’s probably over kill. What I really need is just additional practice, not a whole new curriculum. Ideally we’d play math games for practice, and we do, but it’s not realistic to do that daily given all the other things I have going on. Does anyone have any suggestions for extra math practice? What do you use?
8. Apparently this is the time of year to start wondering about next year’s school plans. I have this niggling little concern that I’m not requiring enough of my fourth grader. She did write one very lengthy and detailed narration this week in addition to her other writing assignments (WWE plus The Arrow dictation once a week). Usually when I start questioning what I’m doing, I ultimately decide to stay the course with what we’re using–to see it through and trust for the result. I’m not abandoning Susan Wise Bauer’s materials, but I’ve been wondering if I might try out IEW with Lulu next year before starting WWS. Hmmm. . .
9. Being with all those homeschool moms that I love so much makes me wonder if we need to join a co-op next year or if we need to give CC another shot. The plus of the co-op is that the girls would get in a solid science lesson each week (plus other things). This has been a struggle for us since Steady Eddie has been so busy. He has been doing science with the girls, but I’m never sure if he’s going to have time, so I fret over it and still usually drop the ball. I’m still thinking about it and praying about it.
10. Today was Fun Friday, and I attempted to pull out all the stops–art, Poetry Tea Time, math games, and then, because I’m just that way, a bit of spelling (tests!) and writing via The Arrow for both girls. Oh, and lots of reading aloud. 🙂 For art we all made snowmen from this lesson at Deepspace Sparkle.
It was so good to get back to Poetry Tea Time this week. I shared this poem with them since we were making snowmen today, and I let the girls guess the poet. They guessed correctly! (It must be thanks to Louise’s recitation of “A Slash of Blue” in her spot-on British accent. 😉 ) Louise picked out some funny poems (and noted that Edward Lear obviously liked the color pea green), and I got to share some Tennyson. Our selections were from these two anthologies, both of which I recommend:
(Poems to Learn by Heart was shortlisted for the Cybils!)
We played Corners today in two different ways. Lulu and I played with all the cards being fractions–eighths. Louise and I played Subtraction Corners. We usually manage to play one game, with each girl playing by different rules. I quickly realized this wouldn’t work today, and that foiled my plan to play a game with all three children at once. (I planned to play Memory with the DLM at the same time. Whew!) It ended up that the girls played Memory with the DLM before we started on the math games, and that filled his little love tank for long enough that we were able to get through the two math games without much attention-seeking from him. That was a win-win.
11. In my opinion (and I think the girls would agree), the high point of our school week was our read-aloud, The Book of Three by Lloyd Alexander. What a fantastic story! We also listened to Call It Courage by Armstrong Sperry while we were out and about in the van. Those two novels make a good pairing, actually, but I wouldn’t trust myself to say much about Call It Courage because a certain dimpled, brown-eyed three year old likes to talk to me in the van, so I miss out on a lot of the details in audiobooks. 🙂
12. Speaking of dimpled three year olds, my sweet boys really gave me a run for my money this week. The DLM is such a gregarious guy–he wants to engage with me all the time. That makes for some really difficult teaching times. Benny decided on Thursday that he didn’t need a nap until late afternoon, and by then I was worn to a frazzle. He is such a sweet, sweet, sweet baby that I really can’t complain. He already has four teeth, with about three more trying to break through. He’s trying to pull up on things, though he can’t get enough traction on the wood floors to really begin crawling yet. (He also likes to put everything–including our new drawer pulls–in his mouth now.)
13. I am so thankful for my wonderful husband. I don’t think I ever mentioned here on my blog that he achieved a huge goal last month–he finished his Ed.S. degree and graduated (for the third time!) from the university. He’s back in school again, this time working on an additional certification. He is such a good husband and father, plus he’s my best friend. I thank God for him.
I’m glad it’s Friday. How about you? How was your week?