Friday, October 31, 2008

Weekly wrap up -- October 31

I have not written much about our homeschooling recently. Not because nothing is happening, quite the contrary. We have had very full, productive weeks, with generally good attitudes. Maybe I fear messing up a good thing? Not really. It has just seemed so wonderfully, ordinary. Not boring ordinary. Not plain ordinary. Just, special, regular progress, little light-bulb moments, everything checked off, academic growth, connections across curriculum ordinary. The way I love school to happen. We have settled into a wonderful routine and I found this new meme that has motivated me to jot down some of these ordinary events and see how others’ weeks go.

Our week always begins with Sunday night prep time. I print out the weekly assignment sheets which include math, reading, Language Arts, and Handwriting and include places to check off daily time spent on typing, copywork, music lessons, and silent reading. The back of the sheet has their weekly Ambleside Online readings which cover history, science, and other various subjects. We are currently on week 10 of our school year (ds in year 6, dd in year 4, dd in year 2 and dd and ds tagging along in year 0, or whatever piques their interest).


This morning we had our one out of the ordinary event for the week (we get a quiet week, yeah!) Blake had an orthodontist appointment, fortunately. Fortunately, because on Sunday our dog jumped up and bit the corner off his retainer while it rested on the table after lunch. Fortunately, it is still wearable and caused no other damage. Phew.

From the orthodontist we went to the library and got more audio books because we have devoured these recently. Everytime we have to drive somewhere, we listen to a book. Right now we are listening to Charlotte’s Web (an interesting rendition, read by the author, E.B. White -- his Boston (?) accent surprised me for some reason) when my husband is not with us, and Number the Stars when he is. We always keep two books going at a time so he doesn’t miss out on “his” book. It has worked well. We go through the ones without him much more quickly, but we still get to enjoy books with him as well.

Monday afternoon we head to our co-op, which we have just started participating in this year. I originally wanted to check out the ballet class for our three girls, and somehow ended up teaching the drama class as well. God must have been in that, because I have enjoyed it immensely and was not remotely seeking the opportunity. The girls love ballet and this week I got to sit in on the younger class as a facilitator and was very impressed with the way the teacher pushed the girls to do their best and kept the class challenging, yet fun and positive.

Three weeks until our first drama performance . . . lots of work to do there. Lots of progress made, but lots still to do.

We headed home and quick picked some of the last vegetables from our garden before the big freeze comes through. The last of the tomatoes, dill, beets, carrots, etc. until next year.


Tuesdays and Thursdays generally find us at home getting a LOT of school done. We probably do about 2/3 of our academics for the week on those days for a variety of reasons.

Due to our success at getting things done we have added back in some more read aloud time a couple days a week. During our extended Bible time we read a portion from a biography on George Muller which my kids are really enjoying. He lived such a dynamic life of faith. A great book to evaluate the "stuff" in our lives and the depth of our trust in God's provision in our lives. Without intention, this has been an interesting read during this financially absorbed time in our nation's history.

In the afternoons I read a bit out of Jack and Jill by Louisa May Alcott which we have also enjoyed. We are just getting situated in this book, but have enjoyed it so far. We had an interesting conversation about justifying ourselves. In the book Jack and Jill get in a terrible sledding accident because Jill wanted to go down a dangerous path. Jack chivalrously declines placing blame. My 11 yo son, very black and white kind of guy, couldn't understand. He should just speak the truth, not take any part of the blame, except that he should have talked her out of it.

We talked about Christ's sacrifice for us. Did He squabble about who was to blame? Does he taunt us with the pain we "caused" Him? Although Blake couldn't think of a good logical, argument in return, I could tell he was not convinced that Jack handled that in the best way. I'm glad a have 7 more years with him. He's bright and witty, but sometimes a little heavy on the truth over the spirit (sounds like me, I guess).


For Bible time right now we are starting a study of the fruit of the spirit. This month we are focusing on love with a different verse each week and a new passage to read each day. This week we are memorizing I John 4:7,8 and reading a chapter in I John each day. The whole book doesn't speak of love, but it is a recurring topic so I figured we would just read the whole thing.

After a productive morning we grabbed a quick sandwich lunch and headed out to a homeschool gym and swim class. While the older kids are in class I spend some time visiting and some time doing preschool activities with my little guys. They always beg to do school, especially Brooke, but I try to keep it very low key still. We have a lot of fun with it and lots of learning happens in the process.

Then soccer practice and AWANA. With all the driving we finished Charlotte's Web, and started Where the Red Fern Grows. Those are our busy days, but soccer wraps up this week, so things will be somewhat better for a while here.


Another day at home with lots accomplished.

Figured I would do some baking since I would be around to baby sit the oven. Baked some pumpkins and purreed the innards for pumpkin butter, bread, and pie. Also made a quick loaf of bread. Amazing all that can fit in those few transition minutes here and there throughout the day.

Blake has started a blog and uses that for some of his typing and creative writing practice. It is great to have something that he enjoys working on that I don't need to hound him about. Of course, it is all about sports. What more could you expect from an 11 year old boy?

Paige is working through Saxon 6/5 and did a great job connecting fractions, decimals, and percents. Sometimes she absolutely amazes me with how well she grasps things. It doesn't come as naturally for her as for Blake, but she has lots of determination that more than makes up for it.


We wrapped up the lingering academics: dictation quiz, final reading, math and English lessons, I John, and got the school room tidied up for the weekend. After lunch and cleaning we headed to Best Buy to play video games and to McDonald's for ice cream. A great end to a productive week.

Light bulb moments:

- Algebra -- reducing complex terms with exponents. Sometimes I don't know if I'm more surprised that I understand this stuff, or that Blake does . . .

- Faith -- borrowing in subtraction. She aced it the first time through! I'm sure there will still be some questions, but after a 10 minute lesson she did 10 problems and got them all right.

Favorite moments of the week:

- Watching Brooke play drums like a wildwoman.

- Feeling God at work in my heart to overwhelmingly love my kids as I teach them

Challenges faced:

- Math not carefully done. It is so hard when I know kids know a concept, but they don't slow down enough to get it right on paper. Always a process, always growing, always character growth mixed in with the academics.

- Potty training (ugh, don't even get me started!)

Favorite passages in our books :

- It Couldn't Just Happen -- Carbon 14 dating. Amazing to me that a fourth grader can begin to grasp this.

- George Muller -- His wife was an amazing woman. Sold all her belongings that made their house a home and went along with him telling the church they didn't need to pay him. Faith in her husband and faith in God. Amazing. I wish she had a diary lying around that I could peek into.

Now, we face a busy weekend with the wrap up to the soccer season, a couple family gatherings and helping out at church, not to mention prepping for another full week of school and activities.

I'm glad I get an extra hour this weekend, how about you?


Kris said...

Oh, I forgot all about the extra hour! Thanks for the reminder!

I'm so glad you found the Weekly Wrap-Up; I enjoyed reading your post. I really like the way you ended your post, focusing on the area of challenge, as well as the positive moments. I may have to borrow that idea.

emma said...

I really enjoyed reading about your week. It was very interesting and offered a few tips for me.

We just finished Charlotte's Web this week too and we loved it.

Have a great weekend

jeannie said...

I like how detailed you are on the weekly wrap up. I think it is so good to be able to look back on.

Have an good weekend