The first week back, and the kids pleasantly surprised me with their hard work and focus. We had an incredibly productive week.
Of course, a normal week would have to include its share of arguing. This week they usually centered around this little guy:
"It's my turn" -- "No, you have already had him for 10 minutes" -- "No, I started on the '4' so I still have 5 minutes." :-) Obviously, they are enjoying our two week babysitting stint with our neighbor's children. And, he even got in on the homeschooling, sporting a crown made from the leftovers from our conquistador helmet (see further down).
After another blanket of snow (on top of the foot still around from the day after Christmas), we headed out of doors to take a peak at the cattails growing in the small lake outside out home. You'll have to click on the album to get a good look at the pictures, but I have to say we enjoyed taking time to see the beauty in the snow and winter which we sometimes miss. Obviously, our nature studies had gone unobserved for too long.
I am thankful to other blogs that keep me coming back to these activities even when they have spent more than a fair amount of time on the back burner. The Handbook of Nature Study blog prompted this activity, and even though we didn't completely follow through on it all, we all enjoyed the breath of fresh air and time spent observing something we see so often it has become invisible.
This week we finally wrapped up the first quarter of Mystery of History 3, with the study of Cortez, Pizarro, and Ferdinand Magellan. I am loving this curriculum more than ever as I took some intensive time over Christmas break to line up a number of their extra activities for the weeks ahead. They had a great project to make a conquistador's helmet, and our kids have had fun with the finished product:
My 6 year old daughter walked around the house with it saying, "Cortez is looking for chocolate to bring back to Europe." Nathan modeled for the pic, and commented that it would not be comfortable if it was really made out of metal. Quite observant!
Science -- we discussed simple machines and set up a lever to observe and also a pulley. I love the hands on projects that bring learning to life. I used to stress over getting these things into my day, but there are so many simple ways to make learning real, and the conversations that it sparks are definitely worth it.
Reading -- We spend the week mostly at home, so didn't get in our usual time in our audio books. We did hear an abridged version of King Arthur and His Knights performed by Jim Weiss. At home we read through some books about explorers as well.
Bible -- Pilgrim's Progress has already grabbed the kids' attention and kindled a number of good conversations about the Christian life. I'll share more on this as we get further in as the weeks go by. Each day we listen and work a little on our lapbooks that I talked about earlier. I'll post pictures and such in a week or so as they gain a little more substance.
Some new links --
In looking for some quotes, I came across a site containing a number of R.A. Torrey's works that are in the public domain. If you want some spiritual stimulation including Bible studies, books on prayer and the Christian life, you will want to take a look through the titles available there.
On a completely different plane, a pizza making forum caught my eye and we have enjoyed trying some of the recipes of these pizza aficionados. The Home Run Inn style crust is my favorite so far, but they have lots of great tips on making the best pizza possible.
Another site with some great audio books. They have some free to download, and more available with purchase of an annual subscription. Some of these are available on librivox as well, but My Audio School has it in what I feel is an easier format to access.
And, lastly, not a new site to me, but at the start of a new year 66 Books has come up with a new line up, a catchy new banner, and of course new content as they again lead us on a reading through the Bible.
Looking forward to another great week of school in the week ahead. To hear how others wrapped up their week, check out Weird Unsocialized Homeschoolers.