Saturday, January 21, 2012

Weekly Happenings: Getting Back on Track

Despite some lingering illness -- now overcome, thank heaven! -- we managed to get mostly back on track this week. Finally. Here are some highlights:

Both girls have decided to add German into their studies. This year, we've been using PowerSpeak online through our county library system (free). So Monday, Wednesday, and Friday, they'll work on French, and the study German on Tuesday and Thursday. We have a few friends who live in Germany, and we're entertaining thoughts about visiting them next year, prompting a sudden interest in the language. My response? Go for it!

We spent more time this week with our friend, Fuzzworth (lovingly named by Miss Priss several years ago), our nebulizer and Georgette's nemesis. She despises him. Maybe it's his smarmy smile; maybe it's his insipid bow tie; maybe it's the very LOUD noise he makes. But every time we switch him on, she barks and lunges at him. she calms down quickly after her first attack, however.

 Georgette, 8 months

Here is the lovely little Georgette. When we gather in the family room for our readings, the dogs snuggle up with us. A home educating lifestyle comprises so many cozy moments, doesn't it?

In grammar this week, we learned about predicate nominatives. I didn't know these existed until high school, myself. Both girls now have a decent understanding of these; it's not perfect, but it's a good foundation for the years to come.

Jasper, 2 years

And here is Jasper. He and Georgette have very different dispositions. Sometimes he's like a grumpy old man around her! I'm his favorite (she said with a bashful yet proud smile). Update: Tiny Girl read this yesterday and objected to the last sentence. "You are NOT his favorite," she said emphatically.

In literature, we continued our reading of Pyle's King Arthur and His Knights and began "The Three Worthies." We also began Robert Louis Stevenson's Kidnapped. This selection is part of AO's Year 4, but we are just now fitting it in. The girls were resistant at first, but now we are all enthralled, after only three chapters!

John Greenleaf Whittier continues to make our hearts happy. Our favorite poem this week: "Storm on Lake Asquam," which we discovered is in New Hampshire and is now referred to as Lake Squam, Asquam being its Abenaki name. I thought you might like it, too.

Storm on Lake Asquam

A cloud, like that the old-time Hebrew saw
On Carmel prophesying rain, began
To lift itself o'er wooded Cardigan,
Growing and blackening. Suddenly, a flaw

Of chill wind menaced; then a strong blast beat
Down the long valley's murmuring pines, and woke
The noon-dream of the sleeping lake, and broke
Its smooth steel mirror at the mountains' feet.

Thunderous and vast, a fire-veined darkness swept
Over the rough pine-bearded Asquam range;
A wraith of tempest, wonderful and strange,
From peak to peak the cloudy giant stepped.

One moment, as if challenging the storm,
Chocorua's tall, defiant sentinel
Looked from his watch-tower; then the shadow fell,
And the wild rain-drift blotted out his form.

And over all the still unhidden sun,
Weaving its light through slant-blown veils of rain,
Smiled on the trouble, as hope smiles on pain;
And, when the tumult and the strife were done,

With one foot on the lake and one on land,
Framing within his crescent's tinted streak
A far-off picture of the Melvin peak,
Spent broken clouds the rainbow's angel spanned.

-- John Greenleaf Whittier, 1882.

I also intoduced hymns into our schedule. I'm almost ashamed to admit that we've not done this before. My thoughts were that we sing hymns in church, and the children will learn them there. But then I looked over AO's hymn rotation and was pleased to see some "old favorites" that we don't sing in our church. This month's selection is "What a Friend We Have in Jesus." I love that one.

I also baked bread and made homemade yogurt, but those deserve posts of their own. Keep an eye out!


  1. ...all our sins and grief to bear! What a privilege to carry everything to God in prayer. Thank you, now I'm singing it! Looks like a wonderful week - topped with homemade yogurt :)

  2. (I've been having trouble leaving comments on Blogger - apologies if this is a repeat!) I'm so delighted to hear your girls are feeling better now. And I love John Greenleaf Whittier! Your study plans sound wonderful.


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