Friday, September 28, 2012

Weekly Happenings: Our First Project Week

Last Sunday, as I sat down to plan for the upcoming week, I hit a couple of snags:

  • The girls needed to practice their solos and monologues for upcoming auditions for their theatre troupes
  • We'd done precious little notebooking, which I'd wanted to incorporate
  • We'd also missed a few readings from the previous week, due to two unexpected trips to the ER (everything's fine; more on that later)

I had an Aha! moment (most decidedly not an epiphany) and designated this week -- the fourth in the month -- as a project week. I eliminated several subjects from our daily schedule: grammar, spelling, copywork, composition, logic, and foreign language. Family prayer, Bible study, poetry, piano, and math remained. I limited the readings to four per day (including literature and independent reads), one of which included a notebooking assignment. This left plenty of time for audition preparation.

I have to say, it was a moment of brilliance. At least for me.

In Bible, the girls studied Psalm 32 this week. We are enjoying the pre-inductive study, Young Hearts Longing for God.

Photo courtesy

Robert Frost continues to delight us. The girls both picked "Hyla Brook" as their favorite poem this week. (In case you're wondering, hyla is a genus of tree frog.) "We love the things we love for what they are." Isn't that a wonderful line? When I was a child, there was a small branch that ran near my aunt's house. My sisters, cousin, and I played in it for hours in the summertime. By August, it had dried up and left a sandy bed filled with weeds. I thought of that as I read aloud the words of this poem.

The girls are preparing for their Christmas piano recital, so Christmas music rings throughout the house. Feliz Navidad, anyone? I know; it's a bit early for me, too.

We did a bit of online research on Turkey, as part of our Explore the Holy Land selection (we're doing this a year later than the AO schedule). Here is a link to the Turkish Music Portal, where you can listen to samples of Turkish folk, classical, children's, pop, and contemporary music. The girls had a big time dancing around the school room to some of these tunes.

We also watched a few short videos about Turkey on YouTube. Here's one:

A forgotten mug of coffee milk left in the basement was the genesis of an unexpected science lesson. Have microscope, will analyze!

Everyone's working with decimals in math. Tiny Girl and I took a break this week from MasterMath to brush up on some decimal skills. We used the book Math Doesn't Suck (love the instruction; hate the title) by Danica McKellar, and the website Math Is Fun! Here's a link to their decimals menu. Next week, Tiny Girl and I will review fractions using the same resources. Then we'll be back to MasterMath.

Overall, we are really pleased with our decision to place Miss Priss at our neighborhood Mathnasium center for her math studies. She enjoys going later in the day, when kids her age are there. Sometimes she sees friends to wave to -- a fun bonus. She also likes working with the teenage tutors, especially the girls.

Story of the World: Egypt's first king and Italy's fascism
Secrets of the Universe (Liquids and Gases): Archimedes's Principle
School of the Woods: the author meets the fawns
Ordinary Genius (a bio of Albert Einstein): Chapter 3
Plutarch's Lives: "Dion," Chapter 2
Queen Victoria: Chapter 3
Age of Fable: Chapter 27, "The Iliad"
It Couldn't Just Happen: "The Law of Entropy," etc.
The Hobbit: Tiny Girl finished this and requested The Fellowship of the Ring, which I ordered from Paperback Swap. Miss Priss continues.
The Wizard of Oz: assigned reading for Tiny Girl
Jack and Jill (Alcott): assigned reading for Miss Priss

Our activities keep us busy, too. Tiny Girl and I are at the barn every day but Monday. Monday is theatre day, and, boy, am I glad to be part of a three-family carpool! Wednesday evening is middle school Bible study. And today, we travel to a nearby aquarium for an overnight adventure with our Girl Scout troop, along with a few other troops. We'll be "sleeping with the fishes" tonight!

I'll leave you with Frost's "Hyla Brook":

By June our brook's run out of song and speed.
Sought for much after that, it will be found
Either to have gone groping underground
(And taken with it all the Hyla breed
That shouted in the mist a month ago,
Like ghost of sleigh bells in a ghost of snow)—
Or flourished and come up in jewelweed,
Weak foliage that is blown upon and bent,
Even against the way its waters went.
Its bed is left a faded paper sheet
Of dead leaves stuck together by the heat—
A brook to none but who remember long.
This as it will be seen is other far
Than with brooks taken otherwhere in song.
We love the things we love for what they are.

Have a wonderful weekend with your family!


  1. Great decision! I always love reading all the many meaningful things your daughters and you do.


  2. Thank you for the reminder of some wonderful memories!


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