Saturday, December 5, 2009

Our Week In Review: Nov. 30 -- Dec. 4

It's been too long since I've posted. The week of Thanksgiving was difficult and busy, and this week was also nuts. To top it off, I am now sick. The family is, as I type, at a party I'm missing. So I thought I'd post instead of wallow in misery.

I know several homeschooling bloggers who write about what they did over the past week, so I'm jumping into the fray.

Bible: We used the Word for the Week flyer that comes home from church each Sunday. this week, the theme was faithfulness. Some of the scriptures we read and talked about were: Psalm 20, Jeremiah 29:11, and Proverbs 16:3. We also worked on our memory verse: "Teach me your way, O LORD, and I will walk in your truth" (Psalm 86:11a). We only attend to memory verses sporadically; after the New Year, I intend to focus more fully on this aspect of scriptural study.

History: We are in the Middle Ages, and we use Our Island Story, by H.E. Marshall, as our spine. I download free from LibriVox and then burn CDs. This week, we learned about Henry III (Henry of Winchester). I bought a neat little book the last time I was in England, Life in Medieval England, by Rupert Willoughby. Each two-page spread features a theme with fantastic artwork. This week, we studied the chapter "Life and Death in the Towns." Here's a link, in case you're interested.

In honor of Thanksgiving and our American heritage, two weeks ago we began reading Pilgrim Stories I: From Old Homes to New, by Margaret Pumphrey. The girls are reading independently Mary of Plymouth, by James Otis. Both of these wonderful e-books came to me via the Homeschool Freebie of the Day site. If you are not on their weekly email list, sign up right this second! I've downloaded audiobooks, e-books, and more from their wonderful site, all for free.

Science: We are studying James Watt and his steam engine in Great Inventors and their Inventions, by Frank P. Bachman. I must admit that the more technical sections of the story are not that interesting to any of us (pistons, cylinders, vacuums, condensers, you get the picture). However, instead of chucking the entire thing, we opted to read the historical parts and eliminate the more tedious information. I am fully aware that some families find this sort of thing riveting; to each his own. You can find this book for free on the Baldwin Project's website here.

Literature and Poetry: This week, we read together "How Perseus Slew the Gorgon," from The Heroes, by Charles Kingsley, and available here on the Baldwin Project's site for free; "A Winter's Tale," from Beautiful Stories from Shakespeare, by Edith Nesbit (which I downloaded free from LibriVox here and we listened to it in the car at Miss Priss's request); "The Light of Truth", from Margaret Gatty's Parables of Nature, also available for free from the Baldwin Project here; and finished Nesbit's The Railway Children. Miss Priss is reading The Princess and the Goblin, by George Macdonald, and Ballet Shoes, by Noel Streatfeild. This week, Tiny Girl finished Black Beauty, by Anna Sewell. We loved all of these.

For poetry, we have been studying selections from William Blake's Songs of Innocence. Truthfully, Blake is not my favorite. Come to find out, he is not my girls' favorite, either. (I did nothing to sway their opinions, honestly!) After one reading this week, Tiny Girl asked, "Can we go back to Christina Rossetti? I like her a lot better than Blake."

Language Arts: The girls completed three days of copywork and one day of studied dictation. Tiny Girl also worked on spelling, which is much more of a trial for her than for Miss Priss. In foreign language, they each studied French with Rosetta Stone for 10-15 minutes per day. Miss Priss and I only managed one day of Latin (we use Latina Christiana). Our schedule is two days; but my illness scrapped that for this week. Instead, she practiced the Table Blessing on Friday.

Math: Both girls are working on multiplication facts with me (flashcards) and independently (, which we highly recommend). We also did our MEP lessons.

Test Prep: In our state, each homeschooled student must take a nationally-recognized standardized test every three years, starting in third grade. This year is Tiny Girl's turn. She has a Spectrum test prep book for third grade, which she works in every day.

Artist/Music Study: I slacked off in this area this week.

Extras: We also had piano lessons, choir rehearsal for the children's Christmas concert at church, and Girl Scouts for both girls. Tiny Girl had riding lessons, as well.

Writing all this out was a really good exercise for me. Some days, I feel like we aren't doing enough, that the girls are "missing out" on something crucial to their educations because we homeschool, that I stink at this, etc., etc., ad nauseam. But when I take the time to write it all at (instead of merely looking at a chart), I see that we did quite a lot. Affirmation! Yippee!

Now I think I'll go read my twaddle and have a cup of hot tea. Maybe a nap, later.

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