Friday, October 15, 2010

Weekly Wrap-Up: Coming to Terms with the New Normal

I was whining to a friend of mine that I really want us to have a normal week, instead of the racing-around, cramming-things-in weeks we have been having lately.  Then it struck me: perhaps this ridiculous busyness is our new normal, and so-called "normal" weeks are actually abnormal.  It was a sobering thought.

Anyway.  Excelsior!  And here are some highlights:

We began reading James Towne: Struggle for Survival, by Marcia Sewall, this week, which is a suggested literary reading in the SOTW 3 Activity Book.  Our library didn't have it, so I bought a used copy from Amazon, and I am so glad I did.  Not only does the text richly depict the beginnings of the first permanent English colony, each page features a quote from the colonists' writings and instructions, creative spellings and all.  Also, the girls are both reading Our Strange New Land: Elizabeth's Jamestown Colony Diary, by Patricia Hermes, part of the My America series.  Miss Priss enjoyed it greatly and read it in one day.  Tiny Girl, not a fan of the journal format in books, is taking a bit longer.

I know I have been touting Spelling Power so much one would think I'm getting a kickback (for the record, I am not).  But I had been a tad anxious about the spelling abilities of one of my dear children, who couldn't spell to save her life.  Enter Spelling Power.  Both children have shown remarkable improvement, and it is gratifying to see my spelling-challenged one catching on to spelling conventions.  (I won't use the word "rules" since for every "rule" there are myriad exceptions.)

We enjoyed watching the slideshow at Harmony Art Mom for Sketch Tuesday.  The girls thought it was a hoot to see their own sketches on display.  This week, Barb's challenge was to sketch something you'd see at an art museum.  Both children selected Monet as their inspiration, and they chose to use their oil pastels for a vibrant look.

In science, we continued our study of the skeleton.  We learned about joints and how many different joints there are in our arms, for instance.  Also, the girls labeled a skeleton with the names of the bones.  Notice that Tiny Girl opted for "skull" rather than "cranium."  She said she likes the word "skull" better.

As you might remember, I am pulling together a math curriculum for Miss Priss this year that I think is better suited to her learning style.  Using Mathematical Reasoning from the Critical Thinking Company as our spine, I'm also using other workbooks from Kumon, Sylvan Learning, and Dorling Kindersley.  We've been studying multi-digit multiplication and plane geometry for three weeks now, as well as times table drills.  This week, she learned about measuring perimeter and area.  She asked me to feature a photo of one of her worksheets (see below).  Tiny Girl continues to thrive with MEP Year 4.

We began reading about Julius Caesar in Plutarch's Lives for Boys and Girls.  AO scheduled Caesar for this term, and the girls are glad because they remember quite a bit about Caesar from studying him two years ago.  I selected this version because it was an option on AO, but I need to do a bit more research to make sure this is the best version for us.

We are moving right along in our other studies: poetry (Tennyson), literature (Heidi, Age of Fable, and Treasure Island), French, Latin, geography (Minn of the Mississippi), copywork, grammar and writing, piano, and logic.  We completed the second Mind Benders book, and the next, A1, came in the mail yesterday, much to the girls' delight.

Our file folder system, which I introduced last week, is still working fairly well.  One child works more independently, so it's a great fit for her; and she enjoys completing her work on her own as much as possible.  The other child still needs quite a bit of prodding reminding from me to keep her on task in a timely manner.  I live in hope that a bit more maturity will help in this area.

That's our week!  How was yours?  For a peek into the lives of other homeschoolers, pop over to Weird, Unsocialized Homeschoolers.


  1. Glad to know you're happy with Spelling Power. I am using Spelling Wisdom from SCM, but it is good to have alternatives. Also happy to know you're ahead of me with Plutarch. Why did you decide on the Children's version?

  2. I see you guys keep busy, that's great. I think abnormal is the norm for most homeschoolers.

  3. Hi Jeanne! I thought the children's version of Plutarch might be a gentler introduction; however, after reading some of it this week with the girls and then comparing Dryden's translation online, they seem very alike to me. I may go ahead with the Dryden, but I hate the thought of all the paper I wasted printing the other! (And I'd already printed on one side.)

  4. I am so glad I found your blog via The Weekly Wrap-Up link. Your curriculum choice is so solid and beautiful. I admire that. I, too felt like this week was a run around week, but when I did my own weekly wrap-up post we actually did more than I remembered! Funny how that happens. I'm your newest follower!

  5. Your 1st paragraph = totally my life right now. {sigh} At least colorguard season is almost done!

  6. we had a busy "norm" last year but have a less busy "norm" this year and I am sure enjoying this season! We have to go with the seasons we are in dont we!

    You look like you had an incredibly production week though, I am also going to look James towne.

    my daugher loves the my America series.

    I like your C.S. Lewis quote!

  7. I know what you mean. I just love those rare, "normal" days. Spelling is definitely my son's downfall. Maybe we'll try Spelling Power next.
    Janet W

  8. I am back to reading blogs (yours first, of course), and I can't believe how much I've missed! I am especially glad that Spelling Power is working well for you.


I love reading comments! And I appreciate the time you take to leave them. Thanks!