Friday, October 8, 2010

Weekly Wrap-Up: Mixin' It Up

It's 7:23 on a Friday evening, supper (chicken pot pie) is in the oven (so we'll be eating late), and I am just now sitting down to write my Wrap-Up.  That gives you a smidgen of an idea of how our week has been thus far.  Here are some highlights:

First off, both girls have been sick and at the doctor's for separate strep tests this week.  Both were negative, thankfully.  However, Tiny Girl has been on breathing treatments with the nebulizer for a wheezy cough all week, and Miss Priss started feeling ill herself yesterday, so a couple of days were not as smooth or regular as I would have liked.  But we managed to end up just where we needed to be, since I cracked the whip on other days.  Just kidding!  Sort of.

Also, if you read my Wrap-Up last Friday, you may recall that we were in a bit of a "situation" at the barn where Tiny Girl rides and we lease a pony.  We have since moved to another barn with our pony and our trainer.  It was a difficult week in that regard; Tiny Girl had been riding at that barn since she was in kindergarten.  So I had to have some difficult conversations with others about our decision.  But now we are glad it's behind us, and we feel good about where we are.

In our lessons this week, I implemented a new folder system based loosely on the workbox idea.  Each child has a daily work folder, and each morning I put in that day's independent work and also any supplies each might need for other subjects, such as our daily test sheets for spelling.  It's worked really well so far.  The girls like being able to blow through some of their independent work instead of having to wait for me to direct them, and I like the fact that it gives them some self-government.

We also participated in Harmony art Mom's Sketch Tuesday project for the first time.  The girls enjoyed making a sketch, scanning it, and emailing it for inclusion in next week's slide show.  We can't wait to see their work on display!

Also this week, we slo-o-o-o-o-wwwed down in some of our subjects instead of speeding on ahead.  In history, we've been camping out in the Tudor period.  Miss Priss read (in two days) Mary, Bloody Mary, by Carolyn Meyer, a book about Mary Tudor's younger years.  I'm not crazy about the title, but Miss Priss really enjoyed the book and learned a lot.  Both girls are reading Mary, Queen of Scots: Queen Without a Country, by Kathryn Lasky, a selection from The Royal Diaries series.  We also learned more about Mary Stuart's needlework, specifically the Marian Hanging.  Click here to read my post about that and see a photo of the Mary Stuart octagon.

A moment that made my heart sing: while reading Mary, Bloody Mary, Miss Priss gasped aloud and said excitedly: "Remember Charles, the Holy Roman Emperor?"  Why, yes, I did.  "He was Katherine of Aragon's cousin!"  Isn't it wonderful when they begin to see and appreciate connections all on their own?

We spent more time studying grammatical concepts, focusing on particulars for a few days instead of one or two.  This week, we continued with the four types of sentences: declarative, interrogative, imperative, and exclamatory.  We also considered how to vary sentences to add interest to our writing.

Even in math, we hung out with a few concepts this week.  Tiny Girl's lessons in MEP Year 4 focused on some of the same ideas and computations as last week, which gave her more time to play around with them and really understand more fully.  With Miss Priss, I intentionally planned her lessons to do the same thing.  She worked on multi-digit multiplication and different types of angles.  She learned to measure angles with a protractor and pronounced that activity "fun."  For her, to say math is fun is a giant step in the right direction!

We ditched Madam How and Lady Why, an AO Year 4 selection.  The girls were not enjoying it, and I did not like the idea the author presents in chapter two: that God caused an earthquake to occur as a punishment to those people.  This particular theory does not fit with our family's beliefs, so I decided the book is not right for us.  Another great thing about homeschooling: we get to choose what fits our family best!

And Christmas music is resounding through our house!  Yes, it's (too) early, but the girls have begun practicing their pieces for the Christmas piano recital.

There goes the oven timer; my pot pie is done!

That's how we mixed things up around here this past week.  Have a blessed and wonderful weekend!


  1. Sounds like a great week. My daughter enjoys the Royal Diaries series too.

  2. so sorry about your sick kiddos!

    love Barb and Sketch Tuesdays!

    btw, nice to meet u - saw u on weekly wrap-up!

  3. I'll be seeing their sketches. I've been thinking about proposing it to the girls and see...frankly, I'm the one who wants to sketch, ha ha ha. I love that, it relaxes me, and I believe the challenges are nicely picked and presented.
    We'll see.
    I'm glad they are better, and you seem to have done much at your home. Don't you love the folder/workboxes. They work well I've heard to guide them into independence. That's what I envision in the future, boxes or folders where to have their independent part of the CM day, not fully the workboxes system, just an aid to give them space and independence.

  4. Too bad about the illnesses. Sick is never fun- for anyone!
    I love Sketch Tuesday! My kids thought it was so cool when we first participated...then it cooled off :/ I keep trying to nudge them back. We still participate sometimes. I love Sketch Tuesday (oh, I already said that!)
    Another week down :) Have a great weekend.

  5. What are you going to use instead of Madam How? We are due to use it next year...

  6. Jeanne, I don't yet know. I may simply look at the topics covered (earthquakes, volcanoes, etc.) and researching them separately. I am not averse to nonfiction books when it comes to science.

    I'll post as I figure it out!

  7. It sounds like you all accomplished a lot even though a sickness visited your house this week!

    I love the folder idea, and I have rolled that idea around in my brain for a while now. Thanks for the reminder and encouragement to give it a try!

  8. Thanks for stopping by and saying "Hello". I'm sorry your little ones have been sick. {{hugs}} and prayers.

  9. Hope everyone is feeling better. Sounds like you had a productive week despite that.

  10. Well, I'm glad you got the barn thing sorted - what on earth happened?
    I can honestly say Madam How and Lady Why may be half the reason my girls are now in school!
    Well ditched - it was dire!

  11. Oh but Ellen, if you join my Choosing Contentment challenge, you'll definitely have something to post :) It will work as an incentive :D


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