Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Week 12

Short, efficient school week! Wonderful visit to my mother-in-law's house for Thanksgiving!
1/3 of the school year complete!

DD13's page of animal words
 Thank You notes from left to right: DS5, DS10, DD11mo, DS8

Kids all got to make wooden building's with MIL's husband's woods scraps & nail gun!
I stayed out of the basement...

Saturday, November 20, 2010

Week 11

Full week of school done despite mom (that would be me) spending 2 days on the couch with mastitis. All those years of little ones translates into BIG ONES who can run the house.

  • Finished the 200 Sit Up Challenge -- able to do 220 consecutive sit ups!  What an amazing thing! She started with being able to do 31.  I also started this challenge.  I think I did 6.  I didn't get beyond week 2 or 3.  I need to start again.  
  • She is keeping up with her 25,000 word NaNoWriMo novel.  Looks like she'll be a winner for the 5th year in a row!
  •  Packed and delivered 3 shoe boxes for Operation Christmas Child.  She wanted to do this in lieu of my buying presents.  I'll probably still buy a few things...since my idea of a completely homemade Christmas hasn't even gotten started. 
Shirt DD16 painted to put into the Christmas Shoebox
  • Took care of DD11mo whenever I needed help this week.  Actually she does this every week.  I just needed a lot more help this week!  We rearranged the seating at the dining room table so DD11mo is on the end...this way DD13 can feed her and I can eat.  It is working out great!
  • Scored a perfect 100% A+ on her first Henle Latin Unit Test!  
  • Keeping up with her NaNo novel also, another 5th year winner in the making! 
  • Faithfully working on his NaNo novel every morning, he'll be a winner for the 2nd year if he keeps it up!
  • Finished Writing with Ease Level 2!  Now on to Level 3.  Might take this level a little slower -- but we're still set to finish the whole book this school year.
  • Continuing to do well with MUS Pre-Algebra, Great Latin Adventure 2, and Challenging Word Problems 4.
DS8 & DS5
  • Did their schoolwork when I was available and got it all done! 
  • Played inside together a lot.
  • Played outside together a lot.
  • Helped to completely clean the boys' bedroom!  Now they have 3 boxes of books (still no bookshelf), 1 box of stuffed animals, 1 box of Playmobil, and 3 boxes of "miscellaneous."  Perhaps next week we'll sort the miscellaneous.  Or not. 
DS8's Finished Multiplication Clock

  • Learning to empty the spoons from the dishwasher.
  • Getting quicker at climbing the stairs before anyone notices.
  • Played in the yard wearing her new shoes!  Finally. 
Next week is a short week for Thanksgiving.  I'm thankful for that!

Sunday, November 14, 2010

Week 10

The inside of a dragonfruit.  Not at all what we expected to see when we cut it open! 

This was an equally unusual week for us. It involving a great deal of driving for me and free computer time for the children. However, school was also accomplished!

DD16, DD13 & DS10 finished the first unit of All American History 2.  This took us from the Civil War through Reconstruction.  AAH a solid curriculum, I'd recommend it if you're NOT looking for integrated projects, living books, interesting tidbits, and a general sense of fun.  Hmm, I guess Bright Ideas Press won't hire me to write their ads!  But it is ideal for us this year.

In an attempt at giving DS8 a richer and more meaningful education, I had him take the week off of Math-U-See Gamma.  He hasn't struggled with multiplication yet but he hasn't enjoyed it either.  I decided to make this gorgeous Multiplication Clock that I had seen linked on another blog.
 Drawing the circles circles.

Creating the lines.

 Writing the multiplication facts.

   Starting to color.

 Making progress...

Creating this reminded me why I'm not a project-based schooler.  I find it stressful, on many levels...there is DD11mo wanting her pudgy little hobbit-hands in everything, there is me wanting the project to look exactly like the book (blog!), there is the child doing the work who would rather be doing something else (computer, reading, outside...anything but school).  But I do think this will help with the multiplication facts!

I've been wondering why DS5's reading hasn't taken off.  I really thought he'd be beyond "ppppp-aaaaa-tttttt" by now.  Last night the baby went to bed early and I lay in DS5's bed to read a chapter of Little Men aloud to all three boys.  Normally I sit on the floor while the baby plays around me and the boys lay in their beds.  He kept calling out words he knew (the, yes, I) and it occured to me that he doesn't see print while I'm reading all that often.  He never sits next to me during a chapter book and often during a picture book his is scampering around on the floor.  Even if he wants to sit by me he doesn't always get to -- taking turns, sharing, and all that.

A few other notes from the week:
* Ken Burns' Civil War (available via Netflix) is excellent -- DD16, DD13 & I have been watching it at night for 30-45 minutes at a time
* In Flander's Field (Charlie Brown on YouTube) and A Pittance of Time (click video) are wonderful for helping children understand the importance of remembering on Veterans Day
* Every trip to the car dealer for repair work should be allotted 2 hours, minimum
* Likewise for the DMV
* Oatmeal makes a fine dinner when it is just mom & the kids
* Having friends is important
* Winter is coming...we aren't ready!

Friday, November 5, 2010

Week 9

Time flies when you're having fun...and sometimes even when you're not!

Not that it was a bad week:
DD16 finished her heraldry study (military history) and is beginning to research apples (horticulture & nutrition). DD13 & DS10 continue to progress in the respective Latin courses (despite me!). DS8 finished his Sound & Light science book (need to find him something new). DS5 is cheerfully moving along in his workbooks with no problems at all.  DD11mo thankfully doesn't care that she still doesn't have shoes!

NaNoWriMo is going well -- DS10 gets up at his usual 6:00am and writes, DD16 has her turn at 7:00am, and DD13 at 8:00am.  DD16 writes again the evening to get her complete word count.  I'm glad I'm not writing...

We studied the history of voting on Monday and Tuesday, with a "field trip" to our local polling place...the school where my younger ones would go if we didn't homeschool.  I meant to look around but since there was no line, it was in and out lickity-split.  We chose the electronic polling option and I was letting each of the kids push a vote -- since there were 5 things to vote for and we had decided ahead of time.  However, I was reprimanded and had to push the last two buttons myself. Ah well.  It was an experience.

On to the weekend!