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.
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!