Monday, April 28, 2008

Weekly Report Week 2

The microscope and all the new books came last Wednesday. The microscope has been a huge hit! We spent all of Wednesday afternoon setting it up and looking at bug parts. Then on Thursday morning, we picked flowers and cut them apart and looked at them. We saw plant cells! We looked at skin cells from the inside of my mouth (gross I know, but the kids loved it).

We kept plugging along with math. It's feels so good to be doing it every day. Math is one of those subjects that needs to be done regularly. Keller is still working on techniques for working math problems in his head. During one lesson, he just wasn't getting it. I just kept repeating myself in the same tone of voice ( I was being patient)! Finally he says: "Oh, I know, I could just do this..." and then he went ahead and did what I had been explaining over and over. Yep. You could do that, Keller... LOL. It's fun to watch the "light" come on.

Winston Grammar is a hit! I love it. It's a visual and tactile way to learn all the parts of speech and sentence mechanics, and it's fun. I just didn't use the First Language Lessons of the Well Trained Mind. I don't know why, but we just couldn't get thrilled about it. Winston is better at getting the student involved.

Spelling is rolling right along. Both kids are doing the Spelling Workout books.

We started cursive writing! Keller has been begging me to do this for more than six months! How sad. I kept telling myself that I would research cursive writing books and choose the best. Finally I just broke down and ordered the first one that I saw. Of course, he loves it. He just wanted to learn it, forget about how.

Still doing our journal pages. Nothing new here.

This coming week, what we need to do better:
Get back into picture scriptures. The kids are begging for them.
Fill out Keller's weekly planner. The days go so much smoother when I do this!
Ella is bitter because Keller is learning cursive and grammar, and she's not doing these. The grammar program said that kids don't think abstractly enough to really understand parts of speech at her age. I'm not letting her do cursive, because we need more work on printing first. So, since she's feeling bitter I need to find something special that's just for her. Hmmm. Ideas?
I need to make cards for spelling and Latin. Making cards with words for them to know works so well, but I didn't do it last week. Must do it this week. Now in fact.
I need more ideas on what to do with Mary during school. For now, I've been filling pots and pans with water and letting her play with them out on the deck, but this only works when it's warm outside! Filling up the kitchen sink with water and bubbles works too. Anyone have any other ideas for occupying a precocious two-year-old?
That's it for now! I welcome comments, especially those with ideas!

Thursday, April 24, 2008

I'm In Love

It's not like I didn't love her the minute she was born. I did. But the past three months or so have been such a blur. Over the last couple of weeks, I've realized that I have finally fallen completely in love with my baby. I think about her adorable little smile. I'm happy when she wakes up from her naps, because I get to see her smile. She's my sweet thing in life.

She found her thumb the other day. This is a picture of when she found it. It doesn't do her justice. She had the cutest look on her face-proud and concentration and sweetness all mixed together. She's delicious to me.

Friday, April 18, 2008

Weekly Report Week 1

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This week we're still easing back into the schedule of school. Kate is just barely starting to be a little bit predictable with her naps, and I think all of us are really anxious to get back into school!
This won't look like much, but it's a beginning!

Math: Keller did two pages of Singapore this week and to my relief he flew through, and was able to do most of it in his head. Ella loves her Singapore work book. She's doing great.

Reading: Keller is reading White Star. It's about a dog on the Titanic, so of course, he loves it. Ella is amazing me with her reading ability. Seriously, I taught her the sounds that the letters make, and she's done the rest. She's reading scripture verses with almost no hesitation. She seems to understand what she's reading. She's a sharp one.

Writing: Haven't done our journal pages, but I've got the blank pages copied off and ready to go.

History: We finished our ancient studies! Rome has succumbed to the various Barbarians. They did their map work, outlining the East and West Roman Empires, and also the final map, where they named and colored the continents and major countries that we studied. Next week, we're moving on to the bold middle ages. Yay!

I ordered a grammar program for both the kids, a microscope, and a surprise piano course for Keller (and Ella?). Watch next Friday for the next weekly report and we'll see how the new programs work out. We've been doing school at the kitchen table instead of in the school room. Katie sleeps in her swing and I can be doing dishes while they work on their stuff.

Hey, it's a start.

Tuesday, April 15, 2008

96 Years Ago Today...

At 2:20 this morning, Titanic sank 96 years ago. Ask me how I know this. I know this because about four years ago, I bought Keller a book on the Titanic for Christmas. It was on clearance for $3.99 and I thought "What the heck?". And so, an obsession was born. You want to know anything about the Titanic, Keller's your guy. And me too now.
That's one of the funnest things about having kids. They have a way of drawing you into their interests, and you find yourself learning things you would have never learned or thought of. Keller also loves hurricanes, tornadoes, lightening, the weather in general, and just about any kind of science. He loves to build and learn about dams. Dams? I would have never considered dams or how long it takes to design and construct them. OR how long it takes to fill them up and make a lake. Now I do.
Ella really loves horses and art. I'm horrible at art. But I've been forced to buy books on how to draw and paint so that I can teach her. I've learned about all about the different kinds of lines that are used when you draw. One day, she was running around the room showing me all the different kinds of lines she could see. I became drawn in too, looking for and finding different lines in everything that I saw.

Kids have an awesome talent for waking you up to the world. What have your kids woken you up to? What have you learned more about because of your kids?