Saturday, January 31, 2009

More Morpheus pics

Weekly Report- Week twenty 2008-09

This week we studied churches and monks and art of the middle ages in England.  I am not going to get detailed this week but here are the oiled-paper "stained glass windows" that we made.

David's isn't quite done yet because it is so detailed.  You can see how he is shading the water by coloring different pieces a darker blue.  Most windows in churches told Bible stories because the populace was illiterate.  This is one of Noah's ark.

The past two weeks we have been working on math facts.  All of the kids are making good progress.  David has moved into learning the past tense in Latin.  I thought it might be tough for him but he is doing just fine.  We are enjoying the "Elegant Universe" videos for a fun science study.   J and Abbie don't love them but David is excited about them.  I am finding them really interesting myself and it is fun to see David so happy about something school related.



After much debate our new Beagle pup  has a name. Morpheus is the Greek god of dreams and a nod to our favorite trilogy. He is only six months old but he is well mannered and a sweet little guy. It is our hope that he will help our family though the difficult year ahead and continue to be a source of fun and love for many years to come.

Sunday, January 18, 2009

Weekly Report- Week eighteen 2008-09

This week we started learning about the Vikings for History.  There were projects to do but we will have to get to them next week.  Life outside of our school day has been distracting.

Mim - Working on small motor skill mostly.  Sorting beads and picking them up with spoons and chopsticks and tweezers.  She has been "working" in her own little notebook coloring pictures for us while the big kids are working on their lessons.  The last batch of play-dough has been left out so play-dough  is on hold until I make me.  I hope to get some more pre-school like activities for her upcoming birthday.

Abigail -

Handwriting -  She is nearly through learning all of the cursive letter forms but she is a long way from using cursive full time.  It will take a lot more practice.

Latin - ch. 6 of Lively Latin.  I thought it was starting to go over her head when she fussed about it and refused to work early in the week.  Later she gathered up all of the worksheets and did them in her room and on her own just fine.  It would seem that Latin is going well and she really is enjoying it.  Grammar has been wrapped into Latin because the latin grammar was more challenging and she was keeping up so I see no point in continuing a lower lever grammar that she found boring.

Math - focusing on fact memorization for a few weeks

Spelling - We have gone back to All About Spelling.  Abbie really enjoyed Spelling Workout, because she just loves worksheets, but she wasn't actually learning to spell!  We used AAS last year and I dropped it because she didn't like it.  Oh well!  It is highly rule intensive and is as multi-sensory as I have ever seen a spelling program, so that is what we are doing.  We have been memorizing the phono-grams and their sounds.  Next week we will move on to the rules and spelling lists.


Handwriting - Since Christmas he has been required to write everything in cursive.  There have been a few assignments that had to be re-done but it hasn't been too terrible.

Math - taking a break from his K-12 math to focus on learning the math facts.  I thought these would have come by now but I was wrong so we are back tracking.  The foundation in these skill building subjects is so very important.  Once the facts our down we will move through MathUSee lessons quickly, picking up some of the needed K-12 lessons to get him testing into the next level for the public school system.

Latin - Lively Latin ch. 6 and still having fun!

Spelling - Learning the phono-grams and rules with Abigail while still going through the K12 spelling lists.

Writing Strands 3 - working on lesson 3 this week

Grammar - Rod and Staff lessons 50 - 53


David has finished all of the Handwriting Without Tears workbooks so he doesn't specifically have handwriting anymore.

Math - Epsilon lesson 18

Latin -  Lively Latin lesson 9

Writing Strands 4 - lesson 6

Grammar - Rod and Staff lessons 56 - 57

David does science at his mom's house but Abbie and J are doing earth science.  We talked about Sedimentary and Metamorphic rock this week.  

We have also started a Memory binder.  Nope, it's not some cue thing with pictures but it is a great learning and teaching tool.  Each morning we start off school by going over the things we are memorizing.  I have a sheet protector in the binder for each subject so it is easy to slip in the things we are working on.  Next I will add a section for review but so far we have nothing archived for review.  We practice our Bible verse, grammar definitions, Latin definitions, Latin vocabulary, math facts, spelling rules as well as layers of the earth and types of rock for science.  Poetry is coming soon!

I wish I had done this long ago but it is so much easier with more kids.  You end up with the group pressure to recite, participate and chant and less individual anxiety over getting it wrong because everyone is doing it together.  Even Mim wants her turn to "recite" the Bible verse.  It is a great addition to our mornings.

She likes the baby!

You have to understand the background.  My friend Sarah has 2 boys and then there was a couple of years gap before her little girl came along.  In those in-between years Miriam was Sarah's buddy.  Basically when Sarah was with us Mim had no need of me, she was Sarah's girl and Sarah was her special big person.

When little Ascha was born Miriam observed her curiously but wasn't too interested.  While visiting the day this picture was taken Miriam made it clear that she could really do without this baby taking up Sarah's lap.  She suggested a few times that Sarah and I "trade babies" so that she could be held by Sarah.  Note that she had no issue with me holding Ascha!

Finally at the end of the day we got her to play with the baby and even hold her as this picture proves.  I think they will be friends.


Making a Necklace

Just getting the feel for the beads

This round-tipped plastic needle is great for little fingers

We now have 2 or 3 of these necklaces floating around the house, on little girls and dolls and, to his great annoyance, the cat.  I am using some Montessori ideas for Mim's preschool activities.  We have used these beads for sorting and small motor work in the last couple of weeks.  She loves them!


My Little Chef

Our friends came to visit and help put in the new flooring.  Abigail made dinner for all of us.

Chopping up the pre-cooked chicken

Into the hot pan with a little sesame oil

veggies and sauce

Dishing up dinner over rice for our guests.  Since the table wasn't yet back in the dining room we all ate from our bowls standing around the kitchen.  Great job Abbie!

Wednesday, January 07, 2009

Consumer Product Safety Improvement Act (CPSIA)

Sounds like a good thing right?  It isn't.  Read this entry.  Please put your outrage to good use and write your congressman, call a radio station and tell everyone who will listen.


Tuesday, January 06, 2009


We have various family members dealing with cancer, surgeries and other health issues right now so this is an unapologetic plea for prayers.  Also, our friends lost their baby after a 5 month battle with a heart condition.  Baby Elizabeth is no longer in pain but the family she left behind is in great pain.  We could use a little healing and peace all around.

Saturday, January 03, 2009

Two days

I have two days to get the house back in order from the flooring project, do the monthly shopping, 5 loads of laundry, clean all of the bathrooms and wash the windows.  I have things ready for school next week but I really wanted to do more preparations for a 6 week block of school.  Somehow I don't think all of the school stuff will get done.  At least I have all of the school related stuff ready for next week and David's Monday/Tuesday assignments in his backpack ready to take to his mom's house.  He was not as excited about me finishing that task as I was.

The floor looks amazing btw, but I will let Adriel blog about that since he did all of the work.