Tuesday, January 31, 2012
Week in Review
I guess I should have written this post before the "What's in Store?" post, seeing as I'm reviewing Week Two and we're already into Week Three, but it's been very busy around here. Our Week 2 consisted of three days of school, an awesome field trip and then driving over 6 hours to visit family. Needless to say, when we got back, we were all a bit worn out. We used last week to "recuperate" and get back to normal, but I never quite found the time to review our previous week of school. Anyway, here's a peek at what we did last week (or rather, the week before). I must say again how much everyone is loving the new path we've chosen!
We changed things up just a bit in our Bible studies. We read three different chapters the first week, but decided from here on out to just choose one story to read, then to draw it and do some copywork from it, creating our own Bible Books. Last week, we read the story of Rebekah. The girls really enjoyed the story and Rebekah was a perfect example of a kind and loving girl in the Bible. Both girls narrated this story beautifully and I was beyond impressed with their drawings. The Hippie even added "Jesus Joggers" (as she called them) to Rebekah's feet. Too cute!
We continued to read several poems by Robert Louis Stevenson this week. The Hippie also started work on memorizing "The Moon" by Robert Louis Stevenson. She has memorized the first stanza and is currently working on the second. When she has it completely memorized I will have her copy it and illustrate it to begin creating a book of the poetry she has learned.
We're still working on learning the "Henson Family Rules". I'm not totally sure how to help them memorize things ... other than just to keep repeating them. We'll begin work on Psalm 23 next week.
We didn't do our regular fairy tales or Aesop this week. We were focusing on some other stuff (see below), but we did read in our Seven Little Sisters book again. We met the little "Brown Baby" who lives in the jungle. The girls guessed that maybe she lived in South America somewhere. It was fun to read about her day-to-day life.
Monday was Martin Luther King day, which to most "schooled" kids simply means NO SCHOOL TODAY. But, I wanted to be sure it was more than that to my children. We spent Monday honoring the wonderful man that he was. We read our copy of Martin's Big Words and watched some of his I have a Dream speech on Youtube. We talked about the way that things used to be and how brave and honorable Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. was in inspiring change. We talked about how we also believe that LOVE is the only answer. It was really nice to share this with them. It was good to compare dates, too so that they could understand how recent this was. "Rosa Parks stood up for herself two years before Nanu was born" and "Nanu was 6 when he gave his I have a Dream Speech". It was easier for them to understand the timeline that way. And, it was a proud moment for me when the Hippie made the connection on her own that we went all the way from WHITES ONLY times to having an African American president just since Nanu was born.
We started Holling C. Holling's Book of Indians and the Very First Americans book this week. We read about how the people may have come over from Asia many many years ago. We read about the various types of Native Americans ~ the plains and the desert and the mountains. The girls told back what I'd read to them and they both drew pictures of Native Americans for their My America Books. They also made covers for their notebooks and did a bit of copywork related to the Native Americans.
We continued our study of Renoir this week. We studied the painting entitled "The Letter" this week. The girls studied it and told me the details from memory. The painting is now hanging on our refrigerator so that they can see it often. When we study our next painting, the two we have already studied will go into our binder in page protectors.
For our music studies, we watched Peter and the Wolf on youtube. We also listened to a Pandora station created using the title "Peter and the Wolf". The girls have learned the piece well enough to recognize it any time it comes on and can even tell you which animal each instrument represents. Next week we will begin studying the Orchestra with some books I have from the library.
In addition to our formal studies, we also attended a performance at the local School of the Arts (high school). It was a fairy ballet and we all thoroughly enjoyed it! I could totally see the Hippie in a place like that ... aside from the fact that Arts or not, the main influence in those children's lives is their peers and the media; two things I am attempting to avoid. We'll cross the High School bridge when we get to it. :-)
On a cute side note, after the performance the Hippie planned, directed and performed in a dance production and a play at the park we went to with our homeschool group. She also planned, directed and performed more than once when we were out of town with her cousins. She is quite the performer! Not a shy bone in her body.
We are still having trouble getting to our literature read alouds. I know, that sounds crazy, doesn't it? I think after I've read aloud so many things during the day, I'm just not in the mood to read anymore come quiet time. I believe the solution may be to listen to our literature read alouds on audio. Last week we listened to three chapters of Alice's Adventures in Wonderland and one chapter from Little House in the Big Woods. It is a habit I need to work on. There are so many books I want to read to them, but it will only happen if we just do it.
We learned about the Golden Rod plant this week. I read them the story of the Golden Rod from Outdoor Secrets and they narrated it back to me. Did you know that the Golden Rod always points north? I didn't. But, I do now. The girls also drew pictures of the Golden Rod for their nature notebooks. In addition to formal studies, they've had a couple of really awesome outdoor park days! We went to this great park after the ballet performance and all the kids spent time in the woods exploring and collecting. They also spent a few hours in the woods exploring after our Agricultural Museum field trip was over.
This was short and sweet this week. We read the poem "The Sailor-boy's Gossip" by Eliza Cook. I had the girls guess what places and peoples the poem might be about based on the information in the poem. We talked about the fact that the book we are using was written by Charlotte Mason herself and that she lived in the 1800s so she didn't have all the information we have today, but how interesting it is that they still knew so much about our world.
Both girls started a new adventure at our regular Waldorf Handwork Group. They are learning to cross-stitch now, which they think is super cool since I told them that their Nanu used to do that all the time when I was little.
This topic, while extremely important, is not particularly exciting to write about. I will just tell you that The Princess continues to improve in her reading ability (I recently did a quick assessment on Sonlight's website and she placed at the 2nd grade level) and is enjoying her math and language lessons as well. The Hippie is also moving along nicely. She (surprisingly to me) loves learning cursive and I think her favorite subject is English for the Thoughtful Child (who would've have thought. Though, I will tell you, she is doing it 100% orally with me. Had I insisted she write everything it asks you to write, I believe this would be her least favorite subject!). She is progressing in her math and language lessons as well and continuing to read the Life of Fred chapters. I'm heavily considering buying Math U See, though and going with that instead. As far as assigned reading, I had not yet figured out what I wanted her to read, so she just spent the week reading what she wanted. She's been reading Betsy Tacy as well as a ton of other shorter books from the library.
We finished out the week with an AWESOME field trip to the Florida Agricultural Museum. We go to see how houses would have been set up in the late 1800s (and were tickled to find multiple items in those homes that my mom has in her home ... gotta love the educational value of antiques). We got to see ducks and roosters and a turkey and chickens and horses and cattle. We got to go into a "Commissary" and go on a tractor/trailer ride. It was very educational (for me as well). Loved all of the history!
Well, I must stop writing now. It's time for us to get ready and head out to the zoo. Don't you just love homeschooling? I know I do!
How was your week?