Saturday, July 21, 2012

Week in Review

It's Saturday, which means you are probably looking for a review of our week. Well, I'll give you a quick run down, but I will also tell you that from here on out, it will mostly just be reading and library events and homeschool group events.

We fly out of here in exactly seven weeks. If I save week 7 for packing and getting ready to leave, then that means I have exactly six weeks to have every little thing planned and ready for school to start when we return.

And I mean really planned. It needs to be completely written out someplace because I know my brain will be mush when we return and I won't remember what I'd been thinking.

So, I have 6 weeks to plan. But, we still have doctor's appointments, dentist appointments, pet appointments, grocery shopping, Homeschool group events, library events and play dates in there as well. If I am really lucky, I might get 3 days out of each week to plan ~ that is only 18 days. Needless to say, my focus has shifted. My brain simply cannot hang on to two things at once like that. It's time to "close up shop" on 1st and 3rd grade and move on.

Anyhoo, here's a peek at what we did this week.

So, did I mention that it is Summer Time around here? Who can concentrate on school when there are pool parties to attend? We went to a fabulous pool party birthday party on Monday with our friends from our Homeschool Group. The girls spent the morning preparing gifts for our friend, M (for her safety, I'll leave her name at that). The Princess decided to give her one of her prized possessions, Napoleum (a nice and big horse that she loves). She spent the morning brushing her mane and tail, getting her all "niced up" for M. The Hippie spent the morning drawing M a beautiful picture of her (M) as a mermaid.

We also read chapter 45 in the Bible about the "grumbling Israelites" at breakfast that morning. You can read my thoughts on that here.

Other than the party and the gift-making, the girls spent the morning reading. The Princess read some more of The Prodigal Cat and The Nine Lives of Aristotle while the Hippie read some more of The Stray.

They also watched a Wild Kratts episode on Wolf pups and how they howl for communication.

To finish off an exhausting day, we listened to Beatrix Potter audio stories and perused our Complete Tales of Peter Rabbit.

Tuesday found us in Unschooling mode, for sure. We started the day by reading another chapter in our Wisdom and the Millers book. This particular chapter was about how when we trust and listen to God, we find ourselves in His comforting embrace. I believe I've talked about that many times here on the blog!

After our morning devotions and chores, Momma moved on to cleaning out the school room (a feat that will take more time, for sure!) while the girls moved into their Unschooling activities. They worked together for a bit on their giant World floor puzzle and the Hippie finished it up while the Princess moved on to playing Shut the Box ... perfect math facts practice for her.

Something inspired them both to get to drawing. The Hippie started making a book of the Sleep Fairies (I told her a story a few nights ago about the Sleep Fairies coming when I leave the room. They take her eyelids and gently pull them closed and then they flutter around and down her body, relaxing each and every muscle until she is off to dreamland). She drew King Valerian and made a Table of Contents, listing each of the other Sleep Fairies she intends to draw. We've got Queen Lavender and then their four children, Vanilla, Chamomile, Twilight and Lilac. King Valerian is an adorable little Fairy Man who has his hands on his hips and laughs like Santa Claus.

I guess this inspired the Princess to draw a Fairy of her own. I love the detail in the skirt and the ties up the legs like a ballerina. And, check out the braids in her hair? Too stinking cute!

During Quiet Time on Tuesday, the Hippie read for an hour in the Book of Peace and read for 30 minutes in Freaky Friday. She tells me that Freaky Friday doesn't make any sense to her at all. She says the writing is all over the place and it is hard to understand what is going on and who is thinking what. But, she perseveres and is determined to finish the book.

The Princess read one more chapter of The Prodigal Cat and finished reading The Nine Lives of Aristotle. This is a big accomplishment for her. It is a long book ~ 86 pages. It is not an "Easy Reader" and does not have chapters to divide it up for you. It was a big deal. She loved the book!

We had a wonderful play date with friends on Wednesday. Generally speaking, people who favor Waldorf Homeschooling (which is us ... more on that in a future post) have a hard time finding anyone in real life who shares their educational views. We not only have some friends in real life who homeschool 100% in a Waldorf way, but they have 2 girls, almost the exact same ages and they live in walking distance to our house. How lucky are we?

All the kids enjoyed a wonderful day of playing outside, a lovely real tea party complete with hot apple cider, vegan banana bread, nuts, veggies and hummus and fruit, lots and lots of creative play including dress up and playing vet, lots of drawing and some crafting. The Hippie decided to make a doll out of wool roving and made her some clothes from fabric scraps. We then got out the beeswax and Mr. J (again for the safety) made the Princess a cat while the Hippie modeled a swan, a baby bottle and a ring. Momma enjoyed the day just as much, getting some much needed Momma talk about school and life ... and lots of baby cuddles. :) Ms. J has a new little baby and was happy to have the help, so I got lots of time bouncing around a 6 week old baby boy. Good for all.

Thursday took us out and about. We realized first thing that Daddy had forgotten his sunglasses and ipod ~ both necessities for his job. :) So, after some cleaning around the house, we headed out to take him his goodies. Then, we meandered over to a different library to explore for an hour or so and then spent the afternoon doing some grocery shopping. When we got home, the Hippie finished reading Nim's Island (for the bzillionth time) and the Princess read three books cover to cover and worked some more on The Prodigal Cat. She got excited when she made the realization on her own that it was going to be like The Prodigal Son from the Bible because the cat had gone out and about to various homes, but was coming home to the original home in the end. Oh, and we can't forget the toilet paper tower building. And, the math involved in figuring out how tall it was ~ each roll is 4 1/4" and there are 11 rolls ...

We finished out the week with a full day of free play while Momma immersed herself in planning. Not specific planning just yet, but in the learning part of the planning. As I explained to the girls, teachers go to college for several years to learn how to teach and Waldorf teachers go to even more specialized school to learn how to teach in a Waldorf way. I am just their Momma, who loves them more than anything and wants to teach them at home, but I have to learn a thing or two myself in order to make that happen. I spent the day listening to a couple of podcasts by Melisa Nielsen.  I listened to over two hours about 4th grade, just getting a good feel for the year. I already knew the main elements of the 4th grade year, but it really helped to hear her talking about it in such a gentle way. I also listened to some about planning and read a bunch about rhythm and planning. A big day for me, for sure!

Oh, and there was the Wild Kratts episode about Draco lizards and the Wisdom and the Millers chapter about Proverbs 15:1. We had a nice talk about how when we use kind words when someone is angry with us, we are much more likely to get away without a fight, but if we answer anger with angry words, it will only escalate.

I also spent the afternoon putting together the Princess's First Grade book. I placed all of the things she'd done this year into page protectors and placed them into a binder. I've got some more work to do and I'd like to write up a "First Grade Recap", print it and place it in the binder. But, I think it will be a nice keepsake. I also need to do the same for the Hippie's Third Grade book. Much to do, much to do.

How is your summer going?

Until next time,

   ~ Irie Momma


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