Saturday, October 26, 2013

Week Eight Wrap Up

We've had yet another exciting week. You know, I've said it almost every year since we started home schooling, but for some reason I always fall prey to the pressures to do it like "everyone else". Based on our family's favorite time of the year and our weather patterns, our best home school "year" would and should fall best as a January to October year. We would do best to have our "summer" be October, November and December. Not totally "off", but definitely lighter ... you know, like what other people do for "summer school". Keep up with the 3 Rs, but allow time and space to enjoy.

Our family *loves* football. Football season brings late nights on Sundays, which in turn tends to bring later and freer Mondays.

Our family *loves* fall and summer is too stinking hot to do anything outside. It is just now getting nice out for us. This is the time of year that we like to get outside.

Our family loves everything holiday. And to us, the start of the cooler air (or at least the disappearance of the humidity) is the signal to our minds, hearts and souls that the holiday season is near. My girls start talking about Christmas songs and Thanksgiving and pumpkin cheesecake and all of that coziness. We totally get into this time of year. We don't celebrate Christmas on December 25th and that's it ... we celebrate it from the day after Thanksgiving on. But, honestly, we're already talking about it ... what day will we go get our tree, what day is the Nutcracker this year, what day do we get to go to Bethlehem this year, when is the corn maze/pumpkin patch ... you get the idea.

Our family loves the weather of this time of year. I know there are other people out there who get to winter and are stranded inside, but that is really us in the summer. This time of year is glorious where we live. And, I am just a seasonal kinda girl. I start wanting to bake breads and muffins. I start making my own broth and make soup a twice a week affair rather than once. I like to get cozy. I love the cider candles and the cozy blankets and the soft music and the smell of freshly baked bread. I just want to curl up this time of year. Period.

All of this to say, we just do better with starting full force in January. School years should be 9 months, right? Why not January to October, with lighter times in October, November and December? That's what happens naturally around here. I just have to learn to embrace it.

Anyhoo ...

Here's a peek at our week. What fun it was!

The week began with some game-playing and some reading. The girls played Guess Who about a million times, the Hippie read more and more of her book and the family played Uno along with home-made pizza on Saturday night (our Saturday night ritual ... home made pizzas and game night ... tonight it will be Mexican pizzas).

Sunday was an exciting one! The girls didn't know it when they went to bed on Saturday night, but we ended up getting to go to the Jaguars game on Sunday. What a blessing that was! Our seats were $240 tickets ... that means that if we had actually bought those tickets, it would have been almost a thousand dollars just to get in the door! Crazy. Anyway, the day was amazing. We got on our normal Sunday gear and headed downtown. We found ourselves a little tail gating lot, had lunch and tossed the football around a bit. We had a blast inside the game (even though our team is awful and we lost yet again ... it just doesn't seem to matter as much when you are actually there). After the game, we hit the grocery store and went to Uncle Scott's to grill out and hang out with family ... his sister and her husband and daughter were in town.

Uncle Scott ... they *love* their Uncle Scott!

Uncle Scott's sister and her daughter
The Hippie got a hold of the camera. :)

The Princess *cried* when we had to leave ... this little lady (for her safety, I'm leaving out names) was like a cousin to her. Makes sense ... Uncle Scott's niece, right?

We also got to enjoy our final beach day of the year with our home school group. As Murphy's Law would have it, it was the first day of the year that we had a low the night before of about 55 and the high was only going to be 72 ... meaning it would be in the 60s while we were there. Now, that might sound nice and warm to you (depending on where you live), but to a bunch of Floridians, it was the start of WINTER. :) And, the wind on the beach? Really? I was a little unsure of how much fun this would be, but we went anyway. I'm so glad we did. Everyone had a wonderful time! All of the moms sat around in our chairs, bundled up and chatted (and munched, of course). All of the children had a blast playing ... some of them even got in the water! My two did get in the water, but not for very long. And, the Princess bundled up immediately after!

Not only did we get to have a blast at an NFL football game this week and go to the beach for the day with our friends, but it just so happened that the Symphony that the girls and I were already planning to attend fell on Daddy's day off. So, we got to take Daddy to the symphony. Awesome. We saw the entire Haydn's Symphony No. 96 and Brahm's Symphony No. 1. God must have been looking out for us, too, because we ended up almost front row ... third row. What an experience that was!

After the show, we did our normal walk on the river front and showed Daddy our favorite toy store (we always walk through it after the symphony ... never buy anything, but it's fun to look). Then, we decided to have lunch at Fionn MacCoul's ... in honor of our study of Ireland. :) Momma and Daddy each got an Irish beer (Guiness for Daddy, of course, and Smithwick's for Momma). The girls shared an order of Irish Nachos made with authentic Boxty Chips. The music was all Irish and the decor was amazing. And, the girls both knew that it was named after the Irish giant who fell in love with a giantess in Scotland and built the Giant's Causeway so that he could see her ... which still remains to this day. There was even a shamrock on the head of Daddy's beer. Cool!

Can you see the shamrock?

What about now?

Irish nachos

What am I missing here? Oh yeah. Academics ... you may be wondering about that? {smile}

Let's see ... Between the late night on Sunday and the post office, grocery, library and beach day on Thursday and the symphony on Friday and the rearranging of their bedroom (see below), we didn't get to too much this week. But, here's what we *did* do.

Our Walk with God:
This part of our life stays pretty much the same. We pray together. We write in our gratitude journals together. We talk about God in all aspects of our life and at the dinner table. Last night we found ourselves in a discussion about the concept of infinity and God and the universe. This week we read Proverbs 22 ... the Hippie read aloud Proverbs 22:1-16 and the Princess read aloud Proverbs 22:17-29. We also read aloud Isaiah 14:12-22 and the girls took turns reading and reciting to me The Lord's Prayer and Psalm 23. We worked on memorizing Genesis 1:1 and Genesis 1:27. We worked more on our current hymn, singing it first with Mumford and Sons and then again without the music in the background to see how well we knew it on our own. And, we listened to hymns all week.

We spent the majority of the week listening to either A Feather on the Breath of God or the Pandora station called "Traditional Country Hymns". I *love* that station! And, the girls will end up knowing all of the hymns before we "learn" them simply from the repeated exposure. :)

Read aloud literature and poetry:
We were a little weak in this area this week because we were so busy *out*. But, we did get together and read a couple of chapters of Narnia (The Magician's Nephew). I also read them a poem by Riley and we worked on memorizing our fall poem ~ The Mist and All. We had our weekly afternoon "Tea Time" on Tuesday. This week I read to them the fairy tales, "The Frog Prince" and "The Princess and the Pea".

We read the book Camille and the Sunflowers by Laurence Anholt (about Vincent Van Gogh). We studied the painting, "Bedroom in Arles" and it is currently hanging in our kitchen.

We started Prima Latina this week. We watched together the introduction and the first lesson. We learned about the difference between the Latin and English alphabets (only difference is that the Latin alphabet does not have a "w"). We learned to pronounce the vowels in Latin. We learned five new words and talked about their English derivatives. We also started learning a Latin Prayer. I think we are really going to like this program. But, I did decide that it will primarily be for the Hippie. I just believe that the Princess should focus on reading and writing for now and wait a bit to get too much into this. She is welcome to watch the videos with us, but the writing will be saved for her sister only.

We didn't have a scheduled Nature Study this week, but we were blessed Wednesday afternoon to have a hawk hang out right outside our kitchen window. I was tidying the kitchen when I noticed him sitting on the fence right outside our open window. I called the girls as quietly as I could and we all watched him outside the window. He clearly saw and heard us. He kept cocking his head to this side and that. We watched him attempt to fly from our fence to the tree nearby, but I believe the branches must not have been strong enough to hold him because he came immediately back to the fence. The Hippie grabbed our field guide and figured out that he was indeed a Red Shouldered Hawk. He was beautiful. We stepped outside to get a closer look and were really able to get pretty close! Eventually he moved up to a higher spot in our tree and then across the yard to another even taller tree. We actually get  a lot of hawks and other birds of prey around here. Just the day before I watched two hawks circling in the sky above our yard and at the same time noticed two more up high in our tree. I think they may be the same family that we experienced last year.

The Hippie:
Keep in mind that we were out most of the week. We didn't end up doing a lot of "school". But, the Hippie did practice her math facts on XtraMath. We also did two chapters of Life of Fred math together. She read a chapter out of A Child's History of the World and another chapter of Viking Tales and narrated to me orally. She copied six sentences in Latin and continued reading Thimble Summer.

The Princess:
The Princess practiced her cursive this week and completed one chapter of Life of Fred math with me. We also reviewed the four directions and she found a window that looked out the north side of our house. She sat there and drew exactly what she saw. She is such a good artist. She really notices the details! She also read another chapter of Viking Adventure this week and narrated it to me and continued reading Charlotte's Web.

Other fun:
We put the girls bunk beds back together this week. They have always shared a room, but when we moved into this house, we split the beds into two twin beds on opposite sides of the room. They wanted to put them back together, so Daddy (after working hard all day outside the home) brought home some tools and spent the evening taking apart their beds and putting them back together. Needless to say, this event led to lots of creative play. It was the reason we didn't do "lessons" on Wednesday. The girls spent the day building forts, playing that their beds were ships and all sorts of things. I really didn't see much of them that day. {smile}.


I think that about covers it. I have a feeling next week won't be much different. We are baking pumpkin muffins and going to get pumpkins tomorrow. We'll carve pumpkins and I'll make chili and we'll basically enjoy a lovely fall Sunday. We have plans next week to go to the corn maze/pumpkin patch and of course, Thursday is Halloween. So, I imagine we'll get about 2 or 3 days of "school" in along with a great field trip, some costume making and other fall fun. Do you see why this should be our "lighter time"? I'll leave you with some more pictures.

This is about to be a wedding ... of two cars ... see the "aisle" they get to walk/drive down? :)

School is always better with Flicka!

Drawing while I read aloud


Flicka ... never far from her side

Again ... Flicka needs to learn some math today, too. :)

She made a little person out of a make-up brush that she found.

Tea time ... with freshly baked banana bread.

Bible time ... still in pjs and eye mask

The Red Shouldered Hawk outside our window

Freshly baked banana bread ... yummy!

Until next time, 

~ Irie Momma

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