The biggest challenge this week? Just getting going each morning!
This past week was our third week back since the break. In some ways, it was my toughest yet. There are some days/weeks when we we dive into our homeschooling with enthusiasm and zeal, but other times it’s hard to get started, though once we do, we generally get things done. This was one of those weeks that was that bit more challenging. I could easily have let us whittle away the time reading, never really getting around to the “other stuff.”
We have finally finished up our Earth Science unit (though still have some exciting posts to share about those), but didn’t have the “umph” to truly dive into our next units (Middle Ages for history and Human Body — first cells, then tissues/organs and on to the muscular system). Instead, we started a novel together and focused mostly on the basics this week. We are now doing grammar/spelling again most days. After a break from All About Spelling last fall for my older two, I decided that this semester we were going to go back to it again. (ED has been doing All About Spelling all the way along). I just love how thoughtfully this curriculum is laid out and highly recommend it! DD and LD are going through it together (2 birds with one stone). That meant that LD is reviewing some things, but that’s actually good for him. They are currently going over the rules about “tion,” “sion,” and “cion.” I made a spelling sort for tion, sion, cion and cian words once, if you’re interested:
The kids are doing well with their math curriculums. I sat down with DD this week for math and noticed that, as agreeable as she is doing her math, she is often careless and makes mistakes along the way. I definitely need to sit myself down with her more. And when I sat down with ED, I noticed that her math is currently too easy for her. Again, I need to sit down with her and jump her ahead some. LD’s math is going well, but to be honest I had spent a lot of time tweaking his math and finding that “sweet spot” (of challenging but not too hard) with his math books just before Christmas. Although he’s doing PreAlgebra he’s now using a Spectrum Algebra Workbook, Grades 6-8 (affiliate link) book along with his Prealgebra textbook from the Art of Problem Solving. (affiliate link) Those two are working really well for him.
The kids have been playing Timez Attack again (they were playing that a lot before the break as well). DD could really pick up her speed on her multiplication facts and this game is definitely good for that. LD really doesn’t need it the practice as much (he’s using division), but likes playing the games. ED is doing the addition version. She gets frustrated at times, but always wants to play. If you haven’t checked it out, you might want to. There’s a free version the kids can play and the graphics truly are wonderful. (This is not an affiliate links; our family just loves this game!)
Writing Workshop is still going really well, though all the books I have checked out from the library for that are threatening to tip the house over!! We’ve read a number of really great children’s books lately.
DD brought home the picture she’s been working on in her art class the past couple of weeks. I thought it was really pretty (though I’m the biased Mom!). ED has been really sad that she’s not doing art class, so we’re looking to try out an art curriculum (in our homeschool, not as an outside class) in a few weeks.
On a similar vein, DD got an artist table for Christmas… it was to replace the 30 year old falling-apart desk that we had in the homeschool room. This week I finally put it together. Though it was difficult to assemble, the end result is just wonderful… in fact, DD was busy at her art table this morning when I snapped these pictures! Hubby says it was deeply discounted (50% off) before Christmas. I think it’s a really nice quality piece of furniture, if you have busy artists in the home.
Oh and I completely forgot how much time we spent talking about Australia at the beginning of the week. We went over the states and territories of Australia – and then they ate their cookie map! You can see those activities over at Everything Kids at Parents.com:
When I write about the week and think about it clearly, we got more done than it *felt* like we did!
On a somber note, we had a close relative die this past week. Uncle Lewis was 91… He lived quite close by and the kids have really gotten to know him well since we moved back to the US 4+ years ago. He was a WWII veteran (he fought in the Pacific theater. His older brother died in the War.). After the war he graduated from Harvard and became a psychologist. He wrote many books and gave lectures. His mind was still quick and sharp, but he had trouble swallowing (it went down the wrong pipe) and he had pneumonia. We had been to visit him in the hospital several weeks ago and he still had big plans ahead of him. We were all touched by his generosity (he always had gifts for the kids) and by his letters (he has sent out monthly letters for decades to the *entire* family keeping everyone up-to-date on the happenings of the others). When we heard he had passed away, I pulled out some of the books I had gotten about death and dying for kids when their Great Grandmother (Uncle Lewis’ sister) died a few years ago. I still like and recommend those books; they definitely helped me talk to the kids about death.
That was our week in a nutshell. I hope you had a great week! See you again soon here or at our Homeschool Den Facebook Page! ~Liesl and the Kids