Hi, my name is Melissa. Pour yourself a cup of tea and stay a while. I'm completely devoted to my Savior, madly in love with my husband, and joyously raising my daughters. I'm so glad you stopped by and I hope you enjoy your time here!

Saturday, June 7, 2014

Week in Review: June 2-6

So this week started out so great! And then things quickly spiraled...but I'm getting ahead of myself. Let's start with the awesome beginning, because it was really awesome after our previous week of testing.

Last year as part of the Schoolhouse Review Crew I had the wonderful opportunity to review an e-book from Prechoolers and Peace called Circle Time. I had every intention of using this throughout the year, but with some health issues which came up our year got a little crazy. We got through our school year successfully, but without many extras I wanted to include. I am determined to change this! There are many, many things I want to teach my girls and let them experience. Homeschooling offers so many opportunities for this and I don't want to miss them!

This week we started phari mane conventu (Latin for Lighthouse Morning Meeting). The girls were a little unsure of what I had planned when they saw me pull this bored out! Thankful for my time planning last year it took very little time to implement what I had in mind. Each morning I have a handful of things we go over all together. We've never done anything like this and I had no idea what it would look like in practice!

It only took us about 30 minutes each morning. Some of the things I'm including are calendar time, hymns, Greek and Latin roots, artist study, composer study, state history, Scripture memory, and more! Some of this will change as the girls grow up, but having this time together did something I didn't expect. It started our day in such a truly peaceful way that the rest of our day seemed to flow with ease. I'm excited to continue this habit!

For the rest of the week I had planned for lighter work. I like schooling year-round, but during the summer our schedule is much lighter so we have time to enjoy summer fun. This means we do math and language arts, but set aside our regular Heart of Dakota studies for a couple of months. We miss them, but try to still keep a Charlotte Mason feel to our day as much as possible.

Grace - Preschool
Grace is charging right on through the preschool Singapore books. They are the old versions you can't get anymore. I don't have the old Kindergarten set so I'm looking at what to do when she is done with these. The mathematical concepts are ones she completely understands and she really likes math!
"Mommy, can I do my counting with my foot?" Why not? So Grace counted farm animals with her cute little painted-pink toes. Win for homeschooling!
I planned on doing one of the Abeka reader's books each week with Grace, but she is flying through them so much faster than I thought! I like following Teach Your Child to Read in 100 Easy Lessons with Abeka readers to cement the concepts taught and I've found it works really well.

Our Rod and Staff ABC books also cover some math and she really likes them. My girls have all enjoyed these books. I'm so glad we found them!

Beth - 1st grade

We're super close to being in the next grade-level and actually already are in most areas, but we don't officially move up until July. Right now Beth is working through some vocabulary worksheets I got from Scholastic. My girls love worksheets, probably because we don't do them constantly. She's also found out she loves the Imagination Station books from Focus on the Family. I'm so glad she isn't still telling me she's too little for chapter books! She's had the ability to read them for well over a year now, but it was a struggle to get her to want to.

I went ahead and started Beth in our 2nd grade grammar book. She told me she was nervous the first time she saw the book! We use Rod and Staff grammar and we do at least 2/3 of each lesson orally. She said she really liked grammar after the first day!

Continuing our cursive writing! I really like this book from Classical Conversations, but I'm not certain where we'll go after this. We'll have to look at all our options.

This is my $1 abacus from a yard sale in FL while we were there. What a great buy! I've been wanting to get one for Grace, but Beth's math lesson this week incorporated it easily. I wish now I had bought the other one there.

This was such a great way to teach addition with bigger numbers. Math Mammoth has been such a great curriculum change. I couldn't be happier after several years of feeling like I was floundering.

Rose - 3rd Grade
Rose is super-duper excited to be finishing up her 3rd grade math and moving right onto 4th grade. We now only rarely have tears with math and this is a wonderful, wonderful change! She's also becoming less serious which I love. She likes being silly right when I'm about to take a picture!

She's continuing to read Treasure Island (the original) having already completed a young readers version. I taught her how to utilize the tablet dictionary while she reads and her vocabulary is very quickly expanding!

The girls work so well together on different things. We truly have a one-room schoolhouse style going on and I like it. Rose is studying her vocabulary here. Vocabu-Lit is still the curriculum of choice and I'm happy with how much Rose loves it.

Both Rose and Beth are working on their writing skills with another Scholastic book I found during their e-book sale. I really like the way it presents laying out your thoughts for formal writing. I'm still completely sold on the Heart of Dakota writing path, but I like utilizing this as well. Sometime they get frustrated with the writing process, but having taught middle school for several years I know so many kids in this age range have no idea how to organize their thoughts. This is an excellent way to begin the process.

Something new I'm trying is having all three girls work on the same subject at the same time even though they are on different levels. This has helped me as their teacher be able to focus better on the subject I am teaching them.

That was what Monday through Wednesday looked like...then it started to look more like this...

Yup. a fever came to our home and knocked all three of my little sweeties down! Bummer, right? It hit them hard and fast. They're still not feeling themselves, but they're starting to feel some better. Lots of sleep, popsicles, gatorade, water, and movies have helped quite a bit! 

Hoping lessons are back to normal starting Monday! 

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