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!

Sunday, October 5, 2014

Week in Review: September 29-October 3

Another week is done...yay! We had a lot going on outside of homeschool, so it wasn't exactly a stellar week, but we made it through and finished strong. Unfortunately, I'm behind on grading the girls' work and getting next week's lessons ready so guess what my Sunday afternoon will hold?

First off some highlights...

My husband ran in our local Chick-Fil-A 5K race and placed 10th overall and 1st in his age group. No, I didn't run. I completely hate running, so while we enjoyed the race I have absolutely no motivation to join in! The girls had a blast with all the fun stuff to do while Daddy raced and our big news was the Grace is no longer afraid of the cows! This is huge...majorly huge! She's been afraid of them since she was just an infant and yesterday she kept running around hugging all of the cows (I think there were 6!).

Our other big event was Grace's 5th birthday! We had a family party like we always do with a Splash Mountain cake as requested by the birthday girl. We celebrated with my parents since Grace and my mom share a birthday. Fun, right? When Grace requested a Splash Mountain cake a few months ago I had no idea how I was going to pull it off, but it came out pretty great thanks to the adorable figurines I found cheap on Ebay!

And onto school news...the other stuff was more exciting, but most of you reading are much more interested in school than the other details I'm sure! We had a good week. Like I said, nothing really spectacular, but good nonetheless. I love these pictures of all three working studiously. It isn't like this is what our day looks like most of the time, these are the rare moments and I love capturing them! Most of the time it is me sitting in that empty chair trying to answer questions while simultaneously teaching a completely different subject. I have figured out that my oldest two do better if I do the same subject at the same time with them. We do everything they need me right there for (History, grammar, spelling/dictation, poetry, Bible, etc) first and then what they can do fairly independently (math, literature, vocbu-lit, handwriting, independent history, etc.) afterwards. This has not only created a smoother morning, but given them greater incentive to get done sooner. If they don't get finished before lunch they have to work after lunch which they prefer not to do.

Grace: Preschool

Grace and I used to do our work together first thing, but since I switched how we work with my older two, she does her lessons about 10;00 or 10:30. This seems to be working well for everyone. She doesn't mind waiting and I feel less pull from my older girls needing me. This week we practiced writing capital H for handwriting. We use a combination of Fundanoodle and Handwriting Without Tears along with some traditional manuscript paper.

We got to move into the next Abeka reader this week and I like that we're focusing more on reading comprehension. She sometimes likes to add to the stories or make up new stories with the pictures!

Grace also finished the D book with Rod and Staff. I'm trying to figure out exactly when to start Little Hearts for His Glory. I think she could actually handle it right now, but I don't want to push too hard and it will be a jump for her to get used to more work, not to mention more for me! I want Beth to be a little more comfortable with Bigger Hearts before adding in another full guide. Who knows, maybe in a couple of weeks we'll start out half-pace or maybe we'll wait until January. I guess you'll just have to stay tuned to find out!

On Friday I had a few things left for Grace to do so I let Rose be her teacher. Both of them loved this arrangement, at least for this one morning. We tried it once or twice last year and it failed miserably! It was really nice for this to work out particularly on this day because I had some things to finish up with Beth.

Beth: Bigger Hearts for His Glory Unit 5

Beth seems to relaxed and doesn't even seem to mind the increased workload. I remember last year as we were finishing up Beyond Little Hearts she would sort of grump around with a bad attitude about it all. I guess this shows how ready she was for the jump! Vocabulary is especially an area I see her doing much better than expected. I'm still helping her find the words, but for the most part she does an excellent job without my help. The sentences are challenging and this week she forgot to use the word in a sentence, but wrote a sentence which was about the definition. They were great sentences though!

This history activities are her favorite part and sometimes Beth will ask to do them again on another day. This week she made a collage about wants vs. needs. The hardest part about this for her was acknowledging our pets were wants, not needs. It only came up because of the examples in the guide, but she did agree in the end they weren't a necessity. She also had a hard time with clothes because she felt we don't really need those, just wanted to have them. It was a great time to talk about modesty!

We do Bigger mostly in 4 days. On Fridays we complete a math lesson, a grammar lesson, dictation, a chapter for literature, and the timeline and notebooking page if they haven't been done already. She gets soooooo excited about her timeline. She isn't not typically into art, but enjoys drawing the miniature pictures. I think writing on the small timeline has really helped her handwriting!

This girl loves dictation and grammar. I have no idea what it is, but she gets so excited and says, "Oh goodie!" when I tell her it is time for either of these two subjects. Let's hope it lasts!!!! (Don't worry, I'm not going to be crushed when it doesn't...)

Rose: Preparing Hearts for His Glory Unit 24

I've figured out we are hopefully going to be finished with this guide just before Christmas. It is going to be bitter-sweet saying goodbye to this guides. We have loved it so much, but I also know how great Creation to Christ is going to be! At least I have the pleasure of knowing we'll hit Preparing 2 more times!

Rose has very much enjoyed the globe activities this year. We've been using a globe since Little Hearts for His Glory and this is the first year where I feel like she really gets continent placement and how to find stuff. Once again staying with the HOD way has paid off. Sometimes I wondered if she would ever grasp these ideas!

One of Rose's favorite activities is diagramming sentences. When I tell her that is what we're doing she says, "Yes!!!!" I love this girl!

Since I'm often calling out spelling or dictation while working on something with another of my daughter's Rose will often draw on our whiteboard. This week she suddenly is writing beautifully and is being much more careful about her spelling and neatness. Now I'm just waiting for the breakthrough in math.

Rose really loves the timeline cards as well. I forgot to have her do them last week (oops!) so she had double this week. Even so, completing 6 cards didn't seem to bother her at all. Her favorite was the Mt. Vesuvius card to remember Pompeii.

For me, this is what homeschooling is about...
...learning together. We may not all be learning the same thing, but we're learning together, all in the same place, all with the same goal. It isn't always pretty. Right now our school room is a disaster and I'm going to clean it up a bit after I'm done typing. But pretty or not, learning is happening and we're growing together as a family as well as academically. 

How was your week? I'd love to hear about it!

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