Friday, March 30, 2012

Our Week in Review

It's Friday....Friday to kick off Spring Break.  Like most Fridays we did light school today.  Light school means that the kids work independently while mom runs to donate my blood and question the sweet lady at Sherwin-Williams.

While there our conversation went like this:
She:  Hello, can I help you?
Me:  Yes, would you come to my house and help me choose my colors?  (snicker g'fahh)
She:  Actually, I do that!
Me:  (Dumbfounded, just standing there...) Okay?  Realllly??

I'm thrilled!  We have so many walls on this floor that are screaming at me for color, but I really don't know where to start.  Living, Family Rooms, School Room, Stairwell, Halls and our Breakfast Room all need to be painted.  Teresa is coming over next week and then we'll be painting and painting...

Back to Light School.  The boys did their Math and Reading and then I came home (after a hard morning running errands) and took a long nap.  It was raining, couldn't be a better day for a nap, right?  I'm still tired from long nights of sick kids, I must be 37, this sleep is taking longer to catch up on.


My favorite thing this week was...

Working on our Life of Jesus Timeline.  I worked on a timeline for the life of Christ, the boys and I started at his ministry in order to work up to the crucifixion and resurrection by Good Friday.  Each day I assign the boys to sketch a picture for an event while I read the stories to them.  It's been a fun way to work up to Easter.

Questions/thoughts I have....

Wondering how I'm going to keep these boys occupied over Spring Break, and still wondering how to keep my eldest student challenged over the next months.

Things I'm working on....
rearranging our school stuff, decluttering, decluttering, choosing paint colors, oh! and I have some studying to do too!

Books to go on the to-read list....

(Eli finished his first chapter book this week!)

The boys are finishing up their assigned reading, I'm looking through these lists:

1000 Good Books

Books for Boys & Other Children Who Would Rather Make Forts All Day (if you click on this link it will download a doc with a fantastic list of books)

I'm reading..... Total Truth by Nancy Pearcy (for book group), Shepherding a Child's Heart, & Great Expectations by Dickens.  Good, good books.

Something a Little Crazy....

New Fun Idea Here:

It comes from Pinterest, of course.  Hoping to promote some reading and writing I picked up some poster board at Winco (.37!) and drew up a fun map for Eli.  He's had so much fun, enough fun that his big brothers quickly followed suit and drew up their own maps. 

I almost forgot...queen kitty:

Wednesday, March 28, 2012

The Last Stretch is Stretching my Mind

Settling in after a long and wonderful last day of Classical Converations for this school year, I sat down to peek at some of your blogs.  Then I remembered, I could blog too!

I got out of the habit of blogging, but I'm missing it so, it's such a great place to process.  So I'm pulling up my keyboard, a quiet house for a few minutes, to ramble at y'all or no one but myself.  Either way, it's fine with me!

Math books sit patiently waiting through a wrestling break....THIS is home school at our house

Our school year can be broken up into trimesters, I've just realized. Two twelve-week sessions of Classical Conversations followed by a 12 week session of simple home school.

My boys have wondered why, oh why do we finish CC so early? They love it so!*. I love CC, and I also love shifts in schedule. So with 12 weeks to go I'm feeling inspired to switch up our school at home.

My plan:
•Continue on in Bible Study with The Long Story Short
•More Scripture memorization
*•CC review in game & quizzing form (working on my CC review box)
•Saxon Math
Nate reads "Swiss Family Robinson" with his mood ring on....on my pile of unpaired socks.  THIS is homeschool 
•beginning Latin's Not So Tough
•Wrap up Johnny Tremain
•Continued studies in Language Arts
•Creating out personal Lego books (fun idea, Pinterest)
•Working through my new Idea Box*
Joe works on writing while snuggling up the queen kitty (note the laundry in the background?)  THIS is home school
A new season brings with it inspiration & a renewed resolve to finish our school year well. I'm thankful for it!

I'm also looking at creative ideas for promoting writing & more of a love of learning.

All this, and I'm stumped.  You see, I have a  kid that I think needs more.  More WORK.  This kid breezes through his math, stomps all over his work so fast and thoroughly that I feel he needs something extra.  He's memorized the first 12 elements of the periodic table (#, element & mass) per CC this year and wants to finish the list...I guess this is where I can start.   He's not entertained by the idea of writing a LEGO book, so maybe it'll be a research paper on Black Holes.  I think he'll be doing some assigned dinner-making (I think that's cooking class) and certainly setting up some field trips for our CC group.  This kid needs to be kept busy...ier.  He needs his mind to be heavily stretched, some good challenges.

And please don't see that I'm focusing my attention at one kid.  The thing is, he's bright and he can work well on his own.  So I need him to be a little busier so I can attend to my younger students that need more of me yet.

So, I'm begging you all for ideas.  Brain stimulating, hands on or writing, memorizing or charting related challenges.  He's 10 with a bright mind and an inclination toward science...

Ideas?  Please?  I won't take no for an answer!

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Triceratops, Classical Conversations Unfolds, & Growing Up

 Confirming the suspicion that some days homeschoolers go to school in a bathrobe...
 Diligently working through math at the school table....fully dressed. :)

This morning I took a shower with a Triceratops.  Some of you might not feel comfortable being so intimate with a three-horned reptile, but every time I look at this guy in my bathtub I only think one thing: "Please don't go, please don't go...."

When I see that triceratops there I remember the last time my littlest 6 1/2 year old Eli took a bath in our tub.  He brought in two hot wheel cars, a plastic crab and Mr. Three Horn.  Life is full of lasts for us as the boys grow up.  I wonder at how much longer the plastic dinosaurs will be played with, how soon they'll be tossed into my donate bin and gone.

The flip side of this, however, is that I'm fully enjoying (and appreciating) how the boys are growing up and maturing.  There is more conversation here, there are more make-believe games played and longer hours are spent in the basement over Lego designs of their own.

I have so much more time to invest in maximizing the boys' education, learning more about Classical education and rearranging my brain.  I'm even getting new opportunities in our CC community to share what I'm learning and so, so passionate about.

It's amazing to see the unfolding of what we've been doing with Classical Conversations over the last three years.  Memorizing, memorizing, memorizing, rinse and repeat!  It's not at all be tedious and in fact, the boys have gotten better each season at memorizing.  In fact, Joe has begun memorizing facts from encyclopedias on his own....could this be a little touch of a love of learning?  One of my greatest goals!!

At any rate, school is going beautifully, we are ALL learning so much.
Speaking of starts 4 minutes ago.  More soon!!  Until then....some pics from February!

 Making progress on the stairs, I'll have to post another more recent photo soon!
 Usually Thomas is all tucked away in a basement box...but for when we have smaller train-loving friends to inspire us...
 The new view from the Living Room, now that the wall by the front door is gone.  My mom was here this weekend and we were pouring over paint colors....what to do?  What to do??

 The boys use some serious teamwork with our friends from Classical Convesation friends from Oregon at OMSI.
 They couldn't figure out the last blocks!  After all of this, the whole thing collapsed and they gave up!
 They can all tell you the first 12 elements of the Periodic Table, by Atomic Number, Element and Mass...memorized!