Friday, November 30, 2012

Weekly Update: 11-28-12

    Remember those grand plans for getting in a grand finale of work before Grandma came? *snort* Uh, no. They didn't materialize. But we had a great week anyway. =)

    Every kid did math and literature every day. The rest of the time we were busy with a birthday, cleaning the house, and such.

Faith: In math she's adding three numbers and had an introduction to subtraction on the duck pond. For reading she finished a couple BOB Books and a couple stories from her CLP K level readers. She's getting brave enough to pick an easy reader off our picture book shelf and try it on her own.

Grace: Multiplication problems are growing and she's continually rising to the challenge. She's currently reading Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, Ballet Shoes, and I think Misty of Chincoteague.

Honor: His math focused on fractions this week. He was practically giddy. I introduced him to Life of Fred via the Fractions book. He's just reading it just for fun right now, but I'll have him actually work through it in January. He's currently reading one of the 39 Clues books. Not on a "great book" list, but they're not that shabby. That, and the boy is absolutely hooked. Must. know. next. clue.

Joy: Her math is deep into prealgebra fractions right now. She says it was fun this week. For literature she's working through Where the Brook and River Meet, which also covers a little bit of writing, history, Bible, geography and such. She and that book have become great friends. When it gets left on my desk in a pile of teacher editions she raises an eyebrow at me, swipes it, tells the book it will be okay, and lovingly returns it to her pile of books.

Justice: We're getting him back on top in math. He's not doing a whole lesson each day, but he is understanding what he's doing, which is more important. In literature we've really struck a balance for daily work on The Hobbit. Each day he covers something for The Hobbit itself, something else from or on Tolkien, something Bible related, and something somehow connected to writing. Does that make sense? Here's what it looks like.
  • The Hobbit: Reading a chapter from it, or digging into the allusions and rabbit trails, and occasionally drawing Tolkien illustrations
  • Tolkien: We started with On Fairy Stories in small bites, and Tolkien: Man and Myth by Joseph Pearce after that (perhaps the Peter Kreeft Philosophy of Tolkien next?)
  • Bible:  The worldview conversation starters from the Literary Guild link about once a week or so, and Walking With Bilbo devotional the other days
  • Writing: No, I'm not torturing him with daily writing assignments. I mean learning more about the concepts we run across, like poetical exaggeration (mentioned by Bilbo) and comedy relief (used by Tolkien). Though he does have to write an actual paper on this occasionally.
Little Valor: Buzz and Woody, Lightning McQueen and a pile of dirt have filled his days. He still makes a vroom noise in place of the word car while talking. It's so. stinkin'. cute. 
Read alouds: I'm reading The Hobbit aloud to everyone, SilverDad has been reading The Great Little Madison to the Middle Crew and Big Crew, and I've been reading The Secret Soldier: The Story of Deborah Sampson to the Middle Crew. The Little Crew choose their own picture books all the time.

SilverDad: He just finished reading Insurgent (sequel to Divergent), and some tool or car part manual.

Me: I've been playing around with Jacobs' Elementary Algebra. I'm not nearly as rusty as I feared. ;-) Cambridge Latin has proven much tougher, but I'm getting through it. When I'm not reading something related to the kids' literature, I'm reading A Landscape with Dragons (subtitled The Battle for Your Child's Mind), The Annotated Hobbit, and a couple sections of The Core. That list used to be much bigger. I just don't have the time anymore, but I wouldn't trade these homeschooling days for my own Half Price Books, coffee shop and yarn store. ♥  

Final Comment: I've been told that doing literature this way with Justice and Joy will ruin a perfectly great book for them forever. At this point, this style of literature study has done nothing but deepen their love for Tolkien and Anne (respectively), and increased their appetite for going deeper into literature in general. They're already excited about next year's possibilities. Ruin shmuin. I'm just hoping I can keep up with them.

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Murphy's Law

   Yesterday I bragged about how great Honor's composition work and attitude had been. Today he copped an attitude about it. Teach me to say that aloud. LOL After an intentional momma look and stern tone didn't even put a dent in it, I pointed to the backdoor. Riding his bike for several laps around the yard did the trick. When he sat back down to work the attitude was gone, and he did a great job. He filled the entire front of his tablet paper with complete sentences, capitalization and punctuation included. (Yes, he's still on grade 4 size tablet paper. It was a big tablet, and there are about 7 sheets left. When they're gone he'll get plain ole notebook paper.)

   Then his sisters put their books down for lunch, but he still had a grammar review to go. More sulking. A reminder that it was his bad attitude's fault that he wasn't done yet was all it took to turn him around this round. The grammar was promptly zipped through. Hopefully that reminder sticks for awhile. =)

Monday, November 26, 2012

Thanksgiving Week

   We did get some work done last week. Really. I didn't take many pictures, though. We spent Thanksgiving Day playing, building, chatting, and reading aloud. That evening we had a scrumptious dinner at our neighbor's home. We had our own Thanksgiving meal on Sunday, and finished up most of the leftovers for dinner this evening. Mashed potatoes, gravy and a pile of turkey make a great soup starter. ;-)

Little Crew

   Faith started adding three numbers together, does sums up to 7 with one arm tied behind her back, and is beginning simple addition story problems. Her reading leaps on a daily basis, I'm certain. She's miffed that she doesn't get to have a spelling subject, too. This came from being highly offended that she always has to have a partner to play Scrabble with her siblings.

   Valor has developed the -cutest- hands on hips pose when he's being serious. Complete with a sassy walk. Judging from his reaction, he's not amused with our falling over laughing at his antics.

Middle Crew

   In history they've been reading about our country's forefathers, such as Thomas Jefferson, Patrick Henry, and James Madison. The Big Little Madison by Jean Fritz is up next on their queue.

   In science they finished skeletons, and have begun the muscular system.

   They're still drawing maps regularly for geography. Homelands Around the World has moved onto studying one particular country on a different continent, but we're keeping the daily map drawing focused on North America.

   Grace adores multiplying. The very concept tickles her. In writing she barely has to think about cursive, and gets herself unstuck with a tiny glance at the poster in our school area. I started transitioning her over to copying a selection from a text (With Pencil and Pen) instead of having me write it on her page for her. So far so good. Her Latin and grammar are steadily moving forward.

   Honor can do long division blindfolded with one arm tied behind his back. He rarely makes even simple computational mistakes. Multi-step word problems don't stand a chance, either. His Latin and grammar just flow. His composition has made tremendous progress since the beginning of the school year. Two short months ago getting a couple/few sentences out of him would have elicited groaning. Now he straightens his shirt and puts his big boy voice on, "Now I could do three of those in a day. No problem." (Score! Love that attitude!)

Big Crew

   History really will get out of the Revolutionary War sometime this year. They know their stuff inside out and backwards though.

   Science was slowing down and well on it's way to a painful full-stop. I started glancing through the optional worksheets, which just review the same concepts in the textbook. They're much more visual than the exercises in the textbook though. On a whim I copied off what they needed for the chapter they're in. Both kids said they were easier to understand, and please do that again. Okay. That I can do.

   Art of Poetry, Latin, logic, and American government went well. And they all actually got done. The quad notebooks I switched them to for math awhile ago have been working out splendidly. I wish I did that years ago. The Middle Crew will start with them when they transition to textbook based math.

   Joy and I have thoroughly enjoyed getting into Where the Brook and River Meet. She hasn't missed the dystopian bunny trail one little bit. Her first main handiwork project is an afghan. She chose the Giant Granny Square Afghan pattern. She adores having so many extra subjects revolving around a book.

  Justice still says The Hobbit is the best subject ever. He found himself in over his head in math for awhile, and went too far ahead without making sure he understood the mistakes from multiple lessons. We put the brakes on, and had him walk over each missed problem with a parent at his side. We, Justice, DH and I, are being more vigilant about making sure that doesn't happen again, and making sure he's done the "class practice" at the beginning of each lesson with us before he gets into the exercises. That means more math, more time, and often two math blocks a day, but he's moving forward again. =)

This Week

   Justice's birthday was today. They all managed to get some math and reading done, and a bit of Latin, but mostly we let him play his new CDs a little louder than usual, talked like Gollum a lot, and walked around the Lego masses.
   Tomorrow we need to start getting the house ready for Grandma's extended visit to begin this weekend. As well as get some school work done. We'd discussed going to a core subject only schedule while Grandma is here, but I think we'll go back to a loop schedule. If we get a day's worth of work done in a day, fabulous. If not, we'll finish it the next day. If doing school with Grandma here crashes and burns I'll drop us back to math and literature daily. We'll see how it goes.

Tuesday, November 20, 2012


   The busier we get, the quieter the blog gets. Whoops. =) We really did do school last week. Four full days of it. We took Friday off for shopping and camping preparations. I contemplated having them do all their independent work anyway, but between me leaving to get the shopping done and the excitement, nothing would have been done well, if at all.

  We spent the weekend camping with Honor's Webelos den (4th and 5th grade Cub Scouts) and Justice's Boy Scout troop (6th grade on up). We hiked, explored, cooked, cleaned up after ourselves (who'da thunk?), finished off some open Webelos merits with a little bit of first aid, knots, and changing a tire on SilverDad's truck. Later on the Boy Scouts invited the little guys over to play on a boy built monkey bridge, and that evening to share in their campfire. The Cub Scouts brought the marshmallows, which were a big hit with all the boys. All in all it was a fabulous weekend. ♥ Memories were made, relationships were formed or strengthened, adventures were had, and the food was delicious. The hot coffee and cocoa were a plus, too. ;-)

Playing in the bushes.

Valor's favorite part of camping with Boy Scouts and their mad lashing skills.

Adventure! Someone at the park was so thoughtful as to put a big pile of dirt right in the middle of our trail, just perfect for boys to climb. Seriously, this should be the new poster for our Cub Scout room. Joy in green, Grace in brown, Honor in blue. The other two are from our Webelos den.

Coffee's on!

Joy walking across the boy built monkey bridge
   More homeschooling posts later. We're working out the quirks on a new schedule method for the big crew. The amount of work they're getting out in a day dipped down a bit, but the flow of the day is working much better.

Saturday, November 10, 2012

Show and Tell: 11-9-12

Big Crew

   Literature remains the favorite subject for both Justice and Joy.

   Joy wrapped up Fahrenheit 451, and begins War of the Worlds on Monday. I think she'd be perfectly content studying dystopian literature all school year. ;-) We've had so much fun doing literature this way. Some of the questions made her really scratch her brain, then she'd suddenly burst with realization. Moments like that? Reason #5782 we homeschool.

   Justice and I never got out of the first chapter of The Hobbit this week. He read the chapter from the annotated version, a selection from The Adventures of Tom Bombadil, Oliphaunt, learned more about Belladonna (and what the plant itself actually looks like), we listened to the first Hobbit lecture from Mythgard Institute, and applied some worldview (Tolkien's and our own). The drawing is his attempt at an unfinished drawing of Tolkien's.

   In history they're really enjoying Founding of the United States. This book has original source document replicas found in pockets inside the book. Their favorite one, hands down, was the rough draft of the Declaration of Independence. (Shown on the right)

   In science, they are really enjoying Conceptual Physical Science. Now I wish I'd made this our main text from the beginning of the year. Hindsight! The "lecture" from the instructor guide works fabulously. They're grasping the concepts immediately, and with a little extra nudging Justice is doing fine with the little math included. The "Next-Time Question" puzzle was a hoot. Joy was scratching furiously on paper, while Justice kept pointing to the bikers and the bee (see this week's Wordless Wednesday), when he blurted out the answer. He couldn't even tell me what sentence he used to get there, but he was certain that had to be it. He nailed it.

Middle Crew

   Their favorite part this week was the map drawing. They've been labeling the 5 main earth circles for some time. Last week we added a compass to their circles. This week we traced North America, and tried drawing it freehand on their circles page. This is Honor's tracing.

   Honor's freehand drawing of North America.

    Grace drew so lightly hers didn't turn out as well in pictures. Her tracing is on the left, and her freehand drawing is in the right.

    Their second favorite was Pizza, Pigs, and Poetry by Jack Prelutsky. Never does a lesson go by without them clamoring for just one more chapter, as they're falling out of their chair in a giggle fit. Each silly story is followed by a poem to back it up, and a Writing Tip. They wrote out their list of ideas from the tip and illustrated it.

    They've both taken great strides in grammar, spelling, writing and math lately. Just when I think a new concept might be throwing them a curve ball, they smack it out of the park. I'll give Grace one more week of just cursive copywork; she'll be more than ready for going back to With Pencil and Pen by then. Honor continues to grow in Progressive Composition Lessons (book 1), but we're mostly using it for the topics and I'm doing the teaching as he writes.  On Friday they played with fun grammar puzzles from a Scholastic ebook instead of working in their grammar texts, and they used Pizza, Pigs, and Poetry for writing.

Little Crew

   Faith's favorite part is reading books, once again. Her reading has launched into a whole new category. I handed her Owl at Home today, and to her delight she could read a large portion of it by herself. She's steadily fading out having to sound out each word, and her speech is really clearing up as a result. The /j/ and /ch/ sounds are still hard enough for her to get right that she usually just drops them off her words.

   Valor told the camera, "Moh!" when it was his turn this week. (That means NO! in Valor speak, not more.) He's hard enough to get a picture of when he's agreeable! I did manage this one at the playground today. He's holding hat because the wind kept knocking it off.


   All of them. I love the action capture in this shot. From left to right, Honor just stuck out past Justice giving Faith an underdog, and Joy just gave Valor a push with Grace peeking between them.

Monday, November 5, 2012

Monday Meanderings

   We like Conceptual Physical Science so much more than the old Silver Burdett Ginn middle school textbook we started with. Any instructor guide that starts out with, "DON'T spend too much time on the first chapter! Time spent on kinematics is time not spent on discovering why satellites don't fall, why high temperatures and high voltages can be safe to touch, why rainbows are round, why the ski is blue, and how nuclear reactions keep the Earth's interior molten," is a winner in my book. That's the same attitude and excitement you feel from the author throughout the chapters. 

   If you want something done right, do it yourself, or don't spend energy complaining about it.

   Honor just earned a 95% on his grammar test. Did I mention it's the second such test he's -ever- had? He's awesome.

   Valor is delicious. He gives sweet neck hugs, too.

   This was such a Monday sort of Monday. Running behind, not getting it done, the weekly plan needed tweaked, the teen was extra teen flavored. Pfffft. The evening will be better. 'Cause I said so. =)

Sunday, November 4, 2012

11-3 and 11-4 Daily Blessings

    Mom: Being able to homeschool our kids. It's not always easy or rewarding, but it does bring great rewards and I can't think of any better way to spend my days. And, this little house of ours. It still needs some work, but it's ours.

   Dad: I'm thankful I have a nice house, and a wonderful wife.

   Justice: My new mockingjay pin, and Tolkien's work.

   Joy: Food and water.

   Honor: My pipes and my family.
(He has a set of pipes his late Grandpa made him for Christmas last year. It's real pvc pipes and joints. He plays with them like giant tinker toys.)

   Grace: My games. And water.

   Faith: My new BOB Books and those new books from the school closet. (Snack Attack box set from Nora Gaydos)

   Valor: A brother that shares his toys with him, and Toy Story

Friday, November 2, 2012

Show and Tell: 11-2-12 & Daily Blessings

  We took the week off of school. There were too many things piling up with the holiday, and any work we would have done wouldn't have been done well. We filled up our week with errands, painting mini-pumpkins, finishing costumes, playing games, cleaning the house, laughing, cooking, and relaxing. Once the costumes were finished I turned my focus to getting the next round of lesson plans made. I'm not done yet, but I'm much closer than I was!

  Our show and tell pictures are what the kids spent most of their day doing.

    Justice, Joy and Honor spent much of the morning playing the Angry Birds card game.

   Valor sampled the cards.

     And Grace and Faith played Pop-N-Hop.

  This afternoon we did the weekly grocery shopping. Six kids, one mom, Target, Costco, Bealls, Frys. No problem. :D

   Daily Thankfulness:
  • Valor: pizza
  • Faith: a new dress and more BOB Books (Costco had the set she's been itching for today)
  • Grace: my friend that visited today
  • Honor: pizza
  • Joy: friends
  • Justice: pizza
  • Mom: awesome hubby that works so hard
  • Dad: my family

Thursday, November 1, 2012

Counting Blessings 11-1

 It's that time of year again! Here's what the Mhoncaí Sa Bhaile are thankful for today.

Valor: "Bie." (translation: 'nother bite please)

Faith: "Candy."

Grace:  "Candy!!"

Honor:  "Yeah, candy. What they said."

Joy:  "My family."

Justice:  "Yeah, what she said: family."

The zookeeper, err, mom:  Those wily kids mentioned above, even when they're hyped up on food coloring, sugar, corn syrup and chocolate. ;-)

Sunday, October 28, 2012

In a hole in the ground there lived a hobbit.

   Justice is studying The Hobbit this year. We'd originally planned to do a chapter each school day, but we've been enjoying ourselves way too much to go that fast. We're often torn between what to cut so it doesn't take all year, and wanting to delve as deep as we can. We'll get to Lord of the Rings when we get there. ;-)

   The core of our study is The Annotated Hobbit, edited by Douglas A. Anderson. You can find it at or nearly any book seller. I read through during the lesson planning stage and decide which allusions and extra rabbit trails to chase, and dig up resources to do just that. Then Justice reads through a chapter at a time, enjoying the side bars of information as he goes. This is not his first pass through the Hobbit by any means; I wouldn't hand the annotated version to a kid on their first pass. It's best enjoyed after you've already fallen in love with Tolkien's work.



   Our first week was an introduction to Tolkien, for a boy who was already fairly familiar with his work. Here's a general list of the material Justice covered. Each session wasn't considered complete until we'd had a discussion on it.
  • read pages 289-296 of Omnibus II, published by Veritas Press (scroll down to the table of contents and click on The Hobbit on the right side of the page)
  • read this biographical sketch of Tolkien from The Tolkien Society
  • used Unit One: The Oral Tradition from Houghton Mifflin, including the vocabulary, discussion topics, and some of the handouts
  • wrote a paper on eucatastrophes
  • began reading Tolkien's "On Fairy Stories" essay (we spread this out, little bites at a time)

 Chapter 1

   After that round was a soaring success, I began putting together everything I could find for chapter 1: An Unexpected Party. The more I looked, the more I found. There was no way we were going to get all that done in a day and do it any justice.
  • vocabulary options: inclined, rune, discreetly, laburnums, prosy, scuttled, depredation, conspirator, audacious, ingenious, remuneration, and necromancer (taken from Hobbit at Literary Guild Page)
  • writing topic: poetical exaggeration
  • comprehension questions from Literary Guild Pages
  • Wind in the Willows allusion (hobbit hole compared to Badger and Mole's hole, Mole's End compared to Bag End), you can find the original version in ebook format on Google Books
  • hobbit naming choices, look up belladonna plant and a few more references
  • Oliphaunt poetry
  • which could lead us to Tom of Bombadil
  • mapwork, comparing the Wilderland Map to others, pinpointing Mines of Moria in relation (The Atlas of Middle Earth will come in handy here)
  • listen the first lecture, Took and Baggins, in The Hobbit Lectures from the Mythgard Institute
  • the Christian worldview questions and Scripture tie-ins from Literary Guild Pages chapter 1
    And that's when I gave up the notion of one chapter a day. New plan: chase worthwhile rabbit trails, remember not every chapter is going to be that full

Chapter 2

  •  vocabulary options: mutton, outlandish, defrayed, esteemed, repose, requisite, paraphernalia, ambling, waning, inquisitive, canny, cavalcade, primly, purloined, copped, throttled, skewer, blighter, lout, applicable, commotion, mince, incantation, larder, waylaid, toothsome (from Literary Guild Pages)
  • comprehension questions from Literary Guild Pages
  • trolls speak with a cockney accent, write your own speech with Cockney Rhyming Slang
  • look up Tolkien's dragon drawings (Council of Elrond, Google Image), draw one or a few
  • read The Dragon's Visit
  • mapwork, draw Hobbiton Across the Water
  • read Chaucer's The Nonnes Preestes Tale (Language lovers will delight! If they want more, try The Reeve's Tale)
  • compare Bilbo's attitude to Jonah's
  • the Christian worldview questions and Scripture tie-ins from Literary Guild Pages
   Well, that one isn't quite as full, but Justice is going to love the Canterbury Tale pieces in that old language. At this point I'm getting very glad that he's taking Art of Poetry alongside this study; it's a perfect compliment.

Chapter 3

  • vocabulary options: forded, homely, gullies, ravines, faggots, reeking, bannocks, folly, parapet, venerable, provisions, lair, kin, cleaver, remnants, pondered, vexed, palpitating, solemn, bridle, gruesome, bewilder (from both vocab sources, and a smidgeon from the annotated version)
  • comprehension questions from Literary Guild Pages
  • learn about runes, translate Thror's map, write a message in runes, play with the rune generator, learn how to write Justice

  • make your own personal epithet using definition and/or meaning of your names
  • mapwork, Edge of the Wild, river that marks the very edge, Rivendell, 
  • read the Elvish Song in Rivendell (in the Annotated Hobbit), and possibly Shadow-Bride
  • learn more about Lombards, a Germanic people renowned for their ferocity, compare to Longbeards Edit: Justice really enjoyed this documentary.
  • study Rivendell pictures, copy one (Annotated Hobbit)
  • listen to the second lecture from the Mythgard Institute, The Ridiculous and the Sublime
  • the Christian worldview questions and Scripture tie-ins from Literary Guild Pages

   That one isn't quite as deep! Maybe there is hope for getting to the trilogy before he's a freshman. But a philological rabbit trail would be perfect here...

   Edit: Strike that. Reverse it. We decided to keep up the one chapter a week pace, and there will be more posts for the other chapters as I get them typed up.

Saturday, October 27, 2012

Show and Tell: 10-26-12 Readin' 'n writin'

Little Crew

   Faith finished the big yellow box set of BOB Books, and has put in her order for the red set, from Costco. Unbeknownst to her I have the long vowel reader set from Nora Gaydos and a collection of Wild Animal Babies waiting in the wings. It's just about time to hand her a Dr. Suess or Little Bear instead of a reader, but the official reader appearance still gives her some extra confidence.

   Valor still doesn't stay still enough for a clear picture, but he has recently discovered the board book pile isn't the only place to get fun pictures to look at. He's checking out the Lorax. Classic toddler lit right there!

Middle Crew

    Grace wanted you to see her cursive Z page. Why is Z significant? Because it means she knows how to write *every* letter in cursive now! She's not ready to do the rest of her lessons in cursive just yet, so her writing in the coming weeks will still consist of copywork to build fluency.

   Honor wanted to share some writing, too. He's very proud of this paragraph from an English assignment. He and I discussed each sentence as he went, but he authored and wrote it entirely himself. He's come a long way from the eyebrow he raised about writing paragraphs regularly at the beginning of the school year.

Big Crew

    Joy said the best part of her week was the Fahrenheit 451 study. This was a spur of the moment bunny trail. I was completely unprepared for it, but we ran with it anyway. Most of the material we're using has come from The Big Read | Fahrenheit 451. Many of the writing assignments from Big Read have made fabulous conversation sparks. Her favorite assignment so far was to write a portion of the story from a different character's perspective. The story is told as if we're following Montag; she wrote as if the main character was Clarisse.


   To keep with the reading theme, Justice chose his Tolkien study again. He was skeptical when I told him we'd be talking about the qualities of fairy tales as part of studying Tolkien. After spending a week learning about Tolkien himself, reading portions of his essay On Fairy Stories, and learning some of the vocabulary involved, he's hooked. His main project this week was learning and writing about eucatastrophes, and finding examples in common fairy tales and beyond.

   In math...
  • Faith reached the penny counting section. She can now proudly tell you that a penny is worth one cent, and the guy on it Abraham Lincoln.
  • Grace is multiplying! She thinks it's fun, too! Her addition and subtraction are rock solid. Twice this week she turned in a math lesson without a single mistake. 
  • Honor has been working with measurements, and some order of operations. He can whip through long division like nobody's business and sits there smiling when his family is surprised at how fast he does it.
  • Joy spent a week on fractions. "Easy peasy lemon squeezy." She could have easily tested out of the work, but the review was good for her, and the book we used explained things more intricately than she's covered before. And those fractions were in algebraic sentences, which made them even more fun.
  • Justice is still in a measurements chapter. The metric prefixes seem to have fallen out of his head. I used Google's image search to find a simple chart and put it on the wall near where he does most of his work. Off he goes again!
In science...
  • The middle crew wrapped up cells, and started skin. Honor was *very* interested in every detail of the cells, but the skin diagrams skeeved him out.  Grace's favorite part was the microscope picture of a skin mite. 
  • The big crew wrapped up the introduction to physical science, and read more history of chemistry. They're planning their next project from Backyard Ballistics and making a shopping list for it.
In history...
  • The middle crew read about Paul Revere, Samuel Adams and John Adams. 
  • The big crew are working through the Revolutionary War battle by battle.

Saturday, October 20, 2012

Not Quite a Student Spotlight: Valor

   'Cause he's much too delicious to leave out. ;-)  Valor is 2 years old. The only remotely academic activity he does is scribbling on his siblings books when they leave them out with a pencil on top. He spends his days driving toy cars and trains, throwing balls around the house, covering himself in dirt in the backyard, climbing anything possible (including parents and siblings), and generally being a happy boy sort of boy.

   For school picture day he was far more interested in skooching down the grass hill on his butt than posing for a picture.

But he was more than happy to smile as he ran back to the stairs behind the big slide. 

   This one was taken the day the police car came home. To say he was excited may be an understatement. 


   Those playground pictures are some of the rare outdoor pictures of Valor without his hat. For whatever reason, the moment we arrived at the park for pictures he stripped his shoes, socks and hat off, laid them in a pile at the front of the van, and gleefully ran to the slide. Some kids have special blankies or teddy bears; Valor has a hat.

Friday, October 19, 2012

Show and Tell: 10-19-12

   The last two show and tells ended with Valor, so I'll start with him today.  Sweet l'il guy. He's spent a lot of time sleeping this week. At first I thought it was getting the first dose of Halloween candy out of his system, but days later he's still taking extra long naps. Just watch, he'll be three inches taller next week.

   Honor and Grace learned about the various cells our bodies are made of this week. They're really enjoying their human body study, though Honor is constantly making remarks about it not going deep enough to satiate his curiosity. I need to make a list of the topics we're covering and get him some extra reading books on the side.

   Faith read all the readers in yet another set of BOB Books. She's so very proud of herself!  I have one more set in my closet for her to devour, and she'll have to start in on our Dr. Suess collection.

   Joy said her best lessons from this week came from her science text. She's excelling in this book and enjoying herself immensely.

(No, that title isn't on her curricula list. We only pull it out for particular chapters when it suits our study. She loves it anyway.)

  Justice wanted to share a Balrog drawing he really enjoyed. "It's a great interpretation, but it's absolutely nothing like the one in my mind, and definitely not like the one from the movie."  This is from the bestiary by David Day.

   This is our poor table about twenty minutes into a school day. We're not -all- at it for very long, but it's getting rather crowded during that part of the day. 

   How homeschooling fashionistas attend their lessons? Love that girl! ♥