Sunday, June 23, 2013

Weekly Report: belated 6-21-13

    Honor, Justice and I spent Monday through Wednesday at Cub Scout day camp. A-W-E-S-O-M-E. Honor's only complaint was that this would be his last year of day camp, even though he's sure resident camp with the big boys will be plenty of fun too. Justice is our Den Chief, and attended as a leader in training. We really felt that heat the first day, but after that we were fine. The camp staff kept us wet continuously, and we reminded each other to drink water constantly. By the time camp was over air conditioned buildings seemed cold to us.

When pressed Honor will list archery as his favorite
day camp activity. Every year.

Taking the archery test. He won the highest
archery award.
"Arts and Crafts" time meant leatherwork. Booya!
Science time was launching foam ball rockets.
They let the Den Cheifs play too.
BB Gun range!
Den Chief Justice kept a close eye on his boys.
In addition to having a hose or bucket of water aimed at us
constantly, we played in the pool daily.

      Thursday found the boys quietly hanging around their books and Legos. They had sudden stop syndrome, and seemed somewhat worn. Honor would stare off dreamily with a smile on his face. Yeah, he had a great time. 

      The girls also had sudden stop syndrome. They were used to not having those two boys around, but the babysitter's home was much more interesting than ours. On the testy side, they were. They did have fun dolling up their little brother though.

Aren't his purple fingernails pretty??

      Friday SilverDad was off work. We went grocery shopping in the morning. (Woo.)  Later on I swiped just Grace and took her out for a momma date. I'd noticed she seemed about due for one before day camp kept me so busy, and she was more out of sorts. First stop was Starbucks. Her bottom hadn't sat on the bench for two seconds before she asked if she could run through the puddles and misters. After her hair was soaking wet we headed to Bealls (Marshall's or Ross type department store). She was more concerned with finding a present for everyone at home than she was with finding treasures for herself. ♥

Grace, after the first mister run.
      Saturday had two dance shows, with just enough time between them to feed the kids. They were both at senior communities. The first show didn't have too many people in attendance, but the audience was *loving* the show. The kids fed off their excitement and had a great show.

Faith at the right mike.
Dancing with the audience
Justice on the left, Grace in the middle

The Coca-Cola themed breakroom was adorable.

      The second show had a larger audience, but a smaller room. The crowd was very excitable, and gave the kids so many compliments. The room was shorter, and I'm certain the girls left at least three shoe scuff marks on the ceiling. Whoops.

SilverDad and Grace tearing up the floor.
Valor thought playing in the back parking lot was a hoot.
We close every show with the military songs.
Justice is flying the red Marines flag.

Sunday, June 16, 2013

Weekly report: 6-14-13

SilverDad and tired Valor






      We did two whole days and two partial days this week. It's summer. 'Nuff said.











     Our read aloud still has the same poetry and fairy tale volume in it.  The Stout-Hearted Seven is our history title, The Way WE Work is still our science title, and we still haven't finished Treasure Island. Honor loves Treasure Island, though he's quick to point out how the cartoon Treasure Planet doesn't line up. I've already decided we'll do Swiss Family Robinson next.

     Faith: The Horse in Harry's Room
     Grace: Mrs. Piggle Wiggle, Galations
     Honor: finished Railway Children, started the original Peter Pan, Microscopic Monsters (Horrible Science), and World's Deadliest Creatures
     Joy: The Cartoon Guide to Physics, Girls: A History of Growing Up Female in America, The Princess Bride, and Twice Freed
     Justice: God's Smuggler, Earth's Water, Uncle Tom's Cabin, and Phantastes

New dance "do" for Faith



     One show. Went great! There were more kids than normal, and it was SilverDad's first show. As in, he was in uniform dancing with the kids. He had a blast. =)







        Every one of my scouts, all the way down to little Faith, participated in a flag ceremony for a local Elks lodge. I had 3-4 other families who were supposed to be there, but they were no-shows. Perk #527 of having a big family. Our family and another with two scouts pulled up the slack and did our best anyway. They received gobs of compliments. =)

       American Heritage Girls is plugging along nicely. Joy had some big decisions to make, but it was good for her. She's already senior patrol leader (that's the BSA term, not sure what the AHG equivalent is), and they're considering handing a committee level position over to her, like advancement coordinator. I'm trying to gently nudge new leaders forward, without overwhelming them. Very delicate balance.

       Cub Scouts and Boy Scouts, well, the boys are awesome. I love each and every one of those boys. Our charter organization won't be renewing our charter when it expires, which leaves big feelings for most involved, and big decisions on the horizon. Each family is sorting out the decision making process for themselves. Some Cub Scouts will stay and help with whatever new program the charter brings in, and some will be transferring to other packs. Some Boy Scouts have already dropped the troop, and others will soon. Justice already knows which troop he wants to transfer to; he has friends there. Honor will have to change packs, or we may go "lonestar" with the boys in his den until they can get their Arrow of Light in February. After that they'll cross over to Boy Scouts, and Honor can join his brother's troop. I am saddened and disappointed, but it is what it is.


      Grace is itching to get behind the microphone again. She's talked about doing My Father's World, Pow'r in the Blood, America the Beautiful, and My Country Tis of Thee. Currently she's settled on Star Spangled Banner. I think this one is going to stick. She hasn't spoken to Pastor about it yet though. 

       We walked around our neighborhood distributing flyers for our VBS this week. My kids rock that. We had our whole stack out there in one walk.

Tuesday, June 11, 2013

Chronicles of Narnia for our '13-'14 School Year

    When I say Chronicles of Narnia based literature, I don't mean that's all we'll be reading. Narnia is the spine our literature will be based on. I'm currently working on the rough draft plans.

    We're starting with the Further Up and Further In guide from Cadron Creek (FUFI for the rest of this post). It includes a lot of Bible connections, but misses some of the most obvious ones. There's a fair amount of nature study, scattered. History and geography make random guest appearances. The English is also random, and seems detached.  I started working through the guide making my own rough lesson plans and an extra books and supply list, marking pencil X's through the assignments that I knew we weren't going to do. After that was done I started writing notes directly in the FUFI guide. Yes, I am one of those people who write in books. 

    Grace will do the nature science, and Honor will skip it unless he's particularly interested in it. I'll pad more nature study, readers, and botany study for Grace and call it her science for the year. They'll both do most of the included Bible. The geography will just get added to our small projects list, and we'll go on with our planned geography course for the second half of the school year. We're skipping the English, and I'll pick and choose the composition assignments as we go. Vocab and thought provoking questions will be done orally; boring comprehension questions get skipped

    ROAR! by Heather and David Kopp was the first to get added. The questions and connections in ROAR! are awesome, and much more up our alley than boring comprehension questions. Occasionally they have some great fodder for rabbit trails as well. I wrote the ideas and page numbers I liked right into the FUFI guide in the appropriate Narnia chapter section.

   As I make my way through my summer reading list and find more treasures I want to share with Honor and Grace, I'll find the right place in FUFI and, you guessed it, write in it some more. Actually, I included a few notes for Joy already. I have no doubts she'll jump into their Narnia work when she can. (At nearly 13 she still jumps into the middle of water puddles, just to see if she'll end up in Narnia.)

My Summer Reading

    One major change I made to both FUFI and ROAR! is starting with the appropriate book.  The Lion, The Witch, and the Wardrobe is the rightful place to fall in love with the magic and wonder of Narnia. Period. Starting with the Magician's Nephew is like sneaking a peak at your Christmas presents before it's Christmas. Magician's Nephew will be read just before The Last Battle instead. That's the way of it. (Both books start with Magician's Nephew for some odd reason.)

    Caveat Emptor: If theses lists look too thick or overwhelming, know that if the going gets tough we won't get it all done. I don't rigidly lesson plan, and our schooling must ebb and flow with our life. Some weeks we'll get all those fun projects done, and some weeks life will probably be so hectic we'll be lucky to just get the reading done. One day at a time. =)

The Lion, The Witch, and The Wardrobe

  • When the Sirens Wailed by Noel Streatfeild (Lit)
  • Goodbye Mr. Chips (DVD)
  • Norse Gods and Giants by D'Aulaire (Lit) (If they want more, D'Aulaire also wrote Book of Norse Myths and Book of Trolls)
  • Foods: Turkish delight, English tea, fresh fish and marmalade rolls, 
  • The Knights Handbook
  • Design Your Own Coat of Arms (Dover)
  • King Arthur (Lit)
  • Big Project: Make our own wardrobe with a refrigerator box, mothballs, old coats
  • Smaller projects: Clay statues, statue game, animal tracks, hieroglyphs, stonehenge, Armor of God

The Horse and His Boy

  • 1001 Arabian Nights by Geraldine MacCaughrean (Lit)
  • The Three Godfathers (DVD)
  • Hamlet (Lamb retelling) (Lit)
  • war horses, seascape artist, disguises, sundial, shadow drawing, 
  • Shasta style road trip
  • Foods: meat pasties, punch/sherbet, Gooseberry Fool, goat's milk, porridge with cream, bacon/eggs/mushrooms, meat pie
  • archery
  • heraldry/armory, family motto or crest
  • Mrs. Tiggywingle (Beatrix Potter)

Prince Caspian

  • Sherlock Holmes (Lit)
  • Projects: treasure chamber, chain maille, clay lamp, battle strategy, compass games, illusions, fencing
  • food: campfire apples, fish/apples for breakfast, meat over a fire, oatcakes with fruit, loam, somerset, finest gravel and silversand
  • sea water, water cycle, sea and ocean geography
  • Mermaid Tales from Around the World (Lit)
  • mythology: wood nymphs, dwarves
  • DVD on Grand Canyon (erosion over long time periods)
  • row boats, rowing
  • particular chapters of Perelandria and Till We Have Faces (or the whole works for Joy)
  • Tanglewood Tales by Nathaniel Hawthorne (particularly Circe's Palace) (Lit)

Voyage of the Dawn Treader

  • Gulliver's Travels (Lit)
  • Ship by David Macaulay
  • Carry On, Mr. Bowditch (for learning more on sea navigation) (Lit)
  • ships logbook
  • DVD on slavery
  • Androcles and the Lion (short story)
  • Dawn Treader logbook, chess, snakes, invisible ink, trade winds, stars, water lillies, sea horses, limericks, constellations
  • King Midas
  • Midsummer Night's Dream (Lamb retelling)
  • Tom Sawyer
  • food: mead and curds, feast
  • portions of Henry the Fourth, Rime of the Ancient Mariner, LeMorte d'Arthur
  • Ulysses and the Sirens

The Silver Chair

  • Homer biography
  • owls, dissect an owl pellet
  • To Build a Fire (short story, Jack London)
  • food: eel pie, castle dinner, comfits and posset, centaur breakfast, cock-a-leekie soup
  • Trafalgar Square, signs to remember, Saint Paul dome/arched bridge/Stonehenge, frostbite
  • Hamlet DVD
  • Comedy of Errors (Lamb retelling)
  • portions of Surprised by Joy and Poems (both by C.S. Lewis)

The Magician's Nephew

  • Sherlock Holmes (especially The Speckled Band)
  • Treasure Island DVD
  • The Story of the Treasure Seekers by Edith Nesbit
  • Atlantis
  • solargraphic paper project

The Last Battle

    As you can see, I'm not done. But it's only June. And I'll be adding more notes after I get into The Family Guide.

    Just to make this post even bigger, here's a random weekly sample. Week 3 of The Lion, The Witch, and The Wardrobe
 Day 1:
  • Read chapter 9: In the Witch's House 
  • Discuss vocab orally (4 words)
  • Why did Edmund feel different than everyone else at the mention of Aslan's name?
  • ROAR! p. 90-91, discuss questions and "Grown up thoughts"
  • (Bible) look up verses on selfishness
  • (Lit connection) read short introduction to a Norse myth, begin reading from D'Aulaire's Norse Gods and Giants, find where Norse mythology originated from (continue D'Aulaire book daily until finished)
  • (project) make clay sculptures like the White Witch would have had in her castle
Day 2
  • Read chapter 10: The Spell Begins to Break
  • Discuss vocab (2 words)
  • (Bible) Armor of God, Ephesians 6:10-18, memorize, what do the children's gifts symbolize? (Peter's sword = Faith, etc.)
  • ROAR! p. 92-93, discuss questions
  • (Bible) 1 Corinthians 12 and 13, what are some gifts the Holy Spirit gives
  • skip the composition assignment and pronoun lesson
  • (Lit) Tolkien's Father Christmas letters
Day 3
  • Read chapter 11: Aslan Is Nearer
  • Discuss vocab (5 words)
  • Margin questions in ROAR p. 95
  • FUFI critical thinking questions, discuss orally
  • fog, cause of fog, what did it mean to the witch when it became foggier
  • (Nature study) draw pictures of several different plants (listed in FUFI), add a fact to each drawing
  • (Nature study) tracking animals, eraser stamping animal tracks
  • (Food) make plum pudding
Day 4
  • Read chapter 12: Peter's First Battle
  • Discuss vocab (3 words)
  • (Bible) Peter gets a new name, Matthew 16:15-19, a disciple answered Jesus, received a new name, and was told he'd be leader of His new church
  • "Good and terrible," Deuteronomy 7:21
  • margin questions in ROAR p. 97
  • Peter didn't feel brave, read quotes FUFI p. 61, discuss courage, duty and fear, give examples
  • draw or paint children's view from top of the hill
  • (Nature study) add flowering currants, hawthorn bushes and elms to plant notebook, start bird section with kingfisher and thrush
Day 5
  • Norse Gods and Giants, look for other references to Norse myths in the Chronicles
  • wrap up any open projects, or do clay statues here instead

Sunday, June 9, 2013

Pictures for 6-7-13 Update

    I downloaded the Blogger app, which is far less buggy to upload pictures with than using the website on this device.
    Here are the missing pictures. =)
Lesson plans in progress for next year
Pool party
Joy loves the extra reading summer brings
That's not a typo people
Honor, drawing an image from The Way WE Work
Grace, chillin'
Number building with Faith
Pikachu, sitting on a thick English textbook so he can see
over the table, to help Honor with his math drill

Saturday, June 8, 2013

Weekly Report: 6-7-13

     Grace's summer schedule/checklist for this week. Yeah. That's what summer homeschooling looks like in our house. For some reason we are incapable of doing school the day after a campout. No matter how resolved I am on Sunday night.

     Thursday had Silverdad's birthday and our troop's scoutmaster's birthday. Joy made a fine French toast breakfast for her dad, and the kids gave him presents (loudest church shirts they could find). He spent part of the day helping a friend with a car problem, thus that feeble attempt at getting *something* done. Then we visited our dear friend and brought him homemade cookies. Faith and Grace gave him a big, fuzzy teddy bear.

    Big Crew

    Justice and Joy's modified summer schedule has math, literature study, and four separate reading blocks everyday. They are thrilled to just be reading really good books for the other subjects. That breaks down to one for science (actual books, not textbooks), history, an literature tie-in or something from the really good lit shelf, and something religious (missionary stories and fictional history mostly). Joy still has some spelling to tie up, but her grammar is pretty much done. Her lit study has her writing enough for summer, so I'm not adding any. Justice has started zipping through his Story Grammar for Middle School book, which also includes enough writing for summer.

    Middle Crew

    Honor and Grace's work has been tweaked for summer too. Their grammar has been "silly" grammar, with Scholastic e-book worksheets, and Language is Served from Prufrock Press. They're both still finishing spelling, and their writing didn't really change. History and science are mostly read aloud, though Honor reads even more science on his own accord.

    Little Crew

    Faith still insists on daily math, and practices her phonics cards a couple/few times a week.

    Valor gets toys out, eats, pretends to be a cat, gets peanut butter on the school books, and is generally so adorable no one minds his mischief.

    I had several pictures to attach here, but Blogger and my phone are refusing to work together. :P~

Wednesday, June 5, 2013

Grammar's End

  Isn't it funny how we're experts on something before we ever get there? When Justice was little we thought we were perfect parents, and if everyone parented *our* way their kids wouldn't misbehave. Then our son grew. We added a daughter.  It seemed like we were starting this parenting gig from scratch. Barely anything the oldest taught us was applicable for this one. I'm getting sidetracked. How on earth does this apply to grammar?

   When we first started homeschooling I knew my kids would seriously study grammar. Period. As we went along I saw how little solid grammar "kids these days" were learning. My kids weren't going to end up like that. Around Justice's fifth grade we started using Rod and Staff's English. It's a strong, solid course, and I was adamantly determined we would finish the whole series.

    Then we came close to the threshold of being ready for those books that would take grammar into high school. I had to pause. This year Justice's grammar lessons practically feel like busywork. We had started skipping the grammar book when time was tight, in spite of both of us truly enjoying the subject. He knows that stuff. He uses it. He can spot mistakes easily.  When I looked farward to his ninth grade workload I couldn't bare the thought of carving out more time for grammar. Forget busywork, this feels like we're beating a dead horse.

    "So, Justice, what do you think about finishing grammar this summer so we can just use it in writing next year?"

    "We can do that? Sounds okay."


    I nearly happy-danced at the thought of not beating the dead horse, and the teen agreeing was icing on the cake.

   Thus we changed gears for summer grammar. I hunted down some books that would wrap up grammar by applying it directly to writing. Justice is currently working through Killgallon's Story Grammar for Middle School, and that will be followed by Stewart English 2. Both books put the grammar concepts directly into composition, and use sentences from really good authors. When those are done we'll replace them with a composition course.

    There won't be a grammar entry on his planner for the first time in years. *grin* (And as much as both of us really liked Rod and Staff English, his exercises coming from high quality literature is a breath of fresh air.)

Sunday, June 2, 2013

Weekly Report: 5-31-13 + weekend

   Yeah, I know it's the second of June. We've been out of service range this weekend.


    *snort* Couldn't tell we were homeschoolers this week...


    Plenty of those!

Justice: Reading back through some Riordan books for the fun of it. St. George and the Dragon. Uncle Tom's Cabin. Hobbit.
Joy: Artemis Fowl, Twice Freed, Princess Bride
Honor: Dragons, Dangerous Creatures
Grace: Fairyopolis, Mary Poppins, miscellaneous Magic Treehouse/Hannah Montana chapter books (she reads them aloud to Faith)
Faith: Biscuit Treasury
Honor: anything they leave laying out
Me: Five Love Languages of Children, Preparing Your Son for Every Man's Battle, Preparing Your Daughter for Every Woman's Battle
Read alouds: still working on the fairy stories volume and the Riley Child Rhymes volume, few Treasure Island chapters, finished The Boy in the Alamo (Honor gives it too hearty thumbs up), If You Traveled West in a Covered Wagon (Meh..), started Stout Hearted Seven


    AHG is going well. Joy has some big decisions to make as senior patrol leader, but it's good for her. Cub Scouts is backing down to once a month until August or September. Too many of our leaders aren't able to keep up the usual schedule this summer. Boy Scouts seems to be on the upswing of the leader changes. We had a small attendance for this weekend's camp-out, but it went well. The two newer boys worked on their Totin Chips and Fire'm Chit. They hiked, the fished, they played, they ate.


    Slow schedule right now. One show this week. Next one is in two weeks.  The heavy schedule starts in early July.


Faith in the middle at the microphone

Joy dancing with a lady who loudly declared,
"You guys should take this show to VEGAS!"

Justice dancing with someone from the crowd


Even big ole Boy Scouts need a good stick
for roasting marshmallows.

Valor feeling like a conqueror, with a little
help from Honor

The lake was too icy for swimming, but they couldn't
resist playing in it anyway.

Woods-woman Joy

That's the sign of a good camp-out. =)