Saturday, September 29, 2007
We didn't have any school at all on Monday or Tuesday and then the rest of the week we did minimal amounts of school on the sofa. I just had her do language arts, reading, and math, so it went pretty fast.
On Thursday, we went to an American Girls co-op with some of the other members of our homeschooling co-op. We were to read Meet Kaya, which is the first book in the American Girls series for Kaya and then one family hosted the co-op. There were probably fifteen girls there, some of them dressed up, and a lot of them brought their American Girls dolls - even if they didn't have Kaya...in fact, I think that only one girl actually brought Kaya!
They talked about the story of Kaya, who is a Nez Perce girl from 1764, and then Trisha brought out some traditional Nez Perce food for them to try. She had salmon, which Reilly hated and Declan loved, and a maple syrup candy. Reilly didn't like the candy either (which surprised me!) but Declan loved that as well.
After the food, Trisha taught the girls some string games - using a string loop to make a "teepee" by looping it around your fingers. It's the same idea as doing a "cats cradle" and a "Jacob's ladder" and things like that. Then they learned another game that was played with decorated sticks.
It was so much fun!!! I think that the I and the other mom's who stayed had as much fun learning the games and trying the food as the girls did. Declan had a good time, too, even though he was the only boy there. Luckily, he didn't notice that we were doing "girl things"!
We'll go to another co-op next month where we'll have read the book about Felicity and the host family will do activities from that time period. We're hosting Josephina in November, so I'm going to have to come up with some good ideas for our day!
We went to our regular weekly co-op on Friday (called AHEE), where Reilly made a mosaic cross in her art class. I am SO happy with AHEE and I'm glad we joined this year!!
Monday, September 24, 2007
At one point during the week, she was also to illustrate the poem. I loved the picture that she made, and we both thought it was really funny that I thought that God, the yellow figure down at the bottom of the picture, was a cheeseburger. That's why she drew a picture of me eating a cheeseburger!
Declan is learning how to make uppercase letters. He loves using his HWT slate and he's getting really good! So far he's learned E, H, F, and A.
Sometimes Reilly adopts the weirdest poses to do her schoolwork. She's almost always at least partially standing at her chair, if not trying to do the center splits while working at the board. I have tried hard to just let her stand how she wants to stand, realizing that while it might be "bothering" me, the only thing that is important is whether or not she's learning what she's supposed to learn.
Oh, and to top things off, here's a little video of her doing what my Mom has dubbed "Blazin' Guns 'o' Love". We're nothing if not a silly, dramatic family, are we?
Wednesday, September 19, 2007
I've been doing a lot more school with Declan this week as well. Last year I bought a "Letter of the Week" curriculum on sale at Mardel and I've started using some of the things out of that. This week we did the letter A, both lower case and upper case. (One of the things I realized is that he knows all the uppercase letters but not the lower case ones.) He's really enjoyed doing that, as well as practicing handwriting on his HWT slate. He can make an uppercase E, F, H, L, and now an A! Yay, Deco!
Oh, and they're both really excited to go back to our homeschooling Co-Op on Friday!
Sunday, September 16, 2007
Some of the other Enrichment Classes that she'll be taking this year are oceanography, the history of our state, science experiments, animal classification (I'm teaching that one!), science experiments, famous explorers, and something called "Simple Machine's with K'Nex". In PE, she'll be doing soccer, flag football, karate (Hey! She'll have an edge there!), four-square tournament, and some others that I can't remember off the top of my head. The only thing that I'm concerned about is that the lady that is in charge of PE is really nice, but she's one of those super-competitive fitness people who think that the world revolves around sports. Reilly has already said, "The gym teacher yells! A lot!" and I'm a bit worried that the teacher will go overboard with her...enthusiasm. I'm all for the kids being cheered on and encouraged to do their best, but there's a fine line between that and getting on to them for not trying as hard as the teacher would try if she were playing flag football. (Of course, my opinion is a bit colored by the fact that I'm the Least Competitive Person Alive. I'm like the antitheses of Tina, the gym teacher!)
I am one of the teachers in Declan's class, so I've got the "easy" job of shepherding the 3 and 4-year-olds. It was fun, if a little tiring. Luckily there are only 8 of them, and there are 3 teachers, so we've got 'em good and outnumbered!
Wednesday, September 12, 2007
Sounds like a good plan, right?
Yeah, I thought so to. But then I realized that I had not purchased the printable DVD-R's but had, instead, just gotten the shiney kind that I would have had to print and stick a lable on. Not a good thing when you're looking at boo-coo copies.
So, off we head to Sam's. I tell Reilly that we're going to read and practice math facts in the car.
Once home, I realize that The Kids both have Dr.'s check ups at 2:30, so my idea of going to the church after lunch is shot. We have to get there earlier. And I've got discs to print before we go.
So I grab Reilly's spelling lesson and a math worksheet and sit her at the coffee table in the office so I can help her while I'm working the printer. (Printing one disc at a time...very tedious, yet completely neccessary.) Declan, bless his pointy little head, just sat on the sofa and played with some cars. I told Reilly that anything that wasn't done before we left was going to have to be done at the church, which would mean she'd miss out on whatever movie was going to be playing on my laptop.
She got it all done. (Aaaaah, the powerful draw of movies!)
After at least two hours at the church we headed to the Dr.'s office, where, judging by the amount of screaming, you would have thought my kids were getting their shots in their eyeballs. (Afterwards, Reilly says, "You know, my shot didn't really even hurt that bad."
"Well, why on earth did you scream so loud then?" I ask.
"I don't know!" Maybe she doesn't like my ability to actually use my eardrums.)
But ice cream made everything better, even for me. And tomorrow will be a less crazy day. I think.
On another note, we start our homeschooling co-op on Friday, which we're all excited about.
Friday, September 07, 2007
But we persevere and move on, and I really try to not let the hard times of one day leak into and color the next day. I think that's one way God really has blessed me with, as far as personality goes...the ability to not hold on to things like that.
We started subtraction this week, which Reilly really likes. Of course, right now it's doing problems like 9-1 and 4-4, so the answers are pretty easy. Yesterday she had fun "being the teacher" because I told her that I wanted her to teach me how to subtract. Math-U-See basically teaches subtraction not so much as "taking away" one number from another, but "adding up", so when Reilly looks at 5-4, she's supposed to see "What number plus 4 equals 5?" (That's one of the reasons MUS requires mastery of the addition facts before moving on) She was really able to "teach" me that concept to me, and had a blast writing on the white board.
Then the man from Lowe's came to install our front door, so both of The Kids sat out in the livingroom and watched him do that for about an hour and a half! Aaaah, unschooling at its best!
Saturday, September 01, 2007
The left-hand picture is just Reilly, cutting out her "story folder" from the LLATL book. On the right, Declan had asked if he could use the magnetic letters to try to make words, so I got out a cookie sheet and the letters and let him have at it.
We had a bit of a rough day on Friday. I think that Reilly was tired because of being at karate a little later than usual on Thursday evening - I'm going to be part of a demo that we're doing at another church and we had to stay late and talk about what we were doing - and that tiredness made her emotional. There was a lot of crying over things that, to this moment, I don't understand. She wasn't understanding my instructions, I wasn't understanding what she didn't understand...it was all very confusing. But we got throught it fairly unscathed and hopefully next week will be better.