I saw a great idea on a homeschooling blog that I decided to try for myself. The idea is to post a weekly wrap-up of your homeschool week’s activities. It’s always fun to get ideas from each other!
This wrap-up must begin the way we strive to begin our lessons every day: with scripture. We are reading through the book of John. However, we found inspiration for that dreaded four-letter word, math, when my brother pointed out that it would be helpful to maintain an eternal perspective. Colossians 1:16-17, in particular, tells how Jesus is in all of creation:
16 For in him all things were created: things in heaven and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or powers or rulers or authorities; all things have been created through him and for him. 17 He is before all things, and in him all things hold together.
I suppose the word “all” really does mean “all” and even encompasses the field of mathematics. My daughter wasn’t thrilled the day we went back to this eternal perspective, but she did finish her math assignment. Saxon 7/6 isn’t for the faint of heart, that’s for sure!
Which brings us to our study of mathematics. We did a couple of races this week on the warm-up skill sheet exercises. It was during one such race that I discovered she didn’t know the short-cut for converting mixed fractions to improper ones. No wonder it was taking her so long to do those problems: the child has been visualizing parts and wholes in her brain in order to determine the improper forms of fractions. She has more brain power than I do. I’ve always just used the short-cut. How could I have missed the fact that she didn’t know that short-cut? She knows it now!
In fact, she knows many things now that we are proofing for Memory Master testing with Classical Conversations. This week we’ve focused on geography. Both of us felt that was our weakest subject, but as we dug down into this memory work and located these places on the map, we realized we know more than we think we know! Students who try out for Memory Master have to completely memorize over 400 pieces of information. She can rattle off history sentences as well as she knows her own name. Having all 24 sentences set to song makes it easier to memorize! We are still working on memorizing the Latin conjugations…but we’re pretty solid in history, timeline (all 160 items), science facts, and English grammar.
Speaking of English, this week she completed writing her critique as part of her Institute for Excellence in Writing lesson. I am continually amazed at the “meat” of this writing curriculum and cannot recommend it highly enough.
She’s almost finished reading Black Beauty — a softie reading assignment I gave her when we misplaced the other book she was reading, Betsy and the Emperor. We’ve since found Betsy, but since she loves Black Beauty so much, I will let her finish. She’s also reading the last book in the Hunger Games series for pleasure.
Piano practice was in a nice groove this week. I have been impressed with a new level of maturity I’m seeing in my twelve year old tween. Whereas I used to have to practically command her to practice every day, now she does it without being told AND without complaining. The difference in her practice and in her attitude is evident in her rising skill levels. She has far surpassed me (it didn’t take much to get there!), and it’s a joy to listen to her play these days.
Ice skating continues to take up a significant chunk of time in our week. She’s working on a competitive routine. I’d write more about the moves she’s making except that I don’t know the jargon…except for “spiral.” A skating spiral is when a skater skates on one leg while lifting the other leg high behind the back…the higher the better. Think: vertical splits. She’s not there yet, but we’re working on it!
In CC this week, her oral presentation was to make up a myth. She made up a myth telling why pelicans have big beaks. The class learned the new memory work, studied classical music, and worked in teams to build bridges (without adult help) out of rubber bands and straws.
I was pleased to see that she and her partner created triangles in their structure to help add strength! The bridges will go head to head in a contest later this year to see which ones will hold the most matchbox cars.
We wrapped up this week with a field trip to the Dallas Arboretum. The weather was perfect! We started out with a guided tour through some of the areas of the park that are off-limits to the public. The kids learned about habitats and dug through the leaf litter to find bugs. The tour ended with a lovely examination of owl pellets. (My daughter takes after me. She was afraid to touch her glove to take it off after handling the bones and hair and who-knows-what!)
Tulips were still gorgeous, although I heard they will be removed this weekend. Some of them looked a bit tired and wilted. (I’m sure I did, too, in the 85 degree heat!)
When we returned home, my husband grilled a fabulous meal that we ate outside in the fresh air. Although we’re a tad bit sunburned, we soaked up enough sun to manufacture plenty of Vitamin D and will sleep well tonight!
Before I started writing this wrap-up, I had one of those homeschooling “bad, bad, mom!” feelings. I never feel as if we do enough. But the act of writing all this out (and I haven’t even included art, history, or Italian) shows me that we actually did get a great deal accomplished this week.
And that’s a great feeling.
(Insert pat on back here.)