Thursday, December 17, 2009

Weekly Report 12/13-12/25

We've not done any formal school this week. We are really on break. But learning continues anyway, because life is learning of course!

  • Saturday afternoon we had our family Chanukah celebration over at aunt and uncle's house. They have a new electric piano which caught everyone's attention. W played his Bach piece on the harpsichord mode. Sounded so cool! I love a good harpsichord!
  • Sat. night S had his little birthday celebration with his two best friends. It was lovely. I made tacos (one of S's favorites), everybody sat down to a rousing game of dreidel (math! They were putting in fractions of almonds!), then we had cake and watched Akeelah and the Bee (spelling!). The movie was quite good except for some reason they felt they need to put in about 5 bad words. Ugh. I don't know why movies do that! It would have been absolutely fine without it. But it really fired up S and B in their quests to become spellers! And they loved all the references to Latin and Greek roots. The boys had a great time. S was happy!
  • S informed me that he is becoming a better speller. He said he'd figured out the different between the i-consonant-e words and the -igh words. He said he'd noticed most igh words end in a -t as well.
  • S had his piano jury on Monday afternoon. He did quite well.
  • W had his final in Music Theory I at the CC. He thinks he did well.
  • W had his piano jury on Tuesday afternoon. Since Rick and I attended his recital last weekend and he was playing the same two songs, we didn't go. The jury was at 6:30 and Rick was still at work and I had to retrieve S and B from gymnastics and get some kind of dinner going. W and I did go out and buy him some suitable clothes for a more formal occasion. He got a nice sports coat, shirt, tie and pants. He looked handsome. He just needs a haircut.
  • J has only done 1/2 a chapter of Alg II this week.
  • J still hasn't gone longer than 2 hours in his brace at night. I'm beginning to panic. Don't quite know what to do about that.
  • J also had his passing Mass for the Catholic Life Community on Wed. He is now a 'candidate' and he got a new cross to wear on a chain around his neck.
  • Mostly we've been cleaning the house. J has been wonderful helping with that. But I don't see how I'll have everything ready by Sunday. So far 52 people coming!
  • W, J and I finished up part 1 of the Archeology lecture series. I've got to return it to the library.
  • S is reading! He finished the Louis Sachar book and is now reading It's Like This, Cat. I remember loving that book when I was young.
  • J read the sequel to Abarat.
  • B continues to work on reading Calvin and Hobbes
  • Rick finished reading Samantha books to B, then went on to a Nellie book (apparently a friend of Samantha) and now they are starting into the Josephina books.
  • S and B have taken to playing Connect 4 a lot.
  • B continues to make all kinds of things out of posterboard and cardboard, though I have put a significant damper on it since I'm trying to keep the house clean. She made her own pin the tail on the donkey game, her own pinata (stuffed with popcorn she made) a big drawing of a grandfather clock. She made a wonderful puppet using a wooden bbq skewer as a stick to move the puppy's ear with.
  • W and J have been reading Game Enforcer magazines and Gilbert!
  • Lots of video game playing and more Wordgirl, Fetch, Phineas and Ferb and Bizkids.
  • I've been reading Down to the Bonny Glen to B some more but we are going pretty slowly through that book.
  • I read more Archimedes but it is into the math section of it and we really don't understand what is going on and the kids are losing interest. I probably should do something to inspire them but I'm too distracted by coming events.
  • Read more Freedom Train. I started crying at one of the chapters and the kids were amazed! I couldn't speak I found the story so touching. I'd really like to finish that read aloud this week.
  • H comes home on Friday! Yippee! She has her last final Thursday and flies home the next day. I hope she can help me with the Christmas party. I truly miss her help. She was the one that did all the decorating for me!
  • Update - Friday we did very little! Got our Christmas tree and picked up H from the airport. Huge snowstorm canceled our big family Christmas party for Sunday. Last night we sat and watched It's a Wonderful Life. I cried some more. B learned what a Savings and Loan is. S spent a long time drawing a series of cartoons to give W for a Christmas present.
  • Last night after kissing S good night he informed me that he knew how to spell 'should'. That kid is so into spelling. I never imagined you could unschool spelling like this!

Sunday, December 13, 2009

Ideas for writing

As we have not done much formal writing this academic year so far, I've been brainstorming about how to incorporate more of it into our studies after Christmas. First of all what we have done:

Becky and Sean have been practicing cursive several times a week.

B and S have also been working fairly steadily in workbook for phonic/spelling

S has taken to sending e-mails to his friends and even composing an occasional e-mail to Homestarrunner hoping against hope it will be published! He also wrote a 3 page stand up comedian act! He frequently writes out little cartoon balloons for his cartoons, so in this unschoolish way he's been writing.

B writes all the time! She is always adding captions to her drawings, writing little notes, writing on the whiteboard here or on the wall by her bed.

J has done very little writing so far in his high school career. He's the one I feel really badly about. He truly needs help in this area and I just haven't focused on it at all. Bad mommy!!!! So I need to remedy it. The most writing he's done is answering study guide questions in a our lit studies and writing out Latin/English translations in our Latin class.

W has written papers and such in the past so I know he can write at a high school level, but he's done the same amount as J so far this year. However, he is going to be doing Learn to Write the Novel Way with Writeguide for his last semester in high school. Probably the biggest difficulty there will be getting him to be consistent in sending daily e-mails, but other than that it is kind of out of my hands!

So for the Spring 2010 semester I've been thinking that we'll focus on writing doing the following:

1. Writing with Ease. I've got Writing with Ease 1 for B; WWE 2 for S and I've got the original text with the basic outline for its approach that I could use with J. I'd have to plan that one out though. Will I do that? Not sure. I do like the idea of doing copywork and dictation with J. I think that would be very helpful for him. Or I could purchase the next levels of WWE, I'm pretty such they have 3 and even 4 out now. I'll have to check.

2. Once a week, probably on whatever morning it seems most doable, we'll have a different writing exercise. I was thinking one week we could use Imitation in Writing but what I'd do is have the kids read one of the stories and then rewrite in their own words. The next week I was thinking of doing a picture study. I thought of this because the most successful Socratic Discussion meeting we had was having the kids look at a famous painting and then write a story about what they imagine happening in it. The third week we could do a Free Write and the 4th week the kids could write a review on a book, tv show, computer game, etc whatever.

3. Josh is going to write a paper on the historical references in the Hittite Warrior. I think I'll schedule that for January. Josh will have to write another paper in May.

Addendum - since I don't have a real copywork dictation plan for J I thought maybe we could just focus on a particular author or theme for each month. For ex, G.K. Chesterton quotes for January, Lincoln and Washington for February. St. Francis de Sales for March, Psalms for April, J can pick for May.

Divine Comedy Resources

I really want to study the Divine Comedy with Josh. I'd forgotten about it before when I was planning his 10th year. I think it fits in best when we study Church History so I'm going to have to tweak things a bit. It might be best to stretch it out slowly over the course of the year. Anyway, I've gotten some good ideas from the WTM board so I'm going to compile them here:

Teaching Co. lectures on Divine Comedy

Longfellow's Translation (with spooky illustrations)

Peter Leithart's book on the subject (gotta go look this up)

I was looking things up on Amazon and it looks like Naxos has a good audio reading.

Kolbe has a set of guides for each section inferno, purgatorio, paridiso

I already own Dorothy L. Sayers translations

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Weekly Report 11/7 - 11/11/09

  • We are definitely winding down schoolish stuff to get holiday stuff done
  • B is trying to read Calvin and Hobbes cartoons at night. She was struggling with a word that had the ea vowel combination. I explained how ea can be long e, short or long A. Then the next day she got a kids meal at Chick fil a and it was about spelling bees and one of the words misspelled was treachery so we actually reviewed that spelling rule the next day. Then the next day she read the world 'clean' by herself. She has been trying to read Go Dog Go every night as well until she can read it perfectly, she informed me!
  • Since B and S are interested in spelling I really should remember to netflix Akeelah and the Spelling Bee. I've heard such good things about that movie.
  • S read There's a Boy in the Girl's bathroom by Louis Sachar - this is the first chapter book that doesn't have a picture on every other page, as S puts it. He is very proud of himself!
  • J read two books, Hittite Warrior and Abarat
  • B wanted to learned more capitals of states. For some reason I don't understand she knew the capitals of ND and SD but didn't know our own state capital. So we got a printout off the internet and looked through all the capitals. We also talked about capitals of countries. S and B knew London and Paris and Rome. We also learned the capitals of Mexico and Canada. Then S wanted to know what the smallest country in the world was. Vatican City of course. We looked up a map of it on the web and then read all about the other small countries.
  • Read in Down in the Bonny Glen about how they made dye from graith which is urine. Eek.
  • B has been listening to the Prince and Pauper by Jim Weiss
  • S discovered some new program on the Mac where you can draw pictures, type up captions and then record yourself reading the caption. S and B have been having a blast with that.
  • Hardly did any math at all. B and I did a fun magic math trick we got from clickschooling. We showed it to J and he figured out the trick. B is rehearsing to show Daddy. B has been asking me questions about multiples of 12, I think because she noticed that cookies and baked goods and eggs are sold by the dozen.
  • Read some of the early Latin readers to B and S. And we learned the first verse and refrain for Veni, Veni Emanuel
  • B and S watched lots of Wordgirl and Fetch as well the Phineas and Ferb Christmas special which is the funniest and most clever Christmas special I have seen in ages!
  • J got his scoliosis brace and is learning how to sleep in it! This is a major lesson in life!!!!! He is Mr grouchy-pants as a result. I'm steering clear of him as much as possible!
  • J and W went to CLC
  • W finished up his impromptu study of the Book of Wisdom with his friend on Monday night
  • W has been working out at the gym every night. I admire and envy his drive!!!!
  • Not much to report here. Did our Latin homework. W and J went to Latin class. I stayed home because the van was on fritz and we couldn't all fit into W's car.
  • Read some more Freedom Train and Archimedes to B and S.
  • Went to music lessons on Monday
  • B went to gymnastics on Tuesday
  • Started the unit study on Exploring the Mass then went to Mass on the Feast of the Immaculate Conception.
  • J did a lesson in Alg II and then took a test; haven't graded either yet! I've not been forcing him to work because he's sleep deprived due to the scoliosis brace
  • Finished the Iliad! Yoohoo!
  • Watched two more lectures in Archeology - so interesting!
  • Socratic Discussion on Friday - I told the other moms I just don't like doing Socratic discussion with the 3rd through 5th graders. For one thing I think it is developmentally inappropriate. I think kids begin to question soon enough as they grow older. It is a natural process and I feel like this Socratic discussion is forcing them to give up some of their innocence by leaving open ended questions deliberately that really in essence have to do with understanding right and wrong. Also, the Touchstone program is set up for a classroom and we never have enough material to quite fill our hour. And finally I actually find the program rather shallow. So instead, next year I am going to do art with the elementary group based on the Christian Heritage Art Program I got from CHC three yeasrs ago and have never found an opportunity to use!
Tonight is the first night of Chanukah! We've got latkes and chocolate gelt. The kids decided that we'll play for almonds when we play dreidel tonight. I just bought a big bag of roasted almonds. They wanted Reeses pieces but I nixed that idea! Tomorrow afternoon is the extended family Chanukah and then Sat night S is having two friends spend the night for an early birthday celebration. He's order tacos for dinner and butter pound cake for his birthday cake. And he does want to watch Akeelah and the Bee as the traditional stay-up-late-and-watch a -movie activity for his sleepover.

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Weekly Report 11/30/09 - 12/4/09

  • S started reading The Toothpaste Millionaire out loud to B. So cute! After he reads a chapter he has her narrate back to him! Hysterical! And he's the one who is always so reluctant!
  • S has also been composing up a storm, writing lots of new music on the piano. He also picked out the Peanuts theme. He really upped his practice because he has jury next week. That always motivates him.
  • S has also been drawing a lot, creating new characters for his comic strip.
  • S stayed up late last night writing 3 pages (!!!!! from the kid who hates handwriting) of a stand up comedian routine he thought up. I kept telling him to go to sleep but he was afraid that he'd forget it.
  • B loved making a big evergreen tree out of poster board for our Jesse Tree
  • B is also the reminder for lighting the advent wreath at night. She loves it.
  • I started listening to Story of a Soul on audio in the car. B is absolutely enthralled with it. S and J have been listening in too.
  • W started working out at a new gym he joined.
  • W also started an informal Bible study with a friend. He and friend went to Mass Mon evening and then discussed the book of Wisdom
  • J read A View from Saturday by Konisburg. Unfortunately he read it in one night (starting it about 9 in the evening and finishing it about 3 a.m. This has turned him into Mr. Grumpy-bear!
  • S uncovered a Christmas present from LAST year that he had never opened! It was hiding in his closet! Anyway, it is a very cool magnetix marble run. He and B set it up in the living room and played with it for hours.
  • Went on a field trip to local park on Wed. morning. We are volunteering to help the park reorganize their bluebird trail and rebuild some of the bluebird boxes that have fallen into disrepair.
  • Since B has been so afraid at night and since R is out of town I let her sleep with me. This makes her so happy. We both sat up in bed last night reading. I'm reading an excellent book on The Old Testament. She was reading Hop on Pop. She sounded out the word 'around'. I think VT is really helping her. She is conquering this reading stuff!
  • S and B have been having fun recording all sorts of things on W's Garage Band demo. S has also been creating music on some game on a website entitled, Sheep Beats.
  • W took B and S to see Fantastic Mr. Fox on Thurs.
  • We had our last cartooning class on Wed. The teacher brought in cells from when she used to work at Disney! She recommended a class she knew of for S who is so interested in animation. I'll have to look into it.
Schoolish stuff:
  • Read alouds: Still working through Freedom Train, Archimedes to both S and B and Down to the Bonny Glen to B. Rick is out of town on business this week, so no read alouds from Daddy. So sad. . . .
  • did Latin homework and studied for quiz. I got a 100% I don't know what J and W got, they didn't get their quizzes back yet.
  • J did lessons 29, 30 in Saxon Alg II. It is hard to do Algebra without Rick here as he is the main teacher.
  • I am determined to finish the Iliad this week. We have stretched this out soooo long! And I want W to get a credit for Greek Lit and I don't want much overlap into next semester. He'll be swamped with music lessons, Comm. Coll. courses, Latin and Writing. So far we've read up to the first half of book 16.
  • B has been working on 'regrouping' or as I was taught it 'carrying' She really didn't get the concept and I realize she didn't truly understand place value. It is such an abstract concept! But she is starting to get into the rhythm of how to add big numbers just by following the formula. S had been reviewing his times tables and doing simple division.
  • Enrolled W in writeguide program for next semester so he can finally get his Eng. Comp and Grammar credit and 'graduate' high school!
  • today we've got Socratic Discussion Group this a.m. (they are coming here and I've got to do a quick vacuum before they arrive!)
  • J and I hope to go to Mass at noon since we didn't make it earlier in the week.
  • Hopefully W, J and I will get through two more books of the Iliad today! I'm determined to finish it by Sunday evening
  • Rick gets back this evening! Can't wait!
  • W has a big two hour piano lesson scheduled with his teacher on Sat. He's got his jury next Tuesday.

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Advent School

I like to mix things up for Advent. Stuff I'm hoping to do:

  • Jesse Tree with Biblical reading first thing every morning
  • Advent Calendar - we have a beautiful one that is made of wood with 24 little drawers. Each day you open a drawer and take out a little piece for a nativity creche, by Christmas Eve your creche is complete!
  • We'll light our Advent wreath every night.
  • We'll take a break from our cursive practice and instead pull out Mark Kitsler's (sp?) Draw Squad. The kids have been doing lots of cartooning and drawing lately anyway but it will be fun to do the exercises in the book.
  • Instead of our regularly scheduled Bible History and Faith and Life, we'll do the Jesse tree readings and also CHC's Exploring the Mass unit which came with S's 5th grade plans.
  • We are reading Freedom Train about Harriet Tubman. I hope to really move through that book quickly so we can get to the book on St. John Vianney.
  • Instead of our regularly scheduled Latin we'll memorize Veni, Veni Emmanuel in Latin and I'll also read the I Am Reading Latin Books from Bolchazy-Carducci (
  • Lots of math literature (and we'll continue with our Archimedes book) and games if we feel like it!
  • We'll keep up our lit readings at night.
  • It looks like the only noon Mass that we can go to all together during the week is on Thursdays, so that's what we'll do!
  • Getting ready for and celebrating Chanukah. When is that anyway? Better look it up!
  • Lots of cleaning to get ready for our big family Christmas party on Dec. 20th.
  • That means we'll decorate the house on Dec. 19th!
  • Lots of baking, Christmas cards and making/buying Christmas gifts!

Sunday, November 22, 2009

Josh's 10th grade

I don't know why I am planning so much for next year when this year doesn't seem to be going all that smoothly! But that is my form of escapism. Planning is fun, actually implementing the plans is not!

Josh and I were talking the other day and that sort of fueled my thoughts. He wants to try to finish up Algebra II this year (he'll probably have to work through most of the summer). And then do the new Saxon Geometry next year. Even though some of the geometry is covered in the Algebra I and II books, he doesn't want to move onto Advanced Math just yet.

Also next year we already know he'll be taking our regularly scheduled Tuesday morning Latin class and he'll also be taking an intensive twice a week with Lab, Biology course. If he elects to he can also study for the AP exam. They have a study group that meets at 8:30 Friday mornings before the 10 o'clock class.

So we already know Biology, Latin and Geometry. I want to do Church history with him and that will also include Literature. Once again, writing is the thing that gets left out. But I think I'm going with my plan of having him write a short answer essay 3 times a week. He'll probably also do tennis again. He's not particularly interested in art or music at present. Maybe something will come up.

Well, that was easy. It kind of planned itself!

Thursday, November 19, 2009

Weekly Report 11/16-11/20

This week has been a slumpy week.

First off, no one was sleeping well for some reason. Actually I know why. W in some crazy lapse of judgment let B and S watch some old Twilight Zones with him. B has been completely freaked out ever since. Every night she cries that she doesn't want to go to bed. S puts on a strong front that he is not scared, however, he doesn't seem to shut his eyes until midnight. B keeps waking up in the night and crawling into bed with me and Rick. B kicks terribly in her sleep. Once she wakes me up, I am unable to go back to sleep. So I've been going to bed at midnight, waking up at 4 a.m. and trying to get by on that. This means that every time I try to sit down to read aloud or watch a video I drift right off to sleep. Both J and W being teenagers think staying up late is great, except the next morning they don't want to get up! I've also been fighting headaches all week.

With everyone being sleep deprived, we've been a family of grumpies. B had a total meltdown at our Socratic Discussion and we had to leave early. She has a terrible temper and once she gets wound up it seems like she can't not regain control over herself until she has screamed it all out. I was so angry at her. I know I didn't handle it great being so very tired. Sigh. All week I felt like I was trudging through sand to get anything done. Everything seems to take me 4 times longer than it ought to.

Secondly, we had two doctors appoints for J who has been diagnosed with scoliosis. One on Tuesday afternoon and one on Friday (to fit his brace). In addition to that Thursday morning was spent signing W up for community college classes for next semester. And W and J are going away on a retreat this weekend and both decided they needed new jeans so they took themselves off shopping.

Unschoolish: Kids started watching a new PBS show about business/economics called Bizkids. They learned all about currency. B and S played a lot on the computer: like making animations on sketchstar, listening to a lot of music, playing on Noggin (making videos). S read a lot of the Game Informer magazine (not sure I approve). S also exchanged e-mails with two friends. They watched a lot of Fetch, Wordgirl and Phineas and Ferb. S tried out a lot of new game websites, freeonlinegames, onemore level. B went to Ninjakiwi (she likes the puzzle games). B made up a lot of science experiments inspired by our reading of Archimedes and doing a couple of little demonstrations on density and buoyancy. J was, as usual, on the computer a lot. He developed an interest in sharks though and did a lot of reading about them. He and Rick stayed up late one night (sigh!) watching a program on sharks and whales or something. He announced he wants to be a marine biologist. This from the kid who hates swimming! We'll see about that! He also started rereading the Bunnicula series of all things! I have no idea what W has been doing except going to Music Theory class and some Latin/Latin class at the beginning of the week.

Schoolish: B and S did cursive M-Th. Did a bit of Greek on Monday. Math - B learned about greater than and lesser than, putting larger numbers in sequence, figuring out sequences and problem-solving. S did lessons 16 and 17 in Saxon (mostly multiplication). J did up to L 27 in Alg II and took test 5 (but I haven't gotten around to grading it yet). We did a bit of Vision Therapy homework. Did Latin homework on Monday and then Latin class on Tuesday a.m. We need to study for Latin quiz next T. S read some in his Seton reader. B did some work in her reading workbook and read a lesson from the McGuffey reader. Neither B or S did very much music practice this week. We didn't do any high school history. We did get to the next book in the Iliad and I made the boys organize their notebooks (they had papers scattered all over the house!). S did a bit of Latin - some grammar and some vocabulary review.

For read alouds - we started a new book Freedom Train about Harriet Tubman. I'm going to try and sandwich that in before we get to the book on St. Jean-Baptiste Vianney.

I am ready for a Thanksgiving break. I figure Monday and Tuesday of next week will be regular days. Wednesday a.m. I'm going to try to play catch up with the teens in re lit and history. Then Wed. afternoon break officially begins. H is coming home for the first time in 2.5 months! She'll be in Wed. night!

Sunday, November 15, 2009

Suggestions for History Reading

For some reason I'm in planning mode right now for future readings. Here's what I'm thinking of for the rest of this academic year with S and B:
  • After Archimedes, we'll read the new book on Herodutus by Bendick
  • Since we've done so much reading in the Greeks: Tanglewood Tales, Black Ships Before Troy, The Wanderings of Odysseus, Percy Jackson books, currently Archimedes, next Herodotus, I feel the need to move on to the Romans
  • Aeneid for Boys and Girls
  • Famous Men of Rome
  • Detectives in Togas
  • Roman Ransom
By next fall I think we'll be up to Middle Ages. Here's what I'm thinking:

  • The Early Christians by Hunt (transitional book plus the kids will learn about the early Church)
  • Brendan the Navigator by Jean Fritz
  • Fingal's Quest by ???? I've heard of this book so much but have never read it.
  • Beorn the Proud - loved this book the first time around!
  • The Hidden Treasure of Glaston - I read this to myself a couple years ago - wonderful book!
  • Francis and Clare; Saints of Assisi by Homan
  • Cathedral by McCauley
  • Castle by McCaulay
  • The Trumpeter of Krakow - one of my all time favorite books!
For J who'll be 15 and in 10th grade:
  • Confessions of St. Augustine
  • Augustine Came to Kent - about the other St. Augustine!
  • Ballad of the White Horse - by GKC - I've never read this but really want to! - poem
  • William the Conquerer - Hilaire Belloc - haven't read this either
  • Murder in the Cathedral - T.S. Eliot - play
  • St. Francis of Assisi by GKC
  • St. Thomas Aquinas by GKC
  • Henry V - Shakespeare - play
  • Joan of Arc by Mark Twain
Spine for J - Didache Church History text or maybe the Catholic Textbook Projects latest book on Church History.

Supplements - Popes and Papacy Teach. Co lectures; watch movies Becket, movie on St. Francis, Henry V with Branaugh, old Joan of Arc movie. Watch Teach Co. lectures on Natural Law if we never get to it this year.

S & B: For our Modern Studies next year, I'm thinking of getting the Beautiful Feet Western Expansion unit study. I don't know how much we'll do of the actual unit study. We can pick and choose and read all the wonderful books.

Saturday, November 14, 2009

Friday, November 13, 2009

Weekly Report 11/7/09-11/13/09

Unschoolish: S and B - Lots of cartooning and drawing; playing with sculpey; playing with pipe cleaners (Mom went to Michaels!); S and B designed games for a 'fair' in B's room. They had the cutest ideas for different games - one was they took an old science fair 3 sided poster board, cut out strips to make a jail cell window with bars and then offered to take pictures of you behind the bars!!! (They got that idea from our trip to Salem, MA); ball tosses, knocking stacks of plastic cups down. They made a fun house mirror by taping smaller mirrors and magnifying glasses to B's full length mirror. Lots of gymnastics and music playing/practice; S played games on One More Level having to do with music and geography; S and B wrote e-mails to friends/family. Watched lots of Wordgirl and Fetch. J read the book The Wormword Files; watched c-span with Rick during Health Care debate; played lots of computer game The Way which involves puzzles. He kept drawing examples of the puzzles and trying to explain them to S and Rick. W - lots of music practice, he was under the weather with a sore throat most of the week. W and J went to CLC Wed night and then got up to go to the 6:15 a.m Mass on Friday.

Schoolish: M-Th: S and B did cursive, math, and reading every day. S too math test and only got one wrong. S did Latin and spelling too. Read alouds - Finished Carry On, Mr Bowditch; great book! Cont with Archimedes and the Door of Science - learned about Simple Machines, parts of a lever, etc. Bible History - Saul and David. W, J and I went to Latin class on Tuesday. J did L. 22 in Alg and took a test which he got an 82.5 on. He needs to do another lesson today. He's moving at a snail's pace. He is totally wrapped up in The Way. Watched 2 Archeology lectures with W and J. J and I watched lecture on minerals in Earth Science. W and J also listened to the Iliad Book 9 and wrote out answers to study guide questions. W and J read through ch. 24 of History of the Ancient World. Socratic discussion on Friday a.m. Hopefully today (Fri p.m.) we'll read another book of The Iliad and J will do another Alg lesson.

Noteworthy stuff: J had drs appt Tues afternoon for mri for his spine. Need to go back to orthopedic doc next Tues to find out what to do for scoliosis. S and I had a date Thursday night. We ate at Silver Diner and then went to see his piano teacher give a concert. She played Pictures at An Exhibition by Mussorgsky. It was incredible! S was totally blown away! And most noteworthy of all! H turned 19 on Tuesday. Her first birthday away from home. She spent it writing a paper and studying for a test and then breaking up with her boyfriend. Birthdays just aren't the same when you are at college!

Friday, November 6, 2009

Weekly Report 11/1/09-11/6/09

School-y stuff:
  • Read alouds: Read more Bible History (story of Samuel), Carry On, Mr Bowditch and Archimedes and the Door To Science. I love how Mr. Bowditch and Archimedes are overlapping when it comes to mentioning navigation and astronomy! Learned about the Achimedean screw.
  • Did catechism on Monday
  • B and S did cursive every day
  • S did a week's worth of spelling in his spelling workbook
  • B did read a story from her reader and a page in her workbook. A couple times during the week she copied over some words she'd been reading onto the whiteboard
  • S did Lessons 11, 12, 13, and 14 in Saxon 6/5
  • B learned rounding to 10's, hundreds, reading large numbers, place value
  • J did lessons 17-21 in Saxon Algebra II. He took a test on Monday. Scored 75%. Argh! Rick says there was one question he just didn't understand but that the rest was just carelessness in arithmetic and trying to do too much figuring in his head. So the new rule is that if he scores less than 85%, he has to retake the test. I think J knows his dad will just go over the test with him so he doesn't need to work hard for accuracy. Daddy is too nice!
  • J and I watched two lectures on Earth Science - how the planet was formed and the rock cycle. Earth science is cool!
  • J, W and I watched first lecture on Classical Archaeology. This also seems very cool, combining history and science.
  • J, W and I read/listened to Book 7 of the Iliad
  • W went to Music Theory class
  • Latin - S did Latin 3x times this week. B sat in when we watched the dvd lesson for ch. 16.
  • Latin again - did Latin homework and went to class on Tuesday. W and J studied to make up test and took it on Thursday afternoon. I have no idea how they did.
  • Did a crossword puzzle in our Greek workbooks
  • Violin and piano lessons. S practiced every day, B not so much!
  • S read in his Seton reader using his flippers (VT exercise)
Unschool-y stuff:
  • W and S continue to have a music appreciation study together. They've been into Steve Reich this week big time. They've been trying to jam on the piano together.
  • We watched a lot of Bill Nye clips on youtube this week - science!
  • We watched The Wizard of Oz and the first Willie Wonka movie with Gene Wilder this week.
  • S played a neat geography game at One More Level
  • J was been really into the game The Way this week. He and Rick had to figure out a big computer glitch.
  • W and S helped pack kits and write cards for the troops at a youth service project at church
  • J and W went to their CLC meeting on Wed night - Bible study, discussion, etc
  • B and S love their cartooning class. S worked really hard drawing a cartoon mouse. His perfectionism works against him mightily! B is constantly drawing.
  • B is also constantly writing. She writes on the whiteboards, on paper, making posters, etc. Both she and S are constantly asking me how to spell stuff.
  • B and S played at drawing school. B set up a classroom in her room with 4 stuffed animals. It is the cutest thing ever! I should take a photo!
  • B and S loved gymnastics and have been practicing lots this week in the front yard.
  • B and S also got into being mimes this week using the leftover face paint from Halloween. They made up all kinds of acts! Very cute.
  • Rick is reading The BFG to both B and S, HP to S and Samantha to B
  • S finished reading the latest Wimpy Kid book. Now he's into F- minus cartoon.
  • J seems to just be reading stuff he finds lying around. Not into any particular book this week. He did read a couple of chapters of History
  • S and B went to Music Theory dot com a couple times this week to each themselves MT.
  • B starting getting back into Starfall site again.
  • I've started reading S Grimm's Fairy Tales at his request. I've been reading Little House in the Highlands to B which makes me want to travel to Scotland so badly!
  • Today - Friday - Socratic discussion group this a.m.
  • J has appointment with spine doctor at 1 p.m.
  • Afternoon: cleaning the house would be good; also reading another book in the Iliad
  • Getting everyone out to do some exercise.
  • Over the weekend - J needs to do another lesson in Algebra II; W, J and I need to do some Latin homework.

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Learning Log 11/3/09

  • A good day! B did cursive, math (rounding to 100's), read the story of The Little Red Hen, copied over some words from the story on the whiteboard, listened to the story of Samuel from Bible History, I read her the next chapter from F&L, violin lesson
  • S did cursive, math (story problems), read Wimpy Kid book, Bible History, F&L, Latin vocab and grammar, piano practice and lesson
  • Rick is reading them The BFG by Roald Dahl.
  • J took Algebra test which Rick corrected.
  • J and I watched next lecture in Earth Science about how planet was formed. I need to watch it again. It was pretty technical and I didn't quite get it all.
  • W went to Music Theory in a.m.
  • W practiced music with band member in afternoon
  • Evening J, W and I did Latin homework
  • Got up and finished Latin homework
  • Went to Latin class
  • B did cursive, reading workbook, math, coloring
  • S did cursive, reading in Seton reader, did math lesson on lines, page of spelling book
  • Took kids to vote with me
  • J did next lesson in Algebra
  • Discussed History reading with J and W
  • B and S went to gymnastics which they loved
  • Watched first lecture on Classical Archeology with W and J
  • B and S watched Bill Nye videos on youtube
  • W went to Soundry for open mike night
  • B and S played at Music
  • R is reading so many read alouds: BFG, Sea of Monsters, Samantha (American Girls), Prisoner of Azkaban.

Sunday, November 1, 2009

Random Thoughts in a Desperate Attempt to Feel on Top of Things!

  • Why do I like this bullet function so much? Is it because my brain is so scattered I can't write in actual paragraph anymore?
  • I have signed J up with Clonlara and have yet to do anything with them. I haven't even talked to our advisor even though I've gotten two e-mails from them asking me to.
  • After two weeks of flu J is right back to living in a hole where the only thing he wants to interact with is his computer. This is the whole reason I signed up with Clonlara, to get some structure into his life. Hey, there! There's a whole life going on out here that you might want to participate in! LOL. So this week J and I really need to sit down and go through the Clonlara manual (which we've only done partially) and then communicate with his adviser.
  • J really needs to keep track of his time. I don't think he has a clue that he spends hours in front youtube and very little time doing other things. Keeping track of his time will make him aware of that. So I'm going to ask him to do that little exercise; jotting down what he's done all day.
  • I need to get W registered for the CC next semester. I can not figure out how to do it online to save my life. I think also maybe you can't if you are a high schooler still. I think we need to go in and talk to a counselor. But last semester we waited too long and the class he wanted filled up. So this week I really want to take care of that. Maybe we'll do this tomorrow.
  • I'm hoping that we can finish reading the Iliad and Odyssey by the next semester. Then I think I'll give W a credit for Greek Lit. He'll be so busy with CC courses that I don't think we'll be able to do the whole year of Ancient Lit that I had planned. It is very hard to get all three of us together for long enough blocks of time to move forward at the pace we need to. So I am letting W go. J and I can hunker down and get some learnin' done and I won't have to worry about W. He's got so many outside things going on that it really interferes with scheduling something we can do together.
  • I'm thinking of having an audio-visual hour after dinner on Tuesdays and Thursdays. These are the nights when we don't have to be out. We have so many Teaching Co. courses, documentaries etc that I'd like to watch, but again it is too hard to schedule it in on the fly. I think we need to have set times!
  • Just now I realized that we missed a meeting on Thursday night to sign up for High School Workcamp. Grrr.
  • I'm assessing what's working for the younger children. Read alouds have been going well. S is really into the new Archimedes book. I'm planning to read about St. John Vianney after Carry On, Mr. Bowditch (Modern Studies). I'd like to read the new Jean Bendick on Herodotus next for Ancient Studies. Bible History continues to chug along. B wants to participate in the Science Fair which is in February (27th I think?). Both children are doing very well when it comes to reading and learning cursive. I think I need to be a little more consistent with math and Latin (which ironically is supposed to be the core of our planned stuff but somehow gets shoved aside frequently!). Doing the Greek once or twice a week seems to be working fine. I'm in no rush with Greek!
  • After Christmas I think we'll switch to Writing With Ease. I'm looking forward to that.
  • Okay, it is the Feast of All Saints! I need to get costumes ready for our party. We aren't going to Mass until 6:00 p.m. tonight. It is the youth group Mass (1st Sunday of the month).

Thursday, October 29, 2009

Weekly Report 10/26-10/30

  • Since this has been a slow recuperation week from the flu I decided to just do a weekly report a la WTM.
  • Read alouds: Read about Ruth in Bible History, decided to can Ancient Tales from Egypt for now. We'd gotten half way through and they just weren't holding our interest anymore. We can always come back to them in time. Instead we started reading Archimedes, And the Door of Science by Jeane Bendick. This covers both Ancient history and science as well. We ditched our science read aloud when we got to roundworms which grossed everyone out! Read a lot of Carry On, Mr. Bowditch this week. This also touches on science and math as well as American history. We are almost done with that book.
  • Didn't do much math this week at all. Everybody's heads are still too congested to think clearly enough to do math! S did work on his 100 subtraction facts sheet on Thursday. B did mental math on W and a fun rounding exercise in her workbook on Thursday. J did only two lessons in Algebra. L. 17 and 18.
  • Languages: W and I took Latin test on Tuesday. J was still sick. He's been studying for it to take next week. On Thursday did some Latin for Children with S. Also worked in Greek workbooks a little with B and S.
  • B and S have been doing a lot of writing/spelling on their own, writing little notes or cartoon captions or sending e-mails. They did cursive practice every day.
  • J and W both read 4 chapters in history.
  • W took his Music Theory midterm. Thinks he did well.
  • Made it to music lessons on Monday, kids practiced music every day.
  • Made it to drawing class, both S and B (especially B!) have been drawing up a storm all week.
  • Socratic Discussion Group on Friday
  • Read Book VI of the Iliad with teens.

Thursday, October 22, 2009

Sick week

Well, it feels like a lost week due to illness. S was the first to go down, then B, then J and finally W. B and W are pretty mild though, nothing more than an annoying cold that saps the energy. J got it the worst with the highest fevers.

In spite of this we've read a lot of our regular stuff (at least to the younger two): Bible History, Carry On, Mr Bowditch, Little House by Boston Bay, The BFG, Sea of Monsters and Rebecca (American Girls). S listened to the whole of Bud Not Buddy on audio. Now B's listening to it.

Today W and S decided they were going to start their own music appreciation study. They've been listening to Erik Satie and Philip Glass and S has been picking out melodies on the piano.

B found an old Montessori movable alphabet and she's been spelling out messages to me and others. J is spending most of the day watching Animal Planet.

I had a bad migraine this morning but it got better fast. It is funny how the more violent migraines are shorter than the slightly milder variety. What I don't like is looking in the mirror and seeing one eye so much more dilated than the other. Creepy.

It has been hard feeding folks because even though they are hungry nothing tastes good and they wind up taking a bite and then pushing the rest away.

Okay now it's Friday. Poor J still had a high fever last night. Socractic Discussion has been cancelled and I don't think we'll get to tennis either. Bummer. W thinks he's well enough to go on his CLC retreat this weekend.

So today, I hope to clean the house a bit, that is declutter and sweep floors, wipe down gritty table surfaces which are everywhere! Also, I need to get more laundry done. I need to buy Anthony a confirmation gift and make sure I have nice clothes to wear tomorrow morning, since I'll have to get up at the crack of dawn to make it to Winchester in time for his Confirmation. I also hope to read aloud a lot today. And I hope B and S get outside to play a bit today as well.

Monday, October 19, 2009

Sick day 11/19/09

  • Sean's friend has Swine Flu and Sean was running a fever all night
  • Sean had no fever when he got up at 9 a.m. but has developed a cough
  • W went to Music Theory
  • B had been looking at the Powers of Ten flip book. She started drawing on our sliding glass doors with her window markers different sizes of the world. She went from small to very large and then she drew close ups of a house, shed, bike etc. Very cute.
  • B did cursive and some rounding to nearest ten in her workbook. I think it clicked for her.
  • Read next Bible History story to B and S about Gideon and Samson. Both kids started telling me the Veggie Tale version. Love those Veggie Tales!
  • Read next chapter in F&L to B (Ch. 7)
  • J is doing Lesson 15 in Saxon Alg II
  • B read a page from the McGuffey reader
  • Watched the movie Babe and then The Princess Bride
  • W came home and had bought S Bud, Not Buddy on audio.
  • S's fever came back 100.2
  • J and I studied for Latin test; W said he did too but he didn't study with us.
  • Taught RE, I think the girls liked the candy rosary.
  • Got home and J was really studying hard for his Latin test. I've studied some but not enough because I know I can't take it due to S's illness.
  • Will stayed up very late to study
  • S was feverish in the night.

Sunday, October 18, 2009

Weekend journal 10/17-18/09

  • Saturday - slow, lazy morning
  • Took B and S to great little toy store we have in town, independently owned, lots of cool toys. Went to buy gift cert for neighbor whose b-day party is today.
  • S and B loved the puppets, S loved the knights and horses and loved the Ancient warriors as well. B loved the doll houses. They were ecstatic! Lots of idea for Christmas!
  • Rick took them to the party which was a laser tag one a good half hour drive away.
  • Went shopping for my candy rosary supplies. Still working on actually putting something together.
  • W, J and read Most of Book 5 of Iliad
  • Watched Seven Brides for Seven Brothers - fun movie
  • B did lots of gymnastics
  • Rick went over Algebra test with J - he got an 82.5%. Better than before. Again he gets the concepts just doesn't want to take the time to read the question thoroughly and check his math. He needs to show his work to be more accurate.
  • I read a little of Boston Bay to B
  • R read but I don't know which Rebecca and HP or Sea of Monsters?
  • J and I studied a bit for Latin test on Monday
  • W said he studied but I don't think he did much
  • Sunday - breakfast and Mass with S and B
  • W and J went to Youth Rally all day 11 to 9 p.m.
  • Sean came down with fever in the evening.

Saturday, October 17, 2009

Cool educational blog

Friday, October 16, 2009

Journal 10/16/09

  • W and J went to 6:15 a.m. Mass
  • I went to 8:00 Mass - saw old college friend's mother there!
  • Did lots of dejunking, vacuuming and tidying in prep for Socratic Discussion Group arrival
  • While doing this W gave B another voice lesson
  • Socratic Discussion group - The camel and the jackal story. teen group discussed essay from Francis Bacon
  • B and S played with Miguel afterward, putting on a play downstairs.
  • J retired to computer; W to videogame
  • Tennis canceled because of cold, rainy weather.
  • After lunch, tried to read The Book of Thoth from Tales of Egypt aloud to S and B but got too sleepy
  • Read some Jesus of Nazareth and took a nap
  • W is playing music
  • We've been trying to download Seven Brides for Seven Brothers from itunes but it is taking an excruciatingly long time.
  • B asked me to look up colors for 1st, 2nd and 3rd prize ribbons. She's making ribbons now out of colored index cards. Apparently for an art contest.
  • S got very bored; so he called his friend and I'm taking him over now.
  • B put on an art contest with me and W as contestants. We were ordered to draw a cat. W's won because it was so silly. She had stand on chairs like at the Olympics wearing our ribbons that she made.
  • J was very busy playing Brutal Legend all afternoon.
  • B choreographed a little floor exercise (inspired by watching Nadia Comenichi (sp) on youtube this a.m. She drew it out in stick figures and taped it up by her mat. Then she showed me. She did a walkdown bridge, then a cartwheel then some jumps and then she landed in the splits and jumped up again.
  • We went to dinner at Olive Garden. Picked up S and his friend on the way. Met Rick there. I ate lots of salad and had a glass of wine.

Thursday, October 15, 2009

Journal 10/15/09

  • Slow, sleepy, rainy morning
  • S and B did cursive; S's was a Latin sentence. S did a tiny bit of spelling too.
  • S read more of The Search for Delicious
  • B practiced violin, then we got into watching Sarah Chang, Hilary Hahn and Natalie MacMaster on youtube
  • J read Earth Science - said it wasn't anything he didn't know already. It's a middle school text so I guess he needs something a bit older to hold his interest.
  • W read history - said SWB was a great writer.
  • Met with J and W and finished Book 4 of Iliad
  • Discussed HAW; Sargon, Gutian invasion, Abram and Sarai, 1st environmental disaster.
  • B and S watched more Fetch.
  • Dreary afternoon; made hot cocoa; watched/prayed the divine mercy
  • W went to teach guitar to his student
  • S did next lesson in Saxon
  • B played at pbskids and got really into the Cailloiu game where you decorate your own dollhouse
  • S wrote a long e-mail to his friend Joseph. Asked help on spelling words.
  • B wrote me a note again; so sweet.
  • B and S watched Tom Thumb again
  • J played new video game with blood/bad language turned off
  • B is playing with Hannah's old dollhouse now; she hasn't done that in a couple of years!
  • S is back to writing another e-mail to his friend.
  • Steam cleaned the living room rug. Thumbelina is outta here. We were keeping her out of the house but then started to let her back in again and she's up to her old trick. Sorry, sweetie but you are officially an outdoor cat now!
  • W got into teaching voice to B who we've discovered has a rather operatic voice. We listened to a little Fredricka von Strade on youtube.
  • W taught S how to improvise jazz style to Dear Prudence. W on guitar, S on piano. B was sitting in plucking her little 1/2 violin.
  • Then W started giving more voice lessons to B and S got his nose out of joint about it so I sent him upstairs to take the shower he was supposed to take this a.m.
  • J and I watched the next lecture in How the Earth Works. It was all about the Big Bang. Absolutely fascinating. Did you know we are 13.7 billion years old? Our atoms are at any rate.
  • W is teaching B how to sing Amazing Grace. So sweet!
  • Read next chapter in Little House by Boston Bay to B
  • J played lots of Brutal Legend today
  • S is playing Tetras
  • Rick read Rebecca to B
  • Rick read Harry Potter 3 to S
  • H and I talked by fbchat. She's having trouble writing a paper due tomorrow on justice and whether ares and aphrodite got it when they were caught in adultery. She's despairing. I hope she gets inspiration.
  • Need to go prepare for the Socratic discussion tomorrow. Also I got Gilbert today! Gotta curl up and read.

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Journal 10/14/09

  • W got up and went to Music theory class early. He said he had work he wanted to do there. He also brought history to read after the class.
  • J took Test 3 of Saxon Algebra II
  • B and S did cursive
  • S looked up two words in the dictionary from his spelling list: shirk and perch
  • S read next story in reader using his flippers (VT) and he worked on memorizing his poem.
  • B did circles for VT and arrows chart
  • S practice piano
  • Read Carry On, Mr Bowditch and talked about latitude and longitude. Looked at globe and saw distance from Salem to Bourbon (Reunion) and located Cape of Good Hope.
  • B read from McGuffey 1st reader. Also practiced reading cursive from that book.
  • B found a little hangman electronic game we got from somewhere and she played on that for quite a while, spelling animal names, like bear and loon.
  • Rewatched Ch. 5 for Latin vocabulary and then quizzed on words
  • B and S played Shut the Box for math today (about 15 minutes)
  • J and I watched next lecture in How the Earth Works, an intro to Plate Tectonics. Did you know that the Atlas Mtns are the counterpart to the Appalachian Mtns? They were once two sides of a rift between the North American plate and the African plate.
  • J read Popular Science mag that just arrived yesterday.
  • B and S made animations on Pivot.
  • S has been grumpy today and bickering if not coming to blows with J!
  • J is tired because he stayed up until the wee hours of the morning reading Lord of the Flies. His opinion: Best. book. ever.
  • W came home; he's read up to ch. 16 of HAW. Two chapters to go and then we can talk history.
  • Went to VT
  • While B and S were there I went to St. Mark and turned in forms for Youth Rally
  • Sent my RE students an e-mail.
  • Read aloud some of book 4 of Iliad. I started falling asleep while reading and misread Chieron as Chesterton, I snapped out of it when I heard W and J laughing loudly!!!!! So we gave up then.
  • Took S and B to cartooning class. They love it. The teacher is so nice. This nice elderly retired woman who has been cartooning all her life and loves children. S was being very perfectionistic though and getting all tense towards the end and B was catching his negativity!
  • J spent a good deal on the computer; he likes to get on these games message boards to learn about new games, etc.
  • B and S are watching Fetch which is such a great show. Learning about sound and music right now and figuring out how to stop a runaway train.
  • B wrote me a nice note. She's really started writing a lot on her own lately. I love her spelling. I'll actually be sad when she can spell everything correctly because it means she's growing up.
  • B and S both con't drawing a lot after the cartooning class. I'm finding scraps of paper with drawings on them all over the house.
  • Rick read Rebecca to B; Harry Potter to S
  • W and J went to CLC and stopped to get a late dinner on the way home.
  • S is working his way steadily through the Search for Delicious. He's so proud that he's actually sticking with a chapter book with very few illustrations. He's really enjoying the book. It has captivated his imagination.

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Journal 10/13/09

  • Got up and studied for Latin quiz
  • J and W got up and studied too.
  • Went to Latin class - took quiz I got 99% (forgot macrons on quis), J got 93%, W got 85%. I am sure because he was sleep deprived! Latin was hard though. I am having trouble with relative pronouns and I really need to review conjugations of all 4 conjugations. I really need them memorized. I get all confused.
  • B did 1 page of reading workbook (compound words); 1 page of cursive and 12 problems in rounding to nearest ten. She played out in the yard on the trampoline a lot.
  • S did 1oo subtraction facts, 1 short cursive practice, 1 page of grammar (commas and appositives) and 1 page of spelling (words that rhyme with 'her' er, ur, ir, or, ear) He played outside some too.
  • Lunch at Chick fil a
  • At home W played with his new video game. J got on computer too.
  • B practiced violin pretty thoroughly. S practiced piano some.
  • Went to Meadows Farms and bought Halloween decorations for front yard. B has been longing for them. Got a spooky ghost for the tree, a scarecrow, a sign with a jack-o-lantern that says trick or treat and some little ghosts and pumpkins to stick alongside the driveway.
  • Went to gymnastics. B and S loved it!
  • Went for a 45 minutes walk w/ L. Very pleasant! Good conversation, weather was great.
  • J did Lesson 14 in Alg II while I was gone.
  • W has been playing his new game for hours!
  • Made dinner, chicken, rice, baby carrots and cucumber slices.
  • Read three stories from Bible History to S and B. Moses died and Joshua fought the battle of Jericho.
  • Talked to H earlier. She's still sick and has mid-terms. Poor thing. She has to give a talk in her Understanding the Bible class on Passover. She started telling me all this stuff I never, ever knew about Christ drinking the 4th cup on the cross and how they gave the wine to him on a hyssop branch, etc. Wow, I never got that connection before!!!!
  • B and I did some drawing. Over her picture of a house she wrote 'hwos' Made me think if Winnie ther Pooh.
  • R is reading Sea of Monsters to B and S.
  • J and I are up to chapter 18 in History of the Ancient World. W isn't! Grrr.

Columbus Day 2009

  • Today was nice, Rick stayed home and we didn't have any music lessons to drive to and I didn't have to teach RE. It was relaxing!
  • In the very early a.m. B and S watched a cute little movie called Tom Thumb. It must have been made around the same time as Seven Brides for Seven Brothers. Darling! B and S loved the songs and the dancing.
  • B and S then spent the better part of the day sewing up holes in various stuffed animals and then designing and making their own stuffed monkey. They got some felt and B loves playing with needle and thread. This occupied them for hours.
  • Later I took S and B to mail a big package to Hannah and then we went with S's friend Joseph to a pumpkin patch to buy pumpkins and mums to decorate the front of the house.
  • S and B took out their gymnastics mat and showed Joseph all their tricks and choreographed moves.
  • Rick repaired not one but two toilets! J went with him to home depot and they got the parts. J helped a lot early on but then he got injured (deep scratch in hand) and so retired to the computer to heal!
  • W slept late, cleaned the basement up on my request and played lots and lots of music.
  • The cleaners came today. I cleaned through B's room and organized everything. I meant to do the boys' room and my own, but ran out of time and energy. I did do a decluttering of the hall bathroom upstairs.
  • Did several loads of laundry
  • Ran to Whole Foods and bought lots of stuff to ship to Hannah plus her sweaters. It's gotten cold there in TX.
  • Read next chapter in Little House by Boston Bay
  • Rick read Rebecca to B
  • Rick read Prisoner of A. to S
  • S is still reading and enjoying The Search for Delicious
  • J is still reading Lord of the Flies - he's not going through that so quickly
  • W stayed up late to go buy some game that went on sale at midnight. I made him promise to go to bed and wait until after Latin on Tues before playing it.
  • Uh oh, found W at 2:45 a.m. still playing. I think I'm taking that nice laptop his father gave him away for a week. I can't tolerate this staying up all night and not being able to function during the day routine. Why are teens like this??????

Sunday, October 11, 2009

A Look at Joshua's Week

This is inspired by a thread at the WTM board where one poster shared her 9th grader's schedule. She has her son working from 6 a.m. to 6 in the evening with one hour for chores and hygiene and one hour for lunch and walk. Wow! I thought homeschooling was supposed to be more effiecient than public schooling! I just couldn't imagine following that schedule at all, even for myself, let alone my hormonal and growing 14 yo son. But to each his own! However, it did make me wonder exactly how J's week flows. Because I do feel we are on the slow side of accomplishing things, only because he doesn't want to have to work all summer to earn credits for this high school year. So I thought I'd take a look at what he tends to do each day of the week and how it could be tweaked to make it a little more efficient without interfering with his free time.

Usually on Sunday, but not always, Rick has been working with J on Algebra. I usually check through the homework and any test and mark wrong answers. Since I don't know much math myself I use the solutions manual, Rick goes through and figures out where J might be stumbling and then teaches him those aspects. Sometimes but not always, J will then do a lesson or at least a partial lesson. Also on weekends, sometimes, we do a little Latin to get a jump start on our homework. We should be more consistent about this though. So that is one way I'd like to tweak things.

Usually an Algebra II lesson
Reading in History
Free time
Latin homework (about 2 hrs)
More free time/dinner
A bit more Latin at around 9:30 or so for maybe 1/2 hour to 45 minutes.

Finish up Latin homework (45 min to 1 hr)
Attend Latin class from 10:30 to 12
Short free time
Algebra II
History reading (in the evening)

Algebra II (in a.m.)
Earth Science (usually right after lunch)
Literature - from 4 to 5 - I have to squeeze it in between VT and Drawing class for S and B
Catholic Life - Scripture study and discussion - 7:30 to 9:15

Algebra II
Earth Science
Literature - big focus on this
History discussion

Socratic Discussion

One thing I see here is not enough hours devoted to science. J is in theory also reading in Earth Science but he hasn't really so he should probably pursue that.

Other than that, I like that he has so much free time. He does tend to spend it in front of a screen but he does learn some things from that so it isn't totally wasted time. He also takes walks frequently, often with the dog, and he does a lot of independent reading (though that has decreased in intensity since the school year started.). He also mows the lawn, does laundry, cleans the kitchen and helps tidy the house very cooperatively. And on weekends he participates with the church youth group activities. We are also going to be working on projects with the Pilgrims of the Holy Family if I ever get that off the ground, so I think it is basically a pretty good life!

Friday, October 9, 2009

Journal 10/9/09

  • W and J got up and went to teen mass at 6:15
  • I got to the 8 o'clock mass
  • We had a good time at our Socratic discussion meeting
  • Went to tennis; beautiful weather today; warm
  • Vegged out at home; had a come and get it yourself kind of dinner
  • Rick read some more of the Rebecca books to B
  • J read Lord of the Flies
  • S is reading The Search for Delicious. He seems to be really enjoying it. It is a slightly harder chapter book for him.
  • W tried find some friends to go out with. He is a restless 17 yo who wants to be out on Friday and Sat. nights. He went out by himself to this new coffeehouse nearby but then came home early. He was really tired from not going to bed early all week and then getting up for such an early Mass. He fell asleep before we said night prayers! We had to wake him to join us.

Thursday, October 8, 2009

Journal 10/8/09

  • Read next story in Tales of Ancient Egypt about Teta the Magician
  • S and B did cursive practice and worked a bit in their Greek workbooks
  • Did some mental math with B
  • S read from his reader about Stephen Foster using his flippers from VT
  • He also read The Search for Delicious which he started last night.
  • B started memorizing The Swing by R.L.Stevenson
  • Watched Ch. 15 lesson with Sean in Latin
  • Never got to Math with S
  • S practiced piano, but B never got to her violin practice
  • J did next lesson in Algebra
  • W slept in; I forced him up around 10 a.m. At some point before 1:00 he read some history.
  • W drove to his lesson where he taught guitar to M.S.
  • Took B to her Little Flowers club where they learned about St. Margaret Clitherow (sp?) and made sunflowers and bookmarks with the Act of Faith on it.
  • S played with Jack
  • J and I checked out the new library in Fairfax City. Josh got out Lord of the Flies and is reading it.
  • I got some audio books out for B and S
  • Came home and everyone vegged. I got hooked on the computer and never made dinner.
  • B took a bath and started listening to The Five Peppers and How They Grew on audio.
  • Rick came home at 7:00 which is a bit on the early side for him. But he was disappointed because he'd wanted to get home before dark to do some work on the yard. the sun is setting earlier and earlier. When is the time change?
  • Got carry out for dinner.
  • Read Book III of the Iliad with W and J
  • Rick read Sea of Monsters to B and S
  • I read next chapter in Little House by Boston Bay.
  • S is listening to The Great Brain on audio.

Hell burns

Cool blog by groovy sister!

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

Journal 10/7/09

  • W went to Music Theory
  • Read Carry On, Mr. Bowditch out loud to B and S. He finally went to sea!
  • J read HAW to ch. 18
  • B - cursive, math (making change - she wasn't getting it), reading workbook (that she hadn't done yesterday). She's really getting fast at reading. Much less painful sounding out of everything and totally loosing the train of the sentence.
  • S - cursive, spelling, memorized poem for about 2 minutes, did first investigation in Saxon 6/5 on word problems.
  • Did a little bit of Latin vocab and review of 2nd conjugation with S
  • S practiced piano
  • J did next Algebra lesson
  • S and B spent lots of the day doing gymnastics out on the front lawn. They brought up their mat from the basement. The weather is glorious but windy.
  • W came home and wandered around aimlessly. He wants friends and to be doing something. I told him he could read HAW but I don't think he ever did.
  • J and I watched Lecture 4 of How the Earth Works - totally mind blowing!
  • Went to VT
  • Made dinner while B and S played gymnastics outside more.
  • J played on the computer
  • W???????
  • Rick stayed home because he was feeling under the weather all last night but he's been working in his room and has never yet emerged today.
  • Made dinner
  • Took B and S to first drawing class (that we thought was canceled!) - class was great. Turned out to be a cartooning class which is exactly what S wanted!
  • Hannah called! She's got midterms next week!
  • W and J went to CLC
  • Helped B practice violin a tiny bit. She's plucking out Mary Had a Little Lamb
  • Read next chapter in Little House by Boston Bay to B
  • Rick read Prince of A (HP) to S
  • Rick read A Sea of Monsters to B and S
  • I liked that today S and B were so into gymnastics and played so much outside. S was sooo resistant to gymnastics class for the first two classes and now he is back to his old self of loving it.

Journal 10/6/09

  • Finished up Latin homework this a.m.
  • Got everybody up to eat breakfast and ready to go out the door
  • Latin class
  • B and S didn't do so well with their seatwork; kept fighting; S was in bad mood.
  • S did cursive and spelling; I forgot to bring math and he balked at grammar
  • B did cursive and math sheet; she balked at reading workbook; she colored and then played outside
  • At lunch at chick fil a - she got a funnel in her kids meal (they are giving away science stuff) Lady was doing an Usborne book presentation and then started showing the kids rocks. Turned out she works at the U. S Geological Survey.
  • S did his math and Grammar at home
  • J worked on next Algebra lesson and then looked over his Clonlara stuff
  • W ran errand for me and got B's violin book and shoulder rest.
  • S and B went to gymnastics - both are loving it! Yippee!
  • Read Book II of Iliad with W and J
  • Read Bible History to B and S (didn't get to it Monday)
  • Rick read Sea of Monsters to B and S
  • Rick went over Algebra test with J (after 10 p.m. I went to bed about this time)

Monday, October 5, 2009

Journal 10/5/09

  • It's Rick's birthday!
  • W went off to Music Theory class, driving on his own. Yippee!
  • Had late breakfast; B and S gave cards to Rick
  • J spent most of morning doing Algebra test
  • S - math test, worked on memorizing poem, read Ch. 5 in F&L, cursive practice and did short workbook exercise on Latin vocab. The remote isn't working and we couldn't review dvd lesson. Arggh.
  • B - math page on counting money, recited At the Seaside, I read her Ch in F&L, she read 6 sentences out of reader out loud, cursive practice.
  • B and S played outside and are also designing controllers for some kind of game they are making up.
  • Made Rick's cake
  • Took B to violin lesson; planned RE class there
  • Was late getting S to his piano lesson
  • J did Latin homework on computer
  • W was supposed to start Learn to Write the Novel Way (LWNW)
  • Did some Latin homework; W and J wanted to work on their own. Did they actually do it??
  • Made omelets for Rick's b-day dinner, had cake and sang happy birthday
  • R read The Sea of Monster to B and S
  • Went to RE class; went okay I guess
  • Came home and finished Latin homework on computer; still need to finis vocab exercise tomorrow morning.

Friday, October 2, 2009

Journal weekend 10/2-10/4

  • Poor W got up early with J to drive to the 6:15 a.m. teen Mass on Friday but got horribly lost and spent the next TWO HOURS driving around! Oh my goodness!
  • So I was planning to go to the 9 a.m. Mass with B and S but when W finally came home he brought doughnuts and B burst into tears at the thought of not being able to eat one until after Mass. so I caved and we never went to Mass. I think maybe we'll do our daily Mass on Thursdays at noon and I'll try to make it to the 6:15 Mass on first Fridays with the teens.
  • Spent most of the morning vacuuming, tidying, etc and getting read for Socratic Discussion group @ 10:30 a.m.
  • Had our first discussion group. I think it went okay; younger group was a bit wild!
  • Went to tennis
  • on Sat. - W went to piano lesson; I drove him because he was afraid to get lost and he didn't want to be late!
  • R read lots of Rebecca and The Sea of Monsters to B and S
  • J watched lots of his anime series he's been watching for weeks on youtube.
  • J mowed the lawn
  • R and B went to guitar shop and Foxes to repair W's electric guitar
  • S played at Joseph's - apparently wii sports complex and now S is hinting broadly that he'd like it for his b-day or Christmas! He especially liked the archery.
  • S and his friend hiked from his house to ours which is a good 45 minutes. Then they had a picnic by the pond behind our house.
  • B played a lot with our next door neighbors.
  • Went out to dinner with R for early celebration of his birthday
  • Sunday - J finally finished the last episode of his anime series. Yoohoo! I get my son back!
  • J did about 3/4 of his Algebra lesson
  • W was in youth Mass choir (playing acoustic guitar) - went to practice @ 4:30. We all went to Mass at 6. Afterward W, J and S stayed to make cookies for the prison ministry. W drove them all home afterward.
  • R read more Rebecca to B
  • J came home and finished Algebra lesson
  • R read Harry Potter to S while I read By Boston Bay to B.

Thursday, October 1, 2009

Journal 10/1/09

  • woke with migraine. Arghhh. Always happens on the day I want to accomplish a lot!
  • B, S and J made bacon, eggs and toast for themselves for breakfast
  • W slept in!
  • Got better about 11 a.m.
  • Read a short Tale from Ancient Tales of Eygpt
  • B and S practiced violin and piano
  • J read HAW
  • I woke up W and made him read HAW
  • B and S did cursive
  • B did 5 problems in MCP on money, counting and writing out $ and cents
  • S finished up his spelling from yesterday
  • B recited At the Seaside by R.L.Stevenson and decided she wanted to learn The Swing by him next.
  • S recited Trees and picked a new poem by Edna St. Vincent Millay, entitled Travel. He memorized the first verse
  • S and B then started making up their own poems got very competitive about it and got into a big squabble! It was very creative and enjoyable for a while.
  • Everyone lost concentration and wandered outside; I made lunch.
  • W went to teach guitar to our Latin teacher's 10 yo dd. His first job!
  • Watched Lecture 3 in How the Earth Works; finally found Earth Science text for J to read.
  • B and S both finished listening to Charlotte's Web.
  • J worked on Lesson 9 in Algebra; read lesson, watched dvd did practice problems in his head and then did mixed practice (odds)
  • S created a new pivot animation
  • B has been doing all kinds of paper/cardboard sculptures including a sky scraper
  • S did 100 subtraction facts
  • S - did a bit of Latin grammar, I orally reviewed 2nd declension and vocab and did page on grammar for Ch. 14.
  • Finished Farmer Boy with B
  • B, S and I worked for a few minutes in our Greek Alphabet workbook
  • Finished reading Book 1 by Iliad with W and J
  • Rick read Prisoner of Azkabahn (sp?) to S
  • I started reading Little House by Boston Bay to B
  • Prepared for Socratic discussion group tomorrow

Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Journal 9/30/09

  • Read B a chapter of Farmer Boy
  • B made a card for Rick because we've been talking about his upcoming birthday. This was just an I love you card (she makes a lot of these): To Daddy (on the cover) Dad, I love you P.S. Love is great, Becky
  • J went for a walk in the a.m.
  • J read a couple of chapters in HAW
  • W drove himself to NVCC. Yippee!
  • B spent a lot of time playing with, um, I mean practicing her violin
  • S practiced piano and made up tunes
  • B did cursive practice, mental math and read 6 sentences out of her reader
  • B did VT homework
  • H called from TX. She got a B+ on her first paper!
  • S did cursive practice and spelling, worked on his little outline exercise in his reader
  • S did a tiny bit of Latin (reviewed vocab and wrote out 2nd conjugation
  • S did mixed practice in lesson 10 of Saxon
  • J took B and Tillie for a walk
  • J worked on Algebra
  • W came home from NVCC. He made it there and back successfully!
  • Looked over Learn to Write the Novel Way with J and W; they are going to try and do the 18 week plan
  • Read most of Book 1 of Iliad and answered study questions. We didn't quite finish before I had to make dinner.
  • W and J to CLC
  • B got so busy making gifts for Rick that she didn't eat dinner. She made a little vase out of construction paper and tape and the cut up a wooden dowel and made paper flowers out of tissues. She made a "card" out of two small paper plates and some cardboard. She drew Rick'face on one paper plate and her how on the other and the cardboard is an arm. Rick has a tie made out of yarn. Then she made necklaces out of yarn, cardboard and aluminum foil as well as a doctors kit (the thing that goes around the head and then a stethescope.) She was so busy and so happy and there are tons of bits of paper all over the floor as a result!
  • Read another chapter of Farmer Boy; we only have 2 chapters left.
  • REad another chapter of Carry on Mr Bowditch to B and S
  • Read the story of St. Jerome and the Lion to both
  • Rick finished The Lightning Thief yesterday and he got home late so he didn't start a new book. He did start the next Rebecca book for B.
  • S listened some more to Charlotte's Web on audio.
  • W and J successfully made it home with Will driving! Will got his classical guitar back. Turns out he can't con't to take lessons with Jack the teacher from SOR so we have to find him a new teacher He's getting so into classical stuff now, he wants to be classically trained.

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Journal 9/29/09

  • Happy Michaelmas!
  • Finished Latin homework this a.m.
  • Got everyone up early; realized I had never run the dishwasher last night and the sink was full of dirty dishes that needed to be loaded into the already full dishwasher, so we did the sensible thing and went to IHOP for breakfast - studied our principle parts there
  • Went to Latin class - which was quite fun! We did Roman Geography, tried to speak in Latin as much as we could and acted out the 3rd chapter of Lingua Latina which was quite funny.
  • S did 100 subtraction facts, cursive practice and spelling; didn't get his outline exercise done
  • B did 10 place value problems, cursive and a page of her reading workbook, reading two syllable words.
  • After Latin went to Target to buy stuff like underwear, Fall jackets, new pjs, socks and J got two new pairs of khakis.
  • Came home just in time to turn around and take B and S to gymnastics. S liked gymnastics! I thought he'd start liking it after he got used to it but you never know that with that boy!
  • J did Algebra while we were gone - finished L. 7 and started 8.
  • W tried to mow lawn but he's waited until it go so long that it keeps choking it up and shutting off! Grrrr.
  • B practiced violin
  • Did S practice piano?
  • Took W to voice lesson
  • Rick read The Lightning Thief

Monday, September 28, 2009

Journal 9/28/09

  • Happy St. Wenceslaus Feast Day
  • Read Bible History to B and S about how the rod of Aaron blossomed - got into a good discussion about the tribe of Levy and then other things in the OT
  • Took W to CC and then B to Foxes to rent her violin
  • J did next lesson in Alg.
  • S read his F&L chapter, studied his poem and watched Ch. 14 dvd in Latin again
  • Home again: read B her chapter of F&L
  • S practiced piano
  • J did Latin homework on computer
  • S practiced cursive and did next lesson in Saxon
  • B practiced cursive and did a bit of math (place value up to 100)
  • Took B to her violin lesson which went well; planned my RE class while there
    P/u W from CC; he practiced piano there
  • Read B chapter from Farmer Boy - Threshing
  • Latin homework with W and J
  • W did Latin homework on computer
  • Taught RE class - we went to 7:30 Mass - didn't cover nearly all I wanted to!

Sunday, September 27, 2009

Journal 9/27/09

  • Got up and did some planning
  • Went to breakfast and the 11:45 Mass
  • Came home and the Touchstone Discussion books had been left on my door by the homeschool mom organizing it!
  • While Rick watched football, made 4 kids help me clean for an hour.
  • Read just the beginning couple of pages of the Iliad with W and J
  • Rick took W for a dry run to the CC so W won't get lost tomorrow driving himself
  • Read a chapter of Farmer Boy to B and then we played Go Fish; we tied!
  • J is watching anime on youtube
  • S took Tillie for a walk
  • Tonight is Yom Kippur so I'm going to run out and get something special for Rick to eat before he fasts. Sundown at 6:57
  • Getting lots of laundry done
  • Rick worked with J on his Algebra test.
  • Rick read Rebecca to B
  • B was being very sweet and making me pop-up cards that said I love you Mom. Then she wrote out on a piece of cardboard how much she loved in a mathematical formula that involved lots of infinity signs and plus signs (which she kept saying meant 'times' It was very cute. Then she sang a little song that had me cracking up, it was rather in a Reggae style.
  • Rick read more Lightning Thief - it's amazing how conversant everyone's become on the topic of Greek gods. Did you know Saturn is the Roman god of time and agriculture which is a conflation of Chronus and Dimeter (sp?) in the Greek gods? Chronus was father to Zeus and Saturn father to Jupiter. I now know these factoids! So does my 8 yo!

Journal Saturday 9/26/09

  • Got J and W up really early to go to 8 o'clock mass since we missed on Friday and . . . there was no 8 o'clock mass. So we said 3 decades of the rosary on the way to the bagel store.
  • Read B next chapter of Farmer Boy.
  • J, S and B and I went on the St. Vincent de Paul Friends of the Poor Walk and walked 5k (actually one lady there said it was more than that.) It was at Frying Pan Park and they were having a horse show so we saw many beautiful horses. We also walked through the farm and saw lots of animals which was fun. They were advertising agility/obedience training and that is what I think we need to do with Tillie, as we are neglecting her! Next year that is my goal. I also want to talk up this walk a lot and go next year.
  • W and Rick didn't go with us. Rick had Will drive to his piano lessons and then told him he was now allowed to drive on his own. So Will spent the day driving around and then calling us when he got lost. Which was a lot! Because apparently Will has never paid the slightest attention to where we were when driving in the car. He wasn't even sure where our house was!!!!! Rick said he'll learn but it has to be the hard way by getting lost a lot.
  • Came home with two friends, one of B's and one of S's and they had really nice playdates. S and his friend took Tillie for a long walk even though it was raining by then (the rain very politely held off until after the morning walk). B and her friend drew lots of pictures and played with. Then they all made up skits that they showed me and the friends' father when he came to pick them up. Hysterical!
  • Rick installed the Lingua Latina text and exercitzia for me on my laptop and I actually had fun doing my homework for Latin. W and J have to do this today.
  • Have decided Thumbelina needs to be an outdoor cat since she has taken to having accident in the living room and even on the carpeted steps. I can't take it anymore. She's already destoyed the dining room carpet. So either we give her away (and who will take a cat like that? She's crazy!) or she has to be an outdoor cat. She can't understand it and is frantic to get inside. I ran to the petco and bought her one of those cat condos and this special mat that reflects her own body heat and keeps her warm, plus her own set of water and food dishes. B and her friend set it up on the porch. She should be cozy out there!
  • J watched anime videos on youtube all afternoon and evening.
  • R got carry out from Santini's for dinner.
  • R read more Lightning Thief to B and S and then read American Girl Rebecca to B.
  • S decided he was going to read another Louis Sachar book. He couldn't get into A Wrinkle in Time. R said it was too old for him. I have a distinct memory of reading it in 5th grade but R says its really for 6th grade and up.
  • Looked up Blessed Imelda - she's an incorruptable, which always totally blows me away!!!! B wants to be Imelda for the All Saints Day party.
  • I started reading the Iliad yesterday and was actually enjoying it but I want the study guide so that I can do the same exercises as W and J while they read it.

Friday, September 25, 2009

Journal 9/25/09

  • Read B chapter of Farmer Boy in a.m. She woke up really early
  • Ran out and got ingredients for mummifying apples experiment. We couldn't go to morning mass because J never moved his clothes from the washer to the dryer last night.
  • Did mummifying apples experiment with 3 different types of salt: epsom salt, table salt and baking soda.
  • J took took an Algebra test and only got a 70 on it. I have to talk about this to Rick. . . J is so not into academics this year
  • W slept in late and listened to lots of music
  • Went to tennis 1-3
  • Picked up S's friend for playdate here
  • Called Clonlara - thinking of enrolling J
  • Talked about Book of Job and a little bit of HAW with W and J
  • Read another chapter of Farmer Boy to B
  • Rick read more of The Lightning Thief to S and B
  • W cleaned the kitchen for me without being asked!!!! God bless him!

Thursday, September 24, 2009

Journal 9/24/09

  • Read next chapter in Tales of Ancient Egypt
  • B and S did some cursive practice
  • S did a tiny bit of spelling
  • S practiced piano
  • S recited all of Trees poem
  • B learned By the Seaside by RLS
  • Becky read compound words and two syllable words from her reader. We discussed schwa vowels and how put emphasis on one syllable in multi-syllable words.
  • Becky did part of Ch.2 2-1 in MCP
  • S redid a little of L. 8 in Saxon and then finished up the mixed practice problems (odd numbered)
  • Watched ch. 14 in LfC - learning 2nd conjugation
  • J did Saxon Alg. II L. 5
  • W slept in! Have no idea what he did besides that all a.m.
  • B and S worked in Greek workbook
  • J read HAW and Book of Job
  • B to Little Flowers S to play with Jack - LF looks greats, lots of new girls
  • Rick is home!
  • J and I watched lecture 2 of Earth Science - geological time - wow! Earth is 4.567 billion years old!!!!! How'd they figure that out? Well the prof told me but I still don't understand what radioactivity has to do with it!!!!!!
  • Rick is reading Rebecca of American Girls series to Becky and The Lightning Thief to S and B(I thought he'd finished it but I was wrong).
  • W passed his driving test so he now is an official driver except that Rick isn't letting him drive until he tests him himself on Saturday. Poor W, so instead of driving, W is making cds he can play in his 'new' car.
  • Read B next chapter of Farmer Boy; she's listening to Little House in the Big Woods on audio as well.
  • S is listening to Wrinkle in Time on audio.

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Journal 9/23/09

  • Took W to Music Theory; he took a quiz and got an A-
  • Read Bible History to B and S (didn't get to it on Mon.) - about how the Israelites had to wander in the desert for 40 years. Had B and S answer questions at end.
  • Read next two chapters of Carry On, Mr. Bowditch - getting very interesting!
  • Did Latin grammar review with S; he really knew his grammar stuff. Just have to work on vocab.
  • B and S practiced cursive and S did a little bit of spelling.
  • Never got to math; oh well - tomorrow!
  • J did L. 5 of Alg II
  • J read intro to Romans and Galatians scripture study
  • J and I watched the first lesson in How the Earth Works (TTC)
  • W practiced guitar
  • Took S and B to VT
  • Had to run all the way to Levine to pick up music books S left there on Monday
  • S listened to more Roald Dahl on audio
  • first drawing class tonight with B and S but it turned out that the class, even though advertised through FCPA never was actually set up. So no class even though I registered and paid for it a couple months ago! They didn't bother to inform us!
  • Read a chapter of Farmer Boy - my favorite chapter about the blacking on the parlor wall.
  • Took W and J to CLC. Came home and B had cleared off the kitchen table and wiped it down all without me asking her to
  • S finished listening to James and the Giant Peach
  • B and S are watching The Little Prince

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Journal 9/22/09

  • Got up and studied Latin a bit
  • We ate breakfast at Starbucks. Haven't gone grocery shopping in a long time. Need to go!
  • Latin class - me, J and W
  • B and S did seatwork. B did cursive, math drill, reading workbook on compound words; drew lots of pictures
  • S did cursive, 2 pp of grammar, subtraction drill sheet, read in his reader
  • after Latin - J finished up L. 4 in Alg 2
  • S and B did VT homework; S did a little bit of spelling
  • W did drivers ed with student drivers
  • S and B went to gymnastics
  • I read some more of Book of Job
  • Read chapter of Farmer Boy to B

Monday, September 21, 2009

Journal 9/21/09

  • Took Will to Music Theory
  • Did VT with B and S!!! B did circles, angel touches, and K. figure 8's. S used the flippers while read F&L
  • B and S practiced cursive
  • S finished spelling exercises from last week.
  • B took the cumulative unit test in MCP
  • S did L. 8 in Saxon
  • S supposedly studied his poem Trees
  • Didn't get to Latin with S
  • S practiced piano
  • J worked on Algebra did L. 4 except didn't do problem set
  • Read F&L chapter to B. S read his F&L to himself
  • Took B to meet her new violin teacher. Really pretty lady, seeems very sweet.
  • P/u Will from NVCC
  • Took S to piano lesson; studied Latin for 45 minutes in car
  • Came home and got J and W to study Latin while I did
  • Did final planning for RE class
  • Taught RE class - very sweet group of girls; supposed to be 9 but only 8 were present.
  • Read a chapter of Farmer Boy to both S and B.
  • Can't believe I got through this hectic, crazy day!

Saturday, September 19, 2009

Friday, 9/18/09

  • Got to 9:15 a.m. mass at St. Mark. This is the sweetest Mass! The schoolchildren do the readings and prayers of the faithful and the children's choir sings the music. Monsignor Tom directs his homily right to the children in his down-homey, gentle style. It is lovely.
  • Picked up breakfast at Dunkin Donuts on the way home.
  • B worked a page in her reading workbook; Sean did some spelling in his speller
  • S practiced piano quite a bit
  • Did a lesson in math with both S and B.
  • J did some Algebra and read some
  • Don't know what Will did????
  • Made everybody chant 1st and 2nd (M and N) declensions all the way to tennis lessons! LOL! So we got Latin in!
  • Weather was great for first tennis lessons. Teen class is at 1; B and S's class @ 2. Had fun visiting with moms.
  • Will had his Beatles concert in the evening.
  • Came home and I read to Farmer Boy to B while she took a bath.
  • Rick read more to S and B.
  • Talked to Hannah a long time! She read me her first paper over the phone on Book 9 of The Iliad. She is really trying hard. I thought her paper sounded pretty good!

Thursday, September 17, 2009

Journal 9/16/09

  • Blech, woke up late @ 8:45 with migraine. Decided to pretend I didn't have one, but 45 minutes into that idea I started throwing up. Spent whole morning sick as a dog. Around 1 o'clock it started to abate.
  • During the morning Will watched B and S. He played word bingo with B and S wrote a new e-mail to his friend, so I guess they got some language arts in there. They also played on the computer, watched TV and played a lot of make believe games down in the basement. Rainy, dull morning.
  • W did do a lot of reading for Ancient Studies and J did some as well, though he did take advantage of my illness and spent some time on the computer.
  • In the pm did a little bit of cursive and a tiny bit of Greek with B and S. Becky read the next 6 sentences out of her reader and she did really well, I think VT is already kicking in for her. She didn't have to sound out every word painfully and she didn't keep moving her head or losing her place as she read. She did complain that it was making her eyes hurt. I've notice she is also trying to read things around the house by herself. That is a new thing!
  • S did a bit of spelling.
  • Met with Josh and Will. We discussed the Theogony chapter from HCM and also the next 4 chapters of SWB's HAW. That was pretty productive.
  • W went to guitar practice and then band practice for his Beatles show tomorrow night.
  • Still want to do math with B and S; check with J to see if he did any Alg. and also read Nathaniel Bowditch to S and B.
  • Read B another chapter of Farmer Boy about maple syrup. This led to a nice discussion about different kinds of sugar. She remember very clearly all the details in Strawberry Girl about sugar cane. She loved that book!
  • S is listening to the second Harry Potter book on audio.
  • Update: never did get to math but I did read Bowditch

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Journal 9/16

  • Read story of Thutmose and the Sphinx to B and S
  • S worked in Language of grammar book
  • B did some cursive
  • Did mental math with B
  • S did some math from L. 6
  • Read F&L ch. 2 to B.
  • J worked on Alg. Rick helped
  • W went to Music Theory class
  • S practiced piano
  • B set up a restaurant in her room; she cut up cheese and had crackers and a bowl of blueberries. She was looking for the Mozart cds but they mysteriously gone missing.
  • B and S are building a 'town' downstairs in basement.
  • Dropped off something for girls' club on the way to pick up Will, took forever!
  • Got home just in time to take S and B to VT; we were late.
  • Sent care package to H
  • Collapsed from about 4:30 to 6, ordered pizza for dinner
  • Met with W and J to see how much stuff they'd gotten done. J did more Alg. W did some reading for tomorrow
  • Took W and J to CLC
  • Did 10 minutes of Latin with S. Still reviewing grammar, chanted 1st and 2nd delensions went over N, G, D, A, A and what a predicate nominative was
  • Read another chapter of Farmer Boy to B
  • Rick is reading The Lightning Thief. Everybody, including W and J are getting into Greek Mythology because of this. Ties in with reading Heroes of the City of Man Theogony chapter.

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

  • Did vocab cards for Latin before class
  • Latin class 10 to 12
  • S did additions fact sheet, page of speller, cursive practice, studied poem Trees, then played outside with another 5th grade boy who also tags along after his older brother. They seem to be making friends.
  • B did a few addition problems, a page in her reading workbook, cursive practice, then she colored a lot and played with playdoh.
  • J was really alert and on the ball in class, W seems to have slept through it.
  • W practiced music
  • J worked on Less. 2 problems in Saxon but got several wrong, sigh
  • W went driving with drivers ed.
  • J finished first Logic/Writing assignment
  • Did Latin grammar review with S.
  • Went to first gymnastics class for S and B - Sean did not like it. He is out of shape and was remember how well he did over a year ago. He stayed up way too late last night and was cranky from that plus he's got a bit of a cold. He hated it and cried all the way. I do wish he was not so darn high strung. I signed him up for 3 months. Get ready for the emotional roller coaster!

Monday, September 14, 2009

Journal 9/14/09

  • Until Will gets his driver's license (which hopefully will happen at the end of this month) I have to drive him to his Music Theory class on Mondays and Wednesdays. We have to leave the house about 9:30 to get him there by 10 and then I don't get back home until 10:30. This is so awkward, I can't stand it! Because it starts the week off badly. The younger kids get up and laze around in their pjs and play computer and watch tv and then they really don't want to do Mom-directed stuff by the time I get home. Plus just after I got home Hannah called and wanted to talk so I wound up talking with her until after 11:00. Then the cleaners came! I love having cleaners that come bi-monthly, but it is disruptive. We had to quick tidy up for them and deal with vacuum cleaners roaring and such. So the morning was frustrating.
  • So we only got a little bit of cursive, a tiny bit of math and a tiny bit of Greek done before I had to go back out to pick up Will from CC.
  • S definitely got some spelling in because he and his friend Joe have been exchanging e-mails. He'll probably learn spelling faster that way than doing work in his spelling workbook.
  • I also read Bible History. It was Providential because the chapter had to do with Moses instituting the holy days of Passover, Pentecost, Sukkot and Yom Kippur and I had decided yesterday to read a book called My Jewish Friend, A Young Catholic Learns about Judaism. Of course this book goes into detail about Jewish holidays so it was wonderful kismet! We read the first few pages of that out loud. Then S read the 2nd chapter in F&L.
  • Josh did part of L. 2 in his Saxon math but he didn't finish it up.
  • Josh read the first part of his Logic book The Argument Builder. I'm making him write out all his answers to give him writing practice.
  • W did a bit of SAT Prep.
  • We've been listening to a Rimsky-Korsakov (sp?) recording in the car everywhere we go. It is his 'greatest hits'. Sean kept playing The Flight of the Bumblebee over and over.
  • S went to his first piano lesson of the new school year.
  • W, J and I have hours of Latin homework still to do. We did some on Sunday afternoon, but we still have much more to do between now and tomorrow morning.
  • Update: We got some Latin done before dinner and then most of the rest of it after dinner. Still have a tiny bit to do Tuesday a.m.
  • J did more math and more logic
  • W practiced lots of music and mowed the front lawn.
  • Rick is reading The Lightning Thief out loud to S and B and suddenly everybody is talking about Charon and Dionysus.