Sunday, January 31, 2010

52 in 52

Okay it has been 5 week since the beginning of the year. The books I've read in January:

1. The House that Cleans Itself by Mindy Starns Clark
2. The Autobiography of St. Therese of Lisieux: The Story of a Soul
3. The Story of the Other Wiseman by Henry Van Dyke
4. Beyond the Heather Hills by Melissa Wiley
5. Hold Onto Your Kids By Gordon Neufeld
6. Pinocchio by Carlo Collodi

I'm also more than halfway through Villette by Charlotte Bronte.

I think I'm going to reread Say Goodbye to Whining, Complaining and Bad Attitudes in You and Your Kids by Scott Turansky and Joanne Miller. Hold on to Your Kids was a good secular book for attachment/peaceful parenting but I remember really liking this book because it came from a Christian point of view and had some real practical steps for developing good relationship with your children and disciplining them in the way that discipline originally meants, as mentors or teachers.

For Lent I've decided I'm going to make myself finish Jesus of Nazareth by Pope Benedict. I started this book, what, 2 years ago????? I love it! But I pick it up, read a few lines, go WOW! and then leave it alone for months. I need some discipline (ha!) to get it finished. Also I want to finish reading Introduction to the Old Testament by Lawrence Boadt.

Monday, January 25, 2010

Weekly Report 1/25 - 1/31


  • S threw up in the night. Is he sick or was it just a surfeit of potato chips? Stay tuned. . .

  • S's friend Joe who goes to school wound up coming over early in the morning and was supposed to be picked up at noon. Their power was out, both parents work and for some reason he didn't have school (he goes to school). However, no one showed up to get him until 2:30 p.m. Threw quite a bit of a monkey wrench into my plans!

  • I did manage to read to B and S Bible History - Solomon's Temple.

  • We also read an old Troll book about Ancient China. We are going to see the Terra Cotta Warriors at National Geographic on Wednesday (if we don't all come down with a stomach bug!). This got the kids into playing with their new dragon puppet, finding out when the Chinese New Year is (Feb 14 year of the tiger) and finding out what everybody's Chinese Zodiac sign is.

  • Later in the morning B took all the silly putty she's been playing with (each child got some in their Christmas stocking but she stole it all from them!) and made The Great Wall of China! And then she went over to the globe and copied over the word Mongolia on an index card, then placed the card on one side of the wall! Spontaneous hands on unit study!

  • J worked on National Latin Exam practice.

  • J did lesson 3 in Logic class

  • J worked on Chin Dynasty questionnaire in Trisms

  • B and S did WWE

  • S did did the first part of vocab review in Latin - 10 words

  • Instead of doing math formally S, B and friend played with the math dice. It was too hard to settle down to MCP and Saxon with friend roaming the house!

  • W did some writeguide (very little I think)


  • Latin class for W, J and I, W has a very bad attitude anymore when it comes to Latin. Senioritis?

  • B and S did penmanship, math (S - factoring; B carrying in addition with bigger numbers), S did a page of spelling, B did a page from her phonics workbook.

  • W took B and S to Vision Therapy. We found out last Friday that S needs glasses. I must get the prescription filled very soon! But when? He is so happy he'll be getting glasses. He is hoping he can read for longer periods of time. Right now he gets frustrated that his eyes tired so quickly.

  • I took J to math tutor. He really likes her. She is a nice lady.

  • W took B to gymnastics

  • J and I watched next lecture in Science: Subduction Zones.

  • I p/u B from gymnastics. She loves gym. sooo much.

  • I read next ch. of The Cure of Ars to B and S.

  • J and I read Book XIII in The Odyssey and answered study guide questions.


  • Read B some Pinocchio - we are enjoying this very bizarre book!
  • Read a ch in Herodotus about his travels to Babylon

  • Read Growing Up in Ancient China

  • B and I did about 5 minutes of estimating in her MCP math

  • S finished Lesson 25 in Saxon

  • J did a little bit of Writeshop - not much

  • Went downtown to the see the Terra Cotta Warriors. It was really crowded. B got claustophobic after about 10 minutes. But it was cool to see the statues, the coins, the crossbow, the statues of horses and carts, the armor. R met us there and bought a dvd about The First Emperor. He joked about how he'd seen the movie the Last Emperor and now he was going to watch about the First Emperor and then he'd know everything about Chinese history!!!

  • We ate a late lunch with R before he went back to his office. Then we peeked in at St. Matthew's Cathedral (we were parked in their parking garage!) and walked around the glorious church. They are doing construction on the main altar but the mosaics and statues and everything are very beautiful. B lit a candle and we prayed for H at college.

  • When we got home, B and S got the charcoal pencils out and started drawing.
  • Went and got S's eye glasses order. 7 to 10 days until we get them.
  • S had been asking for a jumble puzzle book so I picked one up at the drugstore plus another book of all kinds of puzzles (suduko, crosswords, word searches, etc) He loves them and started doing them at bedtime.
  • Read first ch of The History of Medicine by Tiner - Imhotep, Hippocrates and Galen.
  • Did long division with S - it totally, totally clicked! He thought it was fun! I had him use the mnemonic device Does McDonald's Serve Burgers (I got it from someone on WTM!).
  • B did one addition problem on the whiteboard. She did it very quickly. It involved lots of carrying. I think she's getting this addition thing down now.
  • WWE with both B and S. Every time I get this program out I appreciate its sheer genius in doing so much so easily and efficiently.
  • Reviewed more Latin nouns with S
  • Read Greek words in Greek workbook: agape, etc. Kids were losing focus at this point.
  • Took B to Little Flowers where they wrote a letter to nursing home folks and learned about St. Jane de Chantal. It's her b-day today. Happy birthday St. Jane!
  • S and Jack got to play together
  • J - did most of Alg test but just wasn't focusing too well this morning.
  • J - did a little bit of his writeshop, just a little.
  • J - watched the DVD on the Qin dynasty. I saw half of it - very interesting!
  • W was incredibly organized today. He slept late but he spent 4 hours on music stuff (1/2 hr on soloing; 1/2 on sight reading; 1/2 on piano; 1/2 on singing 1/2 on ear training; 1/2 on guitar pieces for his teacher). He also did his Writeguide and even some of his Latin homework!!! Wow, I was very impressed.
  • W helped S with his on-line music theory lesson.
  • S practiced piano.
  • I read a lot of Pinocchio to B
  • Read next chapter about St. Jean Vianney in Cure of Ars. The ch was about St. Philomena who he attributed all his cures to.
  • W got up and went to 6:15 Mass, then to his music composition class
  • J, S, B and I went to our Socratic Discussion/art class. I don't even know what J's group talked about. S, B and I, with the other kids finished making Southwestern Indian designed with stencils. I read about Blessed Father Junipero Serra to the kids while they colored. Very pleasant time.
  • J started his new Intro to Chem. class from 1 to 3.
Projected for weekend:
  • J needs to finish his Algebra test and do another lesson
  • Also I'd like to finish reading Book XIV of the Odyssey, maybe tonight.
  • We need to finish our bluebird box project - need to build one more, paint them all and put on predator guards.

Monday, January 18, 2010

Weekly Report 1/18/10 - 1/23/10

Monday, MLK day

  • Watched 3 of my friends' kids on MLK day. Played the youtube of last part of MLK's last speech for S and friend. They were not that interested but I wanted S to hear MLK voice.
  • S and friend played with S's animating program
  • B and her friends made up a pretty ballet dance and played with dolls. (B attended her cousins Nutcracker production and now is enamoured with ballet).
  • Took B to violin lesson but teacher wasn't there! But all was not lost, I sang B all the songs/lullabyes we used to sing when she was younger.
  • J did a short exercise in his Writeshop and then had nice daddy time driving to the farm (about an hr away) to pick up our beef order.
  • Rick took S with him to home depot to get materials for building bluebird boxes.
  • B watched The Robinsons and then Mulan
  • She also played a lot of plants vs. zombies with Rick
  • J and I studied for Latin test tomorrow (some in afternoon and some in evening)
  • W went to his band practice
  • W studied for Latin
  • W went to meet his friend for mass and Bible study but there was no mass and no Bible study. MLK day strikes again!
  • B read a story in her reader to Rick
  • R is reading Battle of the Labyrinth
  • S played a lot of piano today. Right now he is sounding out an Eric Satie piece.

  • Went to Latin class - took two quizzes. W and J did not do well. I got a 94% on one, the other one wasn't graded.
  • B and S did penmanship. S did a little Latin and math. B did reading workbook but didn't do her math.
  • Took J to his first tutoring session. Liked the tutor a lot. Seems enthusiastic and relieved. While waiting at the tutor's B and I went over the math she didn't do. Then she got to play on the wii with the tutor's son.
  • I got my Latin homework done while waiting.
  • I made J and S go for a 30 minutes walk to get some exercise.
  • B went to gymnastics
  • Read next chapter in Cure of Ars in and Herodotus
  • J started the China unit in Trisms but didn't get far. I need to give more direction in that area.
  • J and I read book X in Odyssey and answered study guide questions.
  • Read Bible History - Solomon's wisdom
  • Did WWE - S took perfect dictation! B was supposed to narrate a passage from Pinocchio but got upset that she hadn't read the book and the passage was giving away the story. So we ditched that and I read her the first two chapters of the real book of Pinocchio. She announced that it would be her new chapter book.
  • Worked with B on addition patterns that would help her add faster. She only partially paid attention.
  • S read first chapter in his Alex Rider book
  • S and I went over vocabulary and little bit of grammar in his LfC workbook
  • S finished lesson 24 in Saxon.
  • J baked cookies!
  • J tried to do China unit but just can't get started!
  • J worked on Writeshop exercise.
  • Went for a 40 minute walk with J, B and S
  • J, B, S and I went through the 50 States Fandex reviewing state capitals, just cuz it happened to be out and I picked it up while we were eating lunch.
  • J and I watched the next Earth Works lecture on Transform Faults. Lots of stuff about the San Andreas Fault and CA earthquakes.

  • W got up and went to 9:15 Mass
  • I Read ch. 3 and 4 in Herodotus
  • Did WWE with B and S - S had to summarized passage; B did copy work
  • S did Music Theory lesson with W
  • S read next ch. in Alex Rider book
  • I played adding game with B with dice
  • Played multiplication game with S using dice
  • J finished Alg lesson from yesterday and started on next lesson
  • J did 2nd lesson in Logic
  • J did a little exercise from Writeshop - he just had to describe a simple object. It took him forever to settle on what he wanted to describe. Either he couldn't find the words to describe something accurately enough like his hat or the dining room clock, or it was something that he realized the exercise didn't allow, like a banana. Finally he settle on a red candle sitting on the coffee table. Then he literally used 5 words and that was it!
  • J and I read Book XI in the Odyssey
  • J and I went to the drs and his scoliosis has gotten very bad quickly. So the dr recommended surgery. We are looking at Feb. 24th right now. That will put a big hole in things for a while!
  • W went to his music theory II class. He hates it and wants to drop it. He says he'll learn lots of music theory in his composition class and at piano lessons.
  • I'm assuming W is working on his Writeguide course; better check up on that.

  • J went with the youth group down to the March for Life
  • W has 4 hour Music Composition class
  • S has VT re-evaluation today at 2:00
  • Did a little bit of Greek, learned about smooth and rough breathing marks and how to say the 'h' sound. This got S going because he knows the author in the Percy Jackson series got this wrong! He was spelling the h sound with an 'ata' which really forms the long A sound.
  • Read the next chapter in the Cure of Ars.
  • Read Pinocchio to B. S spent the night at friends house.

  • Did our big bluebird box building workshop. Kids came over in the afternoon to participate but wound up mostly playing outside.
Today, Sunday

  • Mass
  • J needs to do a lesson in Alg.
  • I'd like to read a book of the Odyssey with him if we can.
  • W is having band practice today I think.
  • W and J have youth group this evening.

Monday, January 11, 2010

Weekly Report 1/11/10

Monday 1/11

  • Read Bible History - David and the Psalms
  • Did WWE - S did a great job on his summary!
  • S finished practice problems in L. 22
  • B did 10 more addition problems with regrouping. Did a magic square
  • Watched L. 17 dvd lesson in Latin - reviewed new vocabulary
  • Both S and B were barely paying attention - painfully drawn out to get this little bit done!
  • S played lots of piano
  • B set up a school for her stuffed animals and dolls and was more interested in teaching them than being taught by me!
  • J took Test 8 in Saxon
  • I studied for Latin test
  • B and S decided to have a Veggie Tales dvd marathon
  • J took his first Logic lesson on line
  • B's violin lesson was canceled - teacher's kids are sick.
Tuesday 1/12/10

  • Studied for Latin test
  • Latin class - no Latin test! Instead quiz on verb forms. Only got a B! W and J completely unprepared. Didn't do well. Started studying for NLE
  • B and S did penmanship, math (S - fractions; B-addition with 3 columns), spelling
  • After lunch - J did Trisms worksheet 1 on Mayans
  • J and I watched Science lecture on Plate Tectonics
  • J and I read Book VII in Odyssey, answered study questions
  • W played his banjo a lot and took B to gymnastics
  • S animated on his dsi and then took a walk
  • H has been lounging about. She made dean's list!
Wednesday 1/13/10

  • had bad migraine all night. Didn't go away until afternoon!
  • everybody slept in!
  • Did oral narrations from WWE with B and S
  • Got everyone to an 11 o'clock appt (we were late) to have portrait of kids taken for very late Christmas gift for Rick
  • Ate lunch out
  • Took B and S to VT
  • Started reading Herodotus by Jeanne Bendick to B and S
  • W and J went to CLC
Thursday 1/14/10

  • B and S - Bible History - David and Absalom
  • B and S did WWE copywork - I am really loving WWE so far!
  • B practiced adding doubles and then figuring out how to add their 'neighbors' She does not like to focus on arithmetic!
  • S did more work on fractions and review of word problems. L 23 in Saxon
  • S reviewed -are present conjugations, sum conjugation and Imperfect conjugations. Also we reviewed declensions. Went over L. 17 vocab. B listened in.
  • S did his first music theory class from LPH. Will helped him. S discovered the chat room which delighted him!
  • S and B - we also got the next clue in our Greek Code Cracker, reviewing more Greek blends.
  • J - did worksheet on music history for Mayans and also the vocab quiz.
  • J and I read Book VIII of Odyssey and answered study guide questions
  • J is finally starting Writeshop. Did 1st lesson making sentences more vivid through concrete wording; using Thesaurus.
  • W took it easy. Attend his first Music Theory II class at CC in evening.
  • Rick went over J's Alg II test.
  • J and I went to meeting at church about fundraising and prep for the teen workcamp this summer. W couldn't attend because of his class.
Friday 1/15/10

  • W went to Music Composition, 4 hour class
  • J had Socratic Discussion - Newton's Laws of Motion!
  • B and S and other kids did a lesson on Southwestern Indian designs; made template of geometric shapes and practiced making designs.
  • J did some dictation and next lesson in Writeshop
  • J and I read Book IX in the Odyssey; did study guide questions.
  • Found an Algebra tutor for J! He starts next Tues. afternoon

Sunday, January 10, 2010

52 in 52

I hadn't thought about blogging this but then I saw MommyFaithe was so I decided to follow suit.

This is a challenge to read 52 books in 52 weeks. The idea is to read a book a week, however that is too unrealistic for me. Some books, like The Odyssey, are just not readable in a week given all the other stuff I have to do in a week! I think if you really tried to do the book a week thing with an otherwise busy life you'd either have to give up sleeping or just read very short, light books. I don't want to sacrifice the quality of my reading so my plan is to try to finish a book a week. I usually have several books going on at one. Usually three or four I'm reading with the kids and usually a couple of books I'm reading on my own.

So far in 2010:

1. The Autobiography of St. Therese of Lisieux (this was an audio book I listened to in the car).
2. The Story of the Other Wise Man by Henry Van Dyke (this is either a very long short story or a very short novella. Absolutely beautiful and faith-filled.

Update! I forgot a book!

3. Archimedes and the Door to Science by Jeanne Bendick (I don't know if this counts as it is both a children's book and a re-read. However, I have such a bad memory re-reading books really isn't all that different from reading them the first time! And it had been several years since I had read it.

Tuesday, January 5, 2010

Weekly Report 12/4/10-12/9/10

Monday 12/4/10 -

  • Oh my. Still recovering from big family Epiphany party. We spent last Thursday, Friday and Saturday decluttering, cleaning and preparing for it. Sunday we had the party and it was wonderful. Monday morning woke so exhausted I could barely see straight. Got very little academic stuff done. Finished Latin homework, got S and B to music lessons. Went to RE at church and listened to great talk on vocations. W went to 7:30 p.m. Mass and his little Bible study with his friend. J mostly cleaned his room and read the 3rd book in the Eragon series (besides doing his Latin homework). Felt like I was running in deep sand all day long.
Tuesday 12/5/10 -

  • Got the kids up at 9:15 a.m. That was early for us! Everyone has been staying up incredibly late. I am determined that we start sleeping/waking at more reasonable hours!
  • Latin class for J, W and me. Trying to get the brain in gear again!
  • B and S, during Latin class did their penmanship, spelling and math (only S never got to the math part, sigh).
  • After lunch, B and S practiced music. S and W went to B&N to spend S's gift card he got for Christmas. He got the next book in the graphic novel series, Bone (he got the first book for Christmas)
  • B went to gymnastics.
  • J did lesson 32 in Saxon and then worked on finishing up first questionnaire in his Trisms program on the Maya.
  • W is starting his Writeguide Eng. Comp. class.
  • J and I read Book III of the Odyssey
  • Read the next chapter of The Story of the Other Wise Man to B and S.
  • Rick is reading Book number ??? in the Percy Jackson series to B and S out loud.

  • Busy day! Finished Story of the Other Wise Man just in time for Epiphany
  • B and S did a little WWE
  • B went to an ice skating party where she had a blast (W took her for me)
  • S did a lot of Latin review and then we orally reviewed times tables.
  • J struggled with Alg lesson; Rick worked with him when he got home
  • J did his Trisms paper on Slash and Burn agriculture
  • J and I watched lecture on Earthquakes
  • J and I started Book IV of Odyssey but I fell asleep!!! He read further than I did but then it was dinner time.
  • J and W went to CLC
  • S finished second Bone book.

  • J worked on the map portion of the Mayan study.
  • J and I finished reading Book IV of Odyssey.
  • J read next 3 chapters in HAW; I plan to do that tonight
  • S and B both did WWE and watched Ch. 17 dvd lesson in LfC. S worked on division in Saxon, B on regrouping two columns of addtion problems.
  • Read next ch. in Archimedes and also next ch. in Cure of Ars
  • B's math lesson used the Pony Express as an example and she didn't know what that was! So I read her a book about Buffalo Bill and the Pony Express.
  • S is doing lots of animating and playing with puppets. B played pbskids games and played with puppets as well
  • W slept in and then ran to the store for milk and bread!
  • H is back from her visit to Philly and is busy getting airline tickets to go back to UD and also getting her passport in order to go to Rome hopefully next fall.
  • W has been doing his Writeguide course every day.
Friday 1/8/10

  • It snowed so Socractic Discussion group got cancelled. B went out and shoveled the driveway!!! W and H slept in until 1 p.m.! S played lots of piano and did lots of animating on his new dsi. J went outside for a while and then stayed up in his room reading????? what I'm not sure!
  • Finished reading Archimedes out loud to B and S.
  • Read next ch. in Cure of Ars. We are all really enjoying that book!
  • Learned about Greek consonant blends in Code Cracker (which we haven't worked on in at least 6 weeks!).
  • Watched Lion, Witch and Wardrobe
  • H took B ice skating.
  • J and I read Book V in Odyssey
  • W and S spent much of the day discussing either the finer points of animation or music.