What We Did, May 2010

This month has been pretty hectic, as DOB started a new job and blew out his right knee/foot in the same week. So I’ve been distracted driving him to work, doctor’s appointments, the gym, etc. We have hand controls in the car now and hopefully things will be  a bit calmer.

We’ve also had a few quiet, rainy days, so we’ve done a bit of school nonetheless. D1 and D2 both continue to read incessantly–D2 is easily reading the Easy Reader books now: Henry and Mudge, Nate the Great, etc. D1 enjoys those and is tackling chapter books occasionally (Little House in the Big Woods), especially ones she has heard me read to her before. My sister tells me that one day when she was babysitting and the other kids were napping, D2 sat on her lap and read her grantwriting proposals: “Liberty . . . freedom . . . freedom . . . there’s a lot of freedom in this!” Mouse Soup and Mouse Tales were big hits and they are starting to tell me about the things they have read.

We’ve continued with a bit of a geographic focus, still reading about different regions of North America. We mostly read about the Arctic in May. Our anchor book was The Snow Baby, a biography of Admiral Peary’s daughter, who was born in Greenland and visited her father’s base camp often (she was a teenager before he finally made the pole). D1 especially loved this–I think she will be more intrigued by biographies and historical fiction than I ever was.  I wish I could have found a copy of the original autobiography it was based on. (I hesitate to recommend the book, except for read-aloud, because it quite unnecessarily mentions twice that Admiral Peary had an Inuit mistress by whom he had a couple of children–certainly something Marie Peary did not know of in childhood and never spoke of in later life. I skipped over the paragraphs reading aloud.)

Another book about the Arctic we enjoyed was Welcome to the Ice House, by Jane Yolen. Beautiful and poetic and yet quite informative.

There were some more books about other regions we read: Morning, Noon and Night and Tulip Sees America took us across the country again; A Puffin’s Year showed us an animal on the East Coast, and Redwoods a forest on the West. Some other reads were Anatole and the Cat, The Maggie B., and The Real Princess: A Mathemagical Tale. Most of the poems we read came from a collection by Edward Lear. (And D2, especially, enjoyed reading them to himself afterwards. He’s also fond of reading Mother Goose.)

At the end of the month, we had just begun rereading Winnie-The-Pooh together and started All of a Kind Family in the evenings once everyone is tucked into bed.

We had the chance to visit some tall ships–old-style sailing ships with D1 and D2. They were thrilled, running all over the two joined ships until I finally gave up on keeping up with them.

D1 is communicating more and more in writing, even writing letters and notes to keep track of her thoughts and opinions. We did a few days’ work on spelling and a few days’ practice of handwriting.

We haven’t done a lot of math, but worked one day with the gems and often talk about numbers together. They’ve also been playing with some money-oriented garage sale games–making up their own rules, but I notice D1 is starting to copy down numbers oriented the right way.

We also went to see baby chicks at the farm, spent lots of time riding bikes and playing in the dirt, and met some new friends at a Memorial Day picnic. We’ll be trying out a weekly informal homeschool play day and see how that works. The older ducklings are really looking forward to it.

Bible: Finished Acts, did a few summary stories out of Revelation, and recited some key passages from the Epistles to round it out. Memorized the Great Commission (Matthew 28:18-20)

Hymn: I Will Sing of My Redeemer

Folk Song: What Shall We Do With a Drunken Sailor?

Spanish: continued singing songs

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