Somewhat-More-than-a-Week Update

OK, so that whole weekly thing . . . well, the beginning of October I decided to reactivate my law license and take 45 hours of legal classes in furtherance of doing so. I’m trying to get them done by Thanksgiving. Also I had some research work to do. So it’s been a bit crazy, but we’ve still done fairly well, I think. Actually, after trying it out, I think I could work 10 hours a week from home without even hiring help. We’ll see if I can find something that fits.

With school, I’ve tried to keep our cornerstone pieces going: Bible story during breakfast, singing/memory time afterwards, and read-aloud at the beginning of naptime. I’ve also decided to make daily outside time mandatory every morning, which does wonders for my energy levels and helps the twins nap (sometimes).

I’ve also added in a very short but focused handwriting practice daily (I’d like to blog more about that, with pictures–I’ve been using graph-style whiteboards and I really like how it’s working). Our extra card activities have slid to the back burner, but we still do some of them–emphasis being on the ones the kids can do independently. I’ve managed to keep the library basket well-stocked (although DOB has had to do most of the lugging, as we were down to one car for most of that time, too.) The big kids are both reading and drawing and acting things out constantly.

So I think we’re still doing very well, with almost no planning time on my part.  And I have been keeping my daily journal–I write in it while I’m waiting for the twins to fall asleep at naptime.

Here’s our memory work for October:

Bible: Continued on Parable of the Lost Sheep

Hymn: For All the Saints

Folksong: Waltzing Matilda

Spanish songs: Continued Tortillitasm, Cinco Lobitos.

We had some amazing nature experiences during our outside times in October: seeing garter snakes just after hatching, spotting a rare squirrel, building forts, noticing different kinds of mushrooms, and of course, eating a lot of huckleberries.

Some of the books we enjoyed: We continued with Aesop; narrations are getting better. Also Tales from Long Ago (medieval–Robin Hood, Crusades, The Wake), and finishing Charlotte’s Web.

We read some books about Australia; the twins loved The Biggest Frog in Australia and the older kids enjoyed some by Alison Lester based on her own childhood: Are We There Yet? and My Farm. We also enjoyed a sweet book called Lizzie Nonsense which tells about a family in the Aussie bush with a Little House feel. Moving up into the East Indies, we read The Gift of the Crocodile, a Cinderella-type story.

We found some fun poem books, Orangutan Tongs, and a delightfully illustrated version of Old Possum’s Practical Cats. I’ve started All-of-a-Kind Family Downtown as the read-aloud when everyone is in bed soon enough.

D1 read Betsy-Tacy to herself and thoroughly enjoyed it; she’s still working on The Marvelous Land of Oz, but it got pretty hard going, I think. D2 has been slowly reading through The Bears on Hemlock Mountain to me; it’s a challenge, but he enjoys and understands it. D1 also has been reading a biography of Queen Elizabeth. D2 rereads lots of the picture books and poem books. He really, really loves poetry.

The twins have been thoroughly enjoying Blueberries for Sal, Angus and the Cat, and Moon Plane.

We did have a few science lessons, on states of matter and on gravity. (Accompanying which we read Gravity is a Mystery.) I found some suitable experiment books on matter and an interesting-looking book on Galileo’s tower experiment, which I hope to get to over the next few weeks. They are really enjoying the science lessons.

I’ve started working on giving the kids subtraction as well as addition problems to solve. A brief conversation with D2 led him to grasp the idea of negative numbers, so he likes to come up with problems that will have a negative answer.

We read a little bit of I, Columbus (this was in connection with gravity and how it pulls equally all around the world–before Columbus many people, even though they knew the world was round, feared you would go “down hill” and be unable to get back up). Then we lost it before he got to America! Very annoying.

I think I’ll stop there and do a real weekly post for the first week of November.

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