February brings the . . . everything

So yes, there was a month of February in there. It happened, I’m sure. Actually, a lot happened in it. DOB’s grandfather died and his sister got married, so he was gone for a week. I had to take a two-day course to requalify for my law license. Work got busier for both of us.

And the kids continue happily on in their world of imagination. This is why I love using a style that is dependent on their drive and initiative, not mine–they keep growing and learning even when life gets hectic.

They continue to be obsessed with Robin Hood. Maybe I should have made England our next stop in geography studies–then again, why fix what’s working? They listen to Robin Hood at night and pore over illustrated editions. They are still working on a play and D1 wrote a ballad on the love story of Alan a’Dale.

So instead we moved on to Germany, kind of rolling Austria and Switzerland in for the ride, since there just isn’t the wealth of material about Germany as there is about France. We have been reading plenty of Grimm’s Fairy Tales, as well as Heidi (which has scenes both in Germany and Switzerland). Both are very well-loved.

In science we have been learning about energy, with help from the fabulous book My Light, by Molly Bang. This book is amazing. It is so simply and beautifully written and illustrated, yet it covers accurately the connection between the power of the sun and means of generating electricity. D4 begs for this one over and over, which dovetails nicely with his fascination with the power going out. D2 also loves it. A solid Let’s Read and Find Out Science book to go with it is Energy Makes Things Happen. We’ve also done some simple experiments along the lines of crashing cars into each other.

The big kids have been begging to do math sheets from MEP math. They are both working from pages in 1B, but D2 does not always finish his, and sometimes he just tells me the answer and he writes it. They like the variety; I try to choose pages that have fairly concrete exercises and don’t require a lot of explanation.

They have also been dragging out their handwriting books in preference to doing copywork. D1 is eagerly anticipating learning cursive; I am debating whether to get her Book C next or Book D; I fear Book C won’t have enough cursive to suit her.

I’ve continued to push on the narration issue, and D1 is finally starting to let go and cooperate, telling the story in detail instead of providing a five-word summing up. D2 chimes in sometimes, too. Sometimes he just sits with a glazed expression on his face which in his case means he is listening so intently he has no energy left for facial expressions.

Our music for February consisted of a song we learned at church that was in Spanish and English: Cantad Al Senor/Oh Sing to the Lord; The Ten Commandments (also their Sunday School); and the poem “Furry Bear” by A.A. Milne.

Some things I want to include in the next week or so: we haven’t had a good art/nature lesson in a while. Drawing spring buds would be delightful. I want to do some map studies to go with Heidi and show them some pictures of the Alps. (Actually that’s not so hard, Her Majesty’s Oma from Germany painted several which Her Majesty displays prominently in the dining room.)

More craziness is likely to come, as we are now actively house shopping and probably going to get a fixer-upper. However, if we get the one we want, it will have a large room we can use as a project/school room. And fixing up the house should provide lots of learning opportunities.

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