Week 3

Year 1: CHOW, “The Tomb Builders”; James Herriot’s Treasury, “Only One Woof”; PTTS, Chapter 3; Aesop’s “Boy and Filberts”; “Hercules and the Wagoner”, Blue Fairy Book, “Why the Sea is Salt.” Free Read: Red Fairy Book. Math: Operations using 6, pattern blocks, graph paper (inch and centimeter). Watercolors with salt. Bible: Joshua.

Twins: Letter C, pattern blocks, flannelgraph

This week was better. A lot better. Mostly I think this was because I got up and took a walk every single morning (except Wednesday, when DOB went swimming), and did stretches every night. I’ve been in much less pain and had way more energy. And felt calmer and more able to handle things. It always amazes me how much of a difference walking makes for me. I didn’t have any contract work this week, but I also didn’t have any babysitter, and we still kept up with the housework!

The big kids seem to be adjusting to the idea that school is what we do, although Deux still has many times when he immediately says, “Nooooo!” and then happily proceeds with whatever it was. I’ve learned to just carry on.

Deux made good progress in copywork this week, finally becoming confident enough to copy rather than trace. I think the selections I made are too short for the Duchess, so I decided to have her write them smaller and then work on practicing cursive when she is done while Deux is still working. She is very eager to move to writing all in cursive–I would not be surprised if she is ready by the middle of the year. This week she got to write her first words, using the letters i, t, l, and u. (Not many, admittedly.) Next week we’ll add the c family: c, a, g, d. I never did get the Penny Gardner books, but I’m finding this website, although well-nigh impossible to navigate, to have excellent guides on teaching and it seems to be working very well.

I’m a little concerned with the Duchess’s narration–especially on the Aesop, which she reads to herself, she seems to latch on to a few obvious things and miss the point of the story. I think I will have her read it aloud next week and see if that helps. I suspect she tends to just gallop through things.

This week instead of the nature walk we wound up going across the inlet on the foot ferry and then visiting the waterfront park and the Navy museum. The kids had a blast and it was exciting to do something so complex without a hitch. At the gift shop, they spent some of the money they have been earning, which was another learning experience. (I’ve come to realize that to teach them the value of money they have to have chances to *spend* as well as *earn* it.) The Duchess bought a beautiful little compass.

Dash has been very eager to learn to write. He figured out how to write “P” on his own. Dot prefers drawing girls. I wonder sometimes if she feels competition with him. She has been pretty difficult through school time a couple of days, but she is a quiet and complicated character and I find it impossible to tell what is coming out from what is going in. After a major meltdown this morning that got her banished from the room for half an hour, I went in and talked about how much she had worked at learning to draw girls and how much better she drew them than she had a few months ago. She seemed to respond to that and came out and did watercolors with us very happily.

I haven’t been doing Spanish as well as I wanted to. It had kind of slipped out of our lunchtime activities. I brought it in again today, and we had a fun time with it. I used the phrase: “Este es mi ______/Este es tu _______.” They enjoyed working out what I meant each time. I need to stick to this more often. I wish I had a good guide for doing Spanish this way–I feel a little dangerous using Google Translate to find the phrase I want to teach, but it’s better than nothing and should do as long as we are using very basic phrases.

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