Week 4–sorta

Year 1: CHOW, “A Rich Land Where There was No Money”; Aesop’s Fables, “The Kid and the Wolf,” “The Town Mouse and the Country Mouse”; BBB, “The Old Orchard Bully”

Twins: Letter D; pattern blocks; matching uppercase and lowercase magnets.

So, this week things got a little more flexible. Everyone has had colds and been cranky. The big kids have been absorbed in some projects of their own devising. We stuck to the schedule on Monday (plus did an evening demonstration of day, night, and eclipses to go along with the history studies about Ancient Babylon.) We stuck to the schedule on Tuesday. On Wednesday DOB slept in to fight the cold, which meant school got started late, which meant we didn’t get to the reading before it was time to leave for the Woods Walk (which was awesome, except for the lack of toilet facilities. But now I know.). Thursday was Deux’s birthday, plus the house was really, really getting out of hand, plus we had friends over. So I declared a school holiday. So Friday we did our Wednesday reading and then spent some time out sketching yellow jackets for our nature notebooks. (Even the twins did well with this.)

I see Columbus Day is coming up, and DOB is planning to take the day off, so what I’m going to do is plan on doing Day 4 on Monday, taking Tuesday off (with libraries and errands, plus I want to work on the flowerbed we’ve been preparing, it’s a full enough day), and doing Day 5 of Week 4 and Day 1 of Week 5 somewhere Wednesday-Friday. That should put us back on track the following week, and spreading things out will cause us to finish the first Term closer to Christmas, which is all to the good, as I didn’t really want to take the entire month of December off, anyway.

So far the week-oriented scheduling and organization is working really well. Having the memory work separate by month also works well, as we often do our singing time even when we don’t do any other school and it allows me to make seasonal selections. So we will go ahead and start our October memory work tomorrow.

We’ve been continuing the Spanish conversation at lunchtime, and it continues to go well. I just have to make sure I stay on top of it! I’m going to expand on the food theme with our new Spanish folksong, ‘Arroz con Leche,’ which should be a lot of fun and we can make a dessert to go with it.

Deux has been resistant to doing a math page, and I’m not sure why. Sometimes he just seems to have had enough of following other people’s ideas. I don’t know whether this is a problem or not. He does fine with the oral math, though. And he has had a fabulous time with pattern blocks and working out problems he figures out for himself.

I am trying to work in the word “species” and some informal discussion of groupings of animals to help with our nature studies. I’ve made a loose scheme of the science topics I want to cover for the rest of the term–integrated with nature study or sometimes history as appropriate, but correlated with Building Foundations of Scientific Understanding. (Oh, and I’ve checked their website more recently and there are now upper elementary lessons as well! Hooray!)

There’s a game I picked up from reading the Life of Fred website that simply comes down to asking quiz questions while driving around, giving the kids turns at answering them. I am finding this is a good way to review not just math facts, but particular terms or things I want them to recall (Like, “What is the name of the river in Egypt?” or “What are the stages in the life of a butterfly?”) It’s not meant to be a substitute for living ideas, but rather a way to reinforce the specific terms. So I only ask things we’ve already encountered in living form first. They seem to enjoy it quite a bit.

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