Week 12–End of Term!!!!

Year 1: CHOW, “A Bad Beginning” (Rome); BBB, Chickadee; JH: Smudge, the Lost Lamb; JSS, Leopard; BFB, The Forty Thieves; Aesop, Boys and Frogs, Crow and Pitcher . Review of area, introduction to perimeter, operations to 12.

Twins: “L”; stories; counting frogs and bears.

We did it! We made it all the way to the end of Term 1, on schedule! DOB is not particularly impressed (he’s happy to hear about what we do, but the mere fact of staying on schedule does not interest him), but it is a major triumph for me to stick to any steady plan for over three months. Our last week was pretty full, but with so many favorite books, it wasn’t too hard to get through it all.

We did not go out to park day this week, owing to being too tired, but we did take long hikes both last Sunday afternoon and this. (“Long” meaning “long for three-year-olds and people in constant danger of ankle sprains”) These have been really fun for everyone and kept us from feeling too cooped up. I’m also trying to work on getting the blackberries out of the shrubs in the yard during dry days, which helps us get outside. I opened up a perfect climbing tree this week.

There weren’t a lot of extras this week–we started on some Christmas projects, but mostly they’ve just been playing, building with Duplo and Lego and free reading and drawing. Duchess and Deux ordered a lot more Magic Treehouse books. We finished up The Phantom Tollbooth.

Probably we should do an exam week, but I feel like we’ve had about enough for now. Maybe next year, or even later this year. Right now, we’re all ready for a break.

So now, on to planning Term 2 (and 3, since I won’t have a 3-week break in April to plan it). The weekly plan and weekly folder has worked wonderfully. It’s so easy to pull and go. They really do love having the occasional coloring page, and the maps have been good, too. They’ve really enjoyed finding and marking key cities and locations on blank maps and are starting to get to know their way around the ancient near east. Paper dolls are always the most popular.

I need to see if it’s time to slow down on math. Duchess is definitely ready to handle two-digit addition, but I’m not sure if Deux is. (And if he’s not, I’m not sure *why* not, since he had, for instance, no trouble at all understanding how to make a 12×12 multiplication chart.) Anyway, the number of lessons left may make slowing down a better idea.

After a rocky start, they’ve really come to love Child’s History of the World. We’ve done all the Blue Fairy Book and James Herriot selections (we’ll do what’s left as free reads); I plan to have the D’Aulaire book of Greek myths as our main literature selection for the rest of the year. They really love the myths. I found a book called Kingdom of the Sun that looks at each planet and connects its traits to its namesake–Deux was very excited about it.

I wish we’d done more nature notebook, science lessons, arts. In general, the projecty parts got shoved aside, as usually by that point I was feeling *done*. I’m thinking about trying afternoon school. Often it seems as if the kids wake up full of ideas they want to play, and it’s going against the grain for all of us to stop and do school. Perhaps it might work better for me to let them play in the morning while I work or do other projects, and then do school in the afternoons. This would let me work with the big kids during quiet time. It would mean me giving up on the idea of quiet time for me altogether, but then, it wasn’t amounting to much lately anyway, since nobody sleeps anymore. It’s worth a try anyway.

I’m wondering when and how to start turning over more reading to them. They could do Paddle by themselves, and probably the Bird Book. But I can’t figure out how to work it with narrations without having two copies, and I can’t quite bring myself to spend that much yet.

During break I want to finish Pinocchio and maybe informally read some supplemental books I’ve gotten from the library. Lots of projects and Christmas activities. Maybe a science lesson or two if I can work one in.

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