Um, so, anyway

I’m pretty sure the website ate several posts. Surely I have not failed to post about school in two months? I’m only posting now because it’s easier than getting up and serving supper.

Good thing I have the printed out weekly sheets that I’m checking off, so at least we have some record of doing school.

The past two months have been very intense with DOB’s physical issues and work. I probably should have scaled back on school, but I have a secret horror of being that mother who is so busy dealing with life that the children are suddenly fifteen and don’t know how to spell or add fractions. So we carried on, more or less, and are only a week behind the end of the term.

They love most of the books, especially Understood Betsy, An Island Story, and The Little Duke. I’m pretty much guaranteed a riot wherever I leave off reading The Little Duke for the week. Pilgrim’s Progress isn’t a huge hit, but they seem to be understanding the basic ideas. The Burgess Animal Book is better at the slower pace, and they really enjoyed some of the creatures.

After many false tries, I think the best way for them to read to themselves is to take turns reading aloud and following along. Otherwise we were having too much trouble with narrations interrupting each other. They just can’t “hold” narrations for long enough to go off and read completely independently, except for Tree in the Trail, which is only a page (and even there they usually want to narrate two or three times).

Deux is really doing better with handwriting. He has learned most of the letters in cursive and his better grasp of lower case letters is starting to show up in voluntary handwriting. The slow and steady work is making a difference, and I intend to keep at it, even though he’s still only writing two words a day. Duchess needs a new challenge, and I think I shall have her choose her own selections from the book and start preparing dictation. Just copying is too easy for her and she is getting sloppy.

Math has been a little spotty, but not regressing and we did some very fun real math activities, like tracking all the ways to combine two dice and then rolling them a hundred times or so to see if the calculations matched the results.

I’ve given up trying to dictate free reads. Free reads are free reads. Right now all they want is Narnia, so Narnia is what they do. What do I care what year it’s scheduled for? I do want to do Heidi this year, but haven’t decided if I will try to read it myself or get the audio from the library. Reading out loud has fallen off the agenda lately, but I’d like to bring it back if not too tired by the end of the day. I am very grateful for audio books, so they are not completely deprived.

They got interested in felt stuffed items over Christmas, and made stuffed cabbages and a carrot. We may make more. Deux was entranced with a picture of a felt stuffed snow pea from “Plants vs. Zombies.”

Dash suddenly decided to learn to write, and has learned to write his name and many other letters. Sometimes he will fill pages with letters, or spell words with help from Duchess. His drawing has also become decipherable. Dot, meanwhile, has lost almost all interest in writing, other than signing her name to elaborate pictures (usually of people swimming, or of sharks eating schools of smiling little fishes). Perhaps it’s a twin thing. Neither seems to be putting things together the other direction (i.e. reading) yet but I fear I will not get to try those lovely Charlotte Mason lessons with them, either.

The check-off sheets really have helped. We haven’t done all the extras (nature notebooks, I’m looking at you), but we’ve done more than we did last year, even with everything crazy.

Apparently they have now watched all the Salsa episodes, multiple times, as well as Muzzy, volume 1. We’re going to try volume 2 of Muzzy. Dash will wander around the house counting in Spanish. I hear them occasionally actually using Spanish, which I have been waiting for a long time. I’m not sure what to do next–they really use very little, but they’ve listened to so much the typical beginning curriculum of numbers and colors and greetings is way too basic.

I hope to finish up Term 1 this week. I wanted to do end-of-term exams, but I think we will just move on, unless we finish a day early, then we may do a little bit on Friday. I can’t wait for the start of Term 2, mostly because of The Wind in the Willows.

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