Halfway

This week we finished Week 18, which marks the halfway point of lessons–seems like we should be farther along, but I think we’ve done what we could. The question will be what I decide to do as the year winds down, whether we try to compress some weeks, keep going to the end for as long as it takes, drop the last couple of weeks (or do them light–finish as free reads), or what. We’ll see how things continue to go. I still don’t see any opportunity for speeding things up–the next week looks full and I have been busier with work.

The kids were glad to finish with Tree in the Trail. I’m sorry they didn’t connect more with it–however, they weren’t huge fans of Paddle to the Sea, either, so it may just be the author or the subject matter. Maybe even the brevity of the descriptions–they seem to have a hard time entering into them. I’m hoping they’ll enjoy Seabird more, since ships and sailing are more their cup of tea. Also, I may need to do some better prep work, especially since they are reading it themselves.

Wind in the Willows is rapidly migrating to the favorite spot. Happy me. To my surprise, Pilgrim’s Progress is rising in popularity, too, and not just because the readings are relatively short. Dot also seems to be getting a lot out of it–it has really captured her imagination, and she will pipe up with her understanding of the spiritual significance.

We have also been getting more out of the Parables From Nature. I was really impressed with the one that was based on the water cycle–since we had discussed this as a science lesson a few weeks earlier, they readily saw the connections, but the telling was far more beautiful and the parable of the law of life being in giving, not holding on was rich. They enjoyed the one about the storm at sea, too.

Also in science we are working on understanding more about how the body gets energy from food–it’s complex and I am learning things, too. Mostly this has been discussions around the meal table, since we haven’t had much extra time. I love the way these lessons tie together–the lesson on oxygen and the atmosphere, and the lesson on the water cycle, all have a part to play in understanding digestion.

In the Burgess Animal Book we have finally finished up the rodents. They are relieved. I think their enjoyment will increase as we get into the bigger mammals. There are an awful lot of mice and rats.

Math we have done some fun activities (drawing pictures illustrating addition was one) and lots of times table practice but are cycling back into just doing some regular math pages, too. Deux seemed to be at the right place to show him how to do addition with carrying the other day–he can do it readily enough in his head, so it was easy to show him how to write down what he was doing. They also are using logical proceedings for two-digit mental multiplication, although I haven’t tried to spell that one out yet.

Every once in a while we will have a “reading” lesson with the twins. (And when I say “we,” I mean it–Duchess and Deux will stage them, too.) They are very close–they know nearly all the letter sounds–but they are just not quite at the blending stage yet. Sometimes they will copy words out, especially Dash. We are reading Buster Bear’s Twins by Burgess and they love that.

I’m working through Heidi slowly as a read-aloud, trying to do it at snack time whenever I can. I’m also reading through the term poet then–I am relieved to be done with Eugene Field, who I find unbearably sappy with a couple of exceptions. I’m not a huge James Whitcombe Riley fan, either. I will be VERY happy to get to Christina Rosetti in the third term–she has always been one of my very favorite poets, whether her children’s or adult poems.

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