Friday, April 29, 2011

Homeschool Mother's Journal

In my life this week... I am anxious to be done with our history, reading and grammar curriculum next week.  The one thing that seems to suffer most around here is housework.  I keep up with the vacuuming and laundry and beds and bathrooms...I washed windows and curtains when we took spring break, but I REALLY need to vacuum under the furniture and clean the baseboards and pull out the fridge and vacuum the coils and all of those little nooks and crannies things that you don't do ALL THE TIME, but need to do SOMETIMES.  I know I could be doing that instead of blogging, but quite frankly after schooling the girls, doing the laundry, cooking, cleaning bathrooms and dusting, running errands and working 14 hours a week, I am wiped out and need to chill with my laptop or a good book!

We've contemplated hiring a cleaning person, but I have always felt weird about having someone else come in and clean for me.  It's just me being weird.  But I also feel that I have two little girls who can learn how to do some of this stuff too ;-)

In our homeschool this week... We learned about the Jews being forced out of their land.  We played dreidl and made potato latkes.  We learned about Nero, the Catacombs and Constantine.  We learned the origins of the fish symbol and made salt dough maps of Italy.
Allie's salt dough map of Italy.

I am a little disappointed that Story of the World does not get into much about Pompei, but we are doing our own study on Pompei through nonfiction books from the library.  We thought The Buried City of Pompeii by Shelley Tanaka was a great book.  Both girls are reading The Magic Tree House #14 Vacation Under the Volcano where Jack & Annie are in Rome just before Vesuvius erupts.

We learned about verb tenses and regular and irregular verbs in grammar.  We learned when to use set and when to use sit; when to use raise and when to use rise; when to use lie and when to use lay.  Since the girls have mastered direct objects this was easy peasy for them!  Did I mention how much I adore Easy Grammar?

The girls are cruising along in math and reading.  I simply adore Writing with Ease--I am ashamed to admit that I had not been using Story of the World to it's full potential as far as ALWAYS doing the questions & summary--but that will change next year!!

I used to run an American Girl Club at the library, but we had decided to change things up this year.  Anyway, I FINALLY got around to bringing all of the stuff home.  There were American Girl plays that I had photocopied.  The girls have been having a blast with them and even brought some to my uncle's to perform at Easter.  They have now decided to write their own play with the American Girls as the characters.

The girls have also been thrilled to have some new bloggy penpals that love American Girl dolls as much as they do (among other things!).

This morning we are watching a recording of the royal wedding.  History being made right in front of our eyes--and we get to comment on fashion!

Places we're going and people we're seeing... Our public school friends were off again this week, so we enjoyed some bowling with them on Monday.  Choir was canceled for spring break.  The girls came to work with me as usual two days this week and hung out with friends there.  They also had homeschool soccer on Thursday and today, we are invited over the home of some new homeschool friends.

My favorite thing this week was...The work the girls did on their own in researching Pompei.  I showed them how to locate materials and they went to town.  They created lists of interesting facts and are both really enjoying this little research project.

Also, we had fun with all of the American Girl plays and I can't wait to see their play when it is complete!

What's working/not working for us... I have to say, as the year winds down, I realize I could have been more relaxed.  I tend to be very focused.  If I have something to do, I get it done.  My mom always told us, 'First you do the things you have to do, then you do the things you want to do."  So, I look at homeschool as: first we get the lessons done, then we play with friends.

I am glad that we will be done next week, take a break, then spend a few months on Science, Latin, Daily Grams & Math, take a break and then go back to History, Easy Grammar, Math & Complete Writer.  I want to really find time for the Rosetta Stone Spanish we bought & more art projects (or an art class!).  But I also want to find more time for reading days, playdates, and field trips next year.

Homeschool questions/thoughts I have...How do you balance playdates, field trips and getting the lessons done?

A photo, video, link or quote to share...