Friday, December 2, 2011

Homeschool Mother's Journal - 13

In my life this week....  I made it through NaBloPoMo -- I posted every single day in November.  Now I am thinking of taking a blogging break!

I decided to make the girls counted cross stitch Christmas stockings (am I insane? A month before Christmas?).  I made them Disney Princess stockings when they were little, but they have outgrown the Princess it's time to move on to something they can have forever...

In our homeschool this week....  A finished Math U See Epsilon.  She is now very adept at fractions.  The last few chapters were solving for an unknown, a pre-algebra concept, which she struggled with but FINALLY mastered!  

We reviewed our Latin and Greek roots and made a matching game for states and capitals.

We also reviewed what we had learned about the Great Dynasties of China (since we took a break from Story of the World to learn about the Pilgrims) and we learned about East China.  

Helpful homeschool tips or advice to share... Three consecutive months off does not work for us. We get bored, we get restless, there are things we want to learn and do and cover.  So we take a few weeks here and there.  We took a few weeks in May, then schooled through June and July and part of August.  We took a few weeks off in August and have schooled diligently through the fall.  We are now going to relax a bit on curriculum in December, spend our time baking (math), budgeting our Christmas money (math), learning about Hanukah (history), celebrating Hanukah with friends, making holiday crafts (art), writing in journals (writing) and reading Dickens' A Christmas Carol together (reading), going to the Farraday Lectures (science), making soap & candles (science) and playing the state & capital matching game (geography) that the girls made.  The girls are also discussing writing another play to be performed Christmas Day.  

I am inspired by... my husband's awesome dream the other night and his perception of it.  I love things like that!

Places we are going and people we are seeing...  The girls went to lunch and sewing on Monday with my mom; Tuesday they came to work with me and had choir at church.  Wednesday was art class.  Thursday was dental appointments (girls can't wait to get braces--but we are still waiting for one of A's teeth to come down in her gum and P still has mostly baby teeth) and today we went to see a wonderful play with our homeschool group.

Allie Big Huge Puffy Heart's the Beatles and the homeschool neighbor dad also loves the Beatles.  When he heard that A had never seen "A Hard Day's Night" he thought that needed to be remedied IMMEDIATELY.  So, we had a pizza & movie night with the homeschool neighbors that ended with a musical and dance performance by the girls! (I love how they all work together!!)

My favorite thing this week was...  In the summer of 2010, I transferred all of our VHS tapes to DVD.  The girls watch them frequently.  This week, while working on the Christmas stockings, I sat and watched with them.

What's working/not working for us... When we moved things around to make room for holiday decorations, the piano keyboard ended up in A's room...and guess what?  She has been practicing.  When I commented, she gave me a look and said, "I don't want lessons."  But I did peek in to see her using the book her teacher gave her.  So, for now, we are just letting her learn on her own...actually, we kind of love the idea of her doing this on her own!

Questions/Thoughts I have... Jason and I discussed it and at this time, we are just happy that A is practicing piano.  If she wants to teach herself, we are fine with that.  We are happy with it.  We fear that jumping in with lessons again may take the pleasure away from her ...or make her think that we don't think she can teach herself things...  Right now we are just going to see where this leads.

Things I am working on... the Christmas stockings!

I'm reading.... still reading No Apology by Mitt Romney.

A is re-re-reading books from Mother-Daughter Book Club.

Jason is reading the second third book in the Percy Jackson series and he and A spend a lot of time discussing dissecting the story.

P is reading the Rebecca books in the American Girl series and has asked if we can celebrate Hanukah this year!  In addition to Christmas, of course.  I think celebrating Hanukah would be a great educational opportunity--so we are menorah-shopping and gathering latke recipes!

I'm cooking.... Tortellini Soup!  I also made the Japanese dinner from The Story of the World Activity Book (we just finished studying the Yamato Dynasty and the relationship between Korea, China and Japan in the Middle Ages).  

I'm grateful for.... my family :)  And that I put these videos on DVD so that we can see and hear our family members who are no longer here with us.

I'm praying for.... S-3105 not to go through.  There have been a few cases of kids who were not registered for school, under observation by DYFS and the children died.  Our lawmakers' idea is to put restrictions on homeschooling.  I think they should worry about fixing DYFS.  Annual medical exams and portfolio reviews are going to do nothing to save children's lives in abusive situations.

A photo, video or link to share.... For A's 3rd birthday we had a backwards birthday party where everyone wore their clothes backwards and we ate cake first, before dinner.  I was going to try to share the video but because it was converted from VHS it's a weird kind of file that the players don't seem to recognize.  But I will work on getting some of these on here because I would love to have them available on a blog like this for our family to view now and in the future.  (Seems a little safer having things on here than just relying on DVDs that can get lost or scratched or broken or hard drives that can get wonky).

The two grandmas being silly together :)

This weekend I am looking forward to.... my parents are taking the girls for the weekend and Jason and I are looking forward to some time alone!