Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Wednesday 17th September

So we start off, not too late, with the bible story. Today was the first three plagues on the Egyptians. I decide I want the kids to illustrate this, so we extend the lesson a bit.
Rebel then goes onto Latin while M'Lady finishes her picture.
After Latin, we get onto mathematics. The two page exercises are easily finished, then onto poetry.
M'Lady watches the blacksmith video, while Rebel goes back to do handwriting. I decide not to do the writing of the ballad because I think the two kids are not quite old enough for that ;) Well, Rebel is old enough, I just don't think he can write an entire ballad/poem by himself :)
The up comes Greek. Rebel gets distracted, and only half finishes it. Then we move onto spelling. Once more, he has just one mistake, works his way by himself through the ten step learning process, and is finished. I am pleased, the spelling course is making him think twice about HOW something SHOULD be spelled :)
Then we go onto the progym. Rebel underlines verbs and writes some of the action words out.

After lunch I decide not to do the history, because I am still waiting for M'Lady's book to arrive- and she NEEDS something to do while Rebel works. I let him finish his plagues, and am most annoyed later when M'Lady helps decorate his page *grrrr*.

A pretty uneventful day- lets hope tomorrow afternoon at the park goes smoothly too :)

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Friday, Monday and Tuesday (12th/15th/16th September)

The end of the week is always an odd day. Sometimes we have finished the work set- for instance, Rebel has already done the progym for the week!
We start with a Bible story and a prayer. The kids feel like the day goes smoother with it :) Then onto Latin- Rebel is writing sentences in English and underlining the direct object.
After Latin, is mathematics. This goes OK, though not great. It is rather boring repetition, and some of it is so simple he ends up OVERthinking the problem.
Poetry is next, with the ending of the Lewis Carroll segment. I wonder if it would be good to draw these out over two weeks. The kids have gone from asking if my Inspector Lewis DVDs are 'Lewis and Clark' to asking if they are 'Lewis Carroll'! Well- now they know his name!
Poetry slides into copywork, and as usual, nothing gets done. Greek slips by- Rebel is supposed to be reviewing.
Then spelling is up. The lesson goes well. Rebel has 3 mistakes, and enjoys the correction process, which I walk him through. He is pretty confident he knows the words now.
Since we finished the progym for the week, I wrap up early for lunch.
Mid-afternoon and DH is home from work early, to try and get some work done uninterrupted. Warned in advance, I try desperately to keep the kids quite by doing their science lesson I forgot yesterday. We start before DH gets home, and continue once he has arrived. We blow up balloons to represent the planets- Jupiter is not big enough, and Rebel has managed to blow up those long balloons (I STILL can't do it) which he folds into a ring for Saturn. I am very impressed- I have never managed to blow up those long balloons. I have fun trying to twist them into shapes though ;)
Then the kids create Title pages for their Astronomy books. M'Lady wants a small book, so I sew some signatures together to make a 4"x6" book. The spine is ducttape, the covers are construction paper with her pictures glued onto them. It is rudimentary at best!
In the meantime, Rebel manages to get ink from his orange stamp pad all over the carpet. I make him clean it up!
DH is dealing with some kind of emergency, so I put a TV show on for the kids. We sit and watch it, waiting for him to finish! Once finished, it is on to the normal Friday evening meal out :) A nice end to the week. I consider it a good one, because we had two VERY good days and only ONE really bad day :)

As do most beginning of the week days, Monday went rather South. Rebel lived up to his nickname and rebelled against everything we did. We missed our morning Bible reading and prayer because the kids decided to help the rabbit rather longer than necessary. Then we went onto Latin for Rebel and Language Arts for M'Lady.
Latin was horrible- he couldn't focus, and kept walking off in the middle of his work!
M'Lady was taking her cues from Rebel, which means she was trying to balk at everything. Colouring the page, listening to the story... you name it. She did a great notebook page for the letter 'D' though :) My favourite was the picture of Dada she drew- complete with moustache!
Mathematics was next for Rebel, and he did not do much better with that. At least he got the exercise I set done, which is a good thing, but he was up and distracting M'Lady a lot.
After Mathematics, was poetry. The Serendipity course for this is superb, and the kids are both enjoying it. We started with Henry Wadsworth Longfellow this week, and ballads. I truly think it is amazing that this will tend to be the ONE lesson that goes smoothly. M'Lady is beginning to participate in the Poetry lesson- her interest is peaked by it :) Since it tends to occur in the middle of her main lesson block, I am inclined to let her join in ;)
Copywork- I am really floundering with this lesson for Rebel. He is still working his way through his Spencerian Penmanship course. I am thinking that I'll let him complete it before really pushing the copywork. The course is wonderful, he has beautiful handwriting, but I'd like for him to copy some things. I'll have to extend the poetry lesson and truncate the copywork, then incorporate actual copywork into other lessons!
I set Greek for Rebel. He listens to the Memory Verse and vocab, and I realise I should have made him listen to the CD every day last week to review stuff. I'll have to do that this week.
I forgot to transition into the mathematics for M'Lady, but never mind. By this point I had a headache and was exhausted!
We segue into the spelling lesson for Rebel. He managed to get all of them right, which made life easier. I suspect that this level is a little too easy for him- but it is training him to remember the spelling 'rules' for each group.
Then in the progym we start on Cornelia's Jewels. I started the program a little late last year, so we are running a bit behind. Never mind, with a stern resolve I can get him back on track! He has memorised the parts of speech, and I forgo the spelling part of the student manual- we're using a different program anyway!
In the afternoon, I start the Literature lesson. They listen well, and I am relieved. Then the battle starts. It takes Rebel until BEDTIME to get his work done. Maybe it is the full moon! Any way you look at it, it took too long. Both his father and I fussed at him, and in the end, *I* am the one writing the narration rather than he himself. I am rethinking our set-up for learning. I think I might try working at the kitchen table!

The day starts well, because we're all up early. OK, I admit, I do NOT like being up early. Early is badd. It is dark, and I am only half awake! BUT it does mean I get the kids ready before breakfast!
They are out to feed the rabbit early too, although they come in at the normal time. As I go out to call them in, the next-door neighbour is calling her dog in. Strangely, my kids and the dog are both misbehaving and not listening!
First up Bible. We have a regular schedule because Rebel needs it. I once tried to just wing it and finish what we did not do the day before- and he complained because he said he was supposed to do MATHEMATICS then! I realised that my son is very much a routine person ;)
I get the story read, and the kids have plenty of time to play before the next lesson. They want to start the next lesson NOW and save the time up. It doesn't work that way, and they squander it ALL!
Next is Latin, at which Rebel handles himself well. He does the work and plays while I start M'Lady on the M is for Masterpiece at Serendipity. I am thinking of setting the notes up like the R is for Rhyme ones, because those work really well for me. She likes the cave paintings and the Mona Lisa, and I print out a Mona Lisa to colour. The black crayon is missing, and apparently that prevents her from working. I can't find it :(
I start Rebel on mathematics, which he zooms through with 1/2 his attention. I wish mathematics was not built upon skills- a lot of this stuff is so easy for him, but the SKILLS needed are introduced with the easy stuff. However, like yesterday, he gets his pages (an exercise) done, and I am pleased.
Then we do Poetry. M'Lady wants to join in, and I read Longfellow's poems to them, asking them if they are ballads or not. We discuss ballads and the ballad patterns (4 lined stanzas, rhyming on the 2nd and 4th line, tells a story- typically with a tragic ending). They enjoy the lesson and it flies by. Apparently we're fans ;)
After poetry it is copywork. Rebel has little to do, and it is today I make the realization about copywork and handwriting. I'll have to think on this. In the plus column, it does mean we can wait for Drew's Memory Work book to come out :)
I set M'Lady to work on a wipe-clean book Mum sent her. It doesn't really work well with our markers- I need to find a better pen for it, but she enjoys it until the pen causes problems by making her hand too dirty. I tell her to wash it up and pack her up for the day.
Then it is on to spelling. Rebel gets just one word wrong today, but that's OK. It means we are working through the lists quickly, and building his skills up. Once we have this pattern down, I will print out the extra activities on card for him to do. In the meantime I am trying to get comfortable with this new routine. I really like the spelling program though.
Then Progym. I am stumped. The work for today is spelling work. I suggest Rebel do some of the work for tomorrow, but I am not forceful about it.
This afternoon is supposed to be Geography. Rebel got some books in the mail from Mum this weekend- the Horrible Geography books. I promise him that he can read one for his lesson today :) I need to make some atmosphere cards for them, and cut the Earth layer cards out.

Thursday, September 11, 2008

Wednesday and Thursday 10/11th September

I'm posting both yesterday's and todays here at once, because today's is pretty simple :)

Yesterday, I knew it was not going to go well, when the kids didn't get enough sleep. Studies have shown in this house, that the kids need A LOT of sleep- and for some reason they have to wake up at the same time every day!

We started with the Bible reading. I am still trying to catch up with Christian studies, so we are working our way through it. We finished the story of Joseph. I have this unfortunate trend to sit there singing "coat of many colours" and other "Joseph and the Technicolour Dreamcoat" songs in my head while reading it- even though it was always one of my favourite stories. Probably because Joseph's mother is Rachel... ;)

Anyway, then it was onto Latin. That actually went rather smoothly. I discovered that this way, one lesson a week seems to be sufficient ;)
I set M'Lady up with her faith block... colouring to religious music really. So I spent a lot of time finding the religious music. I have to say, I disapprove of some of the versions I found online! I started a playlist I can play for the block each time :)

After Latin was mathematics, there distracta-boy came into his own. He did ONE question in 40 minutes. I told him that he'd have to live with that, and we moved on to poetry. M'Lady decided to join in this time. In fact, she did more than Rebel did!

Rebel took so long to do his spelling test, that I ended up giving a lunch break early and leaving the progym for later.

Mid-afternoon, we did Famous Men of Rome. Rebel liked that, he loves the Romans, but it was a battle of distraction! I gave him a map to label and a timeline to start, and we ended there.

I was pleased to note that M is for Masterpiece came in the mail, so next week M'Lady will get some art :) Once we have done two weeks of art, we'll alternate M is for Melody and M is for Masterpiece- in the meantime I'll order M is for Melody and R is for Rhyme, for my own ;) These are definitely worth getting, the kids really enjoy these lessons!

Today is nature study day. We started out by finishing up Rebel's Caesar story, as per request. As you can already tell, he got to bed earlier and consequently slept better and acts better ;)
Then I sent them outside, and gave them their nature journals.
They each went around, Rebel drawing, M'lady playing. Rebel's journal is filled with pictures!

From Top left: The exterior of the notebook. I found these on sale at Michaels for $1 each. The pen comes with it! Next up is a rose, then a morning glory.
Second row: white rose, spiderwort, rose and rosehip.
Third Row: Habanero pepper, swallowtail caterpillar and hummingbird.

You can click on the picture to get a better look :)

M'Lady did a picture of a caterpillar, but she hasn't finished it yet :)
So far so good today!

Tuesday, September 9, 2008

And then it Gets Better...

I was pleasantly surprised when Rebel came upstairs this morning- he was dressed, had eaten breakfast and emptied the dishwasher before I even got downstairs! Apparently he wanted to go for a walk.
So, we went for a walk first thing, picking up acorns and sweetgum balls and other tree leavings :)
Back at the house, we got in the Bible reading before heading into Latin/Fine Arts. Both went quite well, Rebel got part of his Latin accomplished, M'Lady enjoyed hearing about the Brass section of the Orchestra. We listened to some things by Handel while Rebel went onto mathematics, and M'Lady coloured brass instruments while Rebel worked on R is for Rhyme and his copywork.
Things went South a little at that point, because then M'Lady was supposed to be doing mathematics and Rebel his Greek review. A little inducement in the form of revitalizing cookies helped! As M'lady began to clean up her math things, Rebel took his spelling Power placement test. We got it fixed and M'Lady was finished when Rebel went onto the Progym. As he dithered around with how it should look, I pulled him off the computer and made him narrate it. A few disagreements later, we were done.

I have geography scheduled for Tuesday afternoons, but our first lesson will overlap with science- which we do on Thursdays, so to kille two birds with one stone, I decided to delay it :)

All in all, a good day :)

Monday, September 8, 2008

My New Schedule- Tweaked :)

Can be viewed here :)

Somedays you Take the Good with the Bad

There are just some days that are not really fun.
I had such hopes for today, that school would go well, the kids would be good, we'd have fun.
I had planned to start our 'before school walk' this morning, after watching a homeschooling neighbour traipse past our house every day bright and early. Well, even she was late today, but we didn't get that done at all! The kids delayed and played. I did, however, get them dressed before breakfast ;)

First up was the Bible story. I really wanted to have Rebel read this to us, because my throat is hurting. Well, after I corrected him twice for the same mispronunciation of Pharoah (it was the FIRST word of the page), he went on strike. I read the story.
Next was SUPPOSED to be Latin for Rebel and a Language Arts block for M'Lady. Rebel was still sulking- I got M'Lady started, and headed Rebel into mathematics, forgetting about Latin today (even though I made some great worksheets for it this weekend!).
Instead of 3 pages of mathematics, Rebel managed one. By this point I am getting upset. We start poetry, which went REALLY well, and I set Rebel up with some copywork... Lewis Carroll's 'Twinkle, Twinkle, Little Bat". He loved that! R is for Rhyme is a success with Rebel ;)
Then it was phonics for M'Lady. We practise with the gold and green letter flashcards I made for her. I am hoping to get her to make some letters for the Alphabet trail.
Then it fell to pieces. M'Lady had managed to lose her Heavenly Friends book, and her room was a mess. So I tip all the mess onto the floor and make her clean with me. We go through the entire room, cleaning, tidying away the mess and putting away the clothes.
Meanwhile I set Rebel to review the Greek alphabet... I don't know if he did it, although I gave him the cards.
Then while tidying with M'Lady I make him do his prep work for his Progymnasmata story. Nope. No dice. When DH calls at lunch I have a short fuse, and luckily for me, HE has words with Rebel. They work a little, her gets a sentence written. It is not until I let M'Lady have her banana twin (cake) because she picked up her crayons, that he starts writing in earnest. Then I write the second part so he can eat!
My planned spelling has gone, and I realise, spelling needs to come first so nothing will derail it. OK, quick tweak to the schedule.
After lunch, I read their literature selections to them and they sort-of do their work. That is to say Rebel narrates and M'Lady draws, but neither one does any more. I sit in the mess they managed to make doing nothing, and sigh with relief that the lessons are over for today. All I have to do is discuss our spelling program with Rebel, so we're ready tomorrow!!

Now I can go read...

Friday, September 5, 2008


I don't really do school portraits. After all, I take photos of my kids year round :) But Mum and Dad sent M'Lady some school uniforms from England- because they thought she'd like htem :) They were right, M'Lady was thrilled with the selection, because she knew she looked like Mama.

In fact, she looks a WHOLE lot like my school portrait in this particular picture. Next week I'll get Rebel to pose ;)

(the rocker and afghan AND the painting are all things DH inherited from his mother :))

Tuesday, September 2, 2008

NOT Back to School

I called it a 'Not-back-to-school' day today, because all the local schools went back. So the day has been a random time of being outside, organizing toys and watching shows :)
Very much 'NOT' back to school ;)