Friday, October 31, 2008

I really love all the books...

Ambleside has so many good books. I suppose if I had just stuck with my earlier decision to go with Ambleside a few years back, I wouldn't feel the need to enjoy these books so much.

But, alas I have yet to read King Arthur. So, I'm reading it aloud.

My children have not really developed some of skills needed to accomplish the quantity and quality of work expected from Ambleside and one of my boys is special needs.

So, this week I'm planning in my schedule and I returned a few books to the library. I wanted to avoid the overwhelming feelings of getting everything done. I can't really keep track of so many readings at once and still insure the boys are 1-narrating, 2-comprehending, and 3-enjoying themselves. I know the fine line our family can tip over. I know what happens when they loose that love of learning. It's when all those great discussions and the questions disappear.

So, I'm working on limiting some of the books for Year 5 and Year 2. We can always do them later or during the summer. But, to loose joy and Great Discussions...just isn't worth it right now.

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Just about the last week of October...

Middle Ages
Everyone is listening in on King Arthur now. I always forget the title. It's really good and they love it!

That sometimes useful television
Warrior watched Between the Lions. We haven't watched that since the big boys were much younger. He really gets cranky about the time it comes on and I think it might be a good thing to let him do a few days a week as a "nap" and it can be some extra phonics and reading instruction for him.
Ambleside History & Literature
AO readings are all doing well. I've been filling out their Book of Centuries for them and I think this week they can start doing it themselves. It's not fancy (just construction paper that we will staple together later), but it's getting the job done. It's a record without all the detail-ya know.
Schedules & Character
We started a new schedule for the boys. They seem to be adjusting well to it. They each have an hourly schedule and are expected to get up and do what they helped plan. We have been discussing Obedience and Joyfulness a lot this week. Nothing was planned but it seems like those things really came to a head this week. The boys thought Obedience is behaving well enough to get to play video games. I kid you not. You would think they played all day long. We dealt with that and they now understand what Obedience is and why we are Obedient. I'm thinking this is something that has to be gone over a few times through the years.

Prophet is still in MUS Gamma. He just finishing up Lesson 26. He will probably be done in the beginning of November. I'm not sure if I can work Delta into our budget right now. So, I'm thinking I might just pick up a smallish workbook at the bookstore for him. It might be nice to have a change of pace at this point.

Peacemaker is about finished with MUS Alpha and we have plenty of Beta worksheets left for him to work through that book. Hopefully he will be caught up to grade level by next year.

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Mid-week Update

The boys let go some frogs this week. Those amazing creatures have done very well indoors. We haven't had any luck keeping frogs in the past. I think the smartest thing they did is to bring in a big ball of pond weed and all the scummy stuff that was attached to it. The tadpoles/frogs and snails ate it all up. They happily ate the fish food, as well.

We finished up the first two chapters of King Arthur by Howard Pyle. It's in the Ambleside Year 5 schedule, but I've been including all the boys. The younger two did wander off a bit during the second chapter today. It's a lot to take in. I did stop and ask questions or point things out. I have Prophet do mini-oral narrations every page or so. He doesn't realize it, but I'm sneaky like that.

They have done Math and Italics everyday. Prophet did some Grammar this week. Peacemaker has misplaced his Explode the Code book, but he has been doing reading practice. Warrior has done some readings from AO Year 1 with me. He is enjoying Pocahontas and the Aesop Fables. He has done amazingly well with oral narrations. I'm so happy to be starting this at a young age. I mean this is the kid who couldn't speak and still has a hard time pronouncing things.

Thursday, October 09, 2008

Today was fruitful...

Everyone did their Ambleside Readings today! We played with kittens. Went for a walk around the pond and saw a Bald Eagle. I think it's the same one I saw last week since it headed out in the same direction. We started Shakespeare. The older two are just going to read through the Lamb book according to the Year 2 schedule at this point. I think it's probably wise since my oldest hasn't really had exposure to Shakespeare.

Peacemaker worked on his reading skills. We took a walk together (just the two of us) and found a leafed tree with little pine cone looking things on it. I'll have to get my camera out there. I never noticed it before and it's a huge tree. I mean at some point in the past 18 years I would have noticed that tree.

Warrior and I had a picnic outside on a sleeping bag. He helped me prepare a psuedo-7 layer dip and some tortilla chips. I brought my second cup of coffee and a mini-bag of m&ms (I realize I never have written that before). We started reading some of the Ambleside year 1 readings together. I realize I need some more guidance to my day, so I bumped him up there. I figure he can always take more than a year (which we always seem to take with everything anyway) and perhaps he will be my first child to actually be at "grade level". We noticed some purple coneflowers in the front garden. We don't see them usually because they sit under the window. My parents have been really busy the past few years with transitions and my mom hasn't replanted anything. So, it's been survival of the fittest for the plants. It's interesting to see who is hardy.

I realized twice today that we need to set aside some nature sketching time & it would probably be a good idea to take the camera out for our daily walks.

Tuesday, October 07, 2008

A sick day...

I woke up sick today. Indigestion and a migraine...not sure if one was caused by the other. But, I managed to get some stuff cleaned up in the living room. The Peacemaker spent a couple of hours outside with our Border Collie.

The Prophet worked on Math U See. Multiple digit multiplication is finally clicking. He does switch up some numbers in his final answer. But, I think some practice will help him work through that. Honestly, I still do that and I have to double check my work. He did some Ambleside Year 5 readings with me, as well. This Country of Ours, Abraham Lincoln's World, and Explore the Holy Land.

No one else really got any work done. I was just too sick and I had to get groceries and vacuum the house.

We didn't get out to Costco until around 3 or maybe it was 4. So, we had burritos and nachos for dinner. We will probably have burritos and nachos for the next 4 days.

Monday, October 06, 2008

Not such a good day (Monday)

My dh tells me it's the air pressure. Which is our common interjection when a day leaves us just wanting to crawl into bed. Those days when you should just let your children run wild, but you hang on to them hoping they will sit and be the little soldiers you pictured when you first started homeschooling.

I'm always inspired by Melissa. But, mostly because she is real and inspired and she just keeps it going. She records those things I wonder if I should record.

Today it rained. My poor husband worked anyway...outside in the rain and backlash of a Washington Island.

I got some coffee on an empty stomach. It wasn't even the first press, but the second press (french press) and pumpkin pie creamer didn't cut it. Don't drink coffee on an empty stomach.

Harvest Moon and the Wii was calling, but we pushed away the call. Mom is not quite to Fall and the Boys are already to Winter.

Math U See for both boys.
The Prophet had to call his Dad in the middle of the Math Lesson. He needs major encouragement in that area. I have no idea how to persuade him to keep up the Math work.
The Peacemaker did some Ambleside Readings, Italics Handwriting, and Explode the Code.
After Dad came home, Prophet did some more Ambleside readings with Mom. I'm still doing those with him because we never did narrations before and he still needs some help with them.

The Warrior helped me make 2 pumpkin pies.

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