Sunday, February 23, 2014

Educational Report: Weeks of February 9 & 16

The past two weeks went very well with 12 children under one roof! We even survived our second winter storm- the Lord blessed us with a more snow, this time several inches! The storm was a bit of challenge as we awoke that morning with NO WORKING TOLIETS. Take a moment to think about that: 14 people + no toilets. For many of you living up north, you think no big deal because you can simply go out & get things to remedy the situation. But you forget we live in the south and the entire city SHUT DOWN during the storm. We were thankful that by early afternoon, Eric and my father had fixed the problem. Phew. And yuck. We all will never take working toilets for granted again.

It was great fun for the children to do lessons with their friends these past few weeks. They enjoyed switching up teachers, as Jeanelle & I took turns teaching various subjects each day. The days were long fitting everything in but it went smoothly. The Arendse left a week early to visit friends in TN- we're going to miss them this week but we are grateful for the three weeks we had together.

We continued first thing in the mornings for memory time. We continued to work on memorizing Philippians 2:1-11. Most of the children memorized the first 8 verses, so we'll need to finish those last few verses up separately & then share via FaceTime. Our family continued to review classical conversation history & science sentences (weeks 1-10 of each), catechisms, the older children finished memorizing What I Live For, Jonathan & Elizabeth are one paragraph away from finishing My Shadow & Abigail is still working on The Vulture. I finally bite the bullet & switched us to memorizing the classical conversation's timeline song, which meant I bought their history cards. We had been working on Veritas Press timeline (CC old version of a timeline) because we owned the cards but when I realized that I needed 2 buy two more whole sets + several cards were missing in the sets we owned & the cost was the same as CC (plus I'd have to pay to have the VP cards laminated!)... well, it just made sense. The children like the CC timeline better because it's put to music. And the cards are really nice.

We covered a lot for Patricia's history- 4 lectures finished up the semester! We covered topics like Gregory the Great, the liturgical calendar, Christmas traditions & education, which went into detail about the Trivium. Very exciting! The girls took several opportunities, finished up reading The Inferno & began studying for their midterm, which they will take at the end of next week. It's going to be a tough exam- if you would, pray for Patricia to enjoy the process & to not worry. Last week, we took all of the children to visit a local monastery, which fit into Patricia's studies perfectly. One the way to the monastery, we listened to a lecture on Gregorian chants. It was especially fun to hear the music. God blessed us with a lovely warm day + we also enjoyed visiting with Pastor and Miss Judy at a local nature park in the morning. The younger children's history consisted of a bit of reading aloud but we mostly focused on nailing down our classical conversation sentences so that the younger ones would be caught up with what the older ones had memorized.

A highlight in history for both families was blobbing. YAHOO! We've finally got back to that! We reviewed blobbing continents & naming oceans. I was impressed by how much my children remembered- the older three are ready to move on to the classical conversations map but I need to first finish making masters for them. I bought one of the geography trivium tables to help me. (Btw, all of the trivium tables are AWESOME!)

Like history, the younger one's science focused on nailing down memory work so we can all begin new sentences together. I copied several things for the children to color, cut & paste onto their copywork pages. I'm enjoying fleshing out these science sentences- it's an easy way to teach science for a busy mama! Patricia and Benjamin took their module 2 quiz and it didn't go as well as the first. I truly believe that is entirely my fault- I didn't give them enough time to study, nor did Eric and I do as well as a job discussing the module as they studied it. :( Lesson learned! In addition to their quiz, they began module 3 but didn't get beyond the first experiment. Looking forward to being more consistent with this!

Math continued with lessons and facts review via flashcards & drill sheets.

Writing for language arts was a blast these past two weeks. Jonathan & Elizabeth, along with Kathryn Arendse, finished writing their first story using a key word outline. They worked together brainstorming ideas for strong verbs, "ly" words & who/which clauses. Each took turns forming sentences & then they each copied the paragraphs (about one para per day). The older children, along with Sarah & David Arendse, wrote another 3 paragraph essay for IEW, this time on the life of Peter of Haarlem.

In addition to writing, Patricia & Benjamin worked on committing to memory linking & helping verbs. Spelling focused on geography words for the older three children while Jonathan & Elizabeth continued with their various lessons from All About Spelling.

Patricia covered chapters 2-3 for Latin: 1st conjugation, present, future & imperfect verbs. Chapter 8 for the boys discussed neuter nouns. We're going to stay put for one more week so the mama's can catch up with the Latin Alive! and the boys can take a quiz.

I know the children did Logic but I can't recall what and I'm too lazy at the end of this long post to go look up what they did. :) We made it to one piano lesson & stayed pretty consistent practicing at home. It was great fun to hear the stringed music jam sessions. Art consisted of various sewing projects for all the children but David Arendse (can't get that boy to sew!) and Patricia did a bit of painting.

I have hundreds of pictures to save, edit & post. Okay, I won't post all of them. But I am diligently working on editing & saving them. Now that Jeanelle is gone, I have more free time in the evening! ;) I miss my BFF though! And I miss all the help I had- I think it was actually easier to balance lessons, cooking & housework with them here.

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