Friday, September 18, 2015

Educational Report: Week of September 13, 2015

Hm. Somehow my weekly educational reports turned to monthly recaps and then I completely forgot August & some of September. Oh, well. We did some weeks of lessons & had several off, especially enjoying a break surrounding Josiah's birth.

Eric returned to work this week so I thought it wise to dip our toes into a few more lessons. Just a few though- I'm determined to keep things light & rest for several more weeks. :) I ended up doing more than I planned (no surprise there) because it was running so smoothly. Yippee!

Bible: daily independent reading & reviewing memory work during circle time. I was not consistent with doing Bible together as a group. :(

Circle Time: I'm back to calling memory time circle time but I do not love calling it that. I can't seem to find the right title for this time of our day. (I know it doesn't really matter!) We focused on reviewing Ephesians 1-2 (the oldest three memorized it over the summer along with several children in our church; Jonathan & Elizabeth continue to chip away at it- they've completed the first 13 verses) & John 14:1-14 for the oldest three (assigned in the boy's Bible class for co-op).

Reading Aloud: this week, reading aloud was one of the top things I sought to accomplish consistently. As we incorporate more Charlotte Mason ideas into our educational pursuits, we are revamping our reading & narrating. (We've always built our education around living books & we've done narration. But I let narrating slip a bit recently. We needed to delve into more conversations over the books vs. the children reading independently.) The children must narrate all their readings assigned for educational purposes. Often, it's just an oral narration but occasionally I'll have them write or illustrate it. Sometimes, I just listen & they're done quickly. Sometimes I ask questions (not probably very CM but that's ok). A few times, I've sent them back to re-read because they needed to do so carefully. :)

This week, we finished My Side of the Mountain! Yahoo! Eric started reading Raiders from the Sea. He was suppose to just read it aloud to just the boys but everyone was so excited to have daddy reading aloud again (it's been awhile), that they all begged to join in. And who could deny that kind of request? ;)

I read two more chapters of The Secret Garden to the girls before bed. Jonathan & Elizabeth both read aloud a chapter of their books from the Little House series. Jonathan also read the second chapter of Duel in the Wilderness & Elizabeth read some of Johnny Tremain (their current free reads for history but instead of reading independently, I'm requiring them to read aloud to me.) We've already read Johnny Tremain but I let her go ahead & pick it since she has to read it aloud & narrate it. Surprisingly, Elizabeth has struggled the most with narration- I was SHOCKED! I think it's because she reads so fast that she skips parts. Reading aloud is helping!

Covenant Classes: the children's co-op classes resumed on August 27th so this was their third week. It's the highlight of our week. :) I missed their first week of classes because of Josiah's birth but here are some pictures from last week:

Starting in October, I'll be teaching 2 art classes but until then, a friend has been taking the oldest three to classes because they have to leave earlier than Jonathan & Elizabeth. I'm happy but slightly annoyed that they pop out of bed at 6:30, get ready & eat breakfast so they can be ready for Mrs. Raney at 7:30. Errr- WHY don't they pop out of bed the rest of the week!?!? (And I don't even require them to get up that early the rest of the week!) It's a full day for Patricia (she's done at 3:30) but everyone else is done between 11:30-12:30, so we can come home & have lunch.

Anyway... Jonathan & Elizabeth will join my art classes when they start up. They are also taking a Latin Grammar class, which is taught by Benjamin & Matthias' teacher. They LOVE it! :) No Bible this year (Pastor's schedule was too busy- insert sad face).

In addition to art classes, Benjamin & Matthias are taking Latin Alive 1 class, Bible class with Pastor (using this book) and a writing/literature class (they use Writing with Skill, book 2 for some of the writing but Mrs. Bailey builds on many other things, including several living books). Currently, they are reading Carry on Mr. Bowditch (they boys know it well- this is a family favorite! READ THIS ONE, people!) & have finished writing one paper. I love how their teacher is requiring them to journal about their readings! :)

Patricia is taking an apologetics class with Pastor, writing/literature class (her FAVORITE!) & a speech class, which she dreads but is EXTREMELY good for her. Her teacher is doing mostly impromptu speeches, requiring the students to think on their feet. LOVE IT! :) For writing/literature, Patricia has wrote 2 papers so far & is currently reading Of Plymouth Plantation. She's working on memorizing To My Dear & Loving Husband by Anne Bradstreet, who is one of my favorite poets! :):):)

Both Patricia & the boys read several other selections for their writing/literature classes. I've just mentioned the main supplemental sources. Last week, the boys read parts of a book that I then read & wrote about here. The readings this year are centered around American history this year (+ a little Shakespeare because you have to have that!), which is a good follow up to what we've already studied. This was the same way for Patricia last year- I find the set up a good review & allows the children to think through ideas a bit deeper/easier. :)

History: as we traveled to & from piano, we listened to two lectures for American Culture. (A bonus this week was that Eric came with us so he could drive!) We should have finished this up so I'm just having us listen so we can move on to Modernity, where we will go back to opportunities (i.e., tests) & exams.

Language Arts: I did spelling with Jonathan & Elizabeth, spending some extra time reviewing since we had been on break.

Latin: Patricia finished chapter 13 of Latin Alive, book 2. The boys completed half of chapter 11 for co-op.

Logic Philosophy: over break, Eric shared with me that he wanted to end The Argument Builder because he wasn't impressed with the content. (He highly recommends The Fallacy Detective though!) They got about 1/2 way through the book, btw. He also shared he wanted to take a break from logic & instead listen to Ronald Nash's lectures titled History of Philosophy and Christian Thought. SERIOUSLY??? It seemed very ambitious to me but we listened to the first lecture this week & then spent time discussing it. GREAT STUFF!!! And, thanks to Dr. Grant's Gileskirk, we were (somewhat) familiar with many of the ancient philosophers mentioned in this first lecture. YAHOO!!! We will revisit a formal study of logic after finishing this philosophy course.

Math: in addition to reading aloud/narrating, math was the TOP FOCUS for the week. We did it everyday but Wednesday & actually, Patricia did it that day because she's been working her geometry concepts with Eric. It's been a great breather for mama to have one less child to teach math too. :)

Piano: as I mentioned, Eric went with us because he refuses to let me drive yet. :) We have lessons with our teacher every other week because of the long drive. The weeks we have piano lessons on Wednesday & co-op on Thursday are going to be LONG WEEKS. It's not ideal but we are making it work (& praying about direction).

It's felt so good to consistently get done these few things & I hope that as I add in more slowly, we can stay consistent. In addition to our lessons, we spent a TON of time outside, soaking in the lovely weather. It's been good to pull out the bikes again & take mini walks, though I need to make sure I get  outside more vs. just sending them out! I could tell my children were really tired this week (we worked on getting up a bit earlier than we have been) so I'm hoping our bodies & attitudes adjust.

1 comment:

Carol said...

Hi Heather, lovely to read a little about your week. Funny, I've never settled on a name for our 'circle time' - well, we've never called it that & I don't call it morning time because it usually doesn't happen until the afternoon. If I want everyone to come together I always say 'It's time for Devotions' because that is what we start with mostly but it includes read aloud, poetry etc. So, yes, I can understand your naming dilemma!