10.25.2010

Weekly Wrap-Up # 20: The One that's Better Late than Never

PERSONAL
Yep, better late than never! I usually post my wrap-ups on Saturdays, but this week I felt too tired to write then. And, as it turns out, I was under the weather for much of Sunday as well, missing the kickoff of a new sermon series at church, The Year of the Word, which I really wanted to hear. Thank God for technology, though, because I can listen online...as can you, if you're so inclined. My church is blessed with wonderful pastors all around, and our senior pastor, Paul Garrison, is a gifted teacher who loves the Lord with all of his being and longs to see believers put proper value on God's Word. So I'm really looking forward to the entire next year, during which he and the rest of the pastoral staff will lead us through a study of the entire Bible.

Because of how I was feeling all day, Jeff stepped up to do the grocery shopping in my stead, even agreeing to take the girls so I could have some quiet. And so throughout the afternoon I alternated between short stints at the computer (putzing with various home education planning tasks) and then - whenever I got too tired - longer stretches sprawled on the couch with my most recent copy of WORLD Magazine and one football game or another - and, later when the girls returned, our newest DVD purchase, How to Train Your Dragon - providing background noise.

As to what happened in the week prior to my "sick day," well...


FAMILY
Last Sunday, the girls were blessed with new-to-them bikes, gifts from the family of one of our church elders who is also a big supporter of Jeff's ministry, MissionGuides. I think he had noticed at the Father-Child Homeschool Campout a few weeks ago that the girls' old bikes were really too small for them. So, clear out of the blue, he offered his daughters' old bikes, and the girls were thrilled. Rachel's is a perfect fit and, while Abigail's is a bit too big, she manages on it quite well, and will - of course - grow into it all too quickly.

In fact, given the turn in weather over the past few days - we got soakers on both Saturday and Sunday (in which the girls clearly delighted in playing, by the way) - I wouldn't be surprised if their bike-riding days for the season are numbered. And so, by the time the bikes come out of storage next spring, Abigail's could very well be a perfect fit.

We're a bit concerned about the rain - and the predicted couple of days this week of heavy winds - because we finally had our living room ceiling re-plastered (no more open rafters!)...but the roof repair itself couldn't be scheduled until this week and now may be delayed again by the weather. It couldn't be helped because we had to schedule completion of the ceiling (painting happens tomorrow!) before Baby H. starts with me in Teachers' Tots next week. But we're really praying that Jeff's temporary tarp will block the leak until our roofer can lay new shingles - the sooner the better.


HOME LEARNING
This past week, Rachel and Abigail and I continued our "journey" through Brazil with My Father's World Exploring Countries and Cultures. Among the highlights were several interesting library books about the people, culture, and environment - especially the Amazon rain forest - and the girls' use of papier maché to make Carnival-inspired fiesta masks.

They also made model Missionary Aviation Fellowship gliders in recognition of the missionary biography we've been reading, the story of Nate Saint who - along with four others - gave his life in Ecuador in the 1950s for the cause of Christ. If you don't know the story, I urge you to read it - and/or watch End of the Spear, the 2005 film produced with the help of Mr. Saint's family. It's a sad story in human terms, but God has used it for His glory in many ways so, ultimately, it's a perfect illustration of the truth of Jeremiah 29.11.

We also sampled quindim, a Brazilian coconut custard pie I thought all the girls would like. However, while Anna and N. gobbled it up and I, too, thought it was pretty yummy, it was too sweet for Rachel, and Abigail wasn't fond of the texture.

So we are having fun with this curriculum - and our other content areas (math, reading, spelling, etc.) are going well. But I also took some time this past week to evaluate how the entire program is working for us, a practice I believe all teachers in any setting should do on a regular basis. As a result, I decided to make a few changes - detailed here - to better suit the girls' needs at this time. And, given that we're into a new week as I write, I've begun to implement the changes and am already seeing the good fruit of my "alteration labor."


TEACHERS' TOTS
It was a big week for Anna and N.! You see, I've been working with them on beginning phonics in conjunction with weekly thematic units...and this was the week in which they read - actually decoded - their first real words!

We've talked about this since I told them last spring that we'd be "doing K4" this fall, so they've anticipated it for a long time - in fact, Anna arrived at my house on the first day of her school year with three or four books in tow that she was certain she'd read by the end of that day. Thus, actually getting to sound out a few words - Sam, sat, Ann, man - was cause for much celebration, and I'm looking forward to helping them become accomplished beginning readers by the end of the year.

This week's theme centered on T so we also read and talked a lot about turtles - and how, just as with the tortoise in Aesop's fable - we should never give up, even when something is hard. They made cute paper plate turtles on Friday to wrap up the week.


As I prepare to publish this, it's already early Tuesday morning - because I really only have writing time late at night. I can hear the winds starting to whip up so I know we're in for a couple of "interesting" weather days. But I also know at least some of what the rest of the week holds in store otherwise, most of which I'm looking forward to. So look for that account later in the week - hopefully on time...next Saturday.

2 comments:

Kimberly said...

We just finished T-t-turtle, too. I enjoyed seeing your tot's versions of their turtles. We are enjoying MFW-K. Leah was very excited to have the new worksheet last week. She is raring ready to go on her reading!

Monica said...

Sounds like a great week! Thanks for sharing what your girls do because we will be checking this out again as we do ECC next year.
Monica

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