The week in general ~
...was full but went smoothly. Leah continues to delight us all with her smiles and easy-going nature, and we seem to have hit on a daily schedule that works well for us all. In fact, the three big girls have even had a couple of hours each day to play outside - a commodity we don't take lightly since winter weather will hit before we know it! I'm continuing to think through the need for some curricular changes (see below), but we made good progress this week on what we're using for now.
In our studies this week ~
Among other things, we did a couple of neat science projects as we learned about plants. All the girls really liked making this cut-and-paste model (from Considering God's Creation) of the parts of a plant. Abigail and Rachel then did a good job using the picture to narrate their understanding of each part's function.
Rachel and Abigail also started back to piano lessons after being off for most of the summer, and all three girls had their first rehearsal for the homeschool choir they've joined for the first time. The end-of-year concert will feature music from Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat, one of our favorite musicals.
What needs some tweaking ~
- Though I really like Math-U-See, I may be setting it aside for a time to try Life of Fred with the girls. I'm not sure if this will help them (especially Rachel) to memorize their facts, but a friend suggested (in a way that was clearly a God-incidence) that I give it a try, so we shall see;
- I've decided to give up on WriteShop after just a few lessons. It was much better than Writing Strands, but it's still not what I'm looking for. Instead, I've borrowed some IEW (The Institute for Excellence in Writing) materials from a friend, and may eventually try it - but for now (at least through Christmas) we'll just use our history content and language arts book to practice composition while continuing to work heavily on spelling and reading;
My own discipleship ~
Just this morning, I met with my Core4 - a type of small accountability group our church encourages everyone in the congregation to join. My group includes three other home-educating moms (we hand-picked each other!), and we've chosen to study Freedom for Mothers by Denise Glenn. We only meet once a month, but we had a good time, and I'm looking forward to the growth my involvement will facilitate.
The best thing about the week ~
...was seeing the look on Anna's face as she decoded words during our phonics lessons.
She wanted to "be big like everyone else" and read last year, but (understandably so, given her age) she wasn't able to figure out how to blend sounds together. However, I saw her inching toward a readiness for it last spring. And she's been going like gangbusters since coming back from summer vacation...because, as has been the case for every child I've walked through this process (and, I dare say, every child on earth!), her brain simply reached the developmental point wherein it could process such things. In other words and as Anna herself said this week, "A lightbulb just clicked on in my head!"
Anna's doing this pretty early - she will turn five next week - probably in large measure because she's been in a "literate environment" her whole life (both here and at home). But the fact of the matter is that (barring a disability) the lightbulb will eventually go on for every child....sometimes at four or five but sometimes not until seven or eight or even older. The beauty of home education is that we can honor the timetable God has set in each individual child's brain instead of trying to force the issue before a child ready...or feeling the need to hold her back if she's ready for more.
Questions, comments, thoughts ~
On Tuesday night, I took the girls on a "Momma Date" to a Secret Keeper Girl event. We really enjoyed having special time together - and I appreciated the heart for young girls evident in the program. In fact, I highly recommend it for those whose pre-teen daughters attend school away from home because it does a great job of addressing the very real concerns those girls face every day. For us - and, I suspect, for many other home-educating families - it was "a bit much" (too much emphasis on pop culture and issues that girls who've been protected at home probably aren't yet thinking of at this age). But I certainly can't fault the ministry for seeking to reach out to a population in need of support.
Something to share ~
Sisterly love...between my girls and between the two little girls I babysit. Along with fostering their love for the Lord, this is what it's all about:
I'm also linking this post to the Homeschool Blog Link-Up 9/16 over at Virtuous Foundations where, incidentally, Lea has named me as a featured blog for the third week in a row!