It’s been another busy week. It started off with Brian and I celebrating our 18th wedding anniversary. Thank you so much to everyone who sent me such nice anniversary wishes here on my blog and on Twitter. Brian brought me this beautiful bouquet:
I think he only brought it because Brianna guilt-tripped him into it. We wound up in a discussion, last week, of when men were supposed to bring their women flowers. It was all pretty funny because Brian made a comment about men bringing their wives flowers on Valentine’s Day and their anniversaries — something he himself rarely does.
Brianna reminded Brian of the conversation on Sunday night. ;-)
I really loved this particular bouquet. Sunflowers are my absolute favorites and it contained one as big as my hand. Isn’t it beautiful?
We’ve been studying the Renaissance period in history and the kids have started working on ABC books for the period. Right now, they’ve just been jotting down ideas for each letter. Sometime next week, we’ll begin actually writing and illustrating the books. I got the idea from a Homeschool Showcase submission last year and we all really love it. The books sound simplistic, but they’re really adaptable for a wide range of age and skill levels based on the detail required on each page. For example, Brianna is required to write several sentences per page page, while Josh and Megan are only required to write one.
I’ve really been pleased with our Renaissance study this week. I was feeling like we were skimming too much, even with Truthquest and Story of the World, so I put them aside for this week and found a book at the library that has been perfect: The Renaissance by Mary Quigley. It gives a really nice overview and provides a good jumping off point for more in-depth study, if desired. We’ve also been reading Fine Print: A Story about Johann Gutenburg by Joann Johansen Burch.
In science, we’ve been learning about the moon. We’ve read The Moon Seems to Change by Franklyn Branley and Space (A Magic Tree House Research Guide) by Mary Pope Osborne, along with the chapter about the moon in Christian Kids Explore Earth and Space. We’ve also been working on memorizing The Moon by Robert Louis Stevenson and keeping a log of the phases of the moon
each night when we remember to look.
One of my favorite subjects this week has been art. We’re using God and the History of Art by Berry Stebbing, a book that I’ve daydreamed about and coveted since we began homeschooling before finally breaking down and purchasing this year. I like that it’s made clear at the beginning that it’s perfectly fine to skip around in the lessons. We did the first few in order, since they were basic drawing lessons, then, we skipped to the lessons about Renaissance art.
One of the first lessons that we did from the Renaissance section was observing and discussing St. Luke, a Byzantine art piece. The kids were to pay special attention to mixing colors for his skin tone, his robe, and the background. It was one of those really nice homeschooling moments that actually goes just like you pictured it. I turned on some classical music by Mozart for the kids to listen to while they worked and they really got into it, working hard and producing, in my opinion, some really nice work.
Megan’s work (I thought her color mixing was really nice.):
Josh’s (I love the way he paid particular attention to the folds in the robe.):
And, Brianna’s (Her artistic ability and attention to detail always impresses me.):
We also started spelling tests this week. We use Spelling Power for our lists, but then I give the kids the week to study their words, rather than the continual cycle suggested in Spelling Power. The kids each studied their personalized lists with SpellQuizzer and each got 100% on their tests today. Yay, SpellQuizzer!
For Brianna and I, a big focal point of this week has been our Twilight obsession. She finished the first book and gave it to me on Wednesday of last week. I finished it on Friday night (okay, it was technically Saturday morning by then) and we went out last Saturday to buy the second book. I never expected Brianna to finish the first book, so that surprised me. What blew me away, though, was when she totally kept up with me and we finished the nearly 600-page second book on Tuesday — three days after we started it. That’s not unusual for me, but it’s unheard of for Brianna. I’m thrilled!
We’re now about 1/3 of the way through book 3. Brianna’s bookmark is currently about 100 pages behind mine. She reads it during the day and I get it at night. It’s really pretty fun sharing a book with my daughter. It’s nice to have somebody who is enjoying the same book to talk with…especially since it’s my reluctant-reader daughter.
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