This was our first week back to school after a nice, long summer break and things have gone rather well, other than some attitude issues (by me and the kids) that were completely unrelated to school. By far, the biggest highlight of the week came Wednesday when I was blessed to lead my youngest, Megan, to Christ! We were doing our Bible lesson when she asked when she could pray and be saved. Um, how’s right now? So, I have a new sister in Christ today. She’s already asking when she can be baptized.
My biggest disappointment came Sunday night when I realized that Teaching Textbooks Pre-Algebra (and up) doesn’t do the grading for you. I was so under the impression that it did. *sigh* So, I don’t get to get out of grading math for Brianna this year. Still, so far it hasn’t been bad and she seems to enjoy the program well enough.
My biggest surprise came Thursday night when, as I was grading Brianna’s work and entering it into this way cool Ten Subject Grade Form from Donna Young’s awesome site, Brianna informed me that she likes me giving her grades. She said it motivated her to do better so she could get 100’s. Who knew? It didn’t used to have that effect. I just started keeping grades for her again this year in preparation for high school. I may have to see if it’s as motivating for Josh and Megan. With the nifty grade form I mentioned, I wouldn’t have any problems keeping grades for everyone
This year, Josh and Megan are working towards doing their Daily Grams independently. Right now, I’m reading the directions to them and making sure they understand what they’re supposed to be doing and they’re doing it, on their own, in their own books. I could see today, though, that they’re already starting to see what’s expected of them and they’ll be working independently before long. They both really enjoy Daily Grams and it’s one of the easiest, most fun times of our day. We’ve also been working on memorizing the prepositions in Easy Grammar by using the photo albums that I mentioned on Thursday.
Brianna and I were both very excited for her to have her first volleyball practice on Thursday. Volleyball has been the only thing that she’s wanted to do, since we started homeschooling, that I haven’t been able to find a place for her to participate. I wound up talking to someone while working the registration table at our local curriculum fair a couple of weeks ago and he told me that there was a sign-up sheet for interest in playing and that, if there was enough interest, they were going to try to get a team up. They wanted a minimum of six, but twelve girls showed up last night! The girls all showed a lot of potential, though none had ever played before, so it should be an exiting year for them as they all learn together.
We also began a mini, impromptu nature study on Thursday morning when I went outside and discovered this in the yard:
We have lots of mushrooms after a good rain, but this was the first time I’d ever seen one that wasn’t opened up. We checked on it several times throughout the day, unsure how long it would take to open fully. By evening, it looked like this:
By Friday morning, it was fully opened up:
We all thought it was so interesting to be able to observe the entire process. I suppose we should have pulled out our sketch books, but, honestly, I didn’t even think about it. I’m just glad I got pictures.
We’ve all been enjoying silent reading time each day this week. I had intended to begin establishing that habit this summer, but, well…I didn’t. We’ve enjoyed it every day this week, though and the kids have done surprisingly well. I’ve told them that they can read anything during this time — books, magazines, assigned reading or reading for fun. We’re only reading for fifteen minutes right now, but I’d like to increase to thirty once Josh and Megan are more proficient readers.
We wrapped up our week with our Fifty State Fridays, picking up where we left off last year with Illinois. We filled out our state notebook pages and I read aloud A Picture Book of Abraham Lincoln by David Adler. I love his picture book biography series. They cover just enough information to give you a good overview of the basics, while often whetting the appetite for more in-depth study later.
We enjoyed playing 10 Days in the USA from Out of the Box Publishing, which I’ll be reviewing soon (and giving you a chance to win!). We’ll probably make ice cream sundaes tonight in honor of the fact that ice cream sundaes were given their name in Illinois. Alternately, we may eat at McDonald’s since the first McDonald’s was in Des Plaines, Illinois.
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