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Weekly Report 18

December 20, 2009

If it’s week 18, then we’re halfway through the year!  It doesn’t feel like it, but I suppose when you start in August, that’s where you wind up in December.  Technically my log says we’ve completed 88 of 180 days so far.  And this week, we were very generous about counting school days.  We pared down our schedule to what most needed to be done this week, threw in some baking, other Christmas preparations,  a family party, a Utah Symphony children’s concert, a trip to the zoo, and called it good.

Several people have expressed amazement that I’ve even tried to do any schoolwork this time of year.  Actually, despite all the holiday interruptions and anticipation, school works really well.  It’s a comfortable routine that gives some order to our day.  Everyone knows what to expect and although I’m sure they’d be happy to do school every day for the next few weeks too, I’m the one that sorely needs a break. 

I started off the week with a miserable head cold, we put up the Christmas tree, and the boys have been alternately excited, hyperactive, argumentative with each other, and completely forgetful of a lot of our good habits (outside of school) and expectations.  I’m so glad this week is over and we can officially say we’re on Christmas break!

A and C both completed 3 grammar lessons on pronouns and A did the big end of unit review on nouns and pronouns.   We treated it as a test and he did very well, only missing four minor details.  A also finished one last review from Singapore 3B on the mental math section and we opted not to go ahead with the next section on length.  We’ll have a fresh start in January. 

We finished up metalloids in science, read about polonium, and did an experiment with static electricity where we rubbed a balloon on our hair, then picked up pieces of tissue before seeing the effects of rubbing a dryer sheet on the balloon.  D has the best hair, we decided.

We are officially caught up in history as well!  It’s amazing how much you can cover when you just read and do the mapwork.  We read SOTW chapters 18, 19, and 20, which covered the Ottoman Turks, the English in India, and more about China ending with a review of all the empires and people surrounding China.  There was a lot of extra reading we could have done, but we opted to only read two books about Tibet: The Dalai Lama by Demi, and Far Beyond the Garden Gate about the first Western woman to enter Lhasa.

For literature, we’ve resumed reading Seacrow Island out loud, which for some reason has been neglected or misplaced since oh…August?  We also finished listening to Freddy and Mr. Camphor.  C finished The Saturdays and A is still reading The Sign of the Beaver.  D crawled in bed with me one morning with four Bob books and proceeded to read them all to me.  I think he’s really starting to get it.  I’m excited!

After kind of ignoring Five in a Row last week, we finally finished up our unit on Clown of God, although it was still more a talking unit than a doing one.  In one conversation or another we covered:

  • orphans
  • the elderly
  • what a legend is
  • Italy, including Italian words and phrases
  • Italian Renaissance art
  • Roman arches, and looked through a cutaway architecture book
  • juggling and watched some fun jugglers on YouTube
  • using our talents

We also read some great books to go along with Clown of God.  They all liked The Little Juggler, a French legend retold by Barbara Cooney.  Bravo, Zan Angelo was another favorite.  My favorite was one that we read almost every Christmas: Visions of Christmas which tells the Christmas Story alongside Renaissance artwork, mainly triptych paintings.  The First Christmas  is similar with gorgeous artwork paired with scriptural passages.


Spread that across five days, add in our daily scripture study, memory verse, and song practice (“Adeste Fideles” and “Away in a Manger”) and that was school for this week.   

Last night we went to our family Christmas party and got to hear a group play some Celtic music on the bass, fiddle, guitar, mandolin, accordion, tin whistle, flute, and bodhran.  It was really amazing and the boys absolutely loved it.

Today we went to the opposite end of the spectrum and heard the Utah Symphony children’s Christmas concert.  The boys were glad it was general admission so we could finally sit clear up in the second balcony, and we all enjoyed that concert as well.

After doing some desperately needed deep cleaning here at home, in an attempt to be more “fun” (really I’m just trying to make myself go into labor), we went to the zoo and walked up and down hills, did one more shopping errand, went to the Pizza Factory for dinner (as DH had to work until midnight and I didn’t feel up to cooking alone tonight), drove through a local cemetery to see the thousands of luminarias set out, and finally drove down Christmas Street here in Salt Lake City, a cul-de-sac that is highly decorated each December.  Then we came home, ate some thumbprint cookies, took baths, found the Sunday clothes, put in the 4th or 5th load of laundry for the day, read scriptures, and the boys went to bed.  And actually stayed there!  I’m about that worn out too! 

So this is the last weekly report for 2009, as well as our last report with only three children!  I can’t make any promises for what’s coming next. 🙂  I’m sure it will be an adventure though, so stay tuned…

4 Comments leave one →
  1. December 20, 2009 6:13 am

    Can I come live at your house???? It looks like fun! I love the cello and Celtic music. And The Clown of God makes me cry every single time I read it! I wish you the best as you welcome your newest little one into the world! Merry Christmas!

  2. December 20, 2009 10:13 am

    Wow–you look awesome!

    I’m so impressed with your accomplishments this week, and I have to add that I totally agree about schooling through the holidays! It really helps keep the hyper anxiety to a minimum, and helps channel their holiday enthusiasm into productive channels!

    I do take a break in November, though, for no reason. Imagine my surprise when I read that Susan Wise Bauer does the same! What *is* it about that month? I have no idea 🙂

  3. December 20, 2009 8:53 pm

    Wow, it looks like you had a productive and fun week!

  4. Julie permalink
    December 20, 2009 9:36 pm

    How exciting! This is like reading a serial… what WILL happen between now and the next installment?!?

    Have a wonderful Christmas, and thank you for sharing.

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