D has it figured out. If he gets started on his work when he gets up and brings me book after book in his pile until everything on his list is crossed off, he can go play until lunchtime! Diligence pays off!
The theme of the week for the other two seemed to be “Let’s see how long we can take to accomplish the simplest of tasks.” Just because we don’t have a by-the-clock schedule (which are always doomed from the beginning anyway) doesn’t mean that you can daydream and dawdle and waste time. It was epidemic this week! Monday was the worst. The older two would not quit messing around so I finally ignored them, made lunch for the younger two, and at 12:30 informed A and C that the kitchen was closing in half an hour and they would need to finish their current assignment and make their own lunch before then if they wanted to eat before we got back to work. They finally took me seriously. I think next week we’re going to set timers for everything. They really don’t have an inordinate amount of work each day if they’ll just get to it. And maybe I’ll rearrange things and move some of their individual subjects after lunch, so if they want to dawdle they can do it on their own time and not push into our together subjects.
Good things did happen though! C has been asking Daddy what training for the Marines is like, so DH instituted boot camp this week and got them all up between 6 and 7 a.m. to exercise. While it was nothing approaching Marine training, it was a good way to get everybody up and going…at least until Thursday morning when I think everyone was so tired (including Daddy!) that they all slept in. But for three days anyway, we had exercise, piano practice, and breakfast all before 9 a.m. For us, that’s amazing.
We got some good schoolwork in as well:
Literature: A and C are both reading the last two books in the Percy Jackson series for fun reading. We finished reading Ben and Me together and lead the discussion at our book club on Tuesday. Now we’re listening to The Mistmantle Chronicles on cd and thoroughly enjoying it. I may pick another read-aloud or I may not. It takes me forever to read a book out loud. We have much more luck with books on cd. Today I introduced the story chart from Teaching the Classics today and we analyzed “The Three Little Pigs.”
Math: Everyone had a good week. A is finally catching on to the bar graph method of solving story problems and can see how it really helps with some of those tricky problems. I’m grateful that I took the time a while back to really figure it out myself so that I could teach it.
Language Arts: It was another good week of writing and grammar for everyone. A learned how to use the thesaurus but was trying to see how long he could take to choose synonyms for his assignment. I wanted to say, “Just pick one and be done with it!” We reviewed rhyme,alliteration, assonance, and consonance in poetry, but skipped vocabulary this week. Honestly, I love Caesar’s English, but there is no possible way that we can spend the amount of time it’s requiring of us. I don’t want to drop it, so I think we’ll just meander through it at a much slower pace.
Latin: A only missed one thing on his first quiz, but got the bonus points so came out ahead. We’re off from taking Monday off last week, so he’s still working through lesson two. C aced his quiz #1 and then we kind of spaced Latin for the rest of the week. I’m going to try something new with him. Instead of going through his Latin at half speed over two years, we will try to go through every lesson this year but only memorize the vocabulary and the chants. Then next year we’ll go through it again and do all the written work, puzzles, grammar, etc. I think that might work out better for him.
German: We added in German this week and learned the alphabet.
Science: We are a little bit behind already. We skipped science on Monday after everything was taking way too long and then A got bogged down labelling sketches of food chains on Wednesday. But C and D read about food chains and ecosystems with me and started their habitat lapbook with a booklet on deserts. We all watched a couple of science videos.
History: We’re still figuring out our weekly history routine, but this week we read SOTW chapter 2 about the Nile River. C and D narrated for a notebook page and did their mapwork while A started taking notes from the encyclopedia and worked on his map and timeline. We went to the planetarium yesterday and saw The Stars of the Pharaohs which was a really interesting film about the ancient Egyptians’ astronomy. We also read several great books about Egypt together. Ten Little Mummies was an especially fun counting book and we also really liked Seeker of Knowledge about Champollion, the Frenchman who deciphered hieroglyphs.
Then we made a model of the Nile, planted grass seed in the dirt, and demonstrated how the Nile would flood its banks each year. In a few more weeks we should have a good crop.
We also went to park day and the boys had piano lessons, but we skipped art this week because of book club. We’ve been to the park by ourselves a few times as well, but it’s just been so hot lately. I’ll be glad to see September come, even though it brings orchestra rehearsals and cub scouts back into the schedule and life will get a bit crazier.
(We have other reasons to look forward to September, which I’ll have to share in another post. Stay tuned!)