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Hey, look! We’re still homeschooling!

May 7, 2013

Every time I get woefully behind on blogging something like, say, weekly reports on school, I always feel like I have to first do a catch up post before I can continue on.  Which is silly.  It’s my blog and I can write what I want.  Or not write.  And not feel obligated to write.  Or write lots of sentence fragments.  Hmmm…

So, that being said, I will not even attempt to catch up on the last 4+ months of school that have not been reported on.  Just be assured we have been doing school (somewhat minimally at times) while dealing with house hunting, and maybe moving, then maybe not moving, then packing most of our belongings and putting them in storage, then DH’s surgery, and is it really May already??!!

We’ve been quite consistent the past two months with scripture study, piano practice, and math.  All of the boys have finished their respective math books.  Unfortunately, their next Singapore books are all in a box in our storage unit.  A is doing a great job of working through Life of Fred Decimals and Percents and D is working on Challenging Word Problems 2 right now.  I don’t have anything on hand for C, however, so I may have to break down and go find the box of math books, or just order him a new workbook as I’m making plans for next year and will be placing book orders soon.  I hope.

D is working on cursive, learning one letter at a time (I think he’s up to ‘R’.)  C has been reviewing cursive and practicing writing smaller.

C and A are diligently working through their 4-step sentence analysis books for grammar.  C was working on First Language Lessons as well, but they started to seem superfluous and repetitive so we dropped it for a while.  I need to sit down with his book and figure out how much of it he does not know.  D is way behind in his First Language Lessons book as well.  We’re only about half-way through it and I’m not sure what I’m going to do with him next year so can’t decide if we should keep going or not.

Last year at this time, everything seemed easy: we’d just keep moving up into the next level of everything we were currently using.  This year, that just doesn’t sound appealing.  I don’t know that it’s really about the curricula, or more that I’m just tired of our situation and the general uncertainty about where we’ll even be by the fall.  Everything just feels kind of stagnant right now, including schoolwork.

We’re pressing on though!  Writing especially is getting easier for A.  We took several months off from Writing with Skill, but finally he is making progress again.  He just finished week 20.  He will also take the final quiz in First Form Latin this week.  And I’ve got Second Form Latin sitting here waiting for him!

Science fell by the wayside after Christmas, which I still feel bad about, and am pondering if we should squeeze in some earth science before starting chemistry again next year.  E’s preschool plans also have not happened, but he has had fun playing and reading books with us and there will be plenty of time in his life for more structure.  This spring has just not been the time.

History however, has been going strong.  I gave up on my Middle Ages Passport Project plans with all of its extras, but we’ve been faithfully reading through Story of the World 2 and adding in mapwork, timelines, and extra reading.  For the past month or so, we’ve been studying explorers–Magellan, Vasco da Gama, Amerigo Vespucci, and of course Christopher Columbus.  We also briefly touched on the Aztec, Mayan, and Incan civilizations.

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We used to read tons of folk tales from the various cultures we’ve studied but since A and C learned to read by themselves, we kind of fell out of that habit.  I feel like D has missed out on so many great books that we read during our first history cycle, so I made sure to read quite a few Mesoamerican as well as some African folk tales to him.

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Really, this should be me in this picture, I did most of the work.

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What they say: We love to make paper models of buildings around the world.
What they mean:  We love it when Mommy does all the hard work of folding our paper models for us.

That may be our last paper model.  It was a pain to make.  A enjoyed talking about the Temple of the Inscriptions at history club though, and it was cool how it opened up in the center to show where the burial chamber for the king was.  C took his (not paper) model of the Pinta and read some of Christopher Columbus’s log.  It was fascinating that they would calculate how far they travelled and then write a shorter amount in the official log so his sailors wouldn’t know exactly how far from home they really were.

Somewhere is there, we also watched the Kenneth Branagh movie version of Henry V as a family as we covered the Wars of the Roses back in March and are looking forward to actually studying Shakespeare’s life coming up.  We’ve also been fascinated by the story of the discovery and identification of Richard III’s skeleton under a parking lot in Leicester.

Now we are up to the Renaissance period and there are so many fascinating topics that we could spend weeks discussing.  I have a great desire to finish up the book though and take a deep breath of relief.  So we’ll see where we go from here.

I think that sums up our academic work.  The boys have been busy with scouts and had their Pinewood Derby a few weeks ago.  A and C also played their first piano recital in April.  We’ve been playing kickball on Monday afternoons with two other families in our ward that homeschool.  It’s been a good way to release some of the pent-up energy that’s been accumulating as we’ve stayed close to home lately taking care of DH.  We’re so happy about warm spring weather.  It’s been a long time coming.

 

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