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School Report: Counting down!

June 1, 2013

I still need to add up my days (not that anyone ever checks up on us) but we’re close to hitting 180 days.  Regardless, our major goal is to get through Story of the World 2 and the boys’ sentence analysis books.  We’re kind of in the middle of everything else right now and will just stop for a time and pick it back up after a summer break.

We’ve been fairly consistent with math even with our normal books packed away in our storage unit.  A finished Life of Fred Decimals and Percents and is now cruising through Challenging Word Problems 5.  And they are a challenge, but so far none have completely stumped me!   So I’ve at least been able to help him see how to best solve them.  D is also working through Challenging Word Problems 2, mostly without me, and has even started drawing his own bar graphs without help!  C, with no book, has been doing general review with multiplication tables printed off the internet, and various pages of arithmetic from Scholastic ebooks I’ve accumulated from their Dollar Days sales over the years.  Here’s a kaleidoscope page he completed:


As the boys get older, I find I don’t take nearly as many pictures of schoolwork as I used to.  We must need to do some good photogenic projects again!

C and D are both continuing to work on their cursive.  C has come so far!  Here’s a beautiful page of Zs:


C has just four sentences left in his analysis book.  A has ten, so should finish in the next two weeks.  I’ve really loved these books and the accompanying grammar text.  That is one thing we’re definitely keeping on next year’s schedule.  (Just don’t ask me about anything else yet!  I’ve got some serious research to do and decisions to make.)

A is on week 22 in Writing with Skill and his writing seems to have matured somewhat.  He doesn’t love it, but doesn’t hate it either, which is more than I can say for D.  We’ve really let writing fall for C and D this year.  There were just too many complaints and I finally decided I didn’t want to deal with it anymore.  I know, such a great attitude for a classical homeschooler.  I hereby resolve to do better next year!

C and D are doing well at spelling.  I couldn’t seem to keep up with both of them, so finally just put them together and we’ve been very consistent ever since.  A’s a natural speller and I don’t even have to worry about spelling with him, although I would like him to learn more of the spelling rules.  I never knew a lot of the spelling rules; I could just spell words correctly because of my good
visual memory, and I can see the same thing in A.  Since learning more of the rules, I now understand why certain words are spelled the way they are and I like the logic of it, so I want him to have that same understanding even though spelling’s not really a priority or a need for him.

Latin is however.  He finished First Form!!!  We haven’t been nearly as diligent as we should have been lately with flashcards and chants, but he still only missed three on his final exam. And . . . now that I’m looking back at it, I realize that wasn’t the final final exam, only the final review of the verb sections.  So I guess technically we’re not done with First Form!  One more giant 7-page test to go!

Regardless, I pulled out Second Form this week and had all the parts and pieces except for the dvd.  I’m pretty sure I bought it, so it must be in our storage unit too.  On Monday I’m going to go search through my boxes to see what I can find, although maybe it would be best to wait until fall to start a new Latin program!  (Give the kid a little break!)

We’ve had a really great time with history the last month or so.  When C was at the doctor for his sprained wrist, the doctor was asking  him how school was going and what his favorite subject is.  C said he loved history and that we’ve been learning about ” Martin Luther, and the Reformation, oh, and the counter Reformation,” in the most matter of fact tone like that’s what every 4th grader is learning, and once again I was struck by how rich an education we’re trying to give these boys, especially in history and literature.  They know so many things that I never remember studying, even when I was in college.

So let’s see, recently we’ve studied Martin Luther, Henry VIII, the Reformation and counter Reformation, the Renaissance, Leonardo da Vinci, Michelangelo, Copernicus, Galileo, Gutenberg, Shakespeare, and Queen Elizabeth I.  I’m sure we could have spent a month or more on almost every one of those topics, I’m not sure we did them justice, but we’ve all really enjoyed what reading we’ve done and everything we’ve learned.  I really want to start studying artists and musicians apart from when they come up in our history cycle so we can spend more on them.

We’ve done a ton of history reading, which has been good.  The last time we went through this time period, I was pregnant and horribly sick and we just read through Story of the World and called it good for the year.



I wish we’d done more projects, but I haven’t been a project-y kind of mom this entire school year.  D did color this beautiful picture of Elizabeth I going on progress to share for history club:


We had our last history club of the year last week.  We haven’t done anything terribly amazing the rest of the year (and we’ve had a few flops) so we went all out in the kitchen this time.  I found a great website with medieval recipes in their original old English, translated into modern English, then converted to a doable recipe with measurements.  We debated over lots of them, but finally ended up making a mushroom and cheese pasty and a chicken and rice dish with almonds.  It was a little odd, but we really enjoyed the mushroom pasty.  Here’s A sauteing the mushrooms:


The finished product:OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

I was surprised that it had ginger in it, but it was really yummy.   One of the other moms at history club commented on the fact that she’s tried a few weird historical recipes over the years and they all seem to mix their sweet and savory flavors.  Foods weren’t as defined as one or the other like we tend to classify them today.  Her son made rosewater cookies.  I did not like them.  I just don’t like anything that tastes like flowers smell.

Apart from the food and presentations, the kids got to experiment with block prints letters cut into potato chunks and we made up sentences and stories using some of Shakespeare’s words and phrases.  We also read through the witches’ chant “Double, double, toil and trouble” from Macbeth and made witches’ brew (from Story of the World activity book.)  Here’s A adding his “wing of bat.”


And the final (yummy!) mix:


Aside from school, the boys passed their swimming levels and will move up to the next, depending on when I can get them into lessons again.  And DH finally got his sling off after his shoulder surgery.  Now the trick is remembering that he’s not back to full strength yet and can’t do all that you think he can, or ask him to do.  The sling was at least a nice visual reminder.  It was good to get the bill in the mail today and see a big fat zero at the bottom!  You get hurt at work, work pays!  That’s a nice $13,000 bill we don’t have to worry about.

And we’re still enjoying weekends with him at home.  Today, after getting haircuts and attending a baptism in our ward, we went to  Ogden to see a B-17.  The boys (all 5 of them!) love to see these old planes.  E wanted to climb up in it, he really did, but just couldn’t get up the courage.  On his third try he made it all the way to the top of the ladder to climb in, before chickening out.  He loved looking up into the bomb bays though and was fascinated by the ball turret.

A great way to spend a Saturday afternoon!








3 Comments leave one →
  1. June 1, 2013 10:41 pm

    Every year at about the beginning of May my desire, creativity and drive really take a tumble. I feel like anything we have planned for the end of the year doesn’t get covered nearly as well as those things we studied at the beginning of the school year. We tend to just go through the motions and skim through. I wish it was different but despite my intentions to not let it happen again, it always does.

    My kids are doing pretty well with everything despite my short comings. I do feel guilty at times but then just remind myself that I really am doing my best and that is all I am capable of doing.

    What is it about boys and planes? They never miss an opportunity to climb into one!

  2. June 2, 2013 7:13 am

    What handsome boys! Looks like they really enjoyed the plane! We’re winding down our school year too and I have so many “I’ll do better next year” moments… guess we must all have those feelings about one subject or another. And I’m with you on the projects – I was such a slacker this year. But when I offered various project ideas to my daughter she wasn’t interested – she’d rather finish school so she could go play. So that lets me off the hook a little, I suppose!

  3. June 2, 2013 9:28 am

    Oh, your living books for history look fabulous! The food looks great. And what an awesome field trip!

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