Thursday, April 22, 2010

Light Week, 48 Hours Away, Week 29!

Last week was one of our scheduled "light weeks" which coordinated perfectly with my trip away for two days to the biennial Calvin Festival of Faith and Writing, a conference I've wanted to attend for YEARS. My gracious hubby took a day off work and took care of the boys while I scurried away to Grand Rapids, MI for my getaway, and it was a fabulous time. I didn't think about homeschooling once while I was away! And I think that was actually a good thing. We all need breaks once in a while!

But this week, it was back to the normal swing of things, even though I do have to admit it was like pulling teeth to get our plans together. I was so tired by Sunday evening that I was falling asleep just trying to do lesson plans! But, somehow, by the grace of God no doubt, we made it through the week. Highlights include...
  • Ron (DS, 5) continues to truck through Singapore Earlybird Math A. Sometimes the lessons are geared more for a full class, so it takes some adapting, but Sean still managed to have great fun with the section on capacity. Anytime "free play with water" can count as a school activity, kids are bound to have fun!
  • Harry started using My First Magnet Kit as suggested by our My Father's World curriculum as an optional science activity, and I'm glad we've done it. He's really enjoying the short little activities to show magnets in action. Ron joins in when he can, and both particularly loved seeing the two magnets of the same pole repelling one another. "Oh, magic!" they said. "No, magnets!" I would have to correct. That didn't stop them from pulling out their makeshift wands and pretending to be the cause of the top magnet floating seemingly in thin air.
(making a homemade compass, above)

  • This week our Bible theme was "Jesus the Good Shepherd", and we're reading Mountain Born by Elizabeth Yates, which is a lovely story of a shepherding family and just another example of the ways in which MFW ties together various aspects of the curriculum to reinforce each other. I wouldn't say this has been our kids' favorite read-aloud this year--they prefer something a little more action-packed, such as Stone Fox which we read together for fun recently--but I think it's great for them to hear a mix of different writers' voices and styles. Hopefully one day, 20 years down the road or so, they'll agree! =)
  • We continued through our tour of the U.S. by covering Nevada, Kansas, West Virginia and Nebraska. As we discovered that the first Pizza Hut location was opened in Wichita, Kansas back in 1958, it only seemed fitting that we should order pizza that night to commemorate it--and so we did!
  • Harry is choosing to write more and more of his assignments in cursive, without my even asking, so that's a good sign that he is becoming more comfortable with it. No arguments here!
    • We were blessed with yet another beautiful spring week so we had to enjoy it! We ate lunch outside on Wednesday, then the younger brothers had fun playing while Harry was doing an online class on Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets. I always listen in on the class and am so happy that Harry gets a chance in this virtual way to participate in a class discussion. He never hesitates to raise his hand and even though he is the youngest in the class, he makes good contributions to the discussion. How could we homeschool without the Internet???

    We are really coming down to the home stretch here for our school year, which seems just insane--the year has gone by so fast! We have five more weeks left in our MFW/Adventures curriculum, with a week break for a trip to California to visit my folks, which means we'll officially be done the first week of June. Just in time for the annual Illinois Christian Home Educators' conference which takes place ten minutes away. Another blessing! Thanks for visiting. =)


    1. How fun! Just a thought...we really enjoyed getting magnetic magic tricks from the library when we studied magnets. Lots of fun that carried over to personal time for the dc. It also helps that their daddy is an amateur magician :)

    2. What a great week, thank you for sharing! Very nice cursive writing!

    3. Oh that sounds like a fun week. I love the idea of ordering pizza when you learned the first pizza hut was in Kansas. My state, Utah, had the first KFC. I'll have to remember to order KFC when studying our state. Thanks for a few ideas!

    4. Nothing like pizza to drive a lesson home! ;-) That magnet kit sounds very fun - what ages do you think it would be appropriate for? I'm always on the lookout for fun science kits for my dd (age 6).

    5. Jason's cursive looks great! Ethan has really taken to it, too! I must tell you, I am SO GLAD!! His print is atrocious! ;)

      Do you mind telling me about his online class? I'd love for Ethan to be able to do that sometime.

      Hope you're having a great weekend, Helen!!

    6. Thanks for commenting, everyone! I am always still amazed that people come and visit. =) I don't know if this is the best way to answer questions but I'll post here then perhaps contact people directly if I don't see a response. Tonia--yes, the kit is appropriate for age 6 and up. Here is a link: Very simple and easy activities! Carrie--I found the online class at They have all sorts of online classes, but if you are looking for a Harry Potter one specifically, the next one starts this coming Wednesday with the Prisoner of Azkaban, 12 p.m. Central Time. The class is supposed to be for ages 8-12 so Jason was a little young for it, but Toni Williams (teacher) has been very encouraging and helpful. Good luck with finding something for Ethan!

    7. Hey, Helen! Thanks so much for the info! I've just discovered currclick, so I'll have to check it out!!

      The glow-in-the-dark book is good (didn't blow Ethan away, though! ;) It covers the constellations by seasons and gives the history behind the name of each and a couple of paragraphs about the stars that make up the constellation. I think it's a good resource to have on their level. We were supposed to get our telescope out this weekend ... maybe we'll do that tomorrow evening. ;)