Friday, September 24, 2010

Week 4: A Trip to the Moon and More!

I'm going to try to actually post two straight weeks in a row! Let's see how it goes. I can't believe we are already at the end of week 4. For some reason, the school year is flying by this year. Last year we scheduled "light weeks" every four weeks or so, and I was feeling like I really needed it after our first four weeks. This year, I think I can just keep going a couple more! (Let's see how long this feeling lasts!)

This week's highlights...

We're focusing on North America right now in our study of world geography, with U.S. being the current topic. Harry and Ron studied hard all week to review their fifty states of the U.S.; we'd done this last year as part of Adventures in My Father's World, but this week it was time to pull the map out again and see if they could do all 50. And by the end of the week, they could!

Harry also wrote a lovely "thank you" letter to God in his handwriting book...

And Ron, who has also been learning cursive (at his request! He just wants to do everything Harry does!), produced some lovely letter Ls...

Dobby loves to "do work" when he sees the big boys doing school. So he will either pull out his Grasshopper Kit or one of his many write-and-wipe books (used to be Ron's but they have now all been passed down!)...

...or he'll have fun with Play-Dough or other activities that are right for a 3-year-old!

This week, Ron's kindergarten curriculum focused on the moon, so we did a number of activities related to the topic. We talked about how just as the moon reflects the sun's light, so too do we reflect the light of Jesus in our lives when we follow and obey him. Ron also learned that you can fit 50 moons in one planet Earth! But neither the earth nor the moon can outsize the sun! (Illustrated here with the green exercise ball as the sun, the small rubber ball as earth, and the tiny Play-Dough ball you can barely see as the moon!) Not quite to scale, but I think he understood the point!

To celebrate our study of the moon, we built a spaceship and went on a trip! (It's amazing how kids' imaginations can be sparked with just a blanket over a couch and chairs!) Both Harry and Dobby wanted to join in on the journey. I asked what they would need to take with them, and they all promptly went to get 1) their stuffed animals and 2) plastic food.

Ready for takeoff!
Moon, here we come!
I feel as though sometimes I just highlight all the good times here on the blog and say nothing of the challenging days. Well, let's try to balance that out. Wednesday was one of our challenging days. I felt like "mean mom" for a good portion of the day, being impatient and frustrated much more than I know I should have been with the boys. It was a long day, one when my husband wasn't home until well past their bedtime, so those are the days when I wonder if homeschooling is a good choice, that a schoolteacher would likely have been much kinder and nicer to my kids than I was. It was certainly a day when I had to ask my kids for forgiveness for losing my patience with them--they definitely know I am far from perfect!

But then I happened to look outside around 8:15 p.m., and I saw the most beautiful full moon in the sky. Given that we were studying the moon this week with Ron's kindergarten curriculum, it seemed a God-given opportunity. I sent the two older boys outside to see the moon and take some photos while I put their little brother to bed. Something about being outdoors and seeing God's creation always seems to put my kids in a good mood, so they ended up with big smiles underneath a full moon in their pajamas.

(That white dot towards the top of the photo is the moon! It looked more striking in real life!)
So that's how God redeemed our long and often frustrating day, as though He was smiling down on us from above despite my imperfections and failings!

As for lingering questions, I'm still trying to figure out some curriculum issues. For example...should I switch Harry from Latina Christiana to Latin for Children? Should I go from First Language Lessons to Rod and Staff? How will I fit everything in to our afternoon time when we start up with Singapore Math again next week? Come back and visit to find out! =)


  1. Helen, I LOVE the spaceship! I bet your boys thought that was grand!!

    As far as second-guessing curriculum ... I think we all do that! I was just talking to a friend earlier about not *loving* my science this year.

    Harry's love letter to God is precious! I'm sure you'll keep that forever!!

    Enjoy your weekend!

  2. Great spaceship and what a beautiful cursive prayer to God. I love it!

    Thank you for your encouraging words. We all have rough days and I, too, am thankful that God redeems the days.

  3. Great photos- especially the rocket.
    Thanks for sharing your not so great moment. We all have them, but you're right. When we type up a blog, we don't mention them.

  4. Carrie, always great to hear from you. I had the idea to look into Rod and Staff 3 from you! Bought it from someone on the WTM boards, and should receive it any day. We are still working through the end of FLL2 over here (all those prepositions!) and hope to finish it soon. Thanks for stopping by and have a wonderful weekend and week!

  5. Daisy and Mandy--saw your posts after I posted my reply to Carrie but thanks so much for stopping by and glad you liked our "spaceship"! Amazing what an old green blanket can do. =) Thanks, too, for the encouragement about sharing the not-so-good times. Just trying to keep it real! =) But I lose my cool way too often, I sadly admit. Sometimes I think God is using homeschooling not to teach my children, but to teach me!

  6. Thanks for sharing your story of a rough day and how God turned it around for you! Very encouraging and real! The spaceship is a fun idea and I like the illustration with the balls! Hope you have a great next week and can figure out your curriculum! I think we all deal with wondering from time to time if what we are using is the best for us!

  7. I love the way y'all made your spaceship! I'm sure the kids had a "blast" playing in it! (Sorry, couldn't resist.)

    I have really enjoyed reading your blog, so I gave you a "One Lovely Blog" award. You can stop by my blog to pick it up, and please make sure to read the important note at the end! :)

  8. Beaglemamma! Wow, I'm honored! This is my first blog award ever and I am truly surprised! Thanks very very much! =)