Friday, September 17, 2010

Weeks 2 and 3!

I'm so impressed by the faithful bloggers who post every week or more! I just haven't gotten into an every-week rhythm, although I'm working towards it. So here is my update from the past two weeks.

Geography: The kids will never forget the names of the seven continents now that they've sung the song that MFW-ECC taught them (think "Yankee Doodle" using these words: "North America, South America/Europe, Africa, Asia/Kangaroos live in Australia/And penguins in Antarctica.") Even Dobby sings along! They've also learned about latitude and longitude and did several map-related activities these past couple of weeks.

("Mom, I keep confusing latitude and longitude!!!")

Scavenger hunt on our block!

The crowning geography-related activity, however, was our "world cake." We were supposed to bake a round cake then attempt to create outlines of the continents and color in with frosting. I'm not quite sure anyone would identify our cake as being a map of the world, but it didn't last that long around the house anyway! We made one then I wanted to try again and see if we could improve it, and Harry had the idea of taking that second cake and giving it to a family who recently moved to our street. A great idea, and I love that one my kids came up with it!

This year has been tougher because although I try to include Ron on all Harry's geography and some science-related activities, he also has his own kindergarten curriculum to follow. I do his reading, writing and math separately, but use the MFW-K for Bible, science, and kindergarten-appropriate activities. Last week, he studied the seven days of creation, making his own "Creation Book" which he proudly displays here:

And he focused on the sun this week, which MFW ties together with the idea that "Jesus is the Light of the World." Although Ron doesn't need the phonics in MFW-K, I do love the character-building/biblically-focused theme studies which was the main draw for me to select it.

Occupying little brother Dobby also takes some effort. Thank goodness for Grasshopper Kits!

And he also likes to join in on the art projects!

We also received our live caterpillars and started watching their eventual transformation into painted lady butterflies!

The big boys also made some nice bookmarks with the name "Matthew" on it, which is Harry's Bible focus this year in his curriculum. (Here, Harry has attempted to write "Matthew" in Greek, the language that Matthew used to write his Gospel.)

In addition to these subjects, Harry does his usual math, handwriting, writing, grammar, and spelling. I've switched this year from Classical Writing Primer to Writing With Ease 2, trying to do more than one lesson a day to get through it quickly and move on to Writing With Ease 3. I realized this year that we hadn't been doing narration quite the right way, so Harry still needs practice with this skill. But WWE is a much more teacher-intensive program than CW Primer and so I'm finding I need much more alone time with Harry in the afternoon when the little guys are asleep.

My biggest struggles right now are how to fit everything in; how to manage Dobby who is at an age in which he can take a great deal of energy and needs more attention; and what to do about Harry's Latin curriculum. I'm not feeling great about Latina Christiana right now so I'm considering a switch. We'll see what happens next week!

I can't believe that three weeks have flown by! I remember last year after three weeks, I was ready for a break! But right now I still have the stamina to keep going before we take a break, which is a good thing because we're not scheduled for a break for a while! I have light weeks scheduled as we did last year, but fewer of them and more spread apart. We'll see how long we can last at this pace. Thanks for visiting our blog!


  1. We really enjoyed watching our own caterpillars change to painted lady butterflies----I hope your boys do too!

  2. We'll be using ECC next year, so I'm getting a sneak peek of what's in store by visiting your blog! :)

    We did the same thing you're doing with MFW K - just enjoyed the science & Bible but went ahead with the phonics we were already using. And I have no regrets about doing it that way . . . it was a great year!

    I still remember a little trick from 5th grade about keeping latitude and longitude straight: "lat is flat." Maybe that will help?

    Great week!

  3. Thanks, Karen! I can't wait to see the transformation myself! Beaglemamma, nice to meet you and how fun to see your blog as well, a fellow MFW family. Thanks for stopping by!

  4. Helen, I love that geography cake!!! What a fun way to start off the year and your geography studies!! Looks like you guys had a great week! Hope you're enjoying your weekend!

  5. Love the cake! Great idea and one I need to remember.

  6. The geography cake made my little one say, "Why can't we do a cake like that?" LOL! You see what you started! ;)

    I loved reading about your week, I loved the letter your little one wrote to God, and you have beautiful children!

    Have a blessed week!

    ps Thanks for the song. We will definitely be singing it all week.