We are eight weeks into our studies this school year. That may not seem like a lot to you, but I'm not bothered about how long it takes us to get through the formal material as much as how much we live, breathe and learn a long the way. We didn't formally begin until after our trip to Turkey in October. Then I threw my back out which caused us to start Christmas holidays a little earlier than planned. Then a great two week break for Christmas. But, that is the joy of being a home ed family--we can do what we need to do as we need to do it.
And although formally we are on week 8, I cannot capture the learning that has taken place.
We've learned about the sciatic nerve and why it makes mommy's leg hurt sometimes, and her back other times.
Jewel has learned how to use the phone, and be safe in answering the door.
Jewel is becoming quite efficient helping with laundry as she has helped so much with my back hurting.
Bible stories have been re-enacted over and over with the Barbies received for Christmas. Barbie has been Elijah and the widow, Peter preaching to the crowds, and Jesus walking on the water. I haven't once seen them worry that they need to look like Barbie!
Thank you notes have been written and social niceties have been reinforced.
Grandparents have been loved on and have doted on them. De-programming from grandparents visits are ongoing.
New Years, change of calendar, celebration styles (fireworks or no?), writing new dates have all been practiced.
Big Ben, the Tower of London, the London Eye, and Buckingham Palace have been visited.
Warhol and Picasso have been seen at the Tate Modern.
Snowman construction has been taught by Daddy and then demonstrated by the girls during our two big snowstorms.
Walking on ice safely has been learned. Not walking on the lake in spite of the silly people doing it has been discussed.
Playdates have been shared.
The new laptop has been used daily, for hours on end.
"Jingle Bells" and "O Come All Ye Faithful" have been mastered on the piano.
and that is just the informal learning that is taking place....
Formally, we are doing well with Sonlight as our spine of study. Jewel has just finished looking at the Vikings and is starting Castles and Medieval times. We have not totally closed out the Viking study as we still want to go up to York to the Viking Center before we are done. The castle study was perfect to coincide with the Tower of London trip (totally a coincidence, I don't plan that well) and has made reviewing the parts of castle easier. She is finally grasping the concept of addition now that we have started subtraction. She is finding subtraction much easier. I am hopeful that the foundation is finally solidifying for her. She continues to read ahead of where we are in the books. She is a great reader, and loves it, which is encouraging. I'm only one week behind on science experiments with her which is truly amazing. And, we have completed two of the artists' studies that I am putting together as we go through the year (Van Eyck and Botticelli). Art continues to capture her imagination, so we will run with that some more.
Flower is reading almost fluently now. She is not nearly as frustrated with reading. She still sounds out unfamiliar words, but she does so in the flow of reading rather than just stopping on the word. She is completing the first of the "I Can Read" books this week and is so excited that she has completed a book. She continues with Explode the Code and Handwriting without Tears as well. This week we finally progressed past just writing numbers and counting in MUS Primer to place setting. She grasped the concept immediately. She told her daddy she was now doing "real math not just baby stuff." She continues to show an aptitude for math as being easy, so I'm glad she likes it. She is also doing the art studies with Jewel and me, but she finds it more tedious than fun. I let her rush through the activities and do her own thing. She is only four (almost five) after all! We are actually up to date with her science experiments and she loves it.
Daddy is still reading history or missionary stories to them at night time. They just finished a story about Florence Nightingale so the next time we are in London I'm going to surprise them by taking them to St. Thomas Hospital to the Nightingale museum. They are currently reading about Hudson Taylor.
Jewel keeps saying she wants to be an archaeologist when she grows up. So, we are encouraging it by showing her things that archaeologists do. She got a couple of archaeology "dig" games for Christmas that we look forward to doing. But in the meantime the coolest thing happened over the weekend. She and her daddy were shoveling the driveway and they found this:
Can you tell what they are? They swept the snow away to reveal them better. They are peacock tracks! Where the peacock walked and melted the snow, it refroze into these tracks and then snowed on top of them. Jewel told me they uncovered them "just like a real archaeologist would". It was so cute!
I know in my last post I said I was going to combine this into my main blog. But I find that I really do like being able to print an account of our school pursuits in one place. So, for now (or at least today), I'll keep it here. I've made a goal this year to update at least twice a month. Maybe that is doable, lol. But that is our first 3 months of school in a nutshell.