Sunday, October 25, 2009
Weekly Wrap-Up: October 24
I spent much of this week trying to get over a nasty cold that had aggravated my asthma. Since H1N1 is in full force here, (and I didn't want to get it with the asthma already aggravated) the kids and I hid out at home until we were able to get vaccinated on Saturday. One of the hidden benefits of homeschooling: avoiding the plague! The vaccination clinic was an interesting experience. A lot more people showed up than we expected, and we ended up having to wait in line for 3 1/2 hours! Much of that was outside in a cold rain. The kids did really well. It seemed like an interesting experience, hanging out with all the people in line. Everyone was very friendly and helpful, lending coats and umbrellas, letting other people's kids warm up in their cars. It was an experience in the best of humanity, really. Everyone was helpful and cooperative. Even the kids, for the most part, were well-behaved.
Anyway, we did managed to get some schoolwork done this week too. We've started the Middle Ages in history, and we learned about the Celts this week. Lucy read a Beowulf adaptation for kids, and we listened to someone read it online in the original English. That led to a discuss about how language changes over time. Lucy also read a book of traditional Celtic tales. We did the usual assortment of subjects: grammar, spelling, dictation, math, etc. and read about the Cappadocians and St. Ambrose for church history. I had a writing assignment planned about creating a good sentence, but Lucy ended up creating her own writing project. She decided that she could write a good paragraph, so one evening she wrote 5 or 6 of them, and did research in a children's encyclopedia for them. With moments like these I'm amazed at how effective homeschooling is! Not only could she indeed write a good paragraph, with very little previous teaching, but she wanted to do it. She loved it! I'm beginning to see how immersing children in good literature really does make a difference.
Matthew has apparently been learning a lot by osmosis. Over the last week or so I realized that he actually knows all his letters pretty well, both upper and lower case. So we've started working on The Ordinary Parent's Guide to Teaching Reading. It appears that Matthew already knows quite a few of the letter sounds too, so I think that part of the book will go quickly. He's been watching Leap Frog's "Letter Factory" video, and I assume that's where he's picked up the letter sounds. I like how the Guide is organized, but it's a little overly scripted for us. Matthew picks up on the lesson quickly and gets impatient if I go through the entire script, so I'm just shortening it and adapting it for him. It's really fun to see his enthusiasm. He is always asking to "do school," because he sees Lucy doing it and he wants to do whatever she does! He's also started preschool at a local Catholic school, two mornings a week. He loves hanging out with the other kids, and it gives Lucy and I some uninterrupted school time.