Thursday, February 5, 2009

Weeks 18-21 in Review

My poor neglected blog is not the only thing that suffered in January. I'm just going to chalk it up to a mid-year slump. I think for next year I will try to restructure our schedule to give ourselves more of a break after Christmas. I was exhausted by the time we were supposed to start school, and my planning was incomplete, so it was hard to get going in Week 18. We mostly did a lot of read-alouds together for history and a new project we're working on that I will blog about at the end of next week. Individual subjects were mostly ignored that week.

Then Week 19 was interrupted by a trip to Chicago. The purpose of the trip was multifold: we saw Ryne's doctor and spent a little bit of time with our RDI consultant. Anna's swim team was in Chicago for their annual travel meet, so we stayed an extra day for her to swim on Saturday. All in all it was a productive trip, but it was also full of not-so-fun surprises. Our first night there we ate at a horrible Chinese buffet (horrible tasting and horribly expensive), and Grace ended up throwing up her dinner at the hotel pool area. The next morning when we got in the car the temperature was 17 below zero (my car might exaggerate, but it was still well below zero)! On Saturday as we were getting ready to leave town I had an adventure with a flat tire. Marc and Ryne had flown home by this time to participate in Ryne's Cub Scout Pinewood Derby, so after more than an hour of crying to Marc on my cell phone, AAA finally came to the resuce. The last straw was getting stuck in the snow in the middle of Iowa (never drive I-80 in January). We should have been home no later than 10:00 p.m., but actually rolled into town about 3:00 a.m. So our biggest education that week was in dealing with the unexpected!

I don't even remember Week 20 anymore.

Week 21 we finally started to recover from our mid-year slump. I had to completely re-do our lesson plans from having gone so far off track with our individual subjects. But we did get back on track, especially in motivation. Math went especially well for all three kids. Gracie finally mastered adding 9's! Anna finished another Mind Benders book. We worked on a wall map for the Iditarod project we'll be doing the next couple of months (thank you to Donna at Go Alongs for the great tips).

Even though we had a bad month, we're still in great shape to finish out the year. We ate up most of our wiggle room in our schedule for grammar and science, but that is what wiggle room is for! Anna is extremely behind in Latin if judged against TWTM standard, but I kind of gave up on that standard a while ago. And, no, we didn't start the French yet. This is something Anna really wants to do, so she was excited to inherit Auntie Kristin's French materials (my sister just moved back to the states from a job in Switzerland). We tried to get started, but have had all sorts of technical difficulties loading the software and then getting our new headphones to work. So hopefully after I go buy some gadget this week, she will be ready to start French.

And even though on paper January might look like a disaster, one of my main goals for their education was still accomplished: instill a love for learning. In history we read about the discovery of the Americas, and look what I found Ryne and Grace drawing in their free time -- their own explorer maps.

And then there was the surprise of Grace doing her own copywork from a book we've had for years (not part of our current history lessons).

If this is what they do for fun, we must be doing something right in our homeschooling.

Happy Homeschooling!

P.S. Just to clarify, everything in this post was from January -- we're actually on a scheduled break this week. We really do homeschool around here. You do believe me, right?


  1. Kellie! I am so sorry that you had so much trouble coming out to Chicago :( My husband or I could have come to help you!

    I was thinking of you and praying for you because the weekend you came it was the coldest time this winter with the worst weather...Poor thing!


  2. Hmm, obviously neither of them knows where Australia is... or do they even know that it exists? Just kidding, you know how lame I am on US geography now so it's not like I'm so knowledgeable in comparison.

    I did want to say that Ryne's map is fantastic! And Grace's map is also wonderful for such a littlie. Did Ryne help her with the spelling?

    ~ Sharon

  3. Sharon, I am surprised Ryne didn't include Australia because he actually had quite an interest in your beautiful country last year. I was also a little puzzled with his placement of India. I probably should have mentioned the red spot above Africa is the Red Sea -- for every SOTW map of that area he insists on coloring it red!

    As for Grace it seems like she's asking how to spell a new word every five minutes, so I'm not sure who helped her with the spelling. A year ago I was worried she'd never take an interest in writing!