Saturday, March 7, 2009

Week 25 in Review

We did it! A full week of school! All subjects covered! Even a fun art project! Aaaahhhh, it feels good to be back. Well, I don't know if "back" is the appropriate word since we rarely get this much done even in our good weeks. But after being in a slump for two months we needed a week like this.

Grace: She is still quite the eager beaver when it comes to school work, and she now has her routine down pat. She does her phonics worksheet, handwriting, and math almost independently now. Next she does her reading lesson which continue to be quicker these days. Then we spend a few minutes on her memory verse for Sunday School and some additional memory work. So far this year she has memorized her phone number, complete address, complete date of birth, and the days of the week. We review all these on Mondays and then work on new memory work the rest of the week. Currently she is working on memorizing the months of the year. I've been trying to find some cute coloring pages for the months, so if you know of any please tell me in the comments section. Twice a week she does Song School Latin with Ryne, and once a week she does a page in her Map Skills book. Recently we started Bible Stories to Read and Bible Pictures to Color by Rod and Staff, which have become favorites of hers. It sounds like a lot of work for a Kindergartner, but she gets all this done in about an hour (sometimes that hour is spread out a bit because I'm helping the other two). When she's done she usually draws or plays in the backyard.

Ryne: Planning Ryne's curriculum for next year should be pretty easy because we are very happy with everything he is currently using. I've already sung my praises for Math U See many times, but another big winner is First Language Lessons 3. He did very well with FLL 1 & 2 as well, which has made this year even better because he already had many of the definitions memorized. I like the variety in the lessons (he loves the poems) and the simple layout of the workbook. So we will continue with FLL 4, but that is as far as Peace Hill Press has gone with the series. I read in a magazine a while back that they planned to continue the series, but have seen conflicting reports on the internet. Anna does fine with Rod and Staff, but I'm not sure it's the best fit for Ryne. But this is all a problem for another day!

Ryne also continues to make improvement in reading comprehension. This week we finished reading a section on flies in the Christian Liberty Nature Reader 3. We read how flies often will play dead after you swat them, so later in the day when I swatted a fly in our classroom we took out the magnifying glass and watched him do just that! After a minute or so his legs started to twitch and he came back to life. Ryne got a big kick out of this, and I was thankful for the opportunity to reinforce the reading material.

Anna: She really enjoyed starting her Rosetta Stone French lessons, now that we finally got the headphones/microphone working. I've decided to try having her do Latin on Monday/Wednesday/Friday and French on Tuesday/Thursday, so we'll see how that goes. Anna also finally conquered the dreaded Zeta Lesson 9 on multiplying decimals. It turned out to be not that big a deal once we both sat down and worked through the first page together. She has also started preparing for the homeschool spelling bee which will take place in May. I just found out this week that I will be coordinating the spelling bee (yikes!), so I'm sure you'll hear more about this in the coming months.

History: We have slowed down considerably so we can spend some extra time on the Reformation. So far we've just covered the SOTW chapter on Martin Luther and the Renaissance, but we will be taking some detours in the next couple of weeks and Anna has several books she will be reading on this period. Here are a few favorites so far:

(More coming as soon as I dig through Anna's room!)

Science: We finished up our chapter on the Atmosphere with a fun project to help us remember the different layers.

And a couple of favorite books for this unit:

Music: The kids have loved learning about Johann Sebastian Bach, probably because there are some wonderful children's book about him. We also listened to the Classical Kids Mr. Bach Comes to Call and other CDs.

Art: As I said at the beginning of this post, art was not skipped this week. In our study of the Renaissance we read about many of the famous artists of the time, including Michelangelo. We read about how he spent four years painting the ceiling of the Sistine Chapel. After making good use of my Google skills, I found a neat idea that gave the kids a feel for the hard work involved in such a project. I taped paper to the bottom of their desks and had them lie on the backs to paint. It was so much fun and very messy (which the kids loved). The timing worked out perfectly though because Marc came home from work just in time to give Grace a bath!


Things went so wonderful this week, that I'm sure this post sounds boastful, but that is certainly not the intention. The reality is that weeks this perfect are rare, but what matters is what happens throughout the course of the year, or even a lifetime for that matter. If I don't keep things in perspective, I am likely to become extremely discouraged when things don't go as well next week. So I'm grateful to God for both weeks like this and the bad ones.

"And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love Him, who have been called according to His purpose." Romans 8:28

Happy Homeschooling!


  1. Na. Your post isn't boastful at all. Sounds like a great year. Love the pics!

  2. Who wouldn't love a face like that???? Your kids are so adorable!

  3. Oh and I thought this sistine chapel idea was so awesome and creative! Maybe I will give it a try someday.

  4. Kellie
    I enjoyed this post very much! I didn't know that info on the flies playing dead so I'm going to share this with the boys and have a magnifying glass handy for next time. They'll get a kick out of that.
    Also, I'd like to know more about your science as we are a big science loving family.
    We did this type of art project when the boys were much younger and I love that you reminded me along with sharing what looks like a great site so I'm going to take a look at that next.
    Thanks so much for sharing your school week!

  5. Kathy,
    We are currenlty using Christian Kids Explore Earth and Space. Science is tough for me, but this book has helped me a great deal. Last year we tried to piece together our own science curriculum as suggested in The Well Trained Mind, and it was a disaster. I need structure and minimal prep time! I plan to look at other science curriculum for next year, but CKE Chemistry is still a good possibility. The lessons are easily adaptable for my kids ages, and I love that the author gives both non-fiction and fiction additional reading suggestions for each unit (although I wish she gave a description of each book). Let me know if you have any other questions. Oh, and the fly thing from the Christian Liberty Nature Reader was part of our reading time, even though it is still science. I LOVE the Nature Readers and recommend them for every homeschool family.


  6. That's a great picture at the end there, Kellie. I love the expression!

    It's really good when weeks just come together. I haven't had a week like that in a while, mostly because I've been doing heaps of history reading for background, and I've been slack with Anna. But Abi is enjoying being able to join in occasionally. There's always next week...

    ~ Sharon

  7. It sounds to me like you are celebrating the joy of homeschooling! Nothing wrong with that!