16 August, 2008

Our First Full Week of School

So, we have completed our first full week of school.
And, everything is going swimmingly.

We do not take the summers off, but do relax and do more just for fun activities.

So, we started this week and are easing back into our normal full time routine. The children have finally stopped asking every morning if we are going anywhere today?. And, our routine of doing school has once again become a little more like our routine.

The girls do addition/subtraction flashcards daily together, just for drill. They really think it is fun to do together, so we will do this for a while. Then, I have Calculadders, games, lapbooks, and some other activities for them to use for daily drill. Both are working in their grade level Seton Math FYC books.

Hadwriting practice is daily, we are using Handwriting FYC, and Marie Picard's Handwriting series so far. We also do copywork, from what we are studying, but I really love the Handwriting series from Marie Picard - so lovely.

Elizabeth does Seton Spelling, English, and Religion, and Phonics(MCP text for this grade). Mary Grace wants to use it also - so I will go ahead and purchase those for her too since she actually wants her own books. I use the Seton books as a framework for what we are studying. Over the years I have gone from fully enrolled with Seton (in the beginning) to a more eclectic mix of CM (with some classical ideas and resources and unit study approach to certain subjects) that fits our family perfectly.

We are studying botany(Apologia Exploring Creation with Botany, and lapbooks) and medieval history. I use History Links as my main outline for history. We read lots, dress up, do plays with puppets, do art projects and add to our timelines. I have a medieval history lapbook, but will have to see how interested they are in doing it. This week we have been listening to "King Arthur & His Knights" by Maude Radford on Libravox. I can download it to my Ipod (a mothers day gift this year) and play it while we eat breakfast and do morning chores.

Last year we studied music appreciation/Great Composers and this year we are studying art appreciation/Great Artists. Right now, we are studying Mary Cassatt. The kids love her pictures. I have a lapbook just for Mary Cassatt we are working on, a big ol' stack of books, and a DVD Mary Cassatt: American Impressionist. I had no idea how interesting her life was!

I am keeping a simple journal this year for record keeping for my elementary children. I will give them a report card ( a requirement of our umbrella school ) however often it is due.
My high schooler will have a normal transcript, but is keeping her own daily journal. Matthew reads through our journals at night and talks with everybody about what we are doing. It is starting out to be a great year!

We also started watching the series "Building Big" this week. I purchased it very reasonably on amazon along with the book. We watched the series years ago when it was first released on PBS. Gabrielle still remembers waiting for it to come on each week. We had a big poster from the website at the time, but all these moves later, I have no idea where it is now.
Gregory wants to watch it 3 times a day, and we are building bridges, skyscrapers and domes from magnetix, tinker toys, and straws with him. He keeps drawing the Golden Gate bridge over and over and gets us to all draw it for him to in his sketch book. He is my little engineer. I have already started saving dead small appliances for him to take apart. He is always building, designing and constructing.

Friday was the Solemnity of the Assumption, so we made Queen of Heaven paper bag puppets, Assumption placemats, and had a yummy fruit salad with a cardamon/basil dressing that I found in a liturgical cookbook I have for lunch. We attended evening Mass.

Gabrielle started her online school, and has basically gotten organized for the school year. She likes the online school, which pleases me enormously. The changing to a new state mid-highschool kind of stressed me out! But, it looks as though it is all coming together pretty handily.

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