Friday, February 24, 2012

We're Back

to blogging that is. This blog began as an adoption blog, but now it will just be our family blog.

I'm not going to make any promises, but am hoping do post a weekly family update.

We took a short winter break a few weeks ago to Williamsburg, Virginia for a visit to the Great Wolf Lodge. The kids all enjoyed the water and I got to relax, finally finishing Louisa May Alcott's Rose in Bloom. Matt persuaded me to slide with him on a double tube, which resulted in me being pulled under the water upon landing and him on top of me. I also went down with the Cupcake, but those two rides were the extent of my water fun. However, I loved seeing them enjoy it so much. Before returning home, we were able to go visit the historic Jamestown Settlement. We had a great costumed enthusiastic guide, learned a lot, and had fun doing it. The older three children could have stayed for lots longer there exploring and reading about the artifacts and other history.

Some changes are happening in our homeschool, to which I do hope are for the best. We have begun moving back to the Charlotte Mason method of education in our school. By the fall, I hope to have the older three on a full Ambleside Online program. I have a strong desire for them to read as many classics in literature and history as possible. Spread out throughout a year's time they will be able to read many great books, a little at a time. We are focusing on some narration (oral retelling of passages), and some written narrations. I am already seeing positive results. My boys now do not fear the words "writing assignments", and the Muffin who never feared them in the first place is so delighted to write rather than fill in blanks of worksheets.

E-- is enjoying Captains Courageous, by Rudyard Kipling this week, and has just a little bit left for next week. He began Kidnapped by Robert Lois Stevenson as a free time reading book (just don't tell him it's on the list of books he HAS to read). He says it is very interesting. Although math has been his most difficult subject, he made a 100 on a division test this week. Oh how I love Math-U-See for him! He's also been reading Aesop's Fables, about five per day. Today he tried to bargain with me to omit something and let him read more Aesop. He completed a written narration this week on Shakespeare's, The Tempest. He loves science all of a sudden, and began the next geology module of Aplogia's General Science this week.

S-- is 2/3 of the way into The Adventures of Tom Sawyer, and although I don't think it will be his favorite book, he's likes it well enough. He is also going through Aesop's Fables, and reading through Andrew Lang's Blue Fairy Book. While some might think it a girl book, the non-Disney fairy tales can hold quite the interest for boys too. He's also working through Getting Started With Latin and learning to type. Today he passed the final bridge from Life of Fred's Pre-Algebra with Economics. So, I'll be ordering his Algebra I books tomorrow. As to Stephen's opinion of science, it is generally favorable, but does not share his brother's enthusiasm for the geology modules. To quote him, "Rocks are just, well, rocks! "(said with his ultra serious face). He chose Shakespeare's, A Winter's Tale, for his written narration.

Muffy completed her Beauty and the Beast narration page from the Blue Fairy Book, using some princess stickers from Grandma and Grandpa. I had to type it out in small print to make it fit her page. She about made my fingers fall off narrating that one. For her written narration this week, she chose to write the story of the Tortoise and the Ducks from Aesop's Fables. She is also reading Just So Stories by Rudyard Kipling. For fun, she's liking the Carolyn Haywood books, the Betsy series. Mom, surely you remember me reading those from the Westarea Elementary library? She is on her second week of Dance Mat Typing (online free typing program) and having so much fun learning. For part of her science, she's reading The Burgess Bird Book. She is such a nature girl!! If only the blue jay would have stood still when she tried to take it's picture. Today she made a butterfly net from interfacing, a paper plate rim, and a pole. Wish I'd gotten a picture, it was pretty cool.

The Cupcake continues with her love for Thomas the Tank Engine and his friends. She cashed in her bank money for new additions, Paxton and Victor. She said though that if she bought Paxton, she needed to buy the steamworks to go with it. Apparently, Paxton's occupation is to run the steamworks. We had to tell her that might have to wait for her birthday! After all, we can pretend we have the steamworks. Her ability at puzzles has definitely increased this week, doing a Ravensberger horse fair 100 piece puzzle 4 times this week all by herself. I think she's just about ready to move to letter sounds, as she seems to be able to name all but "u", "v", and "k". I think she really does know "k", but to her "u" and "v" look a lot alike. I tried to explain it as one has "straight lines" and the other is a "curvy line". Hopefully this helps as she's done well in the critical thinking book about curvy and straight. She does some "school" on the computer at ABC Mouse online. She also got a new haircut, a cute little "bob".

They've kept me busy this week, but I started another Alcott book, Old-Fashioned Girl and for a more serious book, Charlotte Mason's Home Schooling Series, Volume 1. My big project this week has been cataloging all our books under Library Thing. com. I'm up to over 800 with many shelves left. Thank goodness for the bar code scanner Matt brought home and some little helpers. No sewing, but I've been thinking on it, ought to count for something.

Matt has been busy with the daily grind. He's settled in to the new offices this week. The kids and I got to see it last Saturday and it is so much nicer, and a lot larger.

Hope everyone has a great weekend.