Friday, October 12, 2012

Letters, Queens, and Mushrooms In the Middle of Construction

Our family has not dropped off the planet.  However, we are living in a construction zone, with lots being done with floors and walls of this old house.  Plus, before that most of us had a cold bug.

Cupcake has been working hard at speech, learning to say s-blends.  Just ask her to say SPIDER.  She will grin and say it with pride.  At home, we added the letters J, K, L, R, Y, and V since our last post.  We continue to use some of the Hooked on Phonics materials, but have added handwriting and phonics sheets from  The starfall sheets have a place to paste pictures from magazines that begin with that letter.  Thank goodness the library seems to have a lot of free magazines these days.  Also, I added the C book from Go for the Code (primer to Explode the Code).   I'd gotten free somewhere.  We'll finish it and begin the Explode the Code series.  It seems to be a good fit for her.  It is exciting to see her be able to hear a word and figure out its beginning letter.  This was so hard for her at the beginning of the school year.  In math, she's learning to add doubles with her math-u-see rods.  Another thing we are doing that is a bit new is workboxes.  I have about six clear dollar store shoe boxes that I fill with various activities such as puzzles, colorful printables in a plastic sleeve with dry erase marker, vet kit (doctor kit from dollar store, with rotating tiny stuffed animals), foam letters for copying spelling for short words like bug and rug), tangrams, etc.  Mommies of littles, I'm open to new ideas.  She's always so full of energy, directed independence is good for her (and me).  She's doing a great job learning verses from her ABC Bible verses book.  We go slow with constant review to keep the previous verses learned in her memory bank.  At the store today, she said something about remember that verse, "Even a child is known by his deeds", well mommy don't you think these people in the store think I'm behaving nicely! "  There is so much she doesn't understand, but she sure is trying and soaking it all up.  She shared with God that her day had been so boring (she had to shop with her mommy and auntie) and could he please help next week not to be so boring!!!
Demonstrating Letter "K"

Princesses and queens have been a big part of the Muffy girl's studies.  The last three weeks have been about Lady Grey, Queen Mary, and Queen Elizabeth.  For one of her written narrations, she decided to do a creative narration in the form of a poem.  I'll copy it below for you.  The Muffy girl was disappointed in Queen Elizabeth.  After her reading yesterday she said with a frown and a sigh, "I really wish Elizabeth hadn't been so vain."  She also learned about the French colony of the Huegnots in Florida, called Fort Caroline.  Next time we go to Florida, we'd like to go visit the historical site.  It isn't too far from her grandmother.  In her free time, she's enjoying Cherry Ames and On the Banks of Plum Creek.

          Cruel Mary 
Muffy and her vacuum cleaner scarecrow

Mary was very extraordinary
And not in a very nice way.
Lady Grey reigned only a few days
Before Mary beheaded her.

Elizabeth had no power
And so she was thrown in the tower
Since Mary was so cruel.

Even though she was ill 
The soldiers took Elizabeth still
Because Mary had no pity.

King Philip cracked the whip
On the poor people of England.

Mary used the man from Spain
To regain the Roman Catholic faith.

And so she earned the name of 
"Bloody Mary."

S celebrated his 13th birthday last week!  Our house was a bit too out of order for company so we went to his grandparents house, grilled some burgers, and had a yummy chocolate chocolate chip violin cake.  One of his presents was a beautiful wooden music stand.  We've repaired (taped) his old yellow metal one a zillion times.  It was hard to keep the secret when he was begging the last few weeks up to the birthday to please take him to the music store and get him another stand.  He's covering the life of King Alfred in his history studies.  He's starting to make connections between the various books he's reading.  This is one of the things Charlotte Mason believed in with this kind of education for students to make their own connections.  We only have three weeks left of the 1st 12-week term.  S- and the Muffy girl have their first orchestra concert tomorrow.  They are excited about it.

Another teenager in the family

See, I can do something other than Ipad.
E finished Ivanhoe this week, which he loved.  He wrote four essays to end the study of that book.  He was excited to begin The Talisman, also written by Sir Walter Scott.  In biology, he just finished a module about fungi.  Yes, I did embarrass some of my children at the outlet mall parking lot when I picked some mushrooms from a grassy tree area.  I think they walked a bit faster so maybe people wouldn't think I was related to them.  Unfortunately, we didn't have much success getting the spores out to see under the microscope.   A couple of years ago I bought him the Grace and Truth boys character series.  For some reason, he started reading them one after the other and has just about finished the set.  They are reprints of very old books.  Maybe having his reading ability restored to him after last year has made him appreciate books much more.  He's been working on a big list of what he wants for his birthday---can you believe he will be 15 in a couple of weeks?

As usual, Matt and I are busy keeping the house a float.  We've also been busy with church activities.  He's still teaching adult sunday school and had the opportunity to preach last Sunday night.  I spoke on the second half of Ruth at our new ladies Bible study this week.  It brings me joy that we share a passion and vision for ministry.

I hope I'll get some good pictures of the house and the kid's concert for the next post.  That is all for now.  This post was brought to you by the letter K!