Saturday, August 27, 2011

Weekly Wrap-up - August 26

August 22-26, 2011

I am a little worried this week. Lessons for the big kids went so smoothly that I am afraid I am forgetting something important. Don't get me wrong, I am not hoping that things become difficult. I am so pleased, especially because I start teaching at the college this week, we begin rehearsals for the fall show this week, and Embree begins her extra curricular classes this week. I couldn't ask for a more relaxed way to begin. We are beginning our fifth year of homeschool, afterall. Perhaps we are just finally in a groove. 

Struggles this week: 
  • Can't complain...except it's move-in week at the College and we haven't seen Todd for more than and hour or so at a time all week. 
  • Embree's nut allergy has changed in such a way that she can't even be around them. In the last two weeks she has experienced pronounced fits of sneezing (read 100-150 times) after simply walking down an aisle with nuts at the health food store, Sam's Club, and Walmart. This has happened a few other times over the summer as well. How will this child ever do her own grocery shopping? Boy! So please, if you know us personally, if she comes to visit you, or will even be present when you eat a sack lunch together, won't you reconsider having anything with nuts? Thanks!

Milestones this week:
  • We've finally found the right combination of math activities for Reeves and he's doing well. 
  • Embree continues to excel in her online Math curriculum and we are both pleased. 
  • We have been focusing on writing a great deal more across the curriculum and I am pleased with the work of both of the big kids.
  • Brice is particularly interested in Dinosaurs again. His attention to detail when he watches a documentary, or listens as I read, really shows in his play and storytelling. There are no sugar-coated dino scenarios in our house! Meat-eaters are king and the rightful top of the food chain around here.
  • All the kids have had their yearly check-ups as of this week. All are growing well. Reeves has hit a magnificent growth spurt in the last month. If his rate continues, he promises to overtake us all in height in a few short years. Embree is now only three inches shorter than me, as well. Wow! Time flies.

This week, Embree begins rehearsals for her acting company (they will be performing a version of Homer's Iliad), guitar lessons, and yoga lesson. Looking into archery and music for Reeves and, possibly, soccer for both boys.

One last thing...we have a new blog banner. If you get this post via email, take a moment to go to our actual site, won't you? Brice FINALLY got to ride a train!

Hope you have a great week.

Thursday, August 25, 2011


What does force create?  
Depends on the force.

I have seen a force for good…a force for peace,
Who wields the force of kindness and the force of love.


Saturday, August 20, 2011

Friday, August 19, 2011

Weekly wrap-up - August 19

This week marked our first back into full-time lessons. As always there was laughter, tears, anxiety, joy, and relief...I'm sure the kids felt some of these same emotions. Wink, wink.

Getting up earlier and being ready to begin our lessons by 9am has been an adjustment after a summer of very late nights and late mornings. We've made it every morning, though, and are all grateful to get so much in before lunch. I would like to get started a little earlier, as would Reeves, but Embree and Brice are both night owls and really do function better on a more flexible schedule. Besides, starting later allows me to have a cup of coffee with Todd before he leaves for work...a quiet moment for us that we never see later in the day.

Struggles this week: 
  • Getting up and on task, for some of us. 
  • Getting out of vacation mode and back into work. 
  • Reeves did not respond as well as hoped to our chosen, online math curriculum, so we moved him back into a paper-based program (much better for his particular needs). 
  • Though I have detailed plans for Brice's preK lessons, I am finding it difficult to spend extended periods of time with him because the big kids still need a great deal of assistance. Of course, I am all for him playing and exploring more than formal lessons, but I know that next year's kindergarten curriculum will pose a challenge if I don't use this year as practice. I am very hand-on in a number of our subjects (Science, Latin, History, Arts) and plan to stay that way. This year's goal will be to help Embree and Reeves discover ways in which they can be self-sufficient in Reading, Grammar, Math, Spelling, and Writing so that Brice can have more of my attention next year.

Milestones this week: 
  • We started on time everyday! 
  • The kids are completing their own assignment lists in personal agenda books (step one to personal responsibility). 
  • Embree really liked the new online math curriculum we chose (Khan Academy) and it works as quickly or slowly as she needs on each concept. 
  • We joined friends for a trip to the Frazier History Museum in Louisville on Thursday. Our main reason for visiting was to see a traveling exhibit about Leonardo Da Vinci. The life size replicas of his contraptions and the hand-on version of some of his machines made for a memorable day. 
  • Today, we followed up our visit by building a replica of his Cathdral of Florence and a working model of one of his flying machines. A great way to kick off our studies in Engineering this year!

Finally, I thought I'd share our first day of school pictures.

Every moment is a teachable moment!
Have a great week!