- We’ve had an interesting week here in the Deep South, though since we live in North Alabama, we haven’t dealt with it too much. A very unexpected snowstorm in the central part of the state stranded people in strange places, including in schools thousands of children spent the night in schools in various parts of the state when it was unsafe for their buses to run or their parents to come pick them up. One of Steady Eddie’s colleagues was driving home from Tuscaloosa, a normal 3 hour or so trip. It took her seven hours! Another colleague was coming home from Montgomery, another 3 1/2 hour or so drive, and she literally spent the night in her car on the interstate. After three or four times the length of time the drive would normally take, she was home. Whew! It’s one week I was glad I could stay snugged up in our warm home! It has been so cold–single digits–this week.
- We did have snow one day, but it didn’t stick. I didn’t even let my children go out in it!
- The reason I was a mean mom and didn’t allow the kids to go outside is that for about two weeks now, we’ve dealt with extreme snottiness and congestion. This week (I HOPE!) we finally hit the low point, with two children having fevers in the past week and one having a sore throat. CBS was cancelled due to the cold weather, and the girls missed basketball practice due to sickness. I am ready for spring!
- Yesterday, the outdoor temperature registered 67 degrees on our indoor thermometer, so I sent the big kids outside after Circle Time to shoot hoops, ride scooters, whatever–just to get outside and get some fresh air! I snapped a picture of them and texted it to Steady Eddie and told him they were skipping school (and they were–I intended to do some dictation from their individual read-alouds this afternoon), but given the week we had, I’d say it was justified.
- School was such a challenge this week. I’m really struggling with my cute three year old. He asked me this week when he’d get to do with Lulu does, meaning school. I feel so guilty for not spending more time with him, like I did the girls at his age. I remember reading about this dilemma on the WTM boards or on some homeschooling blog a few years ago, and I never dreamed I’d be afflicted with the guilt myself. My rational side tells me of course their lives will be different from their siblings’; my emotional side mourns for the time I don’t have to just sit and play with them, talk to them, and read to them.
- With that being said, the way I’ve saved my sanity (which might be debatable anyway) this week is by coming up with specific things for the girls to do with the DLM while I do math with the other girl. I’ve always sort of done this, but this week I did more than just say, “Go play with your brother.” I pulled out the big guns–play-doh, Memory, a stack of pre-selected books. I’m re-reading through the Preschoolers and Peace archives and considering a letter-of-the-week “curriculum” (a term I use very, very loosely) using No Time for Flashcards as a starting place. If you’ve hit upon a no-fail solution for managing the chatty preschooler in your homeschool, I’d sure love to hear about it!
- Steady Eddie finally got both the girls’ loft beds and their craft desks (Christmas gifts) assembled last weekend, so they were quite anxious to be in their room this week, working. Lulu finished putting together her quilt top and Louise drew and drew and drew.
- This was a good math week, with both girls making lots of progress (5 lessons each) in their respective RightStart levels. Lulu is working hard on fractions and was introduced to percents in level E. (Let me say that RightStart’s way of introducing fractions using the drawing tools and fraction chart is brilliant!) Louise is in the thick of the geometry/drawing section in level C, which includes basic fractions. This week, instead of assigning any extra math via Math Mammoth, I concentrated on playing RS math games with them instead, and we managed to do it four days out of five. Lulu played fractions games–One, fractions memory, and percent memory (which I really stink at); Louise played a speed skip counting a couple of days and Multiples Memory a couple of days. Playing games is a much more pleasant way of doing practice than is doing pages from an alternate math curriculum. Now if I can just stick with it!
- This week we took a break from First Language Lessons to spend some time in Michael Clay Thompson’s Grammar Island (Louise, grade 2) and Sentence Island (Lulu, grade 4). Lulu has been doing four level analyses for a while now–all year and some last year, too–but we never got around to doing Sentence Island. It has been a good review and an alternate way to look at it. Plus, it’s just fun. We didn’t do it as many days as I wanted to, though. (Isn’t that the way of it?)
- I’m reaching the conclusion that Or should be the theme of our homeschool–do this OR this, not both. Do CC or our regular history/memory work/etc. stuff, not both. (This is essentially why we’re not doing CC this year!) Do RS or Math Mammoth, not both. Do FLL or MCT, not both. It has been a hard lesson for this mama to learn.
- I made soups three times this week: taco soup, some kind of Chinese chicken soup (pictured), and chicken stew. (Too bad my children do not like it as much as I do.)
- We read aloud a lot this week. We finished our fun chapter book on Monday, so between finishing it and getting the next book in the series in via Amazon, I picked up Because of Winn Dixie to read aloud. We’ve all already read it, but it’s next month’s mother-daughter bookclub selection, so I thought we’d enjoy reading it together to refresh our memories. It’s such a sweet, quick read, and it brings back so many memories of when I was a library media specialist in a public elementary school before Lulu was born. I read it to my third grade classes (if my memory serves me correctly) back then.
- We were supposed to have art with friends on Friday, but since 3/4 of our kiddos were sick this week, I decided to postpone it until next week. Fun Friday entailed making painted paper, doing math (review sheet for Louise and games for both girls), having poetry tea time, reading aloud, doing our final January check-in on our Circle Time memory work.
Making painted paper is something I’ve wanted to do for a long time, so Friday presented the perfect opportunity:
For poetry tea time, I read lots of A.A. Milne poems in honor of the anniversary of his death. The girls, Louise especially, like to pick out poems to read aloud for me to guess the poets who wrote them. They especially like to pick out Robert Frost poems since he’s my favorite.
- I worked out (which is a very generous appraisal of what I actually did) once this week at the YMCA. We joined in the middle of January and now I’ve been once. Small steps, right?
- This week’s funny comes courtesy of eight year old Louise. We were discussing hexagons in math, and she called them “jinxagons.” (Get it?) A hex is a jinx, right? Ahhh, right.
How was your week?