I’ve discovered this new thing some homeschool moms are doing called Learning Notes. They basically write about the stuff their kids learned over the course of the week, a way to remember what went well and what didn’t, just an unpolished record of the week. I’ve enjoyed reading some of the posts and thought I’d give it a try. I may bore everyone but my mother to tears. I didn’t actually keep notes during the week, so we’ll see how much I remember.
We started the week already behind, since the previous week had a holiday (Labor Day). We had doubled up on some stuff that week, but hadn’t gotten completely caught up yet. Emma started Monday in a funk. She just couldn’t get her head in her work, and I think by lunch she had only done math. I made many threats about how she would be working until it was all done, even if it took until 5:00 she would be work, work, working. Only I couldn’t really follow through because we had to go to violin lessons and then straight home (briefly) and then to swim practice. I think everyone else pretty much did what they were supposed to. It’s all a blur.
We spent the rest of the week continuing to play catch up. I definitely learned that we don’t want to get behind in literature again. Skip anything but that in the future! The lessons are long and doing two in one day is no fun. Both girls are still one chapter behind. When I say “behind” I mean behind what the lesson plan from the publisher says. I know I shouldn’t be a slave to it, but I like to do what it says on the day it says, nice and orderly.
Wayne was off on Wednesday (he got an extra day off for being totally awesome at a uniform inspection) and wanted to go fishing. I started out thinking that would never work – did I mention how we’re already behind?! – but then I realized that “fishing with Daddy” is a totally appropriate elective. So we did the most important things – Latin, math, literature, recitation – and I declared school was out for the day. Emma and Ben went fishing with Wayne; Abby and I hit the library and a used bookstore. A friend who moved had given me some of her store credit at this bookstore so I wanted to check it out. It was a really cool place. I bought several books in the Little House series (we only owned a couple and Emma likes them, though I’ve never convinced Abby to read them…so sad) and wonder of wonders! I found “The Girl with the Silver Eyes.” Has anyone else heard of this book? I have never heard of it anywhere, except that my sisters and I LOVED it when we were young. Of course I bought it, and plan to re-read it soon and find out if it’s as good as I thought it was all those years ago. Looked for some Ellen Conford but sadly found none. Also bought some Henty novels which I am always hearing about and haven’t ever tried. Wednesday night church programs were scheduled to start that night, but the fishermen did not return home in time for that, so I just took Abby. Sat and read in the car while she was in class. Glorious.
Thursday morning all three kids had dentist appointments first thing. I seriously could not get caught up this week! The girls took work for the waiting room, and I read to Ben, trying to redeem the time as best we could. (No cavities for anyone, yay! And an ortho referral for one.) Worked feverishly all afternoon with much yelling on my part, lots of “Do you really want to be doing this at 5:00 tonight?!” and “Why can’t you stop being so silly and just get it done?!” Got most of it done, an acceptable amount anyway, made tacos for dinner and then hid in my room for awhile. Emma and I did finish reading “Mary Poppins” that night. We both enjoyed it. Now we need to see the movie again. Abby knew almost every word of it when she was a toddler; we kind of OD’d on it then and haven’t watched it in a long time.
Friday is usually a light day in our lesson plans. Mostly tests. We did the tests and caught up on some more literature. We had my pastor and his wife over for dinner that night, so I spent the afternoon cleaning and all that. We had a nice visit, even though I think I asked too many questions and made the pastor “talk shop” too much. I’m just so interested in so many things, particularly theology and church stuff in general. And I have so few people to discuss them with.
One thing I hope to accomplish with these week re-caps is a sense of accomplishment. Some comfort that we might be doing better than I fear. I read these blogs, or listen to podcasts, about families who read together all the time. A culture of reading. It sounds lovely, but my husband and my kids love screens. Love. A lot. And I fret, regularly, though mostly in my head, that they aren’t reading as much as I’d like. But then I start to think about it and I realize…Abby read ALL the Harry Potter books this summer. (They ain’t short.) She also read the entire first Percy Jackson series. That’s a fair amount of reading. Now she’s reading “Adam of the Road”, slowly, for literature. She’s also reading “The Prince and the Pauper” for school. Before bed, she reads for half an hour, a book of her choice. I feel better when I look at it that way. Maybe her iPod hasn’t entirely ruined her yet.
Emma reads less, but she is definitely improving. She loves the Magic Treehouse books. She’s reading “Farmer Boy” for literature, and we’ve been reading her other assigned book together. Some we’ve listened to on audio book, and some I’ve read. It’s been a nice cozy time for us either way.
I usually read to Ben in the morning, kind of a “you read to me, I read to you” thing. I did write down a few titles once I’d decided I was going to try to do this Learning Notes thing. Some of the books we read this week: Wynken, Blynken and Nod; How Do Dinosaurs Go to School?; Little Toot; a couple Henry and Mudge; A Kiss for Little Bear; The Relatives Came; Make Way for Ducklings; You Look Ridiculous said the Rhinoceros to the Hippopotamus; How Do Dinosaurs Get Well Soon?; The Grouchy Ladybug; Angus and the Ducks; Millions of Cats. See? That looks like a decent list. It’s nice to see it all written out. It feels like I did something, even though I really only read to him a few minutes each morning before and after he read his little phonics lesson to me.
Oh! I took a few pictures, too, thinking of this post.
One day Abby was waiting to work with me, so I asked her to have Ben read to her. They were both actually agreeable to that. I almost died of shock, but then I recovered and took a picture.
Ben has gotten to the part in the math book where we play store. Lord knows I hate that creative crap. Let’s do the workbook pages, knock out the fact memorization, but save me from games and creative extra stuff. But I took a deep breath, found some suitable cans and boxes in the pantry, and dutifully gave him sticky notes with which to make price tags. He loved it, of course. They always do. (This is my third time through this math book.)