Seven Quick(ish) Takes as we finish our third week of school…
One of the best things about ordering a full core curriculum from Memoria Press is the curriculum manual. In the past, I’ve spent way too many hours writing lesson plans and making checklists — and then worrying about them. Did I schedule too much? Too little? Using the MP lesson plans saves me all that time and worry. I love love love them.
Emma is taking Geography I this year, which will teach her to map the Middle East, North Africa, and Europe. She’s learning a little about each country, and memorizing their capitals. (I know. Impressive, right?) Emma is so artistic in general – the other day she drew this map of the U.S. while I was reading to her. There is a map on the opposite wall, and she would look at it, then turn and draw. It amazes me.
Abby is taking Geography III, which is a bit of a challenge, since she didn’t take I or II. (Oops. Bad decision on my part.) Level III basically covers the whole world. She’s also working on the Robinson Map Project – teaching her to map the whole world free-hand.
Ben is taking Prima Latina this year (2nd grade). To introduce the concept of verbs, the book uses this “verb-finder sentence” : Can I ____? If the sentence makes sense, it’s a verb. He particularly enjoyed the example on the lesson DVD of “hot dog.” “Can I hot dog?” is super funny to the 7-nearly-8 year old crowd.
While completing this exercise, he checked the “yes” box for each verb, but added, “Well, if your mom says it’s okay.” 🙂
I don’t have any school pictures of Abby, partly because she’s pretty casual for school (read: sweats and ponytails most of the time) and doesn’t want her picture taken, and partly because she does most of her work independently. And so far, it takes her very little time. She’s not taking Latin this year, so that’s some of it – the lesson plans assume about an hour a day of Latin. I did add First Start French to her load, to give her more to study, and she is interested in learning French anyway. It’s not quite a substitute for Latin, but it’s something. She is also taking Classical Studies through the Memoria Press Online Academy, and that won’t start until the beginning of September.
I came up with something new this year: book basket time. I shortened our lunch break from an hour to 30 minutes, and then added 45 minutes of silent reading. It’s the best thing ever. I made up little baskets of books for each kid, and they are allowed to read anything in the basket. They don’t have to finish the book if they don’t like it, and they don’t have to do any sort of report on it. This is my way of getting them to read the books I want them to read. At least to try them! Ben goes through his pretty quickly, as they are still mostly easy-readers, but he read a Magic Treehouse book this week and he was pretty proud of that! I get library books for him each week, so he has new books to read. Abby has been reading Laddie, which delights my heart – it’s one of my favorites. Emma has been reading one of the Estes books, I forget which one.
As I mentioned before, I am trying to cut back on my reading so that I have time to do some other things. But writing out the list of what I’m reading makes me wonder how successful I’ve been. Here are my recent/current reads:
Getting Things Done – I’ve heard so much about this system, so I thought I would read the actual book. I read about half of it last weekend and then didn’t touch it all week. It’s mostly set up for business/office people, but I have been thinking of ways I could use his ideas in my work at home. Especially with our upcoming move. Talk about a “project”!
Curly Girl – More on this in a moment.
Gifts Differing – This is about Meyers-Briggs type, and it’s so interesting that when I read it during book basket time, I wanted to cancel the afternoon of school so I could keep reading it. (That’s going to be the problem with book basket time, I can tell.) I will probably write about this one when I finish it.
You Are What You Love – Wayne and I are reading this together, but we honestly haven’t opened it in a couple of weeks. It’s very good, Wayne just doesn’t really like books. 🙂
Alice in Wonderland – Read aloud to Emma, finished this week. I read it to Abby a couple of years ago, but I think I got more of the jokes this time around. One part mentions taking classes in “Laughter and Grief.” Latin and Greek, perhaps?
The Scandal of Father Brown (audio book) – Been listening to this on my walks. I enjoy Chesterton’s writing, but honestly in the British mystery genre, I prefer Sayers because she’s funnier. Father Brown has some funny moments, though.
Les Miserables – Finally reading this for the first time. Really enjoying it, except for the weird pause at Waterloo. The story was moving along at an interesting rate, and all of a sudden it was all Napoleon, all the time, for multiple chapters. I may have started skimming. I suppose I’m not mature enough to appreciate it just yet. 😉
The Railway Children – Read aloud to all the kids at morning time. We’re enjoying it.
Oh dear. That’s my list after trying to read less. Perhaps I’m not trying quite hard enough…
On the Curly Girl Method – This is something I’ve heard about here and there for awhile. I finally decided to check it out. I’ve been trying some of the ideas this week, and I have to say, it has definitely helped my curls be more defined.
I can’t handle the “no poo” though – by day 4 I was super over that. I’ll be shampooing, thankyouverymuch. But maybe less often. Curly-haired friends, have you tried Curly Girl Method?
Wayne sometimes holds Miley. How do you think she feels about it?
I laugh every time I look at that.
You can read more Quick Takes at the link-up at Kelly’s blog.