Our second week of school went even better than our first! (And then at the end of the week.. it didn’t.) Ah, well, that’s the way school goes, I suppose. Like anything else, sometimes it feels two steps forward and one step back. Still, it was a really good week overall and we not only got most of our work done but we also had fun along the way.
That’s always a good thing!
Last week was a light week, so one of our goals this week was to step it up a little bit and add more work in. We also tried to start closer to 9 am (our goal start time, 30 minutes to an hour earlier than ‘normal.’) We may not have succeeded as well as I’d hoped with the start time but we did get math, language arts, science and history done this week.
First on our schedule (after prayer) is calendar time. We have two “calendars” (though neither are a true calendar – ha!) One is a velcro fabric “Tell Me About Today” calendar. and the other is a “laminated” poster board with several different tasks for each child. They each their assigned “tasks.”
All in all this is supposed to take only about 5-10 minutes. At the beginning of the first week I think we spent at least twenty! By the end of last week they were practically doing it all by themselves and we were much closer to our 5 minute goal. Which of course, makes me really happy!
Next on our schedule is bible, but I’ll be honest, all we’re doing right now is memorizing verses and the books of the bible. I realize that’s a lot and that’s a good thing! But I’d thought we’d be doing some bible study, too, and now I’m re-thinking my original plan because there’s even more bible/God/scripture references in our science and history than I expected — and I’m thrilled by the way. In the meantime, our verse for the week was Psalm 19:1-
“The heavens declare the Glory of God, and the sky above proclaims his handiwork.”
This verse went along with our science and history well (I think both books actually cited that verse at some point!) We’re using Charlotte Mason’s memory verse system, we’re just doing a new verse each week instead of each day.
Another verse we reviewed quite a bit this week (one of our Odd or Even verses) was Colossians 3:23 –
“Whatever you do, work heartily, as for the Lord and not for men.”
Now THERE’S a good scripture verse for encouraging your kids to get busy on their work and do their best. ;0)
Math is next. We got off to a really rough start with math, after taking a month and a half off. Once I realized (DUH) that we needed some math facts review, things improved A. LOT. Amazing what good old fashioned review can do for you.
One cool thing that happened this week is that division finally “clieked” with Princess. I mean, she’s been doing it, but it’s been hard. She’s like me, she needs to SEE it, to understand what she’s doing and why – she can’t just plug numbers in where she’s told and master it. We sat down with a dry erase board and I drew out a bunch of examples to help her “see” what was going on and it all made a lot more sense for her. I should have done that ages ago!!
Language Arts is what we added in this week, what we didn’t “do” last week. Another thing I wasn’t expecting to get so much of out of our science and history books was language arts – but I’m totally cool with that, too! There’s enough opportunities for writing and reading, vocabulary words, … I’m thinking about tweaking the way we do Language Arts, too. We didn’t really get a full load of language arts in this week, not the way that I’d hoped for, but the copywork and notebooking for the science made up that difference.
I don’t know if Science is my favorite thing we’re doing this year or if it’s the history. IT’S A CLOSE RACE between the two. What’s amazing me the most is how many of the “facts” my kids can remember after the lesson, and still remembered the next week. Without pushing and drilling the facts in, just taking a different approach and doing it a different way is what they needed to have fun with it and learn it. Love, love, love that part.
I think the neatest thing we learned about/discussed was how the universe (in God’s amazing design) is designed just perfectly so that the gravitational pull from all the planets around it holds the earth at it’s perfect distance from the sun. If one planet on either side were slightly farther away, earth’s location in space would shift also, and life on our planet would not be able to survive the difference in heat or cold. It’s really neat to think about how there are verses in the bible, that were written a really, really long time ago–long before Capernicus and Galileo– that refer to the “hanging” of the stars and things of that nature. Things they had no concept of at that point, but that we can see now, how literally they really are “hung” in space – kept in place by invisible gravity fields we cannot see. God is truly amazing.
One of the coolest things about our school year so far is how our science and history have gone hand in hand with every lesson. While we were learning about Creation in our first week we were also learning how the universe was designed. Both texts referenced Genesis 1:1 of course. While were learning about Noah and the flood (and the rainbow) this week, we were also learning about light, how all the colors of the rainbow are in light, and how certain light waves are reflected and seen and so on. There have been many instances when we’ve been reading and thought, “Hey, we just learned a little something about that in the other book!”
One neat conversation we had this week was about Noah and his family’s experience during the flood. We took a completely different look at than we have before. Though as a child we’ve often heard the story, the happy pictures and short stories make it easy to imagine that Noah and his family were simply floating around waiting for the waters to recede. We imagined what it might have really been like, after our history book told us that a giant flood very well could have brought turmoil to the planet, causing oceanic volcanoes to erupt, earthquakes and thunderstorms. We imagined how scary it might have been, and for how long of a time, and how much faith and trust Noah would have really needed as he rode out the scariest thing on Earth ever!
Wow, that was really long! But there was just so much that we did during the week, and I hadn’t really talked about the first week, and well, I’ve never been very good at summarizing. ;0) I didn’t even tell you about making instruments and dancing to tribal drum videos on youtube! =P
This is my first time joining in the Weekly Wrap-Up with Weird, Unsocialized Homeschoolers, too. I plan on trying to do this every week.. but hopefully from now on I’ll be a little more… brief. =)