Friday, April 27, 2012

This Is How It Should Be

This was one of those weeks when you feel like you are a great homeschool parent and know exactly what you are doing.  In the back of your mind, though, you wonder if that is really true and when the other shoe is going to fall.

We did a lot of non-academic projects and activities this week, along with a full week of school.  The school part just seemed to flow along with no bumps at all, not that we have too many bumps ordinarily. We are approaching the end in three subjects, with only one week to go before the curriculum is finished!  I think this might be contributing to our ease in the academic portion of school.

Amber took several tests this week and did excellent on them all.  We finished the second book in the CPH health series,  How you are Changing (see review),  and will start the AO Health Quest on Monday.  Amber has finished 11 of the 23 tests in Saxon Math 6/5, and with each test has re-affirmed our decision to move past 6/5 for 5th grade.

This past weekend my sister texted me, needing ideas for a medieval costume for her 4 year old.  It was the dreaded week at pre-school, where they have themed dress days all week.  I remember those weeks, we called them National Lutheran Schools Week in the parochial school. 

My sister does not enjoy reading for fun or have any interest in history.  Thus, the medieval costume was a real issue for her.  Amber spouted many ideas for her to use, and I duly texted them back.  The highlight of the conversation was a comment I received from my sister on Amber's idea to imitate chain mail, "What is chain mail?"  (boggle.. don't ask.  We just sat there stunned for a few moments).

It was at this point that Amber offered to make a very simple costume for her cousin and mail it, as they live several hours away.  This was met with approval from all, and our weekend project was born.  It really is quite a simple costume, remember a 4 year old did have to wear it all day.  We took a red t-shirt from Michaels and turned it into a tunic by cutting off the sleeves and cutting up the side seams. Add a black shirt & pants to imitate chain mail. Then, Amber cut a strip of black material into a belt and sewed a piece of one of the red sleeves on the side of the belt for a dagger slot. She made the dagger from cardboard, aluminum foil and gold duck tape.  We also made an iron-on Mizzou crest for the "tunic".   Amber absolutely loved making this costume, and was such a proud big cousin.

This week Amber decided she was interested in making the woven potholders, again.  She made several patterns and I was even awarded with one of them.  Someday she should try something other than a potholder, but for now that's all she likes to make. I've begun using them as trivets too.

We had an impromptu lesson on ducks this week as well.  Our next door neighbor called early one morning to ensure we saw the ducks in our front yard.  You have to understand, we live in a suburban area that until 10-15 years ago was farms.  We do see the occasional wildlife that forgot to leave when the people came, but rarely this close up.   We had a male and female pair of Mallards just hanging out in our front yard like they had no care in the world.  This was quite unusual for our area. We have all the squirrels, rabbits and geese you could imagine, but Mallards we usually only see at the zoo.
Mr. & Mrs. Mallard in our front yard

While it's not school related, exactly, we started playing the last Lego PS3 game, Harry Potter - Years 5-7.  I have to say the Harry Potter games, while fun, are my least favorite of the Lego games.  I just find them cumbersome and awkward compared to the others.  Amber has now started on a new Harry Potter obsession.  She is replaying, in her free time, the first Harry Potter Lego game on her DS (we have 2 versions of it.. sigh).  She has been wanting to watch the movies again and asking when she can read the books.  Through all of this, we haven't actually played much of the new game because Amber keeps using up her screen time with the movies and her DS.  The books have to wait until she finishes her current To Be Read pile. 

I'm still deep in planning for next year and even started to setup the new school year in my tracking software.  My newest curriculum find is for Art Appreciation.  I think we will be using two books that are part of a series, A Child's History of Art: Painting and A Child's History of Art: Architecture.   These books look like very promising launching points for Art Appreciation.  I am sure we will supplement with iPad apps and trips to the Art Museum (St. Louis has a fantastic Art Museum that I LOVE to visit). 

My favorite resource for this week is the book we just finished in Health, CPH's How You Are Changing, girls edition.  I dreaded talking to Amber about sex education.  I didn't know if I could talk as openly as needed or if we would both find it unbearably awkward.  How You Are Changing was an immense help to us both.  It talks about exactly what the title says, how girls are changing at this age and what to expect.  It talks about how God made us and how we are just as he designed and explains the details in a factual way but with spiritual reminders.  It was a wonderful find and helped us have a very open and natural conversation.

That was our wonderful homeschool week in review.  I just hope next week goes as smoothly.  We absolutely love homeschooling and can't imagine doing anything else at this point in our lives.



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26 comments:

  1. Thanks so much for linking! I love the potholders, and all the extra learning that went on in your house this week!!

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  2. What a great week! There was so much "extra" going on in your house. I love the weaving!

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    1. Thanks for visiting. She really has gotten back into the weaving. I don't know how many more potholders or trivets I need though ;)

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  3. Sounds like y'all have had a great week! I'm in the middle of curriculum planning for next year too. I love curriculum planning so that may make me an oddball ;-). Would you mind sharing the iPad apps you mentioned above about art study?

    Trina
    lifesoblessed.wordpress.com

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    1. Thanks for stopping by! I love looking at all the curriculum, we'd use it all if we had time. ;-)

      For the iPad art apps this is what we have so far:

      Da Vinci - it is $1.99, and has a biography along with a load of HD images of his paintings that are outstanding on the iPad. It comes free, but you have to pay to unlock the majority of the paintings. You can use it free though.
      http://itunes.apple.com/us/app/da-vinci/id473635930?mt=8

      Similarly there are Monet, Van Gogh and Rembrandt apps at $0.99.

      We have a massive app called Louvre Art Gallery. It has over 700 works and is in HD. It was only $0.99
      http://itunes.apple.com/us/app/louvre-art-gallery/id483315165?mt=8

      We also have a game called Discover Art History - Art collector
      http://itunes.apple.com/us/app/discover-art-history-art-collector/id456795443?mt=8

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  4. I sure looked like a great week!

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  5. LOVE those weeks where things go smoothly and it feels like you know what you are doing! Great for you! I sure could use one of those sometime soon.
    Love the costume she made...how sweet she made it!

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    1. Thanks for visiting. It's been a while since we had a week that I felt like I was doing stuff right. Yours will come too.

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  6. Those are wonderful weeks, aren't they? I have to say I am super impressed with the costume Amber made for her cousin- well done! Hope you have a great weekend :)

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    1. Amber says "Thank you". She's the big cousin by over 5 years and loves to take care of her little cousins.

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  7. What a delight to find your blog! I also hs my son, 3 1/2. I brought him home from his preschool for similar reasons you brought your daughter home. I have also taught in parochial schools!

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    1. Thanks so much for stopping by. I hope you have a great time homeschooling too. We've loved it so far.

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  8. So happy to find your blog! We have lots in common!

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  9. Oh, gosh, she did a GREAT job on that costume! Cousin will LOVE it! And LOVE the colors in her pot holder! She's a talented, creative young lady, huh?

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    1. Amber says "thank you" in a sheepish voice :) Her cousin did love it and strutted around telling all the little preschoolers that his cousin made his costume. I'm not sure how impressed they were about that though.
      Amber LOVES medieval fiction / fantasy stories. So, this costume was the perfect one for her to design.

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  10. Sounds like a terrific week! That costume your daughter made is wonderful!

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    1. She was pretty proud of it too! Thanks for commenting.

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  11. Wonderful week. I just love that costume! She did a fantastic job. I am with you, who doesn't know chain mail??? :)

    Don't you just love those 'perfect' weeks?

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  12. Thanks for stopping by! Amber says "thanks".
    I adore the "perfect" weeks. Our weeks aren't usually too bad, but so often they feel a little unnatural. This week just clicked.

    My sister thinks we are odd for not knowing a lot of sports terms (at least Amber and me). We just have different strengths, I guess.

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  13. It does sound like a great week! I love that Amber made that costume for her cousin...awesome job!! Thanks for sharing your week, and the suggestion of "How You Are Changing", with Favorite Resources :)

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    1. Thanks for stopping by. :) We really were pleased with "How You Are Changing".

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  14. So awesome Amber got to make her cousin a costume. I know my girls would love to do that.

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    1. :) Sometimes the best things are last minute. I'm still impressed she came up with all those ideas. I would *never* have thought of gold duck tape. Never. As witnessed by the dagger I made her for a costume 2 years ago. It was all silver.

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  15. What a great costume.

    Blessings,
    Dawn

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  16. Looks like a great week!!! I love those kinds of weeks!

    Thanks for linking up with "Look What We Did!"

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