Friday, April 6, 2012

A Fable, Baking, and Math Decisions

Palm Sunday
This was the week between standardized testing and Spring Break, and it's Holy Week.  Nobody really expected a regular school load to be completed this week.  We did make good progress and finished everything that I had tentatively scheduled along with making some decisions for next year.

Monday was almost a normal school day. We did not do reading or spelling this week because they are from the same curriculum and you really need a full week, or at least 4 good days, to complete a unit.  Amber switched over from the science curriculum to health on Monday too.  We are starting with CPH's Where Do Babies Come From? (Girl's edition), How You Are Changing  (Girl's edition), then we will finish health with a couple of workbooks from Alpha Omega's Health Quest LIFEPAC. 

Monday also marked a milestone in our homeschooling. Amber has officially met all the school hour requirements for the state of Missouri. According to the state, she has completed 4th grade.  According to Mom, she's got a month to go. :)

Amber also started the actual writing of her fable on Monday and finished the writing on Tuesday. She loves writing so much and wrote for such a long time on Monday, that I had to stop her otherwise we would be late for her chimes choir practice. She actually was irritated and wanted to skip chimes to continue writing.  She has NEVER wanted to skip chimes.  I don't understand why her school didn't encourage creative writing (or any writing) more.  I'm still at a loss as to their reasoning for skipping so much of the writing that is in the text book they chose. 

Tuesday, Amber took a math test, it's Saxon math so these come around fairly often, and we started a new lesson in Latin.  Other than reviewing for her upcoming history unit test, that was about it.  We did a bunch of landscaping on Tuesday.  We were adding a portion to the front and heavy rain was predicted for the next few days.  We needed to finish the majority of the work before the rains came and washed the uncovered dirt all around the yard.  Amber was a big help to me Tuesday morning out in the yard. She is definitely a little trooper.
Helping smooth the last of the stones. We finished!

Amber with her calla lilies
The Presidential Physical Fitness Challenge was finally finished on Wednesday.  Amber was able to get in her 20 pushups and so she made Presidential level on all the activities in the challenge.  We ordered her Presidential award on Wednesday too.  Great job little girl!

Wednesday also had a history test and the re-write / edit stage of her fable, all went well. The fable is about a sly (and lazy) squirrel that learns to think of others before himself.  Maybe Amber will eventually give me permission to show her fable to other people.

We decided to turn Wednesday afternoon into baking day, which is something we haven't done in a while.  We made several things, but most notably, Amber baked by herself the "smash cake" for her cousin's first birthday. We will be celebrating it on Easter with the family and Amber's contribution is a small cake just for the birthday boy.  She baked it entirely by herself and will decorate it on Saturday.  She was so proud of herself that she did everything, even putting in the oven, without my help!

Wednesday was also the day that I about went crazy with the Math curriculum decision for next year.  I gave Amber the Saxon Math placement test and was shocked by the results.  I shouldn't have been, but I was. This totally changed my plans for next year, after much debate, research and praying.  Check out my recent post on our math debate (here).  End decision is that, we think, Amber will be skipping most of Math 6/5 and going into Math 7/6.  Ask me again next week what we are doing and it might be different. Sigh.

Thursday had a very poor start. Amber was scheduled for a morning brain MRI at the hospital 30 minutes away.  By the time we needed to leave she had turned entirely white and was about to throw up from anxiety.  I've had many MRIs (including brain) and tried my best to assure her it was very easy, but she was still a basket case.  The poor thing.  She eventually made it through the test and thankfully I was allowed to stay in the room and even stand next to her legs, touching her the whole time.  The results came back fine (this morning) and we are grateful for those answered prayers.

After the MRI we went to my parents' house for another Grandpa-sitting session.  Amber started her new history unit while there and played a bunch of games of UNO with me.  It was a very tiring morning and eventually we both took a little rest while waiting on Grandma to return from her errands. Thursday evening Amber had a great time in her Jazz and Tap dance classes. She really enjoys her return dance but is a little too competitive still.  Even at a more relaxed dance studio she is pushing herself pretty hard and has become a little frustrated with the less than stellar dancers.  She is the most experienced dancer in all her classes.  This is something she will have to reconcile in her own mind as she WILL NOT be returning to competitive dance.

Friday, being Good Friday, was originally scheduled as an entire day off as she would have had in the parochial school.  Unfortunately, we needed to finish a few things this week to have a good stopping point before Spring Break.  Amber finished biographies of Nathan Hale and Mary Ludwig (Profiles in History Vol. 2 - on the iPad) for her history unit and typed her final draft of the fable.  She just finished an initial print of the fable, before review, when her grandparents (Fred's parents) arrived for lunch and an afternoon of play. After play we will boil eggs and dye our Easter eggs. That will be the extent of work for this week.
The funniest part of the week...  kinda hard to choose this week.  Amber was goofy and silly all week, just like a 10 year old girl.   I probably will have to choose, though, a moment after her MRI.  After the test, when we had collected our belongings and were walking out to the car, Amber says to me "That really was just loud and so very boring."  She said it in such a conversational way that you'd never have suspected all the drama, near vomiting and near fainting with anxiety prior to test.  She simply spoke of it like it was no big thing and what a ridiculous thing for her to have to do.  I stopped and stared at her in disbelief and all she could say was "What? It was so easy Mom and very boring. Why didn't you tell me that?"  I swear, the only thing to do was laugh or go bonkers because that is exactly what I told her.

Overall it was a productive week and we are at a good place to take Spring break before returning for the last few weeks of school.

I hope everyone else had a good week and has a great Easter!

The Homeschool Mother's Journal


  1. Cute pictures! And we have a bit more to go once we reach our state requirements this year, too!

  2. That's so great she loves to write like that! Such a good skill to develop.

  3. I like the picture of your daughter with the cake she baked! My daughter loves to cook...hopefully in a couple years she'll be able to bake a cake herself too!

  4. Thanks Kristen. I'm a terrible / lazy photographer. I usually just use my iPhone and can't even remember to hold it straight. With the angled phone we have a lot of big-headed & small-bodied people! :)

  5. Jamie, your pictures are always so wonderful. I'm just lucky to remember that I might want a picture. I can't tell you the last time I used a real camera.

    Our state requirements are really so simple. 1000 hours. 600 of them in core subjects. 400 of the 600 core subject hours must be at the designated "home" location. That's the end of the requirements.

  6. Well, coming from a Mom of a child who flies through Math, I think I would just skip on through to 76 with her. Saxon does a lot of repetition and the first 20 lessons? of 76 will be 65 anyway. Why not give her a challenge? It sounds like she's ready for it! (My son went from 3 to 65 in 3rd grade.)

  7. I ordered 6/5 on Friday. I think we are going to do a VERY abbreviated version of 6/5. Then again, I may look at it and send it right back if it looks too simple. Thanks for the advice. I'm feeling a lot better about moving her forward in math.

  8. Wow, what a week! I'm glad Amber is ok. That sure sounded like a hard morning with the MRI.

    I'm trying to decide what to do about a few subjects for next year, too. Hoping my scheduled trip to a large homeschool convention next month will help!

  9. Good luck at the homeschool convention. I'm afraid to go to one that I'll end up buying everything there. Be sure to let us know how it goes and what you come up with.

    We are so very thankful that Amber had a normal MRI. It doesn't give us a reason for her migraines, but that's ok. They will at least treat her migraines now.