Friday, December 5, 2014

Relaxed December School

I hope everyone in the United States had a great Thanksgiving last week and everyone else had a good week too. We officially took a vacation from school work all week, however Amber and Fred did work on her illuminated page project a couple of times for fun.  Somehow it's more fun when Daddy helps.

Sunday evening Amber told me that she was ready for school to start again.  She likes the time off, but felt that her days were too unstructured.  She was also a little bored.  I wasn't going to argue with her at all, but I was feeling pretty lazy and not at all motivated for school to start again. Still, we had a productive school day Monday completing a third of Amber's core hours remaining in the semester.

Most of this week has been interrupted days or days of no school at all.  We only have one more week left on our schedule for the semester and it will be similarly busy.  Monday was our most productive day despite going to the allergist for Amber's weekly shot.  Tuesday we had a lovely day shopping with my mom and sister to celebrate my mom's 75th birthday, but absolutely no school work was accomplished.  Wednesday Amber felt pretty sickly from all the activity on Tuesday, but she pushed through a couple of good hours of school anyway along with attending her flute lesson. Thursday we had co-op elective classes, so while they count for hours they were not the core hours we need to finish the semester.  Today, Friday, Amber and I attended the St. Louis Symphony in the morning, then ran errands on the way home.  This evening Amber and I have Advent by Candlelight at church while Fred is on his own for dinner at home.  I foresee little school happening the rest of today.
(Top-Left) Math at the allergist. (Top-right) LEGO Winter Village. (Bottom-left) Dinner out after a long day. (Bottom-right) Resting and waiting for our other shoppers out in the chilly wind.

To finish the semester, I had set a goal for Amber to complete half of the yearly 600 required core hours.  She has 8.5 hours to go and one week of scheduled time left.  I also would like her to finish our current "season" of Analytical Grammar prior to Christmas break.  She has one week left of grammar, so this should work out. Hopefully.  Finally, I gave her the task of completing her illuminated page project prior to officially declaring Christmas break.  I'm not sure much else will happen this coming week except the 8.5 hours in grammar, history, and maybe German.

Since we are almost done with school for the semester I thought I'd update the status of the other subjects. 

Math (Saxon Algebra 1) still plugging along and most days Amber just reads lesson and does the assignments without my help at all. It is great that she is now at the level where the answers for the odd numbered problems are in the back of the book. Amber checks her odd numbered problems to ensure she is understanding, then the tests are graded by me.  So far this setup is working well for us to reduce math stress and encourage enjoyment of math.

German is still going strong and Amber is able to speak in sentences now.  She is still ahead of the German I class I'm teaching at our co-op, so the poor girl is always my guinea pig with this curriculum. She is conjugating verbs well, understand the accusative case and has a nice little accent going.  If only I could get her to study her vocabulary a little more. 

In Science we are finishing up our weather study and Amber has moved into trying to make her own weather predictions based on knowledge from our resources, patterns learned from reviewing her weather log, and the current conditions.  Amber can come fairly close with predictions, but can't always explain the science to back up her forecast.  We are working on ensuring she doesn't just guess what seems likely, and instead can give a detailed explanation of her forecast.

(Top-left) The finished product for my co-op class, a "coon-skin" cap.  (Top-right) Rough draft / outline of the illuminated page. (Bottom-left) Working on weather predictions.  It's serious work! (Bottom-right) One of her predictions.

For History we are finishing illuminated pages and monasticism. Amber has looked at more examples, researched the history of illuminated works and why mythological creatures were often used.  Amber has been having Fred teach her calligraphy and she's is getting her hang of it now. This week we also had a detailed discussion of A Door in the Wall, which Amber read last month.  She actually quite enjoyed this book and was more than willing to do a miniature literature study on it.

Finally, in literature we have just about finished our study of Beowulf and are ready to move into the Canterbury Tales in January. There is one more little project from Beowulf that we'd like to complete, however it may be pushed off for the high school Beowulf study.

I am so thankful that we are able to reduce our school this month.  Amber has still not quite recovered from Thanksgiving day.  She used every last drop of her energy to keep up with her little cousins on Thanksgiving day.  It took through the Sunday after Thanksgiving for Amber to even function.  Even then on Sunday evening her heart rate was in the 150's and all she did was stand up.  There was no exertion at all.  Then again, her blood pressure at the time was 89/53, so that explains the heart rate but we have no clue why the blood pressure was running so low for a sustained period of time. 

(Left) Amber is ready for Christmas! (Right) Thanksgiving with cousins.

We have so much going on this month that I expect Amber will never quite recover her energy until after Christmas. I'm trying to find ways to provide Amber with complete days of rest between the busy days, but I fear it will mean canceling some events.  Of course, while I'm trying to lessen our commitments, I end up adding appointments for a sick kitty.  Not to mention that Amber is still getting invitations to Christmas parties that she "has to attend".  In regards to the most recent invitation, Amber said of the hostess "She is so nice, but quite shy.  I have to go so she isn't discouraged."  Well, phooey.  How do you turn down that party invitation?

This weekend we plan to help my mom put up her Christmas decorations, Amber is acolyting at church, and she has a birthday party for a friend to attend.  No big deal.

Happy Weekend!

Linking with:

Weekly Wrap-Up   photo purpFFBut_zps970d6cbe.png


  1. You all are doing such a good job getting all of Amber's school work done. It looks like a great week. I love all the pictures. The Lego village looks AWESOME!
    Blessings, Dawn

  2. Looks like a pretty productive week. :)

  3. I love the Lego Village. And yeah, there is no way to turn down that invitation. Amber is always in my prayers. I'll pray she gets the rest she needs and still get to do the activities that she wants.

  4. Amber is such a sweetheart to think of others when she has so many health issues of her own. As I was reading your account of all her learning experiences I can't help but think that she is way ahead of her public school peers despite needing to take time off for recovery days. There sure is no question when Amber had exerted herself just a bit too much. She really wears the look of exhaustion on her face. I hope you guys make it through the remainder of your required school hours and that Amber can enjoy all her holiday activities without wearing herself out too much!

  5. A great week Christy. I am just amazed that you are so close to finishing with all Amber's health issues and doctor's appointments. We are behind for sure but I'm not going to stress about it! I love her heart and yours!! I always love seeing the pictures of what you 2 are up to. I hope this week has been wonderful. Hugs and love.