Friday, October 27, 2006

Alive and Well

A couple weeks ago, I promised an update, so here it is. I hope it doesn’t disappoint. We have been having great fun, but someone else’s experiences read are never as exciting as one’s own experiences lived.

Actually, the main reason we have been scarce (especially ‘virtual me’) is that we found a school day routine that works really well for us, and I haven’t wanted to interfere with it by coming online during school hours. If we stay on track, school takes anywhere from 4 to 6 hours depending on the subjects we are studying that day. What about after school hours? Well, I have been trying not to do much housework while teaching, so I have to do housework during quiet times and after the kids go to bed. Thus, my screen time has been limited.

I thought this year would be more of a challenge because I am teaching three grades, kindergarten, third and fourth, and in many ways it is more of a challenge. However, I have always done better under pressure than I have when I have seemingly limitless time, so I think that has worked to my advantage this year. Primo and Secondo have many subjects that they can do together… history, chemistry, Latin, grammar, art, music, some math, and Bible. They do some math and spelling separately. Terzo joins them for Bible, art and music.

He even joined in our last Chemistry experiment (who can pass-up making marshmallow molecules?). The main focus with Terzo this year is learning to read, but he insisted on doing math, so I pulled out the first grade Saxon Math book, and he loves it. He also loves word finds, so I print out a new word find every time he learns a new phonics sound. (By the way, if you haven’t discovered Enchanted Learning, I highly recommend it. This is where I get Terzo’s word finds, and I have gotten art and science pages here as well. It is well worth the $20 annual fee to become a member and have access to additional pages and remove the advertising from printouts.) Keeping Quarto occupied has been a bit rough, and apparently including him in our studies can be hazardous to his health.

As to what else we’ve been up to:

-4H for the girls

-Soccer for Primo

-Cub Scouts for Terzo

-Keepers at Home for the girls

-Weekly library trips for everyone

-Homeschool Book Club for Primo, Secondo and Terzo

-Square Dancing lessons for the girls (although Terzo joins for the line dances)

-celebration of International Talk Like A Pirate Day

-field trip to the Smithsonian’s Folk Life Festival for everyone

-Field trip to the zoo for everyone

-joint field trip to Native American Day at the local museum with Aduladi’ Homeschool Academy

-Titus 2 bi-monthly meetings with another homeschool family from our church for me and the kids

-Bi-monthly cleaning exchanges with a second homeschool family from our church for me and the kids

-Bi-monthly Sunday night teaching at church of 2 and 3 year olds for me and Frodo while the kids go to their own classes

-American Girl Book Club at the library for Secondo

-Series of Unfortunate Events party at the library for the girls (they won a copy of The End… very cool)

-monthly homeschool support meetings for me

-graduate school classes and thesis writing for Frodo

-teaching weekly childbirth class for me (this includes making dinner for the couple I’m teaching… it is one of Frodo’s former students and his wife and we all have a wonderful time when they come)

-Great Books Reading Partnership reading for me (I should be posting, too, but I haven’t had time)

And last but not least:

-potty training for Quarto

Yes, we’ve been busy, but we have been learning and having fun doing it. Soccer is almost over, Frodo will graduate in December, and the couple I’m teaching will have their baby. Even as these things end, other things are waiting to take their places… skating lessons, holidays, applications to Doctoral programs. But some things will remain the same… Sunday will remain a day of rest, family meal time will be protected, and we will look at every experience as a chance to glorify God and learn, learn, learn.

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