Friday, March 27, 2009

Weekly learning report

Its been a good week. We didn't get to as much as I had hoped, but routines (apart form unexpected vet trips) are starting to form and we're starting to bring some of the fun back into our days.

During the course of the week I found this blog post by Cindy and it really spoke into the reality of what had been going wrong. I've been trying so hard for so long to prove that we could home school them, that they would do great and that it wasn't another hair-brained idea from two kids that had left reality some time back. The result and the isolation of not being able to talk to my family about what happened in our home-school wasn't pretty.

This week we've been finding the fun again - working together in writing - we used Rapunzel as our model, and managed to do the outline, dictionary skills, parsing, diagramming and sentence shuffle parts together kinda working at different levels. My Naturalist wasn't impressed at the size of the story though and is objecting.

We also fund ourselves working together at some of the Artist's Latin sentences - partly because she is just starting verbs so the sentences were writing everyone's range and partly with corrections because it takes a difficult thing and makes it fun.

In our notebook studies - bible, history, literature and science I've had to realize this isn't going to be a quick run through. There are too many options to follow rabbit trails. This week we looked at character studies of Andrew, Polly and Digory. We will follow them or at least the two kids through the story and see what thier journeys are. We sidetracked into a discussion of Who the Serpent in the Garden was? And we moved slowly forward in science. We also enjoyed reading How the Whale Got his Throat, and as our family read-aloud picked up the Hobbit.

So all in all its been a good week - and I'm looking forward to the next one.

Zeke we love you

Today was one of those scary days when your favorite non-human walks in seriously limping. We all panicked, and worried, thoughts of broken legs, amputations, fears that something more sinister was going on... after all this is one of those beloved cats that knows who is sick or sad and graces their bed until they feel better, that only ever bites when he's trying to drag me away from the computer to feed him, who tests the lap of every visitor, and walks down to the park with you complaining that you are leaving home and you really shouldn't.

I'm so grateful for my friend who volunteers at the SPCA and fast tracked us into the vets (after dealing with my panic) and was their to rejoice with us when we found out it might be as simple as an injured disc. Hopefully (praying) he will recover and behave himself.

In the meantime our family has to work out a how to contain our beloved (not strictly inside) member of the family and more imporantly how to deal with the noise of a Burmese who is sure you simply didn't hear him as to be let out.

Thursday, March 19, 2009

Starting Over

Its been an interesting week, and it's ended somewhere unexpected.

I think for years now I've had two pictures in my mind of what school should be.

One is a flow of subjects where we learn, or do and then move on, digging in deep sometimes, practicing what we need to others and then heading forward. Its school that has room to spend all morning reading a book, or allows people to head apart and work through the latin drill, maths and other routine type subjects without getting bogged down.

Th other is the reality of three grades, excellent home-school materials and a schedule that never quite makes sense.

Anyone reading this blog of a regular basis has probably already seen the effects this has on our home-school. Sometimes it all comes together normally it doesn't. But generally I've been to worried to take the plunge and run a one room, one family learning program. well this week for a number of reasons - predominantly that plan A isn't working - we dived in.

I'll post where we are heading in advance maybe - simply because I need somewhere to think out my ideas.

Saturday, March 14, 2009

Week 6 Update

I know I spoke to soon last week, by the time I got to the end of the marking pile things were not quite so rosy, and this week we reaped the consequences.

Maths: The younger two are meandering through this, both of them are comfortable in maths and after all its the first subject of the it generally ticks over. I'm looking forward to my youngest moving on from his side track into measurement and back onto Singapore. For my Artist Jacobs came undone this week. I think we have a handle on why and a solution.

Writing: It was so good to read elsewhere on another blog the difficulties people have with the progym. It seems so logical and simple, so much like a fun way to enjoy language - until it comes unraveled again. I keep plugging on but it is ironically the one area in our home school where busy work seems paramount. I think its just that it takes so long for me to workout what the objectives are each week that well we've struggled through both the necessary and the unnecessary.

Latin and Greek: Greek seems to be the favorite this week, although it changes. I'ts been nice ot slow down the pace with my studies and my daughters as we review verbs in Henle, i realise it will get a whole lot harder soon.

Our afternoon studies are a really mixed bag. I like what we are doing, more freedom less stress for me. When it happens it's great ... for my oldest two it simply keeps bogging. They don't get thier, or they read and give up putting any form of note book page together. I'm finding it frustrating - one week to learn one week to unbog. Maybe this week?

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Dinner Tonight

I seemed to have some extra time this evening so's what we are having for a simple evening meal...well kinda simple.

Chicken Parmesan

I cook five chicken pieces to cover us for this, but feel free to adjust the quantities.

5 or so chicken pieces
1/4 or so cup of Tomato sauce
440 gr can of tomato puree,
2 cloves garlic,
1 teaspoon basil, or a handful fresh
1 teaspoon salt.

Mix sauce ingredients together and cover chicken. Oven bake for around 1 hour until cooked through. Then cover each piece of chicken with sliced or grated cheese - normally Cheddar or Colby, and a sprinkling of Parmesan.

Bake for another 15 min until the cheese has melted.

I normally serve it with rice and a salad but tonight though I had a surplus of potatoes, so I'll serve it with Rosemary Potatoes. I've sliced them, added a drizzle of olive oil, 2-3 cloves of garlic crushed and about a tablespoon of fresh rosemary (dried works as well) and salt. I'll cook it in the oven while I do the chicken and they should both be ready in about an hours time.

Sunday, March 8, 2009

That was funny!!

I've spent all afternoon and evening smirking, why, well the TV keeps telling me that its woman's day and in all the usual advertising finesse tell me that "I'm worth it" so at church this morning we celebrated by kicking off
Men's Month.
Its one of those coincidences in life that just lead to amusement.

Saturday, March 7, 2009


I've been mulling over this post recently about combining kids in homeschool. It is so tempting, and yet having finally gotten stable in our studies so far beyond out grasp. Neither I or the kids are ready for this, and I may not be until I've worked through literature and writing for myself. But it has made me more willing to let group discussions run when they arise.

Friday, March 6, 2009

Week 5 and progress

It's been a good week.

When I wrote that on Friday morning it was an excellent week, or at least it had improved dramatically from a rough start.

Where were on schedule - which is rare,

We'd had time to pick blackberries, walnuts ok only a few but it was fun, swim in the lake, and I'd found the energy to catch up on the ironing!

Then my youngest decided that he could be finished by lunch time art project included ...umm we didn't make it to the end of the day without room times serious calm down an breath room-times while mum tidies the house

Its strange how something so good on the surface can cause so much destruction underneath.

On a brighter night - the cupboards are full of Jam's jellies and chutneys, and 3/4 of a side of Angus beef is arriving tonight for my freezer. When we order the firewood in couple of weeks we'll be ready to settle in for winter.