Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Summer...It's Over

Well, it was a wonderful summer...For us though, it is over. We started school yesterday. As much as I love being with the girls, I'm not that typical homeschool mom who looks forward to the structure of school. For me, selfishly, I enjoy our freedom and the ability to do nothing all day or to run to the store or library on a whim. You don't get to do that when you start school back up.

We ended our summer with our only summer vacation. We drove to the other side of the state and enjoyed 5 days in Ludington, Michigan. If you have never been to Ludington, it is beautiful. It is right on Lake Michigan, which is the prettiest of the great lakes. It was a wonderful relaxing time. Here is a photo of the girls just before we were leaving.

This year we will be using My Father's World Creation to the Greeks for our history and bible curriculum. We are swapping our science and using the new Apologia Anatomy and Physiology. We are also using MFW's suggested art appreciation study God and the History of Art.

We are beginning our history study with the literal beginning of time. This week we are focusing on the days of creation. The girls all have learned a fun song from church that they sing the days of creation to but I still thought it would be fun to do a craft to help them remember the days even more. The 3 year old bible teacher at our church did a similar craft with her bible class when the girls were 3, but they didn't remember doing it, so the younger two are doing it at home. Here Sweet Baby is decorating her day number 2. I went to our local school district and used their die cut machines and cut large numbers 1-7 (to represent the different days). The girls are decorating the numbers to represent what God created on those days. Here for day 2, Sweet Baby used cotton balls to represent the sky and blue glitter made to look like waves for the seas. I'll share a photo of all of them when we have finished at the end of the week.

For our history study we are focusing on the history of the Israelite people, Egyptians and Greeks. The exciting part for me is to learn the biblical history that I am unaware of. We are going to be doing a sabbath meal this weekend as we discuss the traditions of the Jewish faith. Here Sissy is trying her hand at cross stitch. We are going to make a very simple challah covering for our bread (yes, I am going to attempt to bake my own bread, no bread maker either. We do fresh bread in our bread maker weekly, but I've never kneaded my own bread.) I took a piece of cross stitch fabric and just simply wrote "Sabbath" across it - the plan is for Sissy to do most of the stitching, but I'll show Peanut a bit as well. When it is done I'll sew it onto a scrap of fabric I have and we'll have our covering for the bread.

Here peanut is doing their first art lesson. The art lessons are meant for those children 10 and older, but Peanut loves drawing and art so I figured she could join in. The girls had to copy a picture using nothing but their mouths! There was a story about a woman who had become paralyzed but later found a love of drawing. Because Peanut can be a perfectionist with somethings (specifically her art) she was not thrilled to do this exercise. But, she needed to get the point of the lesson - first that art can be frustrating and second that we need to be mindful and thankful for all that we have (usually she can use her hands to draw and not have to use her mouth).

Last school year Sissy began using Teaching Textbooks for math. She LOVED it. She loved it so much she would ask to do math. ASK to do math?!? It is a wonderful program. Thankfully they have a 4th grade program so we decided to switch Peanut to it for math this year. Here she is working...She loves it too. She had done the first 3 lessons before we even officially started school!
Here is a photo of the screen. The program teaches your child the lesson and it is done so well. If you go to their website, you can see a sample lesson. The one thing that I had heard about TT before purchasing it was that it tended to run a bit slow in comparison to other math programs. And I have found this to be true. Peanut is actually in 3rd grade but is doing the 4th grade program and Sissy is in 6th grade doing the 7th grade program. So, if you are thinking about TT, be sure to have your child do their placement test.

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