Friday, December 3, 2010

Our Accomplishments

It was soothing to see some free time on our calendar this week.  But it left me wondering if we accomplished as much as we usually do in a week.  Our focus this week was not on academics but on conscious living, slowing down, preparing for the Christmas season and working out some kinks in our routines.
Last week Grace was ready to walk away from her flute.  With a little encouragement, more practice and a new determination, she had a great lesson.  She is excited for her first performance in January.  I learned this week that it is okay to skip the bridges in Life of Fred and just focus on the lessons.  If I notice her struggling or becoming frustrated, I don’t need a bridge to tell me she needs review before moving on to the next lesson.  Just to confound me, Grace did do the bridge, passed and is moving ahead in her lessons.  She also finished Ninth Ward.  I asked her to write about why she liked the book. From this piece of writing I began to teach writing a 5 paragraph expository essay.  I know this is the main focus of 5th grade writing for her peers and I want her to know how to do this well.  The format was introduced and she wrote the introduction including the thesis sentence.  I would like to send this or email it to the author, since this book had such an effect on Grace and bolstered her desire to read.  
Lilah keeps plugging away at her math.  At this point she is mostly independent working her way through multiplication and division.  She wrote more of her story which continues the saga of Scarlett Hannon.  In this story she encounters fairies and an enchanted tree.  We took a deeper look at story mapping and proper use of quotations.  That girl loves her dialogue!  She published a blog entry as well.  Lilah needs art in a way that Grace does not.  When Grace was working on her hurricane project, Lilah took our one of our favorite books Kids’ Art Works! She found a cool project to make a crayon batik.  She drew the picture, soaked the paper for two minutes, crumpled it up, then painted it with watercolor paint.  When it dried the effect was a wax paper like batik style painting.

It is beautiful.   She took a break from her quilt during her sewing lesson and instead made her own tree ornament.

Together we finished Juliet Dove, Queen of Love.  I am looking for our next audiobook.  We read two more chapters in Percy Jackson.  I love this read aloud.  The girls fluency is improving, as is their stamina for reading aloud.  Right now we read one page each throughout the chapter.  Eventually I would like to get to the point where we can each read one chapter aloud.  We went ice skating with our new shiny skates.  Grace loves her weekly skate.  She is rediscovering the joy she feels on ice.  It still is one of her happiest places.  
This week saw playdates with school friends and homeschool friends.  We have school Girl Scouts and homeschool Girl Scouts.  Our homeschool troops are amazing.  Lilah’s Brownie troop is working on try-its.  This week we did art to wear.  The girls painted canvas bags to hold their sit upons, supplies and vests.  They used Lyra face crayons to draw hearts, flowers, butterflies and more on each other’s faces, arms and hands.  They then made friendship bracelets by stringing one bead and passing it on to their neighbor who put on one bead, until 12 beads were done.  One for each girl.  It was a beautiful day of friendship and caring.  Grace’s troop, Juniors, have been researching Girl Scout World Centers.  Grace had Switzerland.  She found the country map, the European map, the country flag, a ethnic recipe and other facts about Switzerland.  Each girl presented their findings to the group.  While I was not present for this, Grace was energized and excited.  Their long range goal is to start to fund raise to eventually visit one of the centers!
We began to decorate for Christmas.  The girls made their paper chains.  Elfie the Elf made his yearly appearance. 

The advent house came out and our village was set up.  

I still have much to do with wreaths, a tree and cards but that will come in time.  One day at a time is how I want to get through this season.  I don’t want to rush blindly through it.  I want to take it slow, just one day at a time.


Jen @ Forever, For Always... said...

Thanks for linking up this week! I like how you worked through "quitting flute". It's a delicate balance between encouraging perseverance and forcing ~ we had to do this a few times with Jacob and TaeKwonDo. Your Advent is starting out great :)

Karen said...

What a great week! I don't think there is any reason to worry if you don't get in the 'lessons' you think you should. Look at what you just wrote! Look at what your amazing daughters did. Now take away everything that they did that wouldn't have happened if they were both in PS.

I would like to check out the book that Grace read. I wish Kei would find a book that she just adored.

I think you are a born HS Mom. Honestly. You inspire ME!

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