Friday, January 21, 2011

Weekly Accomplishments - A Bit Off....

Our week was a bit off.  No one’s fault really.  Greg was traveling and usually this does not bother me but for some reason this week I had a hard time sleeping.  I would fall asleep on the couch, wake up for the 10:00 news and remain wide awake until after midnight.  So when the alarm would sound at 6:30 I wanted to throw it out the window.  I turned it off and rolled over.  Big mistake.  Things still got done this week but not with our usual joie de’vivre.  
Math - We are rolling along in our math studies.  Grace is loving Aleks.  I love that she loves it.  This week we reviewed how to divide larger numbers like 3600 / 90.  We worked on drawing angles in geometry.  She reviewed multiplication using three and four digits.   This week she also faced some multistep word problems - similar to the ones she balked at in Life of Fred.  Now there was no fuss, no fight.  She just solved the problem!  She is now easily doing at least 30 minutes concentrated math per day.  Lilah is feeling a little envious that Grace has this cool computer program to do her math on.  For now we are going to stick with Singapore but  Aleks may be something I look for her next year.
History - this week we read two more chapters of Percy Jackson.  I loved that the girls were able to figure out who Aunty Em was from their other readings.  They also used the clues from the mythological story of Perseus to figure out how Percy would slay Aunty Em.  
Reading/Writing - Grace is reading the American Girl book The Smart Girl’s Guide to the Internet.  She is still pestering her father and I for a gmail account.  I am very reluctant to give into this request.  She is not allowed on Facebook, does not have a cell phone and I do not see why she cannot continue to share my email when needed.  She can text through her itouch and I receive a copy of every text sent on my blackberry.  I like this set up.  I told her once she finishes the book, she can write an expository essay on what she learned about internet safety and then her father and I will revisit the discussion.  I stressed that this does not mean that she will be given email.  It means we will listen to her points and come to a decision on what we think is an appropriate age.  So far she has one chapter left and she has begun to work on her essay.  Lilah did a fair amount of writing this week but it was not fictional writing.  She is eagerly planning her second annual Valentine's Day Party.  She has researched recipes, listed ingredients, made shopping lists, created to-do lists, all very neatly detailed.  She has designed her own invitations and is ready to begin creating homemade valentine cards.  We have to pick a day as our home may be a bit hectic around Valentine’s Day (more on that to come).  
Science - love love love Botany.  We met for our third lesson as a group today.  The girls  are finishing up chapter 1 and built the light huts.  They are researching herbs to plant.  I am purchasing a great book for them to make their own products from the herbs they grow.  I have also emailed a local herb farm to see if our girls could come since it is off-season for a tour and some additional instruction.  I love watching them meet in a group.  Listening to their conversation gives me insight into their likes/dislikes/interests/wonderings.  I love that the mom’s are not tied to a time frame.  We are under no pressure to finish this book in a certain amount of time.  In my mind I see us working on botany through the spring, while setting up our garden at the community garden and into early summer.  We can take one week from the planned activities and spend it researching herbs if we want.  And we want to!  I am always looking forward to our botany lessons, whether it is just my girls and I, or as a group on Thursdays.
Strawberry/oatmeal masque anyone? I really love my girl!
making our light hut!

cutting the hole for the light bulb!

Piano - Grace is working on several challenging pieces.  Most notable is Hedwig’s Theme from Harry Potter.  Every day she sits and pushes herself to learn it better.  I think of Amy Chua’s interview about her Tiger Mothering book and how she would make her child sit at the piano for hours a day practicing.  Then for hours more to perfect a piece.  I have never had to make Grace practice the piano.  It is her passion.  She loves to play day after day and is pleased with her progress.  I think how devastating it would be to take the process away from her and make her perfect something in one sitting.  Ugh.  Not my style - or my daughters.  The end result is the same -the piece sounds beautiful and she is able to play it competently.  The bonus is she keeps her love of the instrument.
Sewing - Lilah’s quilt is taking shape.  She has the first and second row sewn and pinned together.  She is discussing choosing a backing material soon.  I suggested we all go to the craft store together and I will purchase whatever they feel is best.  They are also debating whether or not to add a boarder.  This is an amazing project that has given Lilah confidence and pride in learning a skill at such and early age.
 I am glad that Greg is home.  I am glad that I am back to rising with the sun.  I need that time to organize my day, consult my flylady schedule and give time to my house.  When I am up, caffeinated, showered, dressed and have done two loads of laundry by 8:00, it just follows that we get more done.  A few things were omitted this week like cursive writing/poetry, SOTW textbook work and work in our botany notebook.  I am not worried about these.  We will get them done this upcoming week, plus a whole lot more!
Oh...anyone have suggestions how to homeschool while undergoing home renovations?  Things are about to get real interesting around here.............


Theresa said...

Yay! I guess you are going with the kitchen renovation--I can't wait to see before and after pics!! And during...haha!

I was looking ahead in SotW and we have a week or two before we start the Greeks...I am very excited--I think we made read Percy too!!

We've been talking about music lessons. The girls take recorder at coop. P wants drums and A wants guitar, but we are trying to convince them to start with piano to learn to read music (I am not ready to listen to a budding drummer nor does P have the arm reach!). My parents have a piano that they said we could have (although it has not been tuned in years but I hope should be okay)!

Karen said...

Looks like a very good week to me! How did that strawberry oatmeal masque work? :)

Glad Greg is home and things are more 'settled' for you. Have a wonderful weekend!

Jessica said...

Theresa, we inherited my Grandmother's piano. Have a GOOD tuner come and he/she will be able to tell you what it needs. The first tune cost us around $150 and then we tune it every 6 months. I love listening to Grace play!

Karen - the masque felt gross (hence my expression) but the result was very nice. I can't wait to have her grow her own herbs and flowers and make some real products for me to try!

Helena said...

What a great week! It looks like you all were very fulfilled and busy, and I love the girls' smiles with their lightboxes! Oh, and, my that masque looks tasty! How cool that you gave it a go.
I loved the mental image of you wanting to throw the alarm clock out the window… and I know about the days you don't have that ooomph to get you through. It sounds like you looked, nonetheless, for all the lovely parts of the week and found them. Which is a beautiful thing, isn't it—finding all the lovely parts!

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