If we value the pursuit of knowledge, we must be free to follow wherever that search may lead us. ~ Adlai Stevenson

Friday, May 24, 2013

Smooth Sailing... Mostly...

We had a good week, overall. We didn't do quite as much as I hoped, but we made some good progress!

The Boy
I've temporarily, through the end of our school year, dropped writing for him, to give him more time to concentrate on math. He worked through a few lessons in his Saxon book, and we've noticed, he only makes mistakes when he doesn't write the problem out and/or show his work. I always check his work right after he finishes, and then we go over what went wrong, and I have him correct his work.

He's continuing his reading through the Hitchhiker's Guide series, especially since we got him this book for his birthday...

He also worked on several projects this week: he's started a very intricate model car; worked on a film project; built various Lego Star Wars aircraft; watched a few episodes of Top Gear (all about cars!); and helped his dad move a bunch of rocks out in the backyard, leftover from one of my brother-in-law's unfinished projects.

The Girl
She's taking a break from math right now to focus more on reading. She worked through another few lessons in Reading Horizons, and read to me from her Elson Reader. She's still enjoying

And I have a small stack of "early/easy readers" for her to start working through. At first, when we started with Reading Horizons, she refused to do any additional reading with me, but now that her confidence is soaring, she's perfectly willing to try!

And we're both really enjoying Emi and the Rhino Scientist, from the Scientists in the Field series. If you haven't read any of these books, I highly recommend them! We also loved re-reading this version of Rapunzel - absolutely gorgeous illustrations...

She has helped with cooking this week, and weeding in the front yard. She's working on sewing projects at my mom's, and enjoying an episode here and there of Sabrina: The Teenage Witch. She enjoyed Melissa Joan Hart in Clarissa Explains It All, and was thrilled to find another series with the same actress (and believe me, I'd rather her watch these than a lot of the garbage marketed at "tweens" these days!)

All of Us
We're really enjoying reading through these books...

We read, in them, about early humans, the Egyptians and Mesopotamians, early astronomy, language and writing, mathematics in ancient India, and the inventions of gunpowder and paper in China, among other topics. The kids had some interesting questions and observations, such as "Why do we use some Roman names in the days of the week [Sunday, Monday, Saturday], and then Germanic names for the rest?", and "Why don't we still base the months on moon cycles?", and "Do you think gunpowder was an accidental invention?" We talked about the concepts of yin and yang, multiple gods, Ayurveda and other ancient forms of practicing medicine, and probably a lot more I can't remember at the moment! Reading about ancient India in A Little History of Science led us to watch the first episode of The Story of India.

This all really makes me happy - the kids are engaged, we're following those enchanting rabbit trails, and having really good discussions! This is what I want in our homeschooling!

We're more than halfway through with both our daytime and bedtime read-alouds at the moment, those being The Trumpet of the Swan and Harry Potter & the Sorcerer's Stone (and The Boy wants to know why they changed the name from Harry Potter & the Philosopher's Stone before publishing it in the U.S.?) In the evenings, we're also enjoying a few TV series, among them Once Upon a Time, and Eureka, so twisted fairy tales and [theoretical] science make up a good portion of conversation on those evenings!

Other Stuff
For P.E., we've been heading down to the local elementary school after hours, to use the playground, shoot some hoops, run short races, and so on. For art, there was a lot of sidewalk chalk drawing/painting going on, and The Girl has been designing dresses all week, after watching some Downton Abbey with me. We've been cooking dinner on the grill a lot, since the weather has been really nice lately... upper 70's, some low to mid 80's, and crystal clear. This afternoon, we're off to our usual park day, this time with lemon mini-cupcakes in tow for a celebration-with-friends of The Boy's recent birthday. And then this weekend, the kids will be participating in their first political protest, the March Against Monsanto. We all feel really strongly about this issue, and I think they're old enough to become more politically aware.

Hope you all had a good week too!


  1. Anonymous12:16 PM

    Ooh, "The Ultimate Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy" is great!

  2. We're huge Douglas Adams fans here!

    When Cyrus finished with that series, he would probably enjoy the Dirk Gently detective series, especially the one with the Norse gods. (I believe it's Long Dark Tea-Time of the Soul, but start with Dirk Gently's Holistic Detective Agency.)

  3. I'm glad Cassia is benefiting from Reading Horizons. When I began using it with Benjamin, it was an immediate success. Now, he loves reading anything and everything. I think knowing the 'rules' behind our language gives them confidence and they know they can't fail. Most reading programs are just cutesy slick video-game style nonsense that doesn't actually teach the child decoding skills.

    I'm going to look into A Little History of Science as a read-aloud!

    Things look good in your world! And your participation in the Monsanto march is awesome! :)


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