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Friday, August 31, 2007

Book Report & Weather Journal

I forgot to include these items in the week 6 report.

Weather Journal is "My Calendar Book" by Christian Light Publications, I bought it at for $2.95
The book report is from "How to Report on Books" Grades 1-2 by Evan-Moor. I bought the download (ebook).


Thursday, August 30, 2007

Week 6 Report

A rainbow we saw Wednesday night, there was actually two. At first we only saw a part of it and as I was telling Camille that a rainbows are usually half circles, the other arc appeared, it was a neat moment. We came home and explored how rainbows are formed.

These are our new memory cards, just waiting for the business card holder sheet things, lol. There is 74 memory cards in all. These list the items we're going to memorize this year. I'll post more on this later as I get the details nailed down.

This week instead of doing worksheets, we just read and answered the questions orally. This was perfect, we discussed more and enjoyed each other.

I've lessened Camille's workload yet we still have attitude problems. The work itself is going well, the timeliness of it- not so much. Her dad and I have been in a perpetual teacher/parent conference this week.

Grammar & Poetry
We're taking a little break from First Language Lessons and we are using a few other things. It's good for us, Camille likes being able to put into practice what she has learned more. We are working on memorizing True Nobility by Edgar Guest which I think will be our family poem.

We have absorbed handwriting into copywork, which is working out great.

The flashcards with the lesson on Thursday is going well. Camille only missed the word, collar on her spelling test of 15 words.

We have a few items coming in for french since I was able to sell our Level 1 of The Easy French. I'll share more when they arrive. French has gone very well this week, I'm very pleased- it has been fun for both of us and effective.

SOTW 2, Chapter 5 Medieval India- we explored the Ajanta Caves, created our own frescoes, read about Buddha and a few other books about life in India as well as Indian folktales. There were a few questions about Hinduism, Buddhism and Christianity but for the most part Camille understands that we all have free will.

An attempt with cursive in our history copywork. It had to be corrected.

Camille's fresco, made from plaster of paris like the monks in the Ajanta Caves would have done. Uh, it's best to allow the plaster to dry some before attempting to paint.

Mama's fresco

This week we studied why the Earth has seasons including locating the: equator, Tropic of Cancer, Tropic of Capricorn, Arctic Circle, Antarctic Circle and the Northern & Southern hemispheres.

The earth is hotter in areas where the sun hits directly. Notice the brightness of the circle.

On the tilted areas of earth the sun's effect is not as hot. Notice the shading of the circle.

Music & Piano
Camille has finished the beginning level of her piano lessons! She has done very well with this and will soon be working on the next level. Our own music appreciation has been put on hold while a few attitudes regarding math have lengthened our day beyond what it needs to be.


Wednesday, August 29, 2007

Flipchart Scriptures

This is what we are doing this year for our scripture memorization. When the page is flipped I will copy the last scripture on this page onto the next, then once a week we'll read through all of them. Yes, I do have to write it once a week but I decided it was best to see them all for a while than to just keep one on the board and replace it each week.

This could also be done on poster board or a table-top flipchart. I attempted the index card memory box system and it just didn't work for us, I may try it again but here's the link for those still seeking a system for your memory work.

If I were to try the memory box system again I would use tabbed business card sheet protectors and put in a notebook. Can you tell the wheels are turning?


Tuesday, August 28, 2007

French in motion lesson

Just sharing a moment from our day...


Monday, August 27, 2007

Art within History: Ajanta Caves

This year we've incorporated art with history and I couldn't be happier. It is really bringing our studies alive! This week we'll be learning about the early Medieval Indian period in The Story of the World Volume 2 and in the second section of the chapter is about "Monks in Caves".

Here are some links we'll explore this week:

360 Degree views of the Ajanta Caves, with multiple views to explore, it is just like being there!

A photo gallery of even more!

And don't forget to use Google Images for even more, I just typed in "Ajanta caves"

The wonderful thing about homeschooling is that the parent gets be educated right along with the kids!


Sunday, August 26, 2007

Lightening Up Around Here

Click picture to enlarge to full size.
What I've decreased:

Daily Memory Work is out, Camille is memorizing scriptures, math facts, poetry, Veritas Press History cards, grammar rules, french vocabulary and lyrics in music. That is enough, probably more than enough so the books of the Bible is not that important to me at this point. I struggled with this, if I want to do something I will exchange her scripture memorization for it.

Our bible lessons have been simplified. In Explorer's Bible Beginnings II there are multiple choice questions with fill in the blanks that I was photocopying for Camille to fill out after we discussed it. We will discuss the answers and focus on learning to pull answers to questions from a text. In the second half of the year, we'll transition back to using worksheets because she will have workbook programs in writing and grammar.

In math, I'm keeping a watchful eye on the workload. I won't have Camille do the supplement worksheets unless I feel she needs it.

I'm not changing our history and science this week, but I have requested books 3 weeks in advance. It is a good thing to start out with too much, it's easier to scale back than it is to build up. I've done a lot of scaling back this year but I'm grateful to do it in the first month rather than continuously through the year. At times it is hard to determine what is behavior or too much work, and the factor about the work could be the approach. Is it being approached in a way that is most effective for the child? Am I approaching our studies in the most effective way?

Sidenote: I forgot to change the dates and week 6 on the schedule shown. We are in our 6th Week, Aug 27-31.


The Library & Our Schedule

We rely heavily on our library system to get many "living books" for our studies. I'm at the point where I record what date I request each book, some are delivered the next week while others have taken **3** weeks from the requested date to show up finally at our library. Our bookmobile day is Wednesday so if there are any books being delivered, they will be "in" on Wednesday, of course it could be Thursday if our librarians don't enter them in the system until later. This is a frustrating blessing.

I miss the professionalism and work ethic of days past. Enough said on that front.

To deal with this, I'm considering changing our schedule around a bit. There are three things we could do and this is what we currently do. Currently: Monday and Tuesday we study history for 1 hour. Wednesday and Thursday we study Science for 1 hour.

Option 1
Monday: History
Tuesday: Science
Wednesday: History
Thursday: Science

Option 2
Monday-Thursday: History 30 min, Science 30 min

Option 3 (I don't really like because it complicates our reading aloud time)
Read the books as they come in without changing the schedule

Another thing about option 3 is that the books I've chosen really help with the actual lesson. Okay, I know- why not just order the books 3 weeks ahead of time, right? I can do that but it limits the time we can have the books if they do come on time!

Just a few rambling thoughts from a homeschooling mother who wishes outside circumstances would work WITH her!


Saturday, August 25, 2007

Week 5 Report

Memory scripture for the week: "You shall call His name Jesus for He will save people from their sins." Matthew 1:21
Camille has decided she wants to read her Children's Bible on her own, she has a bookmark and she is writing where she stops reading. She is up to Genesis 1:23 now. She asked me what "subdued" means after looking it up in her bible's dictionary, I told her to try her American Heritage Dictionary. She asked me to help her so I did, she is still learning how to use the dictionary.

Daily Memory Work
We started the Books of the Bible! Wooo Hoooo! Genesis, Exodus, Leviticus, Numbers and Deuteronomy.

Horizons 2 Math
Last weekend I worked with Camille in memorizing her 3's to 36. I came up with a rhythm to say the numbers:
3, 6, 9
12, 15
18, 21, 24
33 and 36
She did well on her Test 2, only missing 1. Subtraction facts are giving her a little problem, at least in the drill department.

Handwriting, Grammar and Spelling
She is at the very end of Classically Cursive Book 1, when she's done, I'll provide dotted letters in cursive for her copywork and transition her to do doing it on her own. In Grammar, we discussed statements, exclamations, commands and questions. We went over all of our poems and she has finally accomplished "Mr. Nobody" - all four stanzas! In Spelling, regular work no test this week.

Hmm. I think if you look at yesterday's post you'll see what I'm doing. Look for pictures next week.

We focused so much on the first two sections of Chapter 4 with the Hagia Sophia, mosaics and Justinian/Theodora, we neglected Saint Nicholas. So we are reading aloud Saint Nicholas by Ann Tombert and Who in the World was Empress Theodora? We did a lot in history this week including creating a mosaic from a sample of the Hagia Sophia.

Science was neglected this week due to taking Thursday and Friday off. That's fine, we'll do it next week.


French Lessons Example

Here's our French lessons for weeks 1-3. You click to enlarge it.

The formula is Monday-Thursday is the same lesson, repeated.
Read Aloud (with audio) repeated 4x a week
Learning Audio Activity
DVD supplement when possible
Games for enrichment and practice

Friday is our Culture Day.
Although we review our new words, we complete a reading about France and do an activity.
Then we read about France and the french with a read aloud.

I'm only planning 3-4 weeks at a time.

Here's a look at the reformatted lesson, this could easily be put on index cards.
Sometimes having something pretty helps keep the enthusiasm up and sometimes it's just pretty.


Friday, August 24, 2007

Planning French, Want to Help?

Here's the deal, I didn't plan out French for this year. Why? (Why would Jessica the "planner" not plan French?) Good question. The answer is because I felt overwhelmed, a little burned out and finally, confused as to what to do. Our "figure it out as we go" lessons are not keeping us moving forward and it's frustrating me!

Sidenote: Blogger added a VIDEO button to the EDITOR!!! Wow. I just noticed it. Okay, back to the regular scheduled program.

What was I talking about? Oh, yeah French. Yesterday, Camille and I went through all of our French items and separated what *she* likes and what is on her level from other things. This is what we have and the timeline we're thinking of- I just need a little help in the thinking process

DVDs/Videos: Bonjour Les Amis 1-3, First Start French, Baby Einstein videos play in french, kids' movies play in french. I also have Standard Deviants and some of the French in Action DVDs but also what United Streaming has online but we're not ready for that, I think.

Culture: Countries and Cultures for Young Explorers, France PreK-2nd. Purrrfect for 1x a week with 34 total lessons, and will add read alouds about France like Little Bo in France by Julie Andrews, Jean de la Fontaine Fables, Anatole, etc. Camille has read all the Madelline books already. I need to find more titles for kids about french culture or about children living in France.

Read-Alouds without audio: These are short in words so we could take the words out and use them as vocabulary for the week. This is what we have:Boucles d'Or et les trois ours
Vive les bulles!
I'm Too Big- Je suis trop gros (French/English)
Goodnight Everyone - Bonne nuit à trous (French/English)
Ma Maman
Mon Papa
Je suis un toucan
Babar et l'étoile due cirque (she said she LOVES Babar)
La petite poule rouge
La ruse de dame poulette (to be used later)

Picture books that are just pictures and vocabulary words for various groups (farm animals, colors, numbers, food, weather, etc)
First French at Home (Usborne I-Linked)
First French at Holiday (Usborne I-Linked)
French Dictionary for Beginners (Usborne I-Linked)

Read-Alouds with audio:
Berlitz Je Parle Français (with Teddy)
Berlitz Visit to Grandma
Berlitz The Missing Cat
Berlitz The Five Crayons
Bible Stories in French (a little difficult)
We also have French Spiritual Songs but we put it in the "wait" pile

Activities with Audio (table of contents further below):
Teach Me French
Hop Skip & Sing French
Twin Sisters French
I Can Read & Speak French (pictures to help read and speak french, pretty cool)
Springboard to French

French songs, I have a few cds that are just children's french songs. There are songs on Bonjour Les Amis too and in other products. In fact all of the Activities with Audio above have songs.

Vocabulary: We have the Sparknotes French Vocabulary cards and the QuickStudy ones, I bought these for both the kids and me. But I also have reusable handwriting strips. A Bit of Everything, Un Peu de Tout is an activity based vocabulary learning coloring book that we can use as well.

Coloring books & other stuff for Danny (3) but can also be used for Camille
  • Let's Learn French - ABC with french words
  • Foreign Word Match - puzzle pieces that link the french and english words together
  • Baby Einstein videos - can be played in french
  • Milet's Mini Picture Dictionary
  • Language Nursery book and flashcards

I could open a little French bookstore. I also have Level 1 of The Easy French is anyone would like to purchase it, it is in brand new condition and I have the phonogram flashcards which I will laminate for you!

In my defense, I obtained a good many of these things through and well I won't tell you the percentage of that. Lol.

I am thinking about doing this: from

Therefore, if I were teaching French lessons to students in grades 1-6, I'd create a word wall of French words for visual and daily practice. These words would be listed in bold, large type for easy viewing. The younger the grade, the additional need for pictures to accompany the word wall chart. My class routine could consist of reviewing the word wall chart when students enter the room and adding new words/pictures to the chart once introduced to the class.

I would teach French based on a theme approach, whereby, the words learn are associated with a particular subject (i.e. days of the week, months, numbers and alphabet words are part of a daily living unit). This would be highly effective if the classroom teachers could tell you what particular unit they're working on. Sure, this may mean more work for you, but the rewards would be highly visible and the students are learning French based on what they're learning in their classrooms.

Incorporate familiar music and tunes to help students grasp the French language. Younger children enjoy music and I have found that if it can be eaten, sung or rhymed, it has a greater chance of being learned for the long term. Therefore, create a morning or afternoon song to sing when students enter your room. The words would be taught in French and you'd be surprised how many students will share this song with their parents at home.
I'd also create a catch phrase bulletin board or wall to provide quick reference to phrases commonly said in english. Phrases like, "Good morning," "How are you," "Happy Birthday," would be listed and can be easily utilized throughout the day

We have Sara Jordan products for 3rd grade to use Beginner Lessons, Thematic Lessons. I want this year to be in preparation for that and learning vocabulary is the prime focus as well as obtaining a familiar feeling with the french language.

Here are the table of contents for the items that have Activities and Audio

Springboard to French (8 Lessons total)
1 Actions
This lesson introduces the foreign language and method being used to teach it. The goal is to make the child comfortble with the vocab for furniture and features in the room

2 More Actions
few new words. Emphasis on retention of vocabulary through different actions

3 Stepping up the Pace
Adding new verbs. Commands

4 Parts of the Body
Names basic parts of the body and reinforces with new activities, book says to repeat this lesson

5 Numbers 1-10
6 Clothes/Colors
Introduces common children's clothing items, first time to make simple verbal responses to questions about clothing.

7 Setting the Table
New words, objects must be picked up and moved in a certain order. Repeat lesson.

8 Simon Says
Review of lessons 1 through 5

Twin Sisters French- Beginning French for all ages (8 concepts/lessons)
Numbers to Twenty
Learning Colors, Color crossword puzzle
The Days of the Week
Name the animals
The Hello Song
My Family is Special
Let's Eat
Five Day Weather Forecast

Teach Me French, this goes through a day of a child's life in french and with songs
The More We Get Together in french, family, colors, domestic pets
Alouette (The Lark), Frere Jacques
Days of the Week
Food, breakfast
Head Shoulders, Knees and Toes in french
Weather, Rain Rain Go Away in french
It's Raining It's Pouring in french
Rainbows song in french
Numbers and Alphabet, school
Mary Had A Little Lamb in french
One Elephant in french
This is what they do (Ainsi Font) in french
After school we drive in our car to the house.

I can read and speak French by Maurice Hazan
Simple Picture Method for kids, 6 chapters

Introduces basic sentence structuring skills to ages 5-12. Audio cd, using Symtalk- using symbols to talk. This book tells the story of 4 friends who to the park together with their bicycles and pets. The pets want to take part in the games and fun things happen. Vocabulary introduced features names of children and common objects, adjectives and verbs. Audio cd provides a guide to using the book, flashcards and stickers.

Hop, Skip and Sing - French for Kids
(53 different tracks)

is a fun new learning method for children aged 2+ featuring twenty five songs, games and activites on an audio CD.
Make learning French second nature for your child with this activity-packed, 75 minute CD and book - perfect for kids from 2 - 7. Listen, sing, dance and learn Français anywhere, from the playroom to the classroom and even in the car!
Kids will play their way to new French language skills while they:
  • Sing along to household words and funny phrases
  • Learn to saute haut, haut, très haut (jump high, high, very high) by saying it and doing it
  • Tell old stories in a new way - "Les trois petits cochons" anyone? ("The Three Little Pigs")
The included booklet provides helpful parents' notes and the French words for all of the tracks, together with an English translation.

The last one that can be used is A Bit of Everything (Un Peu de tout) PreK-Primary (this falls under Activities no audio)
13 Units

1 Days of the Week
2 Months of the Year
3 Numbers
4 Colors
5 Weather
6 Parts of the Body
7 Articles of Clothing
8 Foods
9 Animals
10 Family members
11 Modes of Transportation
12 Special Places
13 Common Phrases

Here's my current thoughts.

Monday - Thursday- The same read aloud, activitiy and concepts.
Friday - Culture day with read aloud and activities.

I will post the lessons when I'm done. Of course.


Thursday, August 23, 2007

A Beautiful Sight

Shh, he's sleeping...

Which also explains my grainy photo, I didn't want to wake the bookworm.

And this is why we had no school today, a friend (aka an angel) sent the kids her children's Little People that they don't play with anymore. Who wants to do school when a BIG box is delivered filled with toys?
They have played almost non-stop all day, I'm not kidding. Even with the box!

It was a beautiful day!


Pictures from Wednesday

I just realized I could easily turn this into a 365 photo blog, lol. We're going to have a wonderful keepsake at the end of the year if I keep this up! Okay, here's some pictures from yesterday, Wednesday after our lessons. What you're not seeing is Danny talking to himself as he's looking at the Things that Go, and the excitement Camille had after reading What Makes a Shadow by Clyde R. Bulla which inspired her to get out her Fun with Hand Shadows by Frank Jacobs book.

Can you identify these hand shadows?
We have a lot of "Mooom! Come look!" moments here.


Wednesday, August 22, 2007

2nd Grade Schedule Adjustment

After much prayer, talking to other homeschoolers, Camille's dad, my dh and many talks with Camille, Camille and I have decided to make some changes to our workload and it's distribution.

I put our subjects on the dry erase board for Camille today and told her what we have to do: Bible, Reading (read-alouds and independent), Math, Writing, Grammar, Spelling. And a separate column of subjects that are extras, which means they can be downsized dramatically or not done at all: History with art, Science with geography & the daily weather journal, French, Music, U.S. Geography on Fridays.

After 30 minutes of staring at the board, she came to me and said, "Mom, I love it all. Do I have to give something up? I don't want to." We talked about this past week, how the "have to" subjects are to be done before we can do the extras and that it's up to her if we do the extras. She became upset.

We talked about the changes we've made since first grade, in math we are using the supplement worksheets in Horizons and being consistent with what the TM says. This takes more time, right now I feel this time is needed. The supplement worksheets? I promised to use them only if I feel she needs it, problem solved.

We are dropping U.S. Geography. It can wait until 3rd and 4th grade and we want our Fridays to be very light. Bible, Daily Mental Math, and a little reading- that's it unless we want to do something else. Fridays are for field trips, finishing projects and for interruptions. Friday's work will take about 45 minutes, 20 for Bible, 10 for the math, and 15 for reading.

Our schedule is changing a little too. We can't change the 100+ degree weather right now but we can move around our daily attack plan! Lol. (Update: the weather has improved! This makes a HUGE difference!)

Here's our current schedule (with changes marked)

  • 7:20 am Family Prayer Circle
  • 7:30 am Bible
  • 8:00 am Math
  • 8:45 am Independent Reading -Break for 30 minutes and snack.
  • 9:15 am Handwriting - Just waiting to finish Classically Cursive Book I before eliminating.
  • 9:30 am Grammar/Spelling
  • 10:00 am French
  • 10:30-11:30 am History/Science
  • 11:30 Piano work
  • 12:00 Lunch
  • 12:30 pm Reading time with mom while Danny naps. (Independent and Mom reads)
Modified schedule for when handwriting is absorbed into copywork. Modified again 8/22/07 to reflect more prayerful desires to have a healthy balance between instilling self-discipline in Camille and maintaining our attempts to be done by lunch to enjoy the rest of the day.
  • 6:30 Wake-up, chores
  • 7:00 Breakfast & Weather Journal
  • 7:30 am Family Prayer Circle & Bible - 30 minutes
  • 8:00 am Math - 45 minutes (15 minutes of teaching, 30 minutes for independent work)
  • 8:45 am Recess & Snack - 30 minutes, needed regardless of work ethic
  • 9:15 am Grammar/Spelling - 10 minutes to go through Spelling flashcards, 20 minutes for Grammar
  • 9:45 am French - 30 minutes of conversation, reading, DVD, games, etc
  • 10:15 am History/Science - 1 hour of reading, activities, experiments
  • 11:15 am Piano work - 15-20 minutes of practice and book work
  • 11:30 am Clean up Time - 10 to 30 minutes, also includes chores
  • 12:00 Lunch - however long it takes
  • 12:30 pm Reading time with mom. - Golden time, can take as long or short as needed or desired.
Updated Thoughts on the newly (8/22/07) revised routine
Do we want to continue to aim towards being done by lunch? You betcha! I also want to keep challenging Camille to have better work habits so that as I fold in Danny into our day, I can trust that she will do her work on her own as I know she can. Instead of trying to stick to the clock, we'll try to make each subject only last so long and if the work constantly gets moved into "homework" status, I'll look to see how we can streamline it. In theory this accomplishes a healthy balance between working towards a strong work ethic and not being so arbitrary with our time. There is really no reason there needs to be stress added to the day because we didn't start Grammar on time! Lol.

About what else we do
Memory work is in each subject, copywork is in Grammar, History and Science, narrations are within History, Science, Grammar and Reading. I may need to carve out some time just for memory work, still thinking about this. I'm content with this although I worry about the reading time, I hope it will cement and become a treasured time like bedtime read alouds are.

Bedtime Read Alouds are now to be shared with Danny and Camille.
I was reading to Danny separately and then to Camille. Since Camille and I will have our own time, I'm going to try reading to both of them together, our first book will be Beatrix Potter Treasury. We'll see how this goes. I read Moonlight Kite to them both and they loved it.

Family Life Changes
Camille and I also decided that there needed to be one special outing a week- whether it's to go swimming, to the State Park near us, the movies, a friend's house, etc. We all need something to look forward to. Field trips will begin soon, once a month on Fridays. We also need to do family game night (which has fallen to the wayside), possibly on Thursday night since we don't really have school the next day. I think Danny will be left out of this since he's only good at destroying games. : )

After we live with this awhile, we'll look and see again if there needs readjustment. That's the beauty of homeschooling, you can change it whenever you need to. Now I've got to get to work putting next week's schedule together with the changes and preparing myself for our lessons.

A sigh of relief, I feel so much better! Thank you Lord.


Tuesday, August 21, 2007

"Mooom! Come and look!"

The kids were enjoying a little backyard time and next thing I know, "Moooom! Come and look, there's a bug the size of a potato!" Lol, well it's not the size of potato but just an exoskeleton of a some sort of beetle. I collected these when I was growing up so I called my mom to ask what it could be. Try katydid she said. Looked it up, nope. So can you tell me what this is? I always called them locusts. By the way, it claimed Danny's football, this was not staged. I'm a hero, you should have seen the pure amazement that I would reach down and pick up this weird looking potato buy like it was no big deal. Danny, who's only 3, said, "whoa!"

THANK YOU CAROLE!!! Thanks to Carole, see inside the comments, this has been correctly identified as a Cicada! A little impromptu science lesson for the kids. THANK YOU CHRISTIE! CHECK OUT THIS PHOTO OF A CICADA COMING OUT!

A cicada also known as a "jar fly" is an insect of the order Hemiptera, suborder Auchenorrhyncha, in the superfamily Cicadoidea, with large eyes wide apart on the head and usually transparent, well-veined wings. There are approximately 2,500 species of cicada around the globe, and many remain unclassified. Cicadas live in temperate to tropical climates where they are one of the most widely recognized of all insects, mainly due to their large size and remarkable (and often inescapable) acoustic talents. Cicadas are sometimes incorrectly called "locusts"[1], although they are unrelated to true locusts, which are a kind of grasshopper. Cicadas are related to leafhoppers and spittlebugs. In parts of the southern Appalachian Mountains in the United States they are known as "dry flies" because of the dry shell they leave behind.

Cicadas do not bite or sting, are benign to humans, and are not considered a pest. Many people around the world regularly complement their standard diet with cicadas: the female is prized for eating as it is meatier. Cicadas have been eaten (or are still eaten) in Ancient Greece, China, Malaysia, Burma, Australia, Latin America and the Congo. Cicadas are employed in the traditional medicines of China and Japan for hearing-related matters.[citation needed]

The word cicada is a direct derivation of the Latin cicada. In classical Greek it was called a tettix, and in modern Greek tzitzikas.


Read This Veteran Homeschooler!

Barb of Harmony Fine Arts and is sharing a few articles she wrote for a homeschooling group years ago as she is clearing out her files. These are DO NOT MISS, especially for new homeschoolers and those seeking answers in their homeschooling journey. Here are links to the first three posts, but I would visit her daily to keep reading new posts. Please pray for Barb as well, as she is unable to speak due to a bad case of asthma and laryngitis so please include her in your prayers for healing today.

Homeschooling Without Feeling Overwhelmed Part One

Homeschooling Without Feeling Overwhelmed Part Two

Homeschooling Without Feeling Overwhelmed Part Three

I pray that this will bless others as it blesses me. Barb is a very beautiful person and I am blessed to know her.


Monday, August 20, 2007

Art: Hagia Sophia & Mosaics

Today we read about the Hagia Sophia and looked at pictures online. Camille has chosen to attempt to duplicate this mosaic. The circle with the cross. Although I think it's wonderful that she wants to replicate something from the Hagia Sophia, why couldn't she choose a fish? This will be interesting and I hope fun.

We'll also explore the world of mosaics and look at other mosaics from the artist linked above. You do know who has to do the template outline of the mosaic above, right? That would be me. I wish I would have thought about this a little more and gotten a book on making mosaics.

  1. Dreamer from the Village: The Story of Marc Chagall by Michelle Markel, Emily Lisker
  2. St. Valentine by Robert Sabuda (*I have this one! Not about mosaics but illustrated with)
  3. Daily Life in Ancient and Modern Istanbul (Cities Through Time) by Robert Bator and Chris Rothero
  4. Piece by Piece!: Mosaics of the Ancient World (Buried Worlds) by Michael Avi-Yonah
  5. Giotto (Getting to Know the World's Greatest Artists) by Mike Venezia
I guess St. Valentine will have to do unless the library gets the books I request two weeks ago in from interlibrary loan. Sigh. Thank goodness I have a few art books on hand with wonderful pictures.

YOU KNOW YOU'RE A HOMESCHOOLER WHEN... you pray to run out of glue or foam blocks!

Danny woke up from his nap and thought Camille was building him a road! She told him, "No, don't drive your bus all over the cross, Christ died on that cross for our sins and so we can live forever with Him in heaven!!!!" I think she's listening in our Bible lessons! Lol. Wow.

The final product. No, I'm not telling you that I was left to finish it about 20 minutes from the time the first picture was taken, or how many vehicles of Danny's has glue on their wheels. Did our lessons go as scheduled? No, and who really cares? This was a lot of fun.


Sunday, August 19, 2007

Excited to start a new week!

Hey, even I can have a goofy graphic every now and then. The Lord has been working on my heart big time this weekend, putting the right people in the right place to offer encouragement just when I needed it. I've been blessed by His grace and I feel good. I listened to two sermons today (in our car) on the radio, one from a Baptist church about hero worship and a United Methodist preacher (not mine) about why we don't forget our sins when we're forgiven.

Nothing against my preacher husband, but it was refreshing. When I read my Bible this morning I was actually flipping through and you know how some will put their hand in the back of a book while they are flipping through a front part? Well, I happened to look at where my hand had fell in the back while I was looking through Proverbs. My eye immediately fell on Titus 3 and it just spoke to me this morning so I posted it, I didn't know if I was meant to share it or not but seeing how it is Sunday, why not?

Why was I in my car on Sunday listening to sermons? I was on my way to pick up Camille from her visit at her dad's. Danny was calmed by the church music and fell asleep and I had a chance to just listen to God's word and the preacher's message. It's funny how you don't shift in your seat when you're listening to a radio sermon. Lol. Or wonder if the buttons of your blouse are gaping, giving one of the older gentlemen in your church a view. No bulletin, no awkward small talk, just the open road and God. Sigh.

Camille and I talked all the way home about what this week would be like. She was upset when I told her that U.S. Geography had been dropped from our Fridays so I told her that *if* she wants to do it, we can but it's not something we have to do. She was satisfied with that. We talked about what we could do on Fridays if we have a good week in our lessons. We're going to have one field trip Friday a month, go to a museum, state park, something. The other Fridays will be decided during that week due to financial status. We spent 30 minutes coming up with all the free activities we could think of but we both agreed, Friday is for getting OUT of the house.

She's excited about having a "recess" after Math. I'm excited about her finishing her work in a timely way to enjoy recess. Lol. We stopped at Goodwill before coming home and found a used mosaic art kit that still had a lot of the foam squares (mosaics) left in it, paid our $1.50 for this week's art project. We're studying the Byzantine Empire in history and our art project is to create a mosaic, you tell that to a 7 year old and you get a blank stare. I was so excited to find the mosaic kit instead of using paper! Camille said, "I don't know what you're talking about but it sounds like fun!" I'm sure the cashier at Goodwill thinks I'm crazy too, I was grinning ear-to-ear as she rang up our $1.50 purchase.

Isn't the Hagia Sophia absolutely fabulous? Beautiful inside and out. Breath-taking. Okay, here's a link to see it closer and inside. I feel refreshed, the Lord has taken the doubts and worries and vanquished them. Our Fridays have been lightened up and designated, I have faith that the recess will help her stay on task in math, Camille loved the idea of reading when Danny is taking a nap- she was excited to uninterrupted time read to me! She also loved the idea of reading with Danny at bedtime. I've gone through our Bible lessons for the week and highlighted a discussion topic for further character development. I'm toying with the idea of dropping our Bible lesson on Friday and replacing it with a story from The Book of Virtues or Moral Compass by William Bennett.

If you're a new reader, please don't think I've got it all together! I may be intimidating with all this, I understand. Especially if you know that I've done customized lesson plans, we're on a schedule for our lessons and cleaning schedule. It's all God, He's put influences in my life to show me what I should be doing and I've been working hard at doing that and it's making a difference. We tried many different things last year in our first year of homeschooling and although we had a good year, it could have been so much better. I learned leaps and bounds and now I'm just applying what I learned and what is right for us for this year. I'm not done learning and growing by any means, but I've learned the importance of perseverance as well as planting seeds, tending them and having faith we will have a bountiful harvest.

He is the potter, I am the clay.


Titus 3:2

Doing What Is Good
1 Remind the people to be subject to rulers and authorities, to be obedient, to be ready to do whatever is good, 2 to slander no-one, to be peaceable and considerate, and to show true humility towards all men.3 At one time we too were foolish, disobedient, deceived and enslaved by all kinds of passions and pleasures. We lived in malice and envy, being hated and hating one another.

But when the kindness and love of God our Saviour appeared, 5 he saved us, not because of righteous things we had done, but because of his mercy. He saved us through the washing of rebirth and renewal by the Holy Spirit, 6 whom he poured out on us generously through Jesus Christ our Saviour, 7 so that, having been justified by his grace, we might become heirs having the hope of eternal life.

This is a trustworthy saying. And I want you to stress these things, so that those who have trusted in God may be careful to devote themselves to doing what is good. These things are excellent and profitable for everyone.

But avoid foolish controversies and genealogies and arguments and quarrels about the law, because these are unprofitable and useless. 10 Warn a divisive person once, and then warn him a second time. After that, have nothing to do with him. 11 You may be sure that such a man is warped and sinful; he is self-condemned.

Sigh. I just wanted a reminder.


Saturday, August 18, 2007

Illuminating Resources

I didn't think of it this week when we were studying Illuminated manuscripts but a fellow blogger, Sylvia loves books even more than I do and she has illuminated manuscript links at her blog which I'll share here. So a big hat tip goes to Sylvia!

The Digital Scriptorium is an image database of medieval and renaissance manuscripts that unites scattered resources from many institutions into an international tool for teaching and scholarly research. It bridges the gap between a diverse user community and the limited resources of libraries by means of sample imaging and extensive rather than intensive cataloguing.
She has her own collection of illuminated manuscript photos.

If you're learning Latin, love books, reading the great books or like book clubs and blogs- Sylvia has one of the best blogs out there.


Friday, August 17, 2007

Week 4 Report

Above is Camille's book on how to make a book during the early Middle Ages. The first page shows how the animal skin was soaked in a river, then put into a barrel of lime and water, stretched and scraped with beer spit, then a scribe working and finally, a person holding the final book. You can see she put a lot of detail in the first page but the consequent pages she really didn't want to bother with a detailed border. She loved doing this.

Just to finish up sharing our history work this week this is her narration of the book Across a Dark Wild Sea by Don Brown which was about Columcille (Columba). She drew a picture of him copying Finnian's book of Bible psalms and hymns by the legendary light of his hand.

Illuminated Letter Coloring page

Copywork: "There is no salvation outside the church.
Love the sinner but hate the sin, love and do what you will." St. Augustine of Hippo
We are reading about St. Augustine of Hippo in Augustine: The Farmer's Boy of Tagaste

Uh, this was my mistake. Horizons' TM said to give her a drill worksheet and see how long the student takes. It wasn't until AFTER she completed this that I realized she was only supposed to do ONE of these four drills on the page, not all four.

We had a problem with "Circle the numbers greater than 36" and other exercises this week like it. Sometimes it takes a while to understand how a child is processing the information and then how best to teach it. I finally figured out a way to explain it which by showing alphabetical order and how we put words in ABC order and how that applies to numbers. I was surprised that this stumped her but I also knows her thought processes are muddled because she wants the problem to be harder than what it is. I'm making a little note for myself of the things that she experiences difficulty in.

Science copywork for the week.

Spelling Workout C- Lesson 2

Bible scripture this week:
"And He will be called Wonderful, Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace." Isaiah 9:6.
We talked about how God keeps his promises and how people turn away from God although He is always there.

There is more on my heart about this week, I've shared it in other posts. We've changed a lot from last year and I'm concerned it may be too much for Camille or we have behavior issues to deal with. I'm in prayer about this because if it is workload related, it will lightened up. If it's behavior related, we have work to do. I highly suspect the 100+ degree weather that is keeping us indoors and lack of physical exercise that she is used to is a culprit.

P.S. I didn't test Camille. I decided against it, at this time we'll just review the lesson before quickly before learning the new. In SOTW we'll review every four chapters as we reach the review cards in the activity guide. Review of memory work is sufficient for me at this time.