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Sunday, February 10, 2008

Weekly Report, TOG2, Week 11

Do you know how hard it is to relax? It is so hard! This week in TOG we studied art and the Renaissance and I yo-yo'd between feeling like, "Yes, this is how I should be approaching history for the first cycle" to "My goodness, I didn't read this book or that book and aaaahhhhh!" Lol. It's not just about what books we did or didn't read, I'm a little unsettled right now. I'm caught between trying to figure out what is actually best for Camille and my expectations and personal goals for her and whether or not I'm completely off the mark or close to the target. I'm patiently waiting for some Charlotte Mason books to come in through interlibrary loan, that may take a while.

We did receive Simply Spelling Grades 3-12 by Laurie Hicks today, and I'm impressed. I read through the lessons and levels and I was blown away because right in front of me is something that appears to be so simple, yet it's thorough and advances in the higher levels with goals I am comfortable with. Hard academics can be gentle? Whoa! Lol.

Let me share our week by subject.

This week we dove back into our Explorer's Bible Study, Beginnings II, New Testament and Camille is now able to read the story and answer the questions on her own! This is a huge improvement from the beginning of the year. Her reading is progressing but so is her comprehension and retention. She doesn't blink at having to answer the questions.

Oh dear, math. She is doing well with the concepts but it takes her an hour to do a two-sided page (pictured). She told me that she tries to find the easiest way to do the work and will even do 2-3 problems in the first activity and then switch to the second activity to do 3 problems and switch again. She also said that she daydreams or gets distracted. We're going to sit together a little longer, she has also said she wants me to verbalize the problem, sort of hold her hand. I'm torn about this actually. I've told her that 3rd grade (next year) will be a year of transitioning more towards being able to do the work on her own after a teaching session. She has a test Monday, I'll see how well she has retained the concepts and see if there needs to be more teaching or practice.

We went a little light this week on history, I really wanted to focus on reading and writing. We read about the Renaissance and Leonardo Da Vinci, including Leonardo's Horse by Jean Fritz (amazing story) and Camille did some art. We studied Da Vinci's paintings and without reading about his technique or seeing the actual painting, Camille tried to color The Lady With a Jewel, guessing how Da Vinci's version looked based on his other paintings. This was fun for both of us, she really enjoyed working on it.

The other coloring page is a painting by Raphael and Camille added clouds to the background. "It needed something," she said. Lol! We didn't do any mapwork other than locating where Italy is, but she knows that already. It was a light week in history.

Magic School Bus and a little nature study was it for us this week. It's my fault, I'm in a funk. My balance is a little off. There is absolutely no reason for us not doing science this week, even if my head isn't where it should be. Camille and Danny both examined an oak tree in our yard and I discovered we need a book to help us identify trees! We have the DK Eyewitness Tree book but it doesn't cover every tree, especially in our area. We have art supplies coming and we're going to start nature journaling again, this time with a better idea of HOW to. Barb will be proud, lol.

Primary Language Lessons is a HIT, Camille loves it and wants to do it everyday. She has asked if she can do "grammar" (what we call it) first, ever since Monday when we started it. I feel so encouraged by this, and I personally love Primary Language Lessons too. I feel so efficient and confident that this is what we both needed. Which is why I'm in a funk- what other areas could be like this?



Jennifer@DoingTheNextThing said...

Sounds like a great week. We don't always get to science, either. It's ok. As for math, my ds #1, who is 13 still takes forever to complete assignments. That's just his way and it's ok.

Lorna said...

I agree about the Math. Both our two are still like this at 10 and 12. They have no problem with getting the answers right. Generally the first half hour is the most efficient and then they start to peeter out. If you have the energy you could introduce math games at the end of the day too. They compliment written math superbly. Try Yatzee, board games with two dice, or shut the box.
I love your blog by the way. It is really inspiring. Thank you for sharing your week.

Anne said...

Looks like you had a great week! You're allowed to be in a funk for awhile. We don't always get as much science done as I'd like either. We are also working on having math done more quickly. My oldest dd(10) takes a long time to do her math.

Daisy said...

I love your week! And the comment about adding clouds to the picture was precious. BTW, be a little prepared for math not to be so independent in 3rd grade. I thought we would have greater independence in 3rd and it hasn't been that way because of "division"!! ;-) But maybe that won't be the case for your family.

Sarah said...

You are so brave to be putting your week out there like this. Just by reading your blog, I think I'm beginning to fall in love with Tapestry of Grace! I'm reading the Charlotte Mason books right now, and they are whetting my appetite.

Tina said...

What a great week! :o) I have looked at PLL, but haven't decided on it. It is great to hear from someone that enjoys it.


LisaWA said...

Jessica... we loved Leonardo's Horse! Camiile did great in art! Im very impressed! Good job Camille....

Never looked atSimply Spelling before... been reading folks post about it..... Very interesting...

You had a great week Jessica..... wonderful week...


Gatorgal said...

Is that Primary Language Lessons by Emma Serl? I seem to find a couple of versions of it. Do you remember where you bought it? Thanks for your blog!
:-) Kristi

Trivium Academy said...

The Primary Language Lessons we're using is available at, it is a Catholic product but gentle, by Lingua Mater.

I choose Primary Language Lessons over Language Lessons for the Elementary Child by Sandi Queen (, they are VERY similar) because I wanted a more open-ended book that was non-consumable. The Language Lessons books are consumable unless you photocopy the pages or have your child write out the exercise.

We will use Language Lessons for the Very Young by Sandi Queen for first grade. I mention Language Lessons because it does give more directions than PLL does and some prefer that.

Thank you ;)

Michele said...

Jessica, I enjoy reading about your curriculum search - especially the Language Arts portions. My dd7 and I really enjoy FLL2, but I would like either Language Lessons for Very Young or Primary Language Lessons for the picture study and as a supplement in general. I think I have read that you have purchased both. After you have looked them through, would you compare them and mention which you like best?



Trivium Academy said...

I'll be glad to when LL for the Very Young gets here. I bought LL for Very Young because based on the samples, it would be a replacement for FLL 1/2. Comparing those two texts is more beneficial than PLL but I can do all three. Primary Language Lessons is intended for 2nd grade and up.

:) Grateful our journey is helping others!

mom24 said...

THanks for the info on LL for the Very Young! I'll be looking into it! Camille's work is looking quite nice - her progress must make you proud!

KAlexaLott said...

I'm not sure if you are aware, with all of your research I am sure you are however. Charlotte Mason's original works are available for free online. There is the original version and a modern english version. I am reading Volume 6 of the modern english version right now. You can find them at That way you could begin reading them right away!


Amanda and Ron said...

I found your blog about 4:00 this afternoon... it is now midnight, and except to get up to feed my baby and eat supper, I haven't moved from the computer. My eyes are burning, and DH has been in bed for a while (where I need to be). I am also the wife of an United Methodist Preacher. We were in the Arkansas Conference before he felt called to be a chaplain in the Air Force... so in June we moved to our first assignment with the Air Force. We are in Colorado Springs (20 hours from my MOMMA!!) :( I am planning to homeschool beginning in July, and I am a planner like you, I just don't seem to follow through for longer than a few weeks. I told DH tonight that I wanted to use your cleaning schedule (modified a little for us) and he just said... okay... he knows that it probably won't last, and I can't stand that about myself. I'm determined to make this work. I just wanted to tell you that I enjoyed reading through your journey... I didn't finish it, but I did go back to the beginning and read every post up until Feb or March of 07. I then skipped around to see how everyone was doing. I feel like I know everyone in your family now! :) Just wanted to say thanks... I'm sorry I rambled and wrote a book!

clanmama said...

Hi there,
I've been looking for someone who compared Emma Serl's to Sandi Queen and I was glad I happened upon your blog! I homeschool my five children and we use Ambleside tweaked to our own liking. I've actually used Rod and Staff's Bible Nurture and Reader Series but a strange thing happened where my fifth child who will be 4 in May loves to learn and is doing the same work as my fourth who will be 6 in May. So I want something a little more cost effective. I've heard you need to supplement phonics with both of the above mentioned programs. Which did you find you preferred and do you have any suggestions for the phonics? I really appreciate your feed back:)