The lines have fallen to me in pleasant places; Indeed, my heritage is beautiful to me. Psalm 16:6

Wednesday, October 3, 2007

A School Update, Part 1

*this is Nicholas' recently completed edible spinal cord project.

I must say that we have all been enjoying this school year very much. Well, let me rephrase that. I have been enjoying our progress thus far, and well, the kids haven't complained too much!

I have put many hours into our family's custom schedule a la Managers of Their Homes. I really, really cannot say enough about the peace that this little investment of time and money has brought to our home. I can now be the picture book reading, math tutor, project leading Mommy instead of the irritated, drill sergeant, frazzled Mommy. All I have to do is point out the schedule, which is hanging prominently in the dining/school area, and watch all the pieces fall into place. Sounds Utopian, no?

I am pleased with our curriculum choices thus far. My children all use and do very well with Singapore Math, although I have found myself stumped on a number of occasions already this year. Gretchen was using the Intensive Practice 4 and, whoa!, that stuff is tricky!! I have purchased (for the first time) the Home Instructor's Guide for Nicholas who is in 5A. Thankfully, after some reading and boning up on bar diagrams, I don't feel quite as STOOPID as I did a couple of weeks ago. There's nothing like looking into your 5th grader's frustrated face and saying, "Honey, we'll have to wait until Daddy comes home." Yep, God keeps me humble.

We continue to use and LOVE Linguistic Development Through Poetry Memorization put out by IEW. First off, I love poetry. Secondly, I love the vocabulary we learn. Thirdly, it's just plain cool that Gabriel, at the tender age of 4, can recite Carroll's Jabberwocky or Tennyson's The Eagle. I mean, come's just awesome:

Twas bwiwig, and the slithy toves did gire and gimbwe in da wabe. (That's it in Gabrielese.)

So far we have memorized 33 poems in 14 months. Here's a breakdown of our favorites:

Lillian: Jonathan Bing by Beatrice Curtis Brown
Gretchen: The Ingenious Little Old Man by John Bennett
Nicholas: The Duke of Plaza Toro by W.S. Gilbert
Gabriel: The Vulture by Hilaire Belloc
Me: any of the great Hilaire Belloc poems that deal with a child paying the price for some bad habit...sooo funny!

I think that Linguistic Development Through Poetry Memorization is my favorite-ever curriculum purchase. How's that for an endorsement?

Lastly I will mention My World Science, which is a curriculum written by cyber-friend Ria at The Well Trained Mind board. We are using the unit on the Human Body right now and are really enjoying it. It is simple and thorough, my 2 criteria for science. Because I know that if it's simple and thorough it will get done and we will learn. Plus, my children are loving the simple experiments and projects. I tend to shy away from projects...I am a bit of a no-fun homeschooler in that respect. But these projects have been straightforward and not too messy. Works for me!

OK, enough for now. It's AWANA night and I need to feed the troops before schlepping the girls over to AWANA. Stay tuned for Latin, History, and Writing. I know y'all are on the edge of your seats :-)

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