Seth and Zoe have me all to themselves now that the two older ones are going to public school. We are having fun!
On day one of our third year of homeschooling, we drove out to our friends’ house in (what we call) the country. The Alders expanded their chicken coop and have new baby chicks they are kind enough to share with their friends. We spent a good two hours at their house because it was so easy to stay and visit and laugh. Seth was incredibly excited about getting pooped on by a baby chicken. Boys and poop… I rest my case.
Seth was very excited to come home and write in his journal about his exciting day. He asked if we could go to their house every day or every week. Not sure our friends would go for that. After we had lunch and while Zoe was taking a nap, we got started on our science project–something I saw on Pinterest which was very cute and science worthy. Plus, it makes me cool that we made candy on our first day. (I am willing to admit that in the back of my mind I wanted to counteract any desires for him to go to public school like his siblings. I feel strongly that he should be home with me.) It has been really interesting to see how Zoe and Seth are reacting to having to wait a whole week before they get their chops on these rock candy sticks. Delayed gratification is good for building character, right?
Next, I introduced Seth to Gamma, the next MathUSee book for him. He is so glad to finally learn multiplication. It was good to sit with him and watch the lightbulbs going off. I love this curriculum. I think in the end, Seth will run circles around his older siblings in his grasp of mathematics. (That would be the perfect revenge for all their heckling. “What?! You don’t know how to multiply??” I could smack them both.)
We started Volume 2: The Middle Ages in The Story of the World. When we read the first chapter, it was nice to see that Seth remembered a lot about the Fall of Rome. He didn’t want to stop reading until we had read the whole chapter which was basically a review of the last chapter of Volume 1. Today we are going to review what we read and make a Roman Legion’s Signum. Then we will move on to The Early Days of Britain and the Celts. Should we watch Braveheart? No, you’re right… a little too brutal for his age.
I have a Charlotte Mason book called Simply Grammar that I decided to introduce to Seth. I’ve had it since last year, but could never bring myself to use it with everyone. It’s perfect for one-on-one instruction because it’s very gentle. You’ve seen the sterile grammar books that are cut and dry, but this one has a meandering-through-life-let’s-go-catch-bugs-outside-now feel to it. I feel like cozying up on the couch with him while we write sentences and make up stories about the old style pen and ink drawings in the book. It was funny when he first read the instructions and then looked at the picture of a girl with no shoes on and another girl, fully dressed holding a pair of shoes. He said, “But Mom, I don’t know this story.” I told him that he was supposed to make one up and to look at the clues. Immediately he rattled off a story about how the girl played at the park and then couldn’t find her shoes so she went home without them and that’s why the other girl was just coming in to return them.
Seth began reading The Indian in the Cupboard on his own. When he was done, he came and narrated back to me what he had read. He seems to really like the book and when I ask him questions about it, he has great answers. I started reading this book to them out loud, but I find that Seth retains information better when he sees it. He doesn’t do well with audio books at all.
For Citizenship, we will continue to work on his Cub Scout Bear Book. There’s always a chapter in the Scout books that has to do with Citizenship. He will also get to listen in on Zack’s Merit Badges (Citizenship in the Community, Citizenship in the Nation, Citizenship in the World). We will continue with learning the states and their Postal Abbreviations, the Declaration of Independence, and creating a notebook with details of each state. There’s also an educational program on the History Channel called, “How Did the States Get Their Shape?” which might be good to watch. I’ve recorded some, but haven’t viewed them yet.
For Spelling, he will continue with Spelling Power. I may go back to having him type his list online at Spelling City. This will give him some typing practice and allow him some game time that is educational. He will also get some computer time practicing typing skills online, as well as emailing letters to family. I’m going to stress the different parts of a letter even in email. We have already made it a rule that if they get on the computer they have to email a letter to someone. So far, Seth and Zack have only written to each other little sentences back and forth. We have to be very specific, it seems.
At least, Seth only has to fight with Zoe over computer time. Zoe can get online, install an app for a game, and then start playing it. Her favorite website is NickJr.com and she loves playing Dora Paint, Nehao something or other, and the Backyardigans. She does pretty well on the Plants vs. Zombies game, too. She has her own email address, but the emails she sends out are mostly gibberish with a few Zoe’s thrown in there. So if you have gotten one of these, just know that she told everyone in the household at least twice that she did her name.
Here’s another thing I found on Pinterest… Bugles + strawberry cream cheese = little ice cream cones.
Take a look at our science project… the crystals have formed on the sticks, but also on the bottom of the jars and in a crust at the top of the jar. I am thinking of pouring the rest onto pans to make the liquid evaporate faster. I think the rock candy sticks are enough to make the kids happy.
And that’s a wrap. Thanks for all of your support and prayers. We need it/them. Here’s to a good school year!