Today was the last day of Term 1, and we will have exams next week. Whew! We made it through with some things, got a little behind on others, and dropped still others by the wayside. We have plenty of time built in for the things that fell away, thankfully, as we will have a week of "grace" after exam week. I plan for us to read lots of poetry, continue our Bible reading, continue reading our character-building book (Charlotte Mason's _Ourselves_, paraphrased in modern English by Leslie N.-- thanks, Leslie!), a little math, singing and musical instrument practice (Mariel gets to participate in a violin adjudication at the local school), speech and debate assignments (the club is not taking a break), going to the zoo, and enjoying a long overdue visit by my grandparents-- yay!
Whew! Our break sounds busy already! I haven't even included the housekeeping projects and Term 2 planning I'm hoping to do in the interim.
It is hard to realize what all is getting done when you are in the thick of it, and so I made a "ta-da list" to help me get an idea. This post is pretty long.
What we have done since August:
Copywork (This ended rather abruptly two weeks ago when we ran out of quotes in our copywork jar; our printer is old and cantankerous and I just didn't want to fight with it. I could have had the kids copy straight out of their books, but I kept forgetting to assign them specific sections because it wasn't planned out already. This term I want to have all my copywork planned in advance, just in case.)
Rosetta Stone Spanish
Piano practice (Piano has been great this term! I finally bought the Faber books I've been wanting for awhile and they are really a good fit for our family. There are several books for each level. I got the lesson, theory and technique and artistry books for Triss and Mariel; and for little Cornflower, who would really like to play piano but is only almost six, I got the Kindergarten Pre-Writing Book and Pre-Reading Book which come with a CD. They are a lot of fun! It's a play way, but she is learning rhythm and how to sit and use her arm, wrist, hand and fingers to play, and enjoying every minute of it. She finally feels like I am giving her piano like her sisters. Mission accomplished! The Faber books are pretty jazzy and modern, but there is a lot of music theory and technique included, and I like the thoughtful questions sprinkled throughout the books, prompting the children to pay attention to key signature, note names, and encouraging them to compose on their own and transpose their pieces. We still use the Suzuki books also, but I have done away with the Thompson altogether. I really like the Faber. I have one piano student aside from my own children, and she is using Faber too. So~ this is one area I am very satisfied with.)
Grammar (Triss) and Spelling (Mariel)
Folksongs (We are still learning "Molly Malone" in three part harmony, and we started "Land of the Silver Birch" this week. Singing-on-purpose is something that sort of fell off the radar when life happened this term. We don't like to lose our on-purpose-singing. As opposed to the "accidental" singing that gets done when a song just bubbles up through your heart and out of your mouth. We still did that kind of singing, which is magical and lovely. But it's not as focused as singing-on-purpose, which is when voice instruction and learning to sing in parts can happen in a formal way.)
Hymns (Same deal as folksongs. We learned "In the Garden" in three parts the first few weeks, and are still working on "No More, My God, I Boast No More.")
Bible (We are about halfway through 2 Samuel and Acts)
Memory Work (They memorized, more or less: Matthew 5:3-12, the U.S. states and capitals, the U.S. presidents, Psalm 100, the 56 words of the Declaration of Independence--"We hold these truths to be self-evident...", and the books of the Old Testament and New Testament. This is the most memory work they have accomplished in one term ever, and I am so thankful for the memory binder system we just started using this year. The best part is, they are not going to forget these things next term because review is built into this system in a very functional way. Yay! Something that works!)
Mr. Honey continues to take us through the Chronicles of Narnia: he is currently reading aloud _The Horse and His Boy_.
Mariel continues her violin lessons, the girls are both in a speech club, and Triss also participates in the debate part of the club. We continue to work on habit training in the area of housework, and the girls take it in turns to do some sewing with their Grammy. As for field trips, we got to see Schoolhouse Rock Live, we went to the Creation Science Museum in Glen Rose, and right in the middle of the term we went to Missouri and were able to visit the Laura Ingalls Wilder house and the George Washington Carver birthplace.
Here are the things Triss studied on her own or with me:
Poplicola by Plutarch (Yes! We actually completed a Life!)
Comedy of Errors by Shakespeare (Does anyone know of a movie version that is good?)
History from the Civil War through the end of WWI, using H.E. Marshall's _This Country of Ours_ and Susan Wise Bauer's _Story of the World Vol. 4_ )
_Carry A Big Stick: The Uncommon Heroism of Theodore Roosevelt_ (what a good book!)
Richard Halliburton's Book of Marvels: The Orient
Christian Liberty Nature Reader 5
George Washington Carver biography
a very little bit of john greenleaf whittier poetry (we will be reading him during our break)
Age of Fable by Thomas Bulfinch
_Kim_ by Rudyard Kipling (just finished it today!)
Mr. Honey, Triss and I are also enjoying a read aloud of Jane Austen's _Pride and Prejudice_ in our spare time. I'm the only one who has read it before, and I am being so good not revealing what is going to happen! Lol! We are about halfway through.
Here are the things Mariel is studying with me:
History in the 1500s, using H.E. Marshall's An Island Story and This Country of Ours, and we have begun using Child's History of the World
A couple of chapters from Trial and Triumph
Da Vinci by Emily Hahn (This was a more challenging book than I realized at first, and it had no pictures of da Vinci's works, which I counted a disadvantage. We did seek out a few pictures online, and tonight we were at a new locally owned bookstore and found a lot of da Vinci books with pictures. We looked at those for a long time. There is even an art history book called The Annotated Mona Lisa, which includes art through the ages, and not simply Leonardo da Vinci's art. I wanted to get it so badly, but I resisted. Maybe I'll put that one on my Christmas list. Mariel wanted to get the Mike Venezia book on da Vinci!)
Minn of the Mississippi (we are about one-third of the way through.)
Science Lab in a Supermarket (I took Mariel to the grocery store with me tonight, and I was wondering about how much she actually remembers of the books she read this term. I asked if she thought she was remembering the things she read. She said she remembered some things, but not everything. Then she told me that in her Supermarket book, she doesn't remember everything, but she remembers staples-- you know, the foods people buy regularly or to cook from scratch-- flour, milk, eggs, etc. I said that was a pretty important thing to know. Then when we were in the store, we saw pomegranates, and she proceeded to tell me, in great detail, the entire story of Proserpine, and how the Greeks believed it was her mother who causes the seasons in her grieving and rejoicing for her daughter. LOL. I am a worry wart.)
All About Famous Inventors and Their Inventions
a very little bit of poetry by william blake. see above.
A couple of Parables from Nature
Tales from Shakespeare (The Merchant of Venice and Pericles, Prince of Tyre)
The story of Perseus from _The Heroes_ by Charles Kingsley
She continues to listen to an audio version of Pilgrim's Progress
_The Princess and The Goblin_ by George MacDonald
_American Tall Tales_ by Adrien Stoutenberg (she is about a third of the way through it)
Here are the things Cornflower and I have been studying together:
Math (We have enjoyed implementing some of the "Math: The Play Way" suggestions the DHM has posted at The Common Room in the past. A couple of weeks ago I found a math workbook that looked good and now we work through that with frequent math manipulative breaks.)
Fifty Famous Stories Retold
Catherine Vos' Children's Story Bible, Old and New Testament
Finding Out About Everyday Things (Usborne books)
We also listened to an audio version of _Little House on the Prairie_ by Laura Ingalls Wilder
a very little bit of robert louis stevenson.
I'm already excited about Term 2, and the kids are already asking what their new literature selections will be. We are going to do Pericles for Plutarch, and Richard III for Shakespeare, and I am previewing _Roll of Thunder, Hear My Cry_ for Triss' literature book. She is bumping up to Year 6, and will get to read the fascinating Albert Einstein biography. Mariel gets to read Children of the New Forest by Captain Marryat and the beautiful _Bard of Avon_ by Diane Stanley. I'm debating in my mind whether I ought to read an E.B. White to Cornflower in addition to her other books. She really enjoyed Little House on the Prairie.
:sigh: I'm so glad we are doing this. It's a lot of work, and scary at times, but so enjoyable. Like a roller coaster. ;o) I know we could be doing at least some (if not all) of this a lot better than we are, but I'm glad to even be doing it in an average way~ just to be doing it is wonderful.