Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Progress Report: Together Work

We are in the fifth week of our new school year, and I am looking at the nifty "Assignments Completed Year to Date" report on the Homeschool Tracker, to see if my idea of what is going well and what needs tweaking jibes with the completed assignments list.

Mentally, we are a little tired after five weeks of gung-ho schoolwork. We always get started with tons of energy that peters out by about the third or fourth week. We need to pace ourselves a little better so we aren't dragging by the end of the term. We have a three week break coming up at the end of this week, and we are glad for it. I think it will give us a shot in the arm to get us cheerfully through the rest of this first term-- but I need to think about pacing for next term, definitely.

This post will only address our "Together Work"-- schoolwork we do as a family. I tend to do casual analysis as I list things done, and that makes for longwinded posts. So the progress report will be in four parts.

* Art: We have read a portion of Vasari's Life of Sandro Botticelli and examined his Fortitude and Primavera (a modest detail). We are currently in the process of studying his Madonna of the Magnificat. The kids have participated in Sketch Tuesday three of these five weeks.

* Bible: I had scheduled for us to go over our notes from Sunday and Wednesday sermons on Mondays and Thursdays, but that has only happened three times total thus far. We are having a difficult time getting started in the mornings, and our first two subjects suffer in consequence. We are also reading through the book of Amos, as that is where we are in the Greenleaf Guide to the Old Testament, and have made it through Chapter 3. Also, all of us listen in to Cornflower's assigned reading of Pilgrim's Progress each Tuesday, and are to the foot of the Cross already. We seldom miss the Pilgrim's Progress readings, which we all enjoy very much. That tells me the issue I face regarding getting Bible assignments done has to do with 'want-to' rather than external circumstances. Or it could have to do with difficulty of preparation. All I have to do for Pilgrim's Progress is get out the book and the CD. To go over sermon notes, I must first make notes on the sermon, and if we run late on our way to church, I often forget my notebook and have nothing to write my notes on.

* Music: We have had eight mornings in which we remembered to do some singing in the last five weeks. I think I have it scheduled too early, first thing in the morning after Bible. I might reschedule it for after lunch. The kids are learning a funny little piece called the Mouse Madrigal, Lord in the Morning, and an American folk song medley. We are also learning the words to Don't Be Anything Less Than Everything You Can Be (from the Snoopy musical) in order to be able to put movements with it. As for composer study, we listened to and talked about Bach's Magnificat, as well as digging out Mr. Bach Comes to Call for Cornflower.

* Nature Study: We had the whole Spunky Butterfly adventure, and have also identified and drawn some flowers. A little bird-watching too-- right before Hurricane Ike hit the Texas coast, there were tons of little house sparrows in our yard looking for food. We have never seen that many outside our windows.

(I may come back through this post and embed some links if I have time later.)

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