Thursday, October 28, 2010

Look at Me Blogging...

We got home before 8pm tonight (which feels like a minor miracle) and nobody needs me at the moment (which feels like a major miracle) and my mind is working slowly enough that I feel like writing something down. All at the same time. So here I sit blogging.

It is the end of October. Do you know what your school year is doing?

Right now, we have a lot of reading going. I am reading Robinson Crusoe with Cornflower, Ivanhoe with Mariel and her literature class, and Northanger Abbey with all three girls. Robinson has given up all hope of escaping the island in his periagua, Ivanhoe lies ill at Torquilstone, and Catherine just opened the japanned cabinet and accidentally extinguished her candle. Love it!

But those are the fun, exciting novels. What else are we reading?

We all read Galatians together at the beginning of the year, and now we are reading through the Gospel of John. Mariel finished Be Ready to Answer in September and we began C.S. Lewis' Mere Christianity. Aravis has been independently reading Thinking Like a Christian and The Christian's Secret of a Happy Life. She didn't expect to like that second title, but she keeps coming to me with points from the book.

She is outlining and rewriting essays by Q and Chesterton this year. A couple days ago, she finished rewriting "A Piece of Chalk" by Chesterton, and fell over herself asking if she could narrate it to me. I love thinking of G.K. Chesterton sitting on the downs drawing with colored chalk on brown paper, and I love when my child begs to narrate. You rock, Mr. Chesterton, sir!

Okay, really great narration a-ha moment story, and then maybe I'll get back to the boring book-list blog post: Aravis is doing Chemistry this year for science. She got to the dreaded Calorimetry chapter and could not understand it. (We think it is rather a mean trick to put the hardest concept in the course in Module 2!) She worked and worked, and I tried to help, and she emailed the Apologia people for help, and we asked our friend at church who used to be a chemist, and still she was struggling. She missed every single calorimetry question on the test, so I told her to reread the section on calorimetry and narrate everything she understood about it. She balked and procrastinated. After a few days I realized that she hadn't done the narration, so I told her no theater rehearsal until she turned in that narration. Trapped, she sat down to write everything she knew about calorimetry. First she described the calorimeter, then she described the equation. At that point, she realized the three q's in the equation line up with the three things used in calorimetry-- the calorimeter, the water and the object. The three q's had been a puzzle to her, so when she put the q's with their calorimetry partners, she knew how to work the problem! Sometimes we just don't put together what we know unless we are made to articulate it.

So there is my narration story, and I think I'll wrap up this post. I'd like to tell what else we are reading, and talk about geology and geography, and how poetry and Poplicola have fallen off the schedule, and why even though we aren't doing Shakespeare or artist or composer study we are still overloaded with fine arts, and how excited Cornflower is to be turning TEN, and how much I enjoy watching her learn, and which curriculums and books are high up on my wish list, and what tests I want Aravis to take this year, and my frustration with trying to teach writing, and how Mariel and I are about ready to throw in the towel with fractions but are rejoicing at the insight we find through history, and how very much I like teaching piano, and the accepting and helpful person that is my very own piano teacher... It would take a long time, though, and I would grow tired, and you might be bored, and I need to do ye next thynge, which is to get in jammies and go to sleep so I can participate in this exuberance again tomorrow.

So I will just say that I love my life. I never thought I would have something so hard and so satisfying on this Earth. And sometimes in the tyranny of the urgent it is a challenge to find the arms of the Lord, but just knowing He is there is a comfort. Good night.


Anonymous said...

Thanks for the updates! I enjoyed hearing about your school year...just a glimpse. Maybe more another day?

Mrs. H

Lori said...

Great post! I don't have much time to comment, but 2 quick thoughts: (1) "Be Ready to Answer" - great choice! At some pt, that will become required rdg for my kids. (2) DD11 just finished Robinson Crusoe -- alas, I did not read it with her (sigh).

Betty said...

I'd love to see your lesson plans for this year and how you are using AO. I am hoping to use AO for the first time next year for my dd who will be in year 9 or 10. We have always referred to AO's recommended reading list but have never utilized it completely. I'm still looking to the Lord to see if to what extent we will utilize it next year but would love to see it fleshed out in real families for ideas. Thanks, Betty

Anonymous said...

I love your life too. I thank God for giving you such a wonderfulllll life, and I thank God for you. In every part of you I love you. Great job!


Katie said...

Thank you, Dad. That means a lot to me!

Betty, I have some posts on the blog that deal with planning and using AO. Try the following tags:

Lesson Plans (practical)
Learning (kids' finished assignments)
Education (in principle)

Hope this helps!