Sunday, October 5, 2014

Week 3 in Review

I'd like to start doing weekly reviews of our school, if nothing else but to have a scrapbook of our year that we can look back on.  However, I'm starting at Week 3, as I didn't take many pics from first two weeks, and have already posted the ones I did take on my Facebook page.  See the sidebar for an overview of our curriculum and the specific books we use, as well as our homeschooling philosophy.

In history, we learned about the Goths entering Rome.  Besides our regular books, which can be viewed from the sidebar, we also used these:

Research was on Constantinople.  

Michael's postcard from his visit:

(As you can see they both need penmanship practice!  A challenge, especially for George.  Not his strong suit.  Also, although not in any way the school's fault, while at the public school for almost 2 years, they didn't get a lot of  practice.  The cursive I had started teaching them fell by the wayside.  I totally understand this, as time was crunched there, and more time needed to be spent on keyboarding, which is much more needed in today's society.  We'll be re-introducing penmanship in Week 6 -- see sidebar for the free practice sheets we'll be using.  It'll be interesting seeing the progress.)  But at least George understands what he researches, as he gives lively narrations about it at the dinner table!

George's postcard:

Written Narration


Michael remembered more he wanted to tell:


On Emporor Theodosius



Weekly Timeline



A little mapwork


George's (Wow.  Bethlehem sure is big in George's little mind.):

I LOVE this program!  They composed these on their own!  Wonderful, wonderful curriculum that takes them step by step through the writing process.  Only a little a day adds up to this. 
The result is energetic, beautiful, clear, creative writing -- all with no burn-out.
The curriculum also includes vocabulary study.  I didn't think I'd like this program,
as it seemed too "schooly."  But I was pleasantly surprised.



Science - Research
I'm going to add in more science for Michael, as this doesn't seem to be enough for him. 
They are also getting involved with Science Olympiad.




Science - Lab
(Experiment and Lab sheets)

Michael's Lab Sheet:

George's Lab Sheet:

The Experiment

Looks pretty accurate:

This week we started A Mid-Summer Night's Dream
(I love reading Shakespeare aloud with a British accent.)


For Art Appreciation, we studied The Incredulity of Saint Thomas by Giovanni Battista Cima:

For Poetry we're studying the works of Emily Dickinson all year.
We had deep discussions interpreting this week's poem!


The boys continued their reading of Mystery of the Silver Coins by Lois Walfrid Johnson, in which they're keeping worksheets that list their observations.  The observations include Strong Moods, Great Lines, Life Lessons, Vivid Descriptions, New Vocabulary, and Plot Twists.

Our genre for the first few weeks is Biography.

Since beginning of school year, George has read biographies on John Muir, Henry David Thoreau, Isaac Newton, Nicola Tessla, and is now reading about Malcolm X.  Michael has read biographies also on Muir and Thoreau (but at a deeper level and more challenging books than George's), as well as Archimedes, and Henry Ford. Next genre is Adventure, but that's not for a few more weeks.


 The boys worked through their respective math lessons, mostly still review from what they each learned last year.


George took his first piano lesson from a neighbor who is a music teacher at our local public school.  He LOVED it!!  He's following in his biggest brother, Peter's, footsteps.

They had their first P.E class of the season at a local sports center.  It was awesome!  I love that it's two hours long.

They went to their Pokemon League and enjoyed lots of time with good friends.

Both boys participated in serving our community by volunteering at Crisis Assistance Ministry with us and their older siblings.

And last, but not least -- lots of outdoor play with friends!! We have a great neighborhood with lots of kids to play with.  I'm very grateful for that.  I'm listening to an epic Star Wars battle going on right now, just outside my window.

Great week!  Excited about next one!

Saturday, September 27, 2014

Our 2014 Schoolroom

You can see where we did school in our old home here. And this is where the boys and I do school now in this home.  I love the planets the boys made.  We store educational games under the coffee table for "free" time.

Below is a pic of one of our computer stations, and our reading couch.  One of the reasons we loved this home is that it has these nice glass doors which we can shut to block off noise from other parts of the house while we're doing school.

Music lessons and partial library, with a few science and art supplies.  (I need about 8 more bookcases for all our books!)  George and Peter play piano, and Pauline plays guitar.  Her guitar teacher comes to our home and they have practice in the adjoining room.  Again, the glass doors come in handy so we can be doing stuff in the other parts of the house without disrupting their lessons.

Below is my spot.  Everything I need is within arm's reach.  Even the bug collection on top of the shelf.  ;)

I love this bookcase with storage underneath that belonged to my grandfather.  Most of our formal curriculum for this year fits in here, with room for some supplies underneath.  We store the bulk of our arts and crafts supplies, science supplies, and big stuff on a shelf in the garage.

I need to hang up the U.S. map rolled up there.  We're studying the Middle Ages this year, so we've only been using the world map so far.

We store the boy's binders here -- they have a separate binder for each subject in which to store their finished work.

My view.

Another computer station and filing cabinet for medical, personal, and school documents.

A map on the table comes in very handy.  Whenever we're reading or talking about events, the boys always race to find it on the map.

Or the globe.

Our pencil and calendar station.

This is where we retire with our history and literature read-alouds near the end of our school day.  We have our best discussions in this room.  The boys like doing their Mark-It Maps on the floor in here when we do geography.

And that's our schoolroom set-up for this year.  :)

Friday, April 13, 2012


I am posting a copy of this short letter sent out about Papa Richard today from one of his other daughters. I'm still crying -- everything in it is so true, as me and my family have all experienced this from him. He will always be in my heart and I can hear him encouraging me on and believing in me. He was a true Papa. His love was unconditional.

Dear Family and Friends,

I thought I (daughter Mandy) would share with you all from my perspective the last couple of days I had with Papa Richard. On Tuesday when I saw Papa trying to weed wacking I went over to see if I could help. Normally he would tell me NO! and send me on my merry way, but this time he let me do it for him. As a way to say thank you he took us out for supper. He didn't eat much and said he wasn't hungry not even for ICE CREAM! For breakfast on Wednesday he ate only a yogurt which is highly unusual as we would always have bagels and cream cheese. In the afternoon Papa came over and talked with me about many things. He told me some plans and then said how he appreciated and loved me as much as if I was their biological child. Papa meant the world to me! Many of you know how he just stepped in and would help. He also believed in me. Papa always would say how he wished there were more people that would believe in someone even if they failed and give them a human example of Jesus. Many of us that have failed has been due to a lack of example, pressure, or just being desperate. ( I am so not using that as an excuse just a valid fact) Papa never looked down on me or any of those who he helped when we failed. Papa would give them time and energy and lead them in the right direction if they wanted it. He gave me the strength in the face of extreme struggle. When others said I'd fail he would come to me and encourage me and say those four beautiful words to me. I BELIEVE IN YOU! Because of the example Papa gave me and my two boys I am determined to keep my lamp for Christ burning brightly. I want to encourage all those who also lost a Papa, Grandpa he believed in you that you can also shine for Christ. Let's do that not only for Papa, but for ourselves and Christ. I know Papa helped many people I am not the only one I am just the one who lived the closest and was able to be in touch every day. Papa talked about each one and when one would call he would know exactly which category you were in whether it was daughter, sister, brother, or son he could name you all. Each and every one of us he loved with a passion unlike any parent. We were all very blessed to be touched by his example and love.

I don't know what will come out of this family letter, but I hope and pray that God leads another person to take up the burden for others that Papa had. Let's continue to pray for Mama as she goes about her days that she will have strength to continue on. Please be respectful of her time right now and let's send cards now instead of phone calls.

In Him,
Daughter Mandy