A Week, Briefly (#5)

I2's first time ever playing with tangrams.  He showed an astonishing ability to see and follow patterns. 

After morning devotional, the tangrams were our first school activity of the week.  What a blessing they were sitting in our games cupboard because when I opened my plan book Monday morning and found nothing there, I cried.   (I cry a lot these days--I guess I can blame my pregnancy.)  I don't know why my plan book was empty.  I'm usually very faithful about making notes about what we want to do and when the activities might be best done, but . . . I fell down on the job.
But the tangrams were a hit.
Even big sisters came out to use them for a little while.

When I got some downtime I reviewed Milestones Academy Year .5 activities.  I've been thinking about them and rejecting them off and on for several months now, but more and more they feel right for my small boy who begs to have school of his own.  So, for the rest of the week I2 wiggled with happiness as first I read then he told over and over again the story of Ammon.  We did various A-related activities, played Uno one morning, (not A-themed, but good fun for us all) and ended the week with H5 and A7 joining us in making our first alphabet quilt blocks.

We watched a brief video of the life cycle of an apple tree, then we cut apart some apples to explore what they are like inside, then we made apple prints.

Playing Uno

Studying Spanish with Dad.
Each of the 3 littles made his/her own quilt block.  A7's is on the left, I2's in the middle, H5's on the right.

H5 was happy when we pulled out her Sonlight K Language Arts book each day.  We're supplementing her reading with Bob Books because once she reads a book aloud she says, "Nope!  I've already read that one!" if I ask her to re-read for practice and mastery.  This week she worked on reading and writing letters L and U.  She also worked on alphabetizing and some creative writing.  

A7 surprised me by voluntarily reading and taking notes daily about what she read from her Christian Liberty Nature Reader 1.  We shared delightful discussions about what she read, and I stapled her notes in her copybook.  She continues to thrive in her formal schoolwork, especially math.  I think she may have a gift for it.

All three of the littles enjoyed continuing our Hands of a Child Oceans project.  One day we watched a video about waves.  Another day I drew pictures of the earth, moon, and sun to teach them about tides.  We were supposed to take all of our projects and put them together in a folder, but we ran out of time on Friday, so we'll do that on Monday.  We did not do all of the projects recommended--just the ones that were of most interest to my young crew.

Making waves with "wind."

J10 continues to work stolidly through her assignments each day.  This week I realized that I'd never printed out her creative writing prompts so that she could do some daily creative writing.  When I mentioned it, her eyes lit up, "Can I do it today?!?!"  I need to print, cut apart, and find a jar for the prompts (she's supposed to draw out one per day), so I promised to have it ready for Monday morning.  (This site creates hilarious prompts.) She's a gifted writer who doesn't usually write without some sort of "push."  I think daily prompts will help her discover this gift in herself and hopefully lead to self-driven writing.

S12 discovered that she really wants to travel to Greece someday, so she chose to make a travel brochure about Greece for her geography project.  She worked faithfully on it each day.  The (required by me) map she had to create reduced her to tears more than once.  I tried to comfort her and often recommended putting it away for another day because I don't want the kids to cry over their schoolwork.  But she pushed through and did it!  I hope the sense of accomplishment outweighs the heartache.  She successfully finished her 2nd Math Lifepac and will start the 3rd on Monday. 

M12's life is dominated by math.  It takes her about 4 hours per day to finish all of her schoolwork--2 of them spent on math and the other 2 on everything else.  I worry about her, but she's adamant about continuing this way.  She's definitely learning!  Each week of math is a little better than the week before.  She had a couple of breakdowns over Language Arts this week; she doesn't want to have to write in complete sentences (and I require it).  The funny thing is that she writes very well in her reading and history journals.  I wonder what the difference is between those and Language Arts. 

E14 still struggles with time management.  When she has an external incentive exciting enough to motivate her, she can work hard and work with focus.  If not, her school work takes her 10-12 hours to complete because she's daydreaming, wandering about, and/or sleeping away the day.  I'd reduce her school load (and we've talked about it several times over), but she's adamant about the goals she's set, and there have been 2 days with enough incentive for her to stay focused.  On those days her school work took less than 5 hours--and that was with 1 break to just wander for a few moments and a lunch break!

Tuesday is Poetry Recitation Day.  We've had a whopping 3 of them so far; I instigated the first one, and the kids have reminded me about the other two!  They love it.  They stand on the hearth and recite a poem or two they've worked on during the week.  E14 recites her seminary scripture mastery scriptures.  I forgot to have H5 work on a poem, and she had a tantrum over my failure.  I've promised to be more faithful in helping her, and I've made good on that promise.  She will be ready to take her turn with the rest of the kids this coming Tuesday!

On various days we went grocery shopping, toy shopping (using saved up birthday and Christmas money), attended dance practice and church youth activities, celebrated (very late) H5's birthday with our traditional trip (for a 5th birthday) to Chuck E. Cheese's,  and sent Dad and the 4 older girls off to our homeschool fall camp out.  

New trains!

New dollies

More new dollies!

Even big sisters can't resist the allure of new toys, though they claim to have outgrown them.

Pausing the game playing to eat at Chuck E. Cheese.
As soon as the littles and I get dressed and pack up the food, we'll be joining the rest of the family at the camp site to play with friends and explore the outdoors on a sunny and warm nearly-autumn day.
Boy . . . rocks . . . water . . . perfect.

Members of the group generously allow all of us to use the kayaks.  Such a joyful experience for everyone in my family!
A pick up soccer game before lunch

The big kids relax and chat after soccer


This insect hung around all day.  This is E14 holding it, but lots and lots of kids had the chance to hold it and examine it as closely as they wanted to.

There was playdough out for small people who got tired and needed quiet play, but the big kids couldn't resist.

Here's J10 out on the water again.

E14 and A7 on their way to see what we're doing at the water's edge.

Cattails are edible . . . but not quite like this!

Under the water is pure clay.  These little girls spent over 2 hours collecting it and making sculptures with it.  That's A7 on the far right.

H5 enjoys sand play on the beach.

I2 fell, hitting his knee on a rock.  It really bled, and it really hurt.  He even woke up sore and limping the next morning!

Dad snapped this one of J10 while we waited for everyone to get organized for the large group picture we take every year.
The gang . . . at least that part that was there on Saturday night.

More kayaking!

H5 took this one of the sunset herself.  Not bad, eh?


  1. What beautiful pictures. You have a lovely family :-) Sounds like a great week. Glad the pregnancy is going well


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