But as we began school in August, and we have a full 365 days to complete our school year, I'm going to keep going until we get done with our math books; our math books being my arbitrary guide to a complete school year.
J11 finished her math book this week! Hurrah for J11!
S12 has hit a learning wall. I'm actually NOT going to make her finish her math book. Instead we've gone back to daily multiplication drills. These important facts keep falling out of her head, so she's really struggling . . . struggling emotionally most of all. I've packed the books away and have assigned her 30 minutes in front of the computer each day working her times tables. She's happier; I'm happier; we're all happier.
M13 is working like a demon each day on her math book. She got halfway through it before Baby L arrived, and then after our break we decided together that it would be a really good idea for her to go back to the beginning and review everything. Yes, Saxon has built in review, but what we chose to do was have her re-read and only work the practice set for each chapter. It was such a good plan for us! She's flown through 3 chapters a day of review and gotten a major sense of accomplishment seeing that she really did learn. Now she's doggedly working through 3 chapters a day of new material (still just the practice sets)--spending upwards of 2 hours a day on math. She's feeling strong and capable and totally determined to finish her book by the end of the month.
E15 is so close to finishing her books that I can practically taste it, but she can't. She's trying to dodge her work, but at the same time she's asking me to make big plans for the year to come--a lot like last summer. I'm refusing (having learned my lesson!). Instead I'm making very simple plans and encouraging her to "please join me" while reminding her that she could be done and having a break in 2 weeks if she'd focus and work now.
A8 and H5 aren't working on any formal math. Instead A8 is daily keeping up her super-cool science notebook. She's asked me several times about "doing school." I keep pointing out that there's no need to do school when she's actively working so hard at something she's so passionate about. Her reading and writing skills are growing exponentially, and not a day goes by that she doesn't start a sentence with , "Hey, Mom! Did you know . . . ?"
H5 wants to learn to knit. That means I am learning to knit. My knitting has inspired a wave of knitting in the family. (M13 is making a sampler afghan--3 blocks done.) Yes, M13 could be assigned to be her teacher, but H5 and I need special ways to spend time together. I don't know that her little fingers are ready for actual knitting yet, though, so I'm on the hunt for the circle looms that I know are somewhere around here. I bought some lovely wool for her to make winter hats for us.
I finally discovered the creek that runs through our yard (We've lived her a year and a half! But in my defense I was pregnant last summer). It is a joy. I am utterly determined to get outside and down to the creek every single day (or close to that) in order to inspire the rest of the kids to get outside every single day.
|I3 made our family night treat--that's almost a full pound of m&ms on the top of that cake!|
|I3 is really into puzzles these days.|
|Baby L continues to be a favorite prop for accessories and games with the big girls.|
|We've been doing a lot of dancing.|
|Mama and triplets in our yard! We've seen them several days in a row. Their tracks and scat are all over our woods.|
|The tree that went down in the storm a few weeks ago continues to be a great place to play.|
|A8 exploring down our creek.|
|A8 and H5 exploring up the creek.|
|I3 looking for a cool rock.|
|It's hard to see, but that blue smudge is a darning needle that landed on A8's hand. It flew off before I could get a better picture.|
|This mama wolf spider protecting her egg sac is a full 3" across . . . and maybe even 4". She was quite the surprise to me when I tried to roll a stump over so I could sit down to watch the kids play.|
|No words needed about what this picture does to my heart.|
|We got an art book from the library. A8 spent a happy hour doing one of the projects.|
|We also got a LEGO book from the library. I3 love, love, loves it.|
|How cool is a heart shaped rock that also has fossils embedded in it?!?!?|
|Here is M13 with Baby L in the hammock. She inspired me to spend an hour in the same location on the 4th of July. Best idea ever! I need to spend more time in the hammock. :)|