A Week, Briefly (#22)

Monday was full of all of the busy-ness of getting back into the swing of things.  Our morning meetings are such a blessing!  To the homeschool moms who brought up the idea and to the Father in Heaven who whispered that we needed these meetings now, I am so very thankful.

We changed our opening song and main scripture memorization to those listed for February in the Primary sharing time outline.  The kids and I were delighted to find that the scripture of the month was one we were already learning!  We also added a new seminary scripture mastery to our list to memorize (Isaiah 1:18).  We're getting quite good at paragraph 2 of The Family Proclamation, so I'm already thinking about moving on to #3, but perhaps we'll just stick with this one for a bit longer, as we like it so much.
We're getting back in the saddle, again!
As it was the first of the month, we calendared any special events and made sure that Sir Walter Scott and I have a temple visit scheduled.  This month we'll include Belle in our visit for her first trip to the temple as a new 12-year old.  It was a hard meeting as we re-opened the soccer issue again.  The discussion was not pleasant, and in the end Sir Walter Scott and I had to just make the parental decision that it is not a good plan this season.  It may be a good plan next year, but it is not right now.  Contrary to what the kids believe, I don't like saying no to them, and I do struggle with wanting them to have enough outside activities without having too many.  It is not easy to say no to a good thing that just isn't the best thing.
Rose Red had a driving lesson that left her shaken.  For all of her show of flightiness, she feels things deeply, and she's saying for now that she'll never drive.  I'm wondering what to do to help her regain her confidence . . . perhaps it's a matter of just getting back in the saddle again.

We had a successful-but-brief visit with JayBird--the kids' older sibling that we're not adopting.  He's on new meds and at a new school that is so perfect for him.  He's a different kid altogether.  He and his teacher and crisis-intervention-worker will be visiting us at our house for 20 minutes at a time each Monday afternoon.

And everyone from Pixie to Little Brother and I spent a couple of hours at the zoo.  I loved watching Brother and Little Brother actually pay attention to the animals this time.  Their attention spans are growing by leaps and bounds!

Tuesday was a half day of school for us.  We had our morning meeting and then the older girls and I had our final art lesson of this school year.  We were introduced to the art of Ancient Asia, and the girls made these lovely Asian-inspired brush paintings.

Super Star


Rose Red
 For me, the afternoon was spent with Ladybug's therapists.  Both of them brought up the idea of discharging Ladybug from their services as she's doing so well.  We've been asked to think about it.  I both love and fear the idea.

For the kids, the afternoon was spent outside in the sunshine and wild wind.  It was the last of the unseasonably warm days, so we tried to make the most of it with time spent down at our creek, drawing with sidewalk chalk, and just running around.

I was happy that church activities were cancelled for an 8 is Great event.  As we have no upcoming 8-year olds this year (we do, though, have at least 1 each year for the next 6!), we had a quiet evening at home with lots of reading.  

On Wednesday I took the 7 oldest girls to the art museum for a grand finale to our LDS Family School art unit.  As our visit had to be brief for both Daddy's and the babies' schedules, we specifically targeted Egyptian, Assyrian, and Greek art.  We did pause for a moment in one of the Renaissance galleries because that's what we're reading about in A Child's History of Art, but we didn't get to the Asian galleries at all.

Thank goodness the museum is nearby and free!  We can go back again and again.

I included Ladybug in this adventure, believing that she'd do just fine, but she didn't.  She was by no means horrible though!  She just got whiny and needy, reaffirming to me how little she really still is and how much she prefers the safety and routines of home even though she says she likes outings.

Roman sculpture
Egyptian mummy
350 little statures buried with the mummy
A tomb relief sculpture with really clear heiroglyphs--the kids are searching for symbols they recognize.

Rose Red perfectly photobombed this one and hid Ladybug. :)  They were looking at Greek pottery.
A medieval triptych
More medieval church art--including a to-die-for prayer book that Nature Angel and I could not get enough of.

And an Egyptian sarcophagus

When we got home, the girls wrote final essays--personal responses to the art we've studied, either as a whole or an individual piece.  I laughed at Belle's opening line:

"The art we've studied hasn't really drawn me in . . ."

Our C25K efforts are limping along.  I'm determined to run, and Pixie is determined with me, so she came with me on our Wednesday workout.  Rose Red, Super Star, and Belle refused to join me--though they (not Belle, though) did come with me on Monday's run.

In the afternoon I worked individually with Mister Man, Little Princess, Nature Angel, Ladybug, and Rose Red.  I am liking the online reading games that Ladybug is using less and less over time because she's tuned into the computer, and I tend to do something else.  One of my main joys in homeschooling is how my children and I connect with each other while we work.  I'll be glad when our trial ends . . . I could even end it right now.

And speaking of endings, Rose Red finished her history book!!!!!  She read and produced a written narration/commentary for every single chapter in the book (85 of them).  I'm proud of her.

But what I love are these little sketches/descriptions she's doing for her individual studies:

Thursday morning marked the beginning of a long literature study with the older girls in LDS Family School.  We're beginning with some Psalms, we'll move into nursery rhymes (for some elements and structures of poetry--it's more academic than it might sound) and then we'll study 3 books in a row.  We began with Psalm 100--The Thanksgiving Psalm.  Our efforts to sing it the way the Pilgrims would have 400 years ago was rather dismal, but the girls wrote their own Psalms, and I found them endearing.

A Thanksgiving Psalm
by Super Star

Sing praises of thanksgiving unto the Lord with all your heart.  Be thankful in all things that you do.

Be thankful, for God made us, and all things that are.  Praise and glory give Him.

We are God's servants, made to praise, learn, and be thankful.  Bless His name always because it is what we should do.

Be joyful in thanksgiving, because there is everything to be grateful for.

And enter into your Father's house with praise and joy.  For without joy there is no thankfulness.

Be thankful always.

(Belle's) Psalm

Love the Lord with all your heart.
For everything that happens there is a reason to praise the Lord.
He has given us all things.
So give your prayers and thanksgiving to the Lord,
For we are His children and He hath given us life.
Always trust the Lord and sing your praises to Him
For the Lord is good and has blessed us in many ways.
So we will pray unto Him and thank Him for our many blessings
Which He has given to us in His mercy and goodness.
And we must praise and love the Lord forever
For He is our God,
Our Father who has given us a way to everlasting exaltation,
If we follow Him and obey His commandments.
So praise the Lord and give your heart to Him in prayers of thanksgiving,
For our God's truth, mercy, and justice is eternal.

Thanksgiving Psalm
by Pixie

Praise the Lord with gladness of heart,
For we all have a reason to rejoice.
The Lord almighty created each and every person,
And everything in life is a blessing from Him.

He watches and protects us,
Like a shepherd and his sheep,
For the Lord God is kind, good, and fair to all of His children.

Be thankful and sing praise to His name.
Serve and love Him with all your heart,
And His blessing will always come,
For His mercy and love will endure forever.

Wonderful Blessings
by Rose Red

The Lord has given us many wonderful blessings;
Fresh air to breathe,
Clean water to drink,
Good food to eat,
Family to take care of us,
A beautiful world to live in,
Friends to support and comfort us,
And too many other things to count.
The Lord has given us many wonderful blessings.
Praise Him and thank Him for your wonderful life.

I split working individually with kids between before dance practice and after dance practice--there's a big show on Saturday for a local winter festival--and I'm finding those 15-30 minutes (sort of) alone with each child to be a tremendous blessing.  They're such interesting people!

Friday's morning routine was blessedly peaceful.  For LDS Family School we got through literature lessons 8 and 9 on Psalm 23 and Isaac Watts (father of English psalmody).  The girls took lots of notes on literary style techniques and then marked up a few poems as they searched for real life examples of these techniques.

The babies cannot be kept from the stairs!!!!!!!

Rose Red is plodding through Math-U-See Zeta, All About Spelling 3, and Vocabulary From Classical Roots A.  She's still reading and narrating The Disappearing Spoon.

Nature Angel is doing lots of grammar and geography in The Good and the Beautiful 3.  She so loves the poetry that she gets to read almost daily.

Little Princess climbs into my lap to do her work from The Good and the Beautiful 1.  She wrote her first essay all by herself:

by Little Princess

I like birthdays.  They are so fun.  We open presents and eat cake.  We play.
Mister Man is now working from The Good and the Beautiful K.  He likes it just as much as his sisters.  He is still in the sounding words out phase of learning to read, but his fluency is growing, and it is a wonder to behold.  He liked the lesson where I put some words on cards on the floor and he got to jump from word to word as he read them.

Ladybug is still not showing me signs that she's ready to put sounds together to make words--if two words start with the same sound, she cannot tell them apart.  She does know the letter sounds, though, so we will do crafts and science and wait for her brain to be ready for reading.

The late afternoon was devoted to finding costume pieces for this weekend's triple dance show.

I hope we all survive.


  1. Oh. My. Goodness. Gracious! The Asian brush paintings and the palms blew. me. away!!! What outstanding accomplishments all around!

  2. How fun that your local museum is free. I loved your bamboo brush paintings. The Psalms were thoughtful and full of gratitude. Your kids are learning so much about what is important. How wonderful for Lady Bug to have the time to focus on what she is ready for. I remember trying to pour reading into children who were just not ready. It was such an exercise in frustration for everyone involved. And I highly doubt any one of those kids likes to read today.

  3. So impressed with the neat learning that happens at your home! How do you prep for your family school lessons? We LOVE family school, but I feel like I'm always pulling the lessons together on-the-fly and it sets us back a little. I'd love to know how another mom manages to teach so many family school lessons in one week--including doing so many neat enrichment activities to go along with the lessons! (Do you do the high school lessons--or are you using K-8? We're on Year 3, but I know they've made many changes since we used Year 1 and I don't recognize all the enrichment activities you're using.)

    1. I mostly open-and-go with the lessons--I check out the week's lessons so I can decide what we're going to do or not do and to give me a chance to get to the craft store if I need to. We're using the K-8 because I was working with my kids down to age 6, but this semester I decided to work with my littles one-on-one, so it's only my teens who are doing the LDSFamilySchool. They can work through the lessons faster than littles can, and I do occasionally search for/adapt to age-appropriate enrichment because some of the LDSFamilySchool activities are lame. :) They don't have high school year 1 lessons (why?), but I'm currently studying the high school lessons to see if they're what I'd like to switch to for next year.

  4. Thanks so much for your response. I'm just so impressed by what your children accomplish with those lessons. It's very helpful to learn that you don't spend a ton of time preparing for those lessons (because who was that kind of time?!). Yes, that is curious that there is no Year 1 for high school! Thanks, again, for being an inspiration and a mentor!

  5. Your girls artwork is beautiful! That is so wonderful that you have an art museum close by and that is free! We do not have anything like that anywhere near us. The children have never been to art museum. I need to check some of the bigger cities close by and see what they have available and how much it costs. One thing I have definitely not done very well on this school year is art. I need to get that back into our school routine!


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