Sunday, April 10, 2016

A Week, Briefly (#28)

We had a nice academic start to our week.  On Monday we began with our usual routine of basket duty, a breakfast Bible story, and then Morning Meeting.  Right now we're working on:

Article of Faith #3
I Lived in Heaven
Isaiah 5:20
Paragraph 5 in The Family Proclamation
Studying Mosiah chapters 15-16
God Bless the USA (for our dance troupe)
"The Clock" by Mother Goose
Bedtime Math

The older girls and I dove back into our music appreciation unit with a review of the 5 musical eras we're studying and an in depth look at Bach's life and compositions.  We had a grand time listening to a whole bunch of his music

I worked with Nature Angel on some grammar and spelling.  She drew a gorgeous Swallowtail Butterfly and did a whole bunch of sewing on her own.

This isn't the swallowtail, but it IS one of her many chalk drawings.

This became a little purse, complete with strap and reinforced bottom.

The littles and I made music with a bunch of glass bottles with varying amounts of water in them.



Then they did some water play.





I listened to Mister Man read aloud to me out of our trusty Sonlight reader 1.

Ladybug read and colored in her "Rr" book.

Little Princess and I read about Johnny Town-Mouse by Beatrix Potter and used it as a platform to discuss the difference between main events and details.  We also did some story sequencing.  On her own, she's reading lots and lots of American Girl books.

Rose Red has begun some coursework that I have yet to give a title.  Her daily reading includes:

The Bronze Bow
The Republic
The Mainspring of Human Progress
The Roots of American Order

She's also begun working in Calculus Without Tears volume 2.

The other big girls worked in their individual Saxon Math levels, and Pixie gave Little Princess and Nature Angel each a violin lesson.  Belle perched herself in the tree house and spent an hour drawing our house.

In the evening we continued reading from The Story of Science, and after finishing The Great Brain this weekend, we started Augustus Caesar's World.

Tuesday was such a full day!!

Brother had his intake appointment with the victims of trauma developmental and behavioral clinic  at the children's hospital.  He and I hit the road at 7:30 am and got home at noon.  He underwent a battery of tests by a team of 6 while I answered questions posed by that same team for 3 1/2 straight hours.

While we were gone, Sir Walter Scott handled basket duty, breakfast, and morning meeting.  Then he let the kids put on a movie (Anne of Avonlea) while he did some electrical work in our playroom.

Brother and I ate lunch, then he left with Sir Walter Scott for his therapy appointment while I nursed Baymax, cuddled Lola (aka Little Sister-- now that we know her better, Lola is such a perfect name for her!!), and did school with various littles:

Nature Angel--spelling and geography
Little Princess--grammar (verb tenses)
Ladybug--reading lesson with words "work" and "play" from Dick and Jane
Mister Man--reading lesson with Sonlight I Can Read It book 1

In the evening, Sir Walter Scott brought the missionaries home with him, so we included them in our dinner.  One of the missionaries smiled as I passed him the lettuce for his taco salad and said, "I feel like I'm in a movie--like Cheaper by the Dozen."  We all grinned and got talking about family sizes and family traditions. It was a delightful meal.

After dinner everyone ages 5-and-up headed off to the church for activities or to play in the gym while I stayed home with the 4-and-under crowd.  It was a difficult evening as the babies were very, very fussy, but eventually I was able to do a word search with Mister Man before tucking him into bed (an hour late).  Points to him for his sweet long-suffering.

On Wednesday Rose Red had a morning shift at work, so we had school without her; she had to make up the work herself once she got home.  It was an uncomfortable change for us all, and she has requested evening shifts from here on.  However, we found a church dance on the calendar for next week on a night she'd usually work, so if she wants to go, she'll have to work another morning shift.

Growing pains.

We're having them.

At least they're not awful.

After basket duty, a breakfast Bible story (Jacob, Leah, and Rachel), and Morning Meeting, we settled into another day of music appreciation with Bach.  We particularly enjoyed his Toccata and Fugue in D minor.

While the big girls (the ones who were home) did math, I did Lego patterns with the little boys.  Our preschool curriculum had "Lego literacy" scheduled, but when I looked up the ideas I knew they were way beyond Brother and Little Brother's skill levels, so I made some much simpler cars (with index cards and crayons) that helped these little boys practice following a plan.  They built simple brick towers.

It was a challenge!

But it was a challenge they could handle with some guidance, and soon we had success.



Mister Man and Ladybug enjoyed the simple patterns, too.
 Mister Man read another Sonlight lesson.
Ladybug did some more sight word work.
Both of them completed another Rainbow Roll writing page.
Nature Angel did some spelling, writing, and art appreciation.
Little Princess read some more American Girl books.

The big treat was that Sir Walter Scott was up in the attic working on wiring, so he pulled out the American Girl bin--a huge tub full of beautiful clothes and accessories that we keep for occasional play.

We had some happy, happy girls all afternoon.

I printed out a simple nature scavenger hunt and took the 8 youngest on a brief walk with me.  We happily watched ants and clouds and rubbed tree bark until we got home.  Then the little boys worked for a few hours on conquering our fallen tree.

I found it by googling "nature scavenger hunt," but I couldn't get to the original site.  However, the credit at the bottom of the page reads nowoodenspoons.blogspot.com
 



I could barely take my eyes off them as they climbed and lifted and pulled and pushed the branches of that tree.  They truly believed they were men conquering nature.

At the end of the day these exhausted little men ate heartily and slept deeply.

Thursday was a bad day to be my child.

The morning started off okay--our normal routine followed by music appreciation focusing on Handel.  We sang "The Messiah" along with The Mormon Tabernacle Choir twice.

That part was great!

I did Lego patterns with Brother and Little Brother.
The little girls played American Girl dolls for a few hours.
I made lunch, and we got ready to leave for dance.

Somewhere in there I died.

Every normal issue that came up felt like the end of the world.

Rose Red almost cried as she tried to do her math because I kept sighing when she had questions.
I sent Ladybug crying from the table because she kept trying to play dumb (and she really was just pretending--it's an attention-getting ploy that she often utilizes) instead of just ignoring her.
I put Brother and Little Brother on time out for dumb reasons.
I made Mister Man cry.
The babies cried and refused to nap for hours--probably picking up on my negative vibe.

I won't recount the whole horrible day here.

Thank goodness for the help of my older girls who saved bedtime, making it pleasant for the small children who were going to sleep.

I hope everyone slept well.

I cried myself to sleep.

I walked through Friday like the living dead.  We did all of the things we were supposed to do:

Basket Duty
Breakfast Scriptures
Morning Meeting
Music Appreciation with the older girls
Individual reading lessons and a handwriting sheet with Ladybug and Mister Man
Letter sounds--J, R, L--with magnet letters on our (cold) woodburning stove for Brother and Little Brother
Grammar with Little Princess

Nature Angel spent long, long periods of time with tracing paper, pencil, and a map of the world making perfect, gorgeous copies of South America and Africa.  This was self-motivated on her part.  I figured I didn't need to stick my hand in and give her another assignment.  She also spent an hour or so with pencil and sketch pad in hand drawing the blossoms on our apple tree.



Rose Red's written narrations have been falling short of the mark, so she and I went first head-to-head (not so successful) and then heart-to-heart (better) about doing hard things and doing them well in spite of the fact that they're hard.

Pixie has been busy giving Nature Angel and Little Princess violin lessons.  She also has continued to create beautiful hairstyles for her sisters.  She's really quite good!

Belle has been developing her piano skills and drawing a picture of the back of our house (which sounds odd, but really isn't as the back of our house is rather picturesque).

In the afternoon I took the kids outside to run and climb and bicycle.  Sir Walter Scott got home from his church duties and took over kidwatch so I could make dinner.

We had our evening reading.

The girls watched Pan, but I went to bed.


In order to survive day-to-day--to get healed from this blackness--I've carved out space (with much help from husband and teen daughters) to go running.  And that's how Saturday began; Belle came with me at 6:30 am while Pixie babysat.

It makes a world of difference.

Gray.

At least the day was only gray in my head.

My mom is a therapist.  I spent some time on the phone with her.  It was valuable time.

After chores we headed to a local nursery--bought $30 worth of flowers and spent the afternoon planting them.

Gardening is another spirit-lifter.  And it counts for school hours, so even though it was Saturday, I'm including it. :)







Oh those muddy shoes!!!!  Fortunately they cleaned up quite well because he has to wear them to church on Sunday!!








4 comments:

  1. The light will come again. Your kids will survive. They have not been damaged by your struggle. And, modeling how to climb out of the pit is a good lesson. Not a fun one, but a good one. You will get back to amazing. Hugs and prayers.

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  2. You are a strength. Wishing you added comfort.

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  3. I'm definitely going to do the nature scavenger hunt!

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  4. Monday was a bad day to be my child. We all have those days. I cry in the shower sometimes at night so no one can hear me. Love to see all of those smiling faces! One of the reasons I started gardening with the children is because it does something special for your body. It is such a joy to see things grow. You are an amazing mom and have an amazing family. I am praying for all of you!

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