Monday was a little bit off because after Morning Meeting we spent 2 hours on house cleaning to make up for the fact that we weren't home for Saturday chores on Saturday. The littles helped wash windows and pick up toys; the middles cleaned their rooms and scrubbed bathtubs; the oldest mowed, dusted, folded, washed, tidied, organized, swept, and vacuumed. In 2 hours, we did not get everything done, but we made a grand dent in the waiting work.
We sat down to lunch with a sigh of satisfaction.
Pixie did OT with Brother
Belle did math with Ladybug and Mister Man
I helped Nature Angel through a grammar lesson and Little Princess through a spelling lesson
I listened to Mister Man read
Belle, Pixie, and Super Star all completed a minimum of 2 math lessons
Rose Red continued to work through The Republic and Roots of American Order (She finished The Bronze Bow and Mainspring of Human Progress last week).
I helped Rose Red review some math concepts she'd forgotten this year
Then we grocery shopped.
|Mister Man leads Ladybug in a reading lesson.|
Tuesday morning was sunny and clear all the way to 6:30 am when Belle and I stepped out the door to go running. We were half a block from home when we heard the first grumblings of thunder. We continued our walking warm up while we debated continuing on versus going home when we heard the next grumblings. We turned reluctantly around, but I was still trying to come up with a small loop near the house that we could use to do laps so that we were near enough to run home for shelter but that still allowed us an outdoor run. Then the lightning came hard and fast followed almost immediately by a powerful crack of thunder.
We ran straight home. :)
And we did a walking video while the thunderstorm raged outside.
As we were able to successfully sing "All God's Creatures Got a Place in the Choir" in the car on our trip to the camping site last week, we decided that we know it well enough put it away and start learning a new son during Morning Meeting. We chose this darling "Peanut Butter and Jelly" song.
It was out last official day of school for the 2015-16 school year. Congratulations to Belle for finishing 2 full Saxon math texts in a single year!
Nature Angel and I did some grammar, reading comprehension, and geography.
Little Princess did some art appreciation, spelling, and reading.
|She chose to trace and color a Grandma Moses painting.|
|I love that Little Brother is the princess and Ladybug is the knight! We all laughed so hard when we saw him.|
|Then, of course, Mister Man wanted a turn in the limelight.|
Then Sir Walter Scott raced Nature Angel off to her final dermatology visit for the alopecia issue we've been fighting since last summer. She's done with her treatment and has lots of new hair now. It is our job to simply watch to see that the hair keeps growing.
Rose Red and I are stumped for what do do about math. For our last day of math for a while, we reviewed another set of skills that were utterly lost to her--even though we've reviewed them regularly this year. It is quite clear that there is organic damage to her brain where certain math skills would/should be stored. Part of me wants to keep doing math over the summer so that she stands a chance at forming new neural pathways and can finally hold on to what she's learning, but the other part of me realizes that she needs a break--badly--from the work and confusion and sense of shame she feels over not being able to do what the average 6th grader can.
I have a friend who teaches math in the public school system to kids just like my girl. I've picked her brain once before, but I think I need to turn to her yet again.
We had the missionaries over for dinner, and they treated us to an inspiring message about seeking the wisdom of the Lord.
Inspired by a homeschool blog, we celebrated our first day of "summer" with a trip to a strawberry farm. We picked well over 40 lbs of strawberries and ate about 10 of those pounds that very day. They were indescribably better than grocery store berries!
We had our Morning Meeting in the van on the way to the farm. I love it when we all sing and recite together when we're on the road.
|It was rather muddy.|
|I wish we had one of these!|
And Pixie did a chapter of her math--Saxon Algebra 1/2. She has 14 lessons to go to finish her book, so she's plugging away in spite of the summer break.
We stayed home and had a "boring" day on Thursday. Ladybug, Brother, and Little Brother were clearly unsettled by our field trip (even though they liked it), and their coping skills were low. We had Morning Meeting at home around the dining table, as usual, played with trains, read stories, had reading lessons, and generally acted as if it were February instead of May.
I am grateful to say that even though there were many tantrums and melt downs, they were shorter in duration than they used to be. Their coping skills are improving!
Because I didn't have to supervise lessons with the older kids, I had time to start filing away completed school work for the year. And, lest I give an untrue impression of myself, let me explain that my "filing" consists of labeling a box with the school year and dumping whatever papers I can find into the box.
I still find it tiring and frustrating.
Organizing stuff does not come naturally to me.
We finished The Castle in the Attic and started Mother Carey's Chickens for our Evening Read-Aloud session. I'm not sure how I feel about Mother Carey--she's one of those too-good-to-be-true mothers that makes me feel inadequate, but there might be just enough joy and truth to cut the sap and make this book a good experience.
Friday dawned clear and crisp after the rainstorms of the previous day. Feeling a strong need to maintain the routines that make our young ones feel safe, we started another "boring" day:
Paragraph 7 of the Family Proclamation (we're getting it!)
Alma 1 (we finished Mosiah this week!)
Family Chant (as taught to us by one of our therapists)
Poetry memorization ("Come Out to Play" --Mother Goose)
Sing the "Peanut Butter and Jelly" song
Pixie tried introducing the piano to Brother for OT but quickly found out that pressing the keys individually is way, way, way beyond his current skills. We'll return to play dough, cutting practice, beads, and finger spelling as our focus for a season.
I called and got Rose Red on the waiting list for a learning disability assessment. We've never bothered because we don't need labels to make adjustments at home, but she's only a couple of years away from college now, and we need an official label in order to qualify for accommodations in college that will help her succeed (e.g. untimed tests).
Sir Walter Scott took the 4 oldest off to participate in a camp fundraiser while I worked with the littles at home.
Mister Man and Ladybug enjoyed reading with me.
But then Nature Angel revealed what she'd been working on all week in the basement: She's crafted, planned, and organized a 4 day preschool for the week the older girls will be gone at camp! She asked if she could give the kids a preview, and I said, "Yes!" She--at 9 years old--organized and taught and entertained the younger crew for over an hour!
So I focused on the babies, "filing" more school stuff, and making lunch.
After lunch we went outside to play (little kids) and do some yard work (Sir Walter Scott, me, and the older kids). Pixie did a couple of math lessons (only 10 to go to finish her book!). Rose Red worked on Roots of American Order and The Republic. I think Super Star did one of her math lessons, too.
Then Sir Walter Scott and I left the littles in the capable hands of our older girls and headed out the door to run errands and have dinner together. We ate a picnic dinner at a park and laughed together.
I love him.
We came home in time to tuck small people into bed and read a few more chapters of Mother Carey's Chickens with the not-as-small people.
Saturday was the day we put in the garden.
We're at least a month late.
But I'm in better-late-than-never mode.
We are tired . . . good tired . . . for most of us anyway. Our fragile 3 are tantruming and not coping well with the field trip earlier this week coupled with a full day of hard outdoor work that is different from the usual. In spite of my best efforts to get them outdoors regularly and encourage active play, they still struggle with the fact that the day was different.
I am praying sincerely for a rest and renewal tomorrow.