A Week, Briefly (In Which We Meet a King and Queen)

We unplugged our wi-fi on Sunday (the reason shall remain confidential), then found that we couldn't turn it back on.

Oops.

First available appointment was Tuesday at 1 pm.

We lived internet free for 2 1/2 days.

It was a delightful blessing.

I use online resources all day long for homeschooling, cooking, errands, etc..  I did find that I had to pause to think about how to accomplish my goal without the internet, and we had to sing a cappella for a couple of Morning Meetings, but overall, life was quieter and actually less stressful without it.

No waiting for web pages to load.
No fussing at teens to watch their internet time.
No blog updates.
No email.

But, real life being what it is, we cheered when the tech guy arrived right on time for our appointment.  He fixed us up in a jiffy and then taught us what we'd done wrong and how to avoid it next time.

And truly, I'm so grateful for the wonderful internet resources that enrich our home.

Monday
Here's where we missed our internet!  Rose Red's Girls on Ice application was due on Tuesday morning, and one of her "teacher recommendations" was still MIA.  We raced to and from the library twice in order to use the wi-fi there to communicate with the recommender and hit the "submit" button.

When the internet came back on Tuesday afternoon, Rose Red was relieved beyond words to find an email stating, "You've successfully applied . . . We look forward to reading your application."

Now to wait.

Dad reads to the babies while the rest of us are doing school.  <3
I was grateful that Rose Red's Math Mammoth lessons were actually downloaded, so I had access to them to print her week's work on Monday morning.  I couldn't get to any of the supplemental worksheets, though, as they're reached by online links, so she's getting a break from them this week.

I was also grateful that our internet was down at the end of the month, so we really already had our scriptures and songs memorized, making it easy to just sing and recite without our bookmarked music/scripture links.  Of course, we could have opened up our scriptures on our phones or used our actual paper copies, but it was fun to test our memories and find them working.

And, oh how we laughed at our off-key singing!  Especially when we sang through the entire Family Proclamation.  Kudos to Super Star for leading us correctly from paragraph to paragraph when I kept messing up the order!

Brother has started school!  We have the delightful gift of being able to use and review a learn to read program than has his name all over it.  I felt strongly in my heart when I learned of it that this would be a good fit for Brother and that his time to start this formal schooling has come.  He is just about the happiest kid I've ever seen when I call him to the table for his turn for one-on-one time.  He's working on /m/ right now.


Over the weekend and on Monday Mister Man completed another dozen or more math lessons.  He's really, really in math mode.

Ladybug finished her 10th phonics reader and is working on adding numbers up to 10.

For Academy on Monday we practiced writing our full names, and to reinforce Brother's phonics lesson (and for fine motor practice for Little Brother), we completed do-a-dot letter M worksheets.

The temperature actually reached 60 degrees, so I sent the kids outside for every single moment of sun, wind, and fresh air possible.

We kept Symposium short and sweet--especially as our Spanish resources are online, so we skipped it--with a study of Raphael's The Vision of Ezekiel, filling in a map of Asia (Pixie is now testing herself by filling in a map without political borders!), and a brief unit review for history.

Little Princess made the cutest little poster for remembering volume measurements (found in her math book).


The rest of the older girls just put one foot in front of the other as they continued their daily work.

Tuesday
More of the same (minus the frantic trips to the library)

For Academy we drew pictures and wrote letters of encouragement to Auntie D-- who is having some heartache right now.


We were online again before Symposium started, so we added Spanish back to the mix.  We're working on the sounds of the alphabet, conjugating "ser," and learning simple adjectives and animals this week.  We also studied St. Boniface.

Temps were a little cooler, but with coats on, the littles played outside by the hour with our painted sticks (turned into magic wands/fairy gardens), the log cabins we made for book club last week, and the kitchen toys.

Super Star wanted to bake, and Little Princess needed to cook something for math, so Super Star helped Little Princess make pumpkin bars to go with our lunch.  Win-win-win!


Nature Angel has the gift of organization, and she spent some time on the computer making lists for herself--her morning routine, her chore rotation, stuff to look forward to each week, etc..  At one point I was about to tell her to get up and do something else, but when I paused to look, I realized that she was teaching herself a lot of really good word processing skills--including inserting text boxes, adding graphics, and creating original digital art.

I let her work.

The littler readers and I finished Moominland Midwinter and started The Wizard of Oz.  The older readers and I finished The Wind in the Willows and started The Wolves of Willoughby Chase.

I love our evening reading time.

Wednesday
Therapy started again for Ladybug and Brother.  Their therapist had to change office locations, and the move was much harder than she anticipated.  The kids were happy to go see their friend again, but it did mean we didn't have Academy.  Instead Mister Man asked me if he could paint on big paper, and I couldn't think of a reason to say no.  He found the butcher paper, rolled it out across the table, taped it down, and found the paint sticks all by himself.  The kids who were at home had a grand time painting in sweeping strokes across our giant table.

I didn't get a picture. :(

Mister Man seems to be running out of math steam.  That's just fine.  He's building and creating with Playmags and playing outside for hours on end.

Pixie wrote her second 5-paragraph essay for the week.  It was really hard work that took her most of the day, but she's got the gift of perseverance, and she studied out the subject (the theme of courage in R.L. Stevenson's Kidnapped), found supporting evidence, and put it into words in an organized and engaging way.


Kudos to my girl.


Little Princess had a grand time experimenting with volume measurements using measuring cups and a bathtub full of water.

Baymax and Lola were enthusiastic "helpers."
 I got to go with Belle on her afternoon walk with Theo.  He's a whopping 3 months old, but he wanted to run the whole mile + route.  We happily jogged along with him, laughing at how he hops with his back legs when he runs.  Belle is more talkative now that she has Theo than she's ever been in her life.  We talked about school and plans and Theo for the whole 25 minutes we were out, and I couldn't stop smiling for joy in the privilege of seeing into my girl's heart and mind.

She finished her entire year's science curriculum this week, and she came to me for advice about how to get started on her gardening plans that we'd earlier decided would be her science curriculum for this semester once we realized the first one wouldn't suffice.  We quickly realized that she really needed to focus on training Theo instead of gardening this spring.

Flexibility.

That's what we're going for.

Practical zoology instead of botany.

It's all good.


Thursday

Mister Man finished book 1 of his math curriculum.  He immediately started book 2.  I still think his math craze is ending--it's kind of gliding along on the thrill of finishing one project and starting a new one, but I'm pretty sure the passion is waning to make way for a new one in his small world.

We spent the whole morning on individual school work.

Nature Angel has hit a series of math lessons that she needs lots of encouragement and guidance to complete;
Little Princess's language arts lessons have been parent-intensive lately, too;
Mister Man works mostly independently, but even only needing occasional help turns into lots of attention when he's completing 8-12 math lessons a day;
Ladybug's reading skills are coming along quite nicely--even with textbook precision;
Brother loves his phonics lessons more than I am capable of describing.

Working with those 5 (plus preschool story time (Rose White and Rose Red), Morning Meeting, chores, breakfast, and the antics of the toddlers) took the whole morning.

Nature Angel made peanut butter and jam sandwiches for lunch, and suddenly we were off to dance.

We're ready for Saturday's triple performances at a local fundraising fair!

After pizza for dinner we piled the whole crew in the van to drop the 4 big girls off for a youth trip to the temple.

Nature Angel was playing with Theo while I got the littles ready and tucked into bed one at a time.  Suddenly I heard Baymax cry and Nature Angel comforting him.  In a moment she came into the bathroom where I was "greasing" Little Brother (rubbing in his daily absolutely-essential-to-the-health-of-his-skin, head-to-toe application of Vaseline) and crumpled into my arms in tears.

Theo had bitten her.

Hard.
He's also begun to eat the kids' homework.
She'd been trying to save him from eating a piece of a water bottle he'd gotten hold of, and in the tussle, he'd bitten her instead of the plastic.  He punctured the edge of the palm of her hand most of the way through, and it took a long time to stop the bleeding.

It hurt.

In his over-stimulated state, he'd also nipped Baymax.  Baymax's skin wasn't broken, but he'll sport a bruise and a welt for a few days now.

This was a not-so-fun lesson in puppy behavior.

Sweet  Nature Angel said to me an hour or two later, "Mom, I don't want to play with him any more."

The hurt in her voice and in her eyes was actually not from what Theo did to her; rather it was distress over feeling upset with him.  Her tender heart was bothered that she didn't feel instant forgiveness.  She wants to want to play with him.

Precious soul!

I comforted her that forgiveness comes with time and prayer.

Eventually I got the younger 8 to bed, and the older 4 came home shortly after that.  We stayed up late laughing and talking.

I rather like my teen daughters.

Friday
Lola and Baymax got into everything from the earliest hours of the morning.  By 10:00 am I was desperate, and I pulled out the window cleaner and some paper towels to entertain them. 

That worked for 15 minutes.

Then I foolishly got out the shaving cream and let them paint away.

That was fun for them for about 3 minutes, but it took Nature Angel and me over half an hour to clean it up.

Next time I'll stick to the window cleaner!


I'm worried that Mister Man's math book, meant to be used over the course of a full school year, is going to kill his passion when done in short order.  I do not know how he has tolerated the never ending drills in addition and number order.

I shared Brother's handwriting practice sheets with him instead.


And then I introduced him to the wonder of online math drills.

He thinks they are awesome!

Even with the busy toddlers, we had a productive morning.

Little Princess loves, loves, loves tracing maps for geography.
I hated all of the February ideas in A Year of Playing Skillfully, so I raided our craft cupboard and ended up letting the kids decorate paper hearts with rice I colored a year or so ago.






He was mad that I wouldn't let him just dump cupfuls of rice on the table.

He got hold of the cup later, anyway.
At some point in the evening Nature Angel painted this little picture.  The contentment on this little creature's face absolutely captivates me.  I can't look at it enough.

And Rose Red got to go to a roaring 20s themed dance.

I think she looked amazing!!!




Saturday
We danced in a triple -header for a local theater production fundraiser.

One of the benefits was that we got to play in between shows.  King James and his Queen arrived to "knight" various children.  Brother, Little Brother, Ladybug, and Nature Angel totally enjoyed the ceremony.  I only got pictures of Ladybug and Nature Angel



We are very, very tired.

Pizza and a video tonight!

(Linking here)

Comments

  1. Oh my, you are able to get in so much over the course of a week!! What a joy to be able to share in it by your generosity of descriptions...

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  2. You have been on my mind and in my prayers all week. Many good lessons this week, especially the real life lessons! We're doing a video tonight as well - watching and singing along with Fiddler on the Roof as a family. ;)

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  3. I really love reading about your week - although I think I enjoy reading about homeschooling with toddlers more than I would enjoy the reality of it ;-) I can barely remember our early homeschooling days when I did have toddlers. Nature Angel's picture is adorable and Rose Red really rocks that 1920's look.

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  4. What a big week. I'm glad you are back online. :) Your big girls are so industrious. Your middle kids are so sweet. And the babies are so great. You show such joy in your days. I know your days are not perfect and joyful always, but it is a blessing to be able to see the blessings in the middle of life. Love you

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  5. What an awesome week. The valentine hearts are wonderful. I love them. What a great experience to dance in a show.
    Blessings, Dawn

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  6. This was so much fun to read! Your weeks are so busy and full! I miss those days. Love the rice on the paper hearts and the picture Nature Angel painted. Rose Red did look amazing.

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