Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Home School Weeks 23 and 24

Only 10 weeks of school left!   The last two weeks our focus was on David's life as king of Israel and  Solomon's reign.  We took two days to look at one other ancient civilization, the Phoenicians.  The city of Tyre was one of the Phoenician's major seaports, and we read about King Hiram from the city of Tyre during the reign of David.  Since the Phoenicians were known for their purple dye that they made from murex (shellfish) we decided to make our own purple dye from red cabbage and dye some of Dad's old hankies.

The kids continue to make good progress with the rest of their subjects.  We started our unit on Handel, listening to his life story on CD.  The kids like his music and are eager to listen to more over the next few weeks (he wrote some great oratorios!).    Anna and Nicolas also finished their pictures of Michael slaying the dragon from Revelation (from our study of the artist, Durer).    The girls completed their final project for our Lightning Thief unit.  They created Percy's Poseidon cabin from Camp Half-Blood from mostly recycled materials, old fabric scraps, and shells they had saved from trips to Big Sand or Lake Michigan.  Nicolas helped them make the sea shell chairs and was all-time glue-gunner.    Seth made one of his own cabins with a little help from Nicolas.   This week the girls will start a new book unit on Charlotte's Web.    We are still reading through Children's Homer as a read aloud.

Seth had "B" for butterfly and "F" for frog the last two weeks.   Activities for these two weeks included making a butterfly out of the letter "B" and gluing colorful buttons on to decorate it, creating a "stained glass" butterfly with crayon shavings, illustrating the four stages of the life cycle of a butterfly, making a craft to illustrate the life stages of a frog, and learning the difference between a frog and a toad.  The best project was watching the caterpillars that we ordered grow from little tiny things to big fat long caterpillars.  Just this weekend they transformed into pupae and now we are excited to see them change into butterflies.  I hadn't intended to order them so soon because I want the weather to be warm enough to let the butterflies go outside.  Instead of taking three weeks to arrive they took less than a week to get here.  I think it makes a huge difference if you order on-line (what I did) versus sending the little post card in to order them.

Books Seth enjoyed:  Caterpillar to Butterfly and Tadpole to Frog both by Camilla de la Bedoyene; The Very Hungry Caterpillar by Eric Carle, The Butterfly Collector adapted by Naomi Lewis; Terry and the Caterpillars by Millicent Selsam; Butterfly and Frog both from the Watch Me Grow series; Fancy Nancy Bonjour Butterfly by Jane O'Conner;  The Croaky Pokey by Ethan Long (loved this one!); Frog and Toad books by Arnold Lobel (Seth read these to me!); and Froggy books by Jonathan London.

Caleb continues to do well at NorthPointe according to his midterm grades for this second semester.  I can tell he is making more friends as he talks about certain guys/gals more then he did last semester.  He did have a "learning what peer pressure is all about" type incident last week that was a great learning experience for him.  On a more positive note, he participated in some of the Homecoming festivities at NorthPointe this last week.  He did most of the dress-up days, went to the games on Friday night, and the dinner on Saturday night.  He had not planned on going to the dinner, but  Kaeleigh, and senior girl from the orchestra invited him to go with her.  Her boyfriend wasn't able to go with her so she asked CJ so she didn't have to go alone.  She picked him up here and then met some of her friends to do the picture thing.   From Caleb's pictures on Facebook he seems like quite the ladies man.  Better keep an eye on him...  He has some busy weeks coming up with several quartet "gigs".  Most are school related, but he does have one wedding scheduled.  The orchestra festival is this week Thursday and the kids and I plan to attend that since his concert was cancelled due to bad weather.  He also has a violin recital on Saturday.  Last night he came home more upbeat about the St. Cecilia Orchestra than he has been.  It sounds like he actually talked to some people and made some connections about knowing mutual friends, etc. 

He insists he is taller than she is and she was just wearing heels, hmm...not so sure about that:)
Russ completed his practice preaching for this semester last Thursday.  He is thankful that it went well with mostly positive comments.  The setting is always so difficult to preach in.  An elder from the FRC came to listen to him which Russ appreciated greatly.  He had the DVD of his sermon at home as he needed to critique himself and so I was able to watch part of it. I had read his sermon over several times and it was nice to see how he actually preached it.   

Russ has been offered a job (35 hours a week) this summer to work for Dr. Murray.  (Don't worry, Dad, Russ told Dr. Murray he needs at least three weeks off for Big Sand and to shingle your house:).   I also am in the process of filling out an application at Spectrum Health for a PRN PT position that they had advertised.  I don't know if they will want me at all as I can't be much help during the school year, but I thought I would give it a try for occasional summer work.   Right now, however, we are gearing up for our track coaching job.  The season starts March 12 which will be here really soon!

Last Friday was a snow day here.  We never have too much school work on that day, so we just took the day off along with Caleb (no snow day for Russ, though).  The kids played out in the snow for about 2 hours in the morning.  In the afternoon after chores/cleaning/instrument practice were all taken care of we watched Pete's Dragon together.  I haven't watched it in years, and the kids have never seen it.  I still love the movie.  Saturday morning after BSF and Caleb's violin lesson we all went to the big sledding hill for an hour or so.  We had so much fun as we the hill mostly to ourselves.

I am taking Caleb and Anna in for yearly eye appointments this afternoon.   No MWI meetings or Boys and Girls Club this week.  I also am not sure we will have Home School orchestra tomorrow morning as we are in a winter storm watch for freezing rain starting tonight into tomorrow morning.  So, other than the orchestra festival and violin recital on Saturday it should be a fairly quiet week.

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