Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Homeschool weeks 25 and 26

Just a quick school update.  I am growing weary of the school year as I imagine teachers everywhere do this time of year.  We will begin to compete with beautiful weather soon which makes keeping the kids interest even more difficult.  I have definitely decided that we will take a spring break when Russ and Caleb have theirs.   I think we will plan to do our Christian Passover celebration that week. 

The last two weeks we saw the end of Solomon's reign and the decline and fall of Israel.  We looked at how the kingdom was divided and the ministry of Elijah.   We studied the people who settled in the Indus Valley who moved to the Ganges Valley--the Indian Vedic Ages.  Along with that we read about India's caste system as well as the origins of Hinduism and Buddhism.   We also finished our memorization of Psalm 1.  We are still reading the Children's Homer as a read-aloud, but have moved on from the Iliad to the Odyssey.  The girls continue with their Charlotte's Web reading unit, and all continue to progress in spelling, math and English.

In art the kids learned more about painting with acrylic paints.  The focus of the lessons they did these two weeks was on mixing the paints to achieve the color you want.   They finished out this little section by painting Albrecht Durer's Stag Beetle, working hard to mix the paints to get the "right" color and also using a little of what they learned about shading.  We enjoyed listening to Handel, including some of his Messiah pieces and also a few movements from his Water Music.

Stag Beetle pictures (they just needed to paint, the picture was already drawn for them)

This is the paint card that they had to match colors to.

Seth had "F" for fox and "V" for vegetable.   We learned from our stories that foxes can be wily and deceitful but, "God's Word makes me wiser than my enemies."  I found an age appropriate lapbook on foxes at www.homeschoolshare.com that he was very excited to complete.  That was our only activity for the week.  For vegetable week we did not plant seeds as the curriculum recommended.  I figured we will plant a garden this spring and can look at the various seeds then.  We did buy and eat lots of fresh vegetables in honor of the week and even tried one we had never had before...brussel sprouts.  We all agreed that they are actually pretty good as long as you remove the bitter core before you eat them.  Seth would just peel and eat the leaves down to the core.  On another "vegetable" day we used vegetables as our paint brush and experimented with mixing colors, i.e. what happens when you mix red and blue?  I don't know if he remembered how to make all the secondary colors because down the stretch he was making some pretty strange mixes which all eventually looked brown.    But we had fun!  The words for vegetable week were, "God gives me all that I need."  Seth only has two weeks left in his curriculum, but I got some great ideas to continue with him in reading and math from our friend Lori who teaches Kindergarten at MOC-FV.   I am so grateful for her advice and input and taking time to guide this home school mom!

Lapbook cover

Inside of lapbook

Vegetable painting

Fox books:  Fox by Kate Banks, Rosie's Walk by Pat Hutchins, The Fox and the Stork by Gerald McDermott, Arctic Fox by Stephen Person, Fox by Caroline Arnold, and various Aesop's Fables that had a wily fox in the story.

Vegetable/Garden books:  The Vegetables We Eat by Gail Gibbons, Busy in the Garden by George Shannon, No More Vegetables by Nicole Rubel, A Green, Green Garden by Mercer Mayer, The Ugly Vegetables by Grace Lin, The Surprise Garden by Zoe Hall.

As I mentioned in a previous blog, the NorthPointe orchestra played at the District Festival in Holland, MI.   Since the pre-festival concert was cancelled due to bad weather, I decided make the trek with the other kids to listen to and support the orchestra and then just take a quick detour to the Lake for an hour or so.  The orchestra sounded great; it was a treat to listen to them.  They played Egyptian Legacy, Fantasia on a 17th Century Tune (Let All Mortal Flesh Keep Silent), and a Vivaldi piece.  They received Division I ratings in every area and plan to head to state in May sometime.  The St. Cecilia Orchestra seems to be going well for Caleb too.  CJ also had a violin recital a couple Saturdays ago and played what his teacher described as being in the "showpiece" category for violin music, Introduction in Polanaise.  It is a fun piece and he did a great job with it.  His violin teacher has many talented string students, and it was humbling to have him be a part of that group.  I enjoy seeing the progress he has made even just over the last year.  Caleb has mentioned that it is hard to find time to practice all his music,though!   He is running track this Spring as he heard NorthPointe hired a great coaching team:).  

Russ is pretty busy this week as papers and projects are coming due.  Currently he is working on two exegetical papers and writing up a counseling manual that he could give to elders in his church someday.  Next week he has a confession statement due on covenant theology vs. dispensationalism.   Track also started this week at NorthPointe which adds a little to his (and mine!) workload.  I think it will be a good outlet for him, though, since the program is not very large.   I'll try to write more on track later as we get to know the kids and get a little further into the season.    At this time he does not have any preaching scheduled which may be a good thing as he will be busier with track.  

I just continue to be teacher, cook, cleaner, launderer, grocery shopper, chauffeur to lessons and eye/dental appts. and all those other things moms do.  I still enjoy my evenings with the Ministry Wives group.  We finished up our video series by Pastor Al Martin and the last time we met heard from Mrs. Linda Lanning on how to deal with crises in the ministry.   I am always amazed at all the nationalities represented at those meetings.    One night I counted 25 women and the following countries:  Brazil, Netherlands, Korea, Scotland, Canada, Ethiopia, Malawi, South Africa, Nigeria, England, Kazakhstan, and the US.    This afternoon I have a meeting with the MWI committee to try to hammer out a schedule of topics for the next school year.  Then it is off to track practice...

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