Monday, March 26, 2012

Homeschool Weeks 27 and 28

Enjoying a glass of lemonade in the shade of their "tent".

In week 27 we read several chapters in 2 Kings about the life of Elisha:  Naaman, Elisha's greedy servant, and the story of Elisha and the Syrians.   Last week we studied the Assyrian empire and then in conjunction with that read the book of Jonah (Nineveh was the capital of the Assyrian empire), Isaiah 6 (the call and message of Isaiah) and 2 Kings 17 when Israel is taken into captivity by the Assyrians.  It is so much fun to study the culture of a nation like Assyria and then put what you know about them into the context of the Bible story.  We get a better understanding of why Assyria was so feared, why they settled Samaria like they did, and how amazing that God did not allow Judah to be taken by the Assyrians.  He had other plans for them which we will get into the next few weeks as we study the rise of Babylon, Hezekiah, Josiah, and Jeremiah.   No major projects were completed these two weeks--just some map work and a couple notebooking pages to summarize what we learned.

We started memorizing Isaiah 40:21-31 last week.  I think we are pretty good through verse 24.  This is our memory work for the rest of the year, so we will just slowly work through it the next several weeks.

The girls are still working through Charlotte's Web and we have just one more week in the Children's Homer.  We have been tempted to read ahead in order to find out how Odysseus shows himself to his wife, Penelope, since he is currently in disguise, and how he deals with the wooers that have invaded his home.  But we need to get our other work done too...

The kids started a unit on Greek art.  They studied different Greek sculptures and made a pencil drawing of one of them concentrating on our shading technique.  They also drew an object/toy of our choice three different times, each time from a different perspective.  While drawing we continued to listen to more Handel favorites including the Chorus and March from Judas Maccabaeus. 

Seth finished up his formal curriculum with his last two letters, "Q" and "Y".  "Q" was for Quail and we read about the Israelites grumbling in the desert because they didn't have meat; they were not content.  We read books that dealt with being content with how God made us and the circumstances he has placed us in.  We also just read books on birds in general and made a nesting bag full of yarn and string to hang outside for the birds to use to make nests.  "Y" was for yellow and we marveled at God's colorful creation.  We looked at black and white pictures of nature and then looked at colored ones and decided we were thankful God gave us colors.   Seth can now recognize and read most color words, as we reviewed those every day this week.    I remembered that Seth had gotten a color experiment kit from the Michigan Bleekers for his birthday last year.  We had done a few of them right away, but still had several experiments to do.  This week was a perfect week to get it back out and experiment with mixing colors, making color crystals, and lots of other fun activities.  I knew he had really gotten into the mixing of colors when he came out of the bathroom on Saturday after I had cleaned the toilets with blue bowl cleaner.  "I know what color you get when you mix blue and yellow!  Green!"   Made me laugh. 

Seth's nesting bag

Track update:  We had another very hot week of practice.  Every day was 80+ degrees.  On Wednesday I brought popsicles for the team to enjoy after a tough workout.   It was nice to have a few more kids show up so our numbers have improved a little.  We did lose one girl to an after school job, so currently only have six girls on the team.  Our first meet was an indoor meet at Grand Valley State University on Friday afternoon.  What a nice facility!  The track was 300m with artificial turf in the middle in which the athletes could set up camp.   Since we had had only two weeks of practice, some events were a little ugly.  I wasn't able to do much coaching since the kids (as in Nicolas, Lydia, Anna, and Seth) really couldn't be down on the infield, but I helped time events in the stands and acted as Russ' second pair of eyes, texting him when I saw kids weren't where they were supposed to be, etc.   Overall, it was a good meet and now look to our first outdoor meet on Tuesday, weather permitting.

Enjoying popsicles after track practice.

At the GVSU meet last Friday.

A couple of our junior track coaches

Russ update:  Russ completed his 30 page exegetical paper on Exodus 3:1-12 and presented it this past week and also finished another 20 page exegetical paper on Exodus 19:3-6.  With those behind him he can work on his counseling manual and other sermons, papers, and projects that are due later in the semester.  I think he looks forward to spring break next week.

Caleb update:  Caleb has been working hard in track, but is having quite a bit of pain in both of his ankle joints.  This is something Anna also complains of after being active so I wonder if it is related to growth spurts.  A little ice and some Ibuprofen seems to help until after practice the next day.  He ran the 1600m on Friday at the meet and did a great job.  I think he surprised himself at how well he did.  Saturday morning Russ took him to Holland, MI to State solo/ensemble festival.   The string quintet played well and received a Division I rating.  Caleb opted not to play his violin solo at State because the rules are different for 9th graders and his violin teacher told him that it really isn't worth all the practice and time.   CJ is also growing like a weed and needed a wardrobe overhaul for this summer.  Thankfully, God provided a 30% off Kohl's coupon with bonus bucks so we could outfit him in clothes that fit!  Caleb will leave this coming Saturday for a mission trip to West Virginia with the FRC youth group.  They will be gone the entire week of spring break.  We will miss him horribly, but I know this will be a good experience for him.

Nicolas update:  Nicolas started his spring soccer season on Tuesday with practice.  Games do not start until after spring break in April.  He is in a new age bracket this spring (13-17 year olds) so that could be interesting.

Anna update:  We picked up Anna's new glasses on Monday.  She marveled at how much better she could see!  Glad we took her in for the yearly check-up!

Lydia update:  Lydia is finishing up her second bout of antibiotics for a recurrent staph infection causing large pimple/boils under her right arm.  I hope this does the trick along with antibacterial soap, and more frequent washing of bedding and towels.   Since I always think in terms of zebras instead of horses when I hear hoof beats, I have a tendency to obsess about the possibility of  MRSA.    I am so thankful I am married to someone who is NOT hooked up like I am and can help keep my mind from racing to the worst possible scenarios.  At any rate, the two boils she has are clearing up and no new ones have appeared.

Seth update:  Seth just continues to entertain us with his dramatics using words and phrases like, "This is the worst day of my life!"  or, "I am going to die! I am so hot (or thirsty, or tired or...)!"  or "This is tragical!  I wore the wrong flip-flops outside!"  He could have been kindred spirits with Anne Shirley (Green Gables).

Smokey update:  Smokey is enjoying the nice weather and being outside more.  She likes to hang out in the shed where we stored some wood this winter and keep an eye out for chipmunks.  Her other favorite place to hang out is on a pillow in front of Nicolas' open window.

 Since the weather has been so warm, our pear trees have started to blossom.  They predict light frost some mornings this week.  I hope our blossoms survive.  Tomorrow's high is only 46.  Quite a change from the 80 degree temperatures last week Monday!

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