Sunday, September 9, 2012

Glad to Have Homeschool Weeks 1-2 Behind Us!

I really was not ready this year for all the organization, preparation, patience, and planning that is required to home school the four young'uns.   Summer was not quite long enough.  But I pulled up the boot straps, prayed a lot and started up on the 27th.   After two weeks, I am still a tad overwhelmed and haven't really settled into a routine.   Part of my problem is that since I thought Seth would be bored with MFWs 1st grade content, I decided to teach the 2nd grade curriculum to him.  I am continuing to do the spelling/phonics and math for 1st grade, but the 2nd grade curriculum will challenge him more with reading and writing and will just be a more interesting subject to study (explorers, founding of the United States, pioneers, the 50 states, etc.).  So, a little more prep work for me since I also have the other three that are in the third year cycle of MFW--Rome to the Reformation. 

So this is what we have we studied so far..

Seth learned about the Vikings and Christopher Columbus in social studies. His Bible theme for the year is the different names of Jesus so we talked about the importance and the meanings of names.

A quick picture with clothes on and then it was time to strip down and play with Columbus' ships in the bathtub!
The other three studied the founding of Rome, the story of Remus and Romulus, the rise of the Roman Republic and then the fall of the Roman Republic with the murder of Julius Caesar.  Now we are reading about the war between Mark Antony and Octavius and the part that Cleopatra plays in this whole drama.   Along with the study of Rome we learned about education in Rome, classes of people (patrician, plebeian, slaves), and what the Roman homes and cities were like.  We also practiced math with Roman numerals.  The kids enjoyed the DVD, Roman City, which gave a great overview of how Roman cities were laid out using actual footage from the unearthed city of Pompeii and also a fictionalized story about building a Roman city in Gaul.   The girls are working on a Roman lapbook for our Rome unit and Nicolas has completed several notebooking pages which is basically writing up a summary of what we studied.  Nicolas started a reading unit using the book The Eagle of the Ninth and the girls are doing a unit on The Courage of Sarah Noble.  This might be a little easy for Anna, but I thought we could gradually work up to something a little more challenging for her. 

The girls (and Seth) have really enjoyed these Roman "wax" tablets that we made.  Well worth the late night putting them together and the trip to Hobby Lobby for non-hardening clay.  Love that 40% off they have each week!

Caleb started school this week and seems to enjoy his classes.  He is in U.S. History, Honors English, Algebra II, Orchestra, Government/Economics, Bible, and Chemistry.   He was signed up to take Spanish I, but it conflicted with Honors English, so is taking Government/Economics instead.  We reassured him that this is a great semester to be in Government.  Can't beat an election year!  He wants to work on Rosetta Stone Spanish at home instead.  Caleb is also in the GRYS Classical Orchestra this year.  He auditioned in May and found out in early July that they had a spot for him.  He had a day long retreat on Saturday at the Salvation Army Pine Island Retreat Center to kick-off the orchestra season which starts Monday night.  He is also enjoying soccer at NorthPointe more this year than last year.   They have only had 11 guys on the JV team so they have been playing most games without subs...and winning.  They actually even tied one game when they played with only 10 guys to the other team's 11!

Nicolas' soccer program through GR City Rec was cancelled due to lack of numbers in his age group.  I felt so bad for him as he had started running every morning to get in shape and could be found outside doing soccer drills to improve his ball handling skills.   We put him on the AYSO youth soccer waiting list, but since it was so late I doubt they will give us a call.  Home school orchestra starts on Wednesday this week.  After his audition this summer, Nicolas is now in the Symphony Orchestra which meets at 1:25 in the afternoon instead of 8:30 like the Advanced Orchestra.  Can't say I'll miss getting the kids up and out of the house early on Wednesday mornings.

Russ also seems to be settling into a routine at school.  He is taking Soteriology, Westminster Standards, Youth Ministry, New Testament Exegesis--Gospels and Acts, Apologetics, and Practice Preaching.  He will continue tutoring math at NorthPointe like he did last school year.  He was also asked in late August to consider taking over the Youth Group at the FRC.  With both boys in youth group he was excited to say "yes".  The youth group had a kick-off for the season on Saturday.  Pete and Minnie Van Kempen generously invited the youth group to their cottage on a lake for the afternoon/early evening.  Russ went earlier with Nicolas, and I joined them around 5:30 with the rest of the kids after picking up Caleb from his orchestra retreat.  The youth group kids seemed to get along great and have a good time together.  

Where's Russell?  A picture Dr. Beeke took of his Soteriology class posted on Facebook.  Russ counted at least 11 different countries represented in this one class.
I will begin my first night as a Level 1 Children's Leader tomorrow night at BSF.  This should be quite a change from Level 4/Senior Level that I had last year.   Seth will be in my class and I know I will love having him there with me.  This week we are looking forward to a visit from my Mom and Dad.  Like Lydia said tonight before she went to bed, "I just can't wait until Grandma and Grandpa are here."   

Another picture borrowed from Dr. Beeke's facebook page on the PRTS picnic at the Plymouth Elementary School.  Had great weather and a wonderful turnout  I enjoyed visiting Donna Kelderman and hearing what their older kids are doing (the ones I actually knew when they were small:).

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