Well, time has gone by so quickly. We had a small break in the schedule but have had some really wonderful learning in the last several weeks. The girls in 6th grade have been surprising me with their ability to do their work more independently. I can remember a couple of years ago when I had to read everything with/to them and now they are reading most of their books on their own. I still have them read aloud to me at times, or I read to them, just because I love to learn with them! I have also seen an increase in their ability to focus on their written work. Sarah used to be so distractable during any kind of writing. Now she is learning to ignore some of the other noise around and get it done in a timely fashion. On the other hand, Hannah has learned to slow down a bit and do it better instead of faster! We have continued to find our study of WWII to be so interesting. I am only able to give them a tenth of what I have been learning because they are still so young. I look forward to a few years from now when we will revisit it with a more complete view.
Mary is enjoying 3rd grade and also growing in her independence though we still read nearly everything together, but she is doing more reading as I do more listening. We are fully immersed now in multiplication and division facts and I am anxiously awaiting the moment when it finally makes sense to her! It seems that my girls each have a time of sort of knowing these math functions, but they struggle and confuse them. We are working slowly and I know she will master them like her sisters when she is ready.
We also went back to the pool for the first time since we went out of town in August. The girls loved it especially when they met a homeschool family that was very friendly. I was actually shopping while Memaw swam with the girls, but evidently the mom, Gwen, and her family used to live on the same street as our church. She had one of our band's cds (she heard us play at Due South) and was somewhat familiar with our family. We are looking forward to a play date with them in a couple of weeks. They are traveling for a week. The oldest daughter is Hannah's age and she promised to send a postcard from there.
So here are some highlights of school.
Bible - We are loving this book! http://www.amazon.com/Princess-Adelina-Ancient-Christian-Bravery/dp/1934554332 My girls cry for more every time I stop reading. My girls are used to the older English language since we have read books like this since they were little and use NKJ or NASU Bibles, but still, if the reader can understand the reading they can make it understandable for young children.
History - Mary is enthralled with learning about the Kings and Queens of England. I love this period because we get to study several who were protestant and how they helped the cause of reformation! Mary kept repeating a rhyme we both just learned about King Henry VIII's wives: divorced, beheaded, died, divorced, beheaded, survived. She loved looking at the portraits and learning a bit about each wife. Needless to say there has been a revival in her appreciation for all things princess between the book for Bible and these history stories.
Science - We finished our unit on the weather and are enjoying our new unit on animals. Lots of the animals that we saw at the aquarium in Gaitlinburg are coming up in our discussions! :)
Math - The big girls just learned about negative numbers and plotting points on a four quadrant graph. I love math! They are nearly finished with Saxon 65 and next week will start Saxon 76.
Art - we finished studying our artist for the term and will now be doing some drawing lessons again.
Music - we are listening to Aaron Copeland and are enjoying his compositions. The girls are also practicing the piano regularly and asking for more help to read the notes in the hymnal. Sarah is trying to learn to sing alto with me! :)
Foreign Language - Spanish continues to be a favorite! In the store today, Lydia was singing the hello song as she rode up and down the aisles! Greek and Latin are also going along nicely!
Literature - Hannah and Sarah (Mary listened in too) finished Where the Red Fern Grows and we all cried through the end. I waited about a week and then offered to show them the movie on Netflix. We all cried again! Mary begged to skip the movie when she is in year 6. She thinks she can handle reading the book again though. Now the girls are reading Snow Treasure (set in Norway in WWII) and Sarah said it is one of the most exciting books we have read! I think she will also like Number the Stars when she reads it! Mary has been listening to Men of Iron by Howard Pyle and loves it. This seems like such a boys book with all the talk of fighting and learning to be a knight, but Pyle does such a wonderful job of showing the relationships between the boys that all my girls have loved it! Yes, more on the castles and princes theme! :)
Handicrafts - For the princess room the younger girls worked on making knots and placing beads on yarn. The object was to make a bead curtain to dress up the doorway of their princess room. In the next few weeks we hope to do some sewing to adorn the room. The bigger girls have a rainforest/ tropical theme and continue to paint, cut and hang all sorts of decorations. They are also working on some plastic canvas projects for Christmas. Never to early to start on Christmas! ;)
It has been a blessed several weeks. Looking foward to the next three!