Monthly Archives: February 2008

Been Busy

I’ve neglected my blog terribly. Blame it on my woeful time management skills. We’ve just about made it through the winter. Everyone said February would be the toughest time. Ditto for January. We really lightened up our daily schedule, but I think we’re slowly getting back on track. Both kids are reading all the time. I’d guess they average anywhere from 3-6 hours a day in reading alone, especially on those days when they’ve used up their 2-hours per week tv allotment. They’re still happy to let me guide their choices, so I’m thrilled to see them reading so many classics. Caleb likes realistic books with protagonists near his age or older (“No magic or wizards, or fairy- tale stuff, Mom. I want stuff than can happen.” Outwardly, I just shrug, “OK,” but inwardly I’m saying “Yay!”). Recently he’s read Bud, Not Buddy, Understood Betsy, and The Wheel on the School. If He really likes a novel, he’ll shut himself in his room and finish it in two days (like someone else I used to know). Today’s Saturday, so he picked up The Boy Who Spoke Dog this morning and finished it by lunchtime. Sarah’s reading about 5-10 books a day from the easy reader section of the library. Frances, Olivia, and Madeline are big favorites, but she’ll read anything I put in the library book crate. It’s been a joy to rediscover long forgotten books of my own early years. She still shies away from chapter books, though she’s read a few.  My thrill has been reading the William Steig books.  I think I’m much more taken with them than I was as a child.  They’re wonderful.  Sarah’s reading and re-reading them several times.  I really like Yellow and Pink.

Caleb won his little spelling bee contest for the third graders, thanks to the relaxed rules that allowed him to get second chance if he misspelled a word the first time. It’s sponsored by HEART. I was proud because of all the practice time he put into preparing for the bee.

Caleb and Sarah have each progressed to the next year’s level in math, but it’s pretty challenging for them. Sarah’s still an emerging reader, and some of the word problems are difficult for her. Caleb’s enjoying it for the most part. Daddy’s a pretty patient and thorough teacher.
We’ve been to the homeschool skating field trips three times now, and the kids are having a ball learning to skate, getting better each time. They’ve each made a new friend in addition to Sam and Rachel, their best buds. We’ve gone on a few other field trips as well, but I’ve really had to push myself to get out there. I’m such a hermit by nature.

One fun surprise is how much the kids love their Latin lessons! We’re using “English From the Roots Up” and it’s really an inspired technique. The kids learn one root a week as well as 5-8 derivations. It’s a bit of a guessing game: We learned photos means light, and tropos means turn, then I asked the kids what a phototropic plant is, and they discussed the possibilities before figuring out that it’s a plant that turns its leaves toward light. The other day Caleb was on the computer and read the word “biography”, recognizing graph in the middle. He called me over and we discussed how bio means life, and graph means to write, etc. It’s so much fun to watch them see how the puzzle pieces fit together. Language is fun.

Caleb woke up the other night very upset and sad. He misses his friends from school, so I’m going to make a more concerted effort to have friends over. Two boys came over for a few hours yesterday, and it was great to see him let loose ( a little too loose at times, but he is just 9). I hadn’t heard that kind of wild laughter in some time. They were on the trampoline for an hour, and I thought they would wake the dead.

Sarah’s taking piano lessons ( thankfully we finally have a keyboard with a connection for headphones!) and she’s pretty good about practicing. Both kids are about to begin baseball again. We are all greatly anticipating spring.

There’s a lot more, of course, but I’m doing good just to get anything in my poor little blog. Happy homeschooling, y’all!

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