Saturday, October 18, 2014

Memory work

Memory work is something we started at the very beginning of our homeschool journey....because it is in The Well-Trained Mind.  And that first year, we pretty much followed TWTM totally. Or tried to, anyway. Then after awhile, we kind of slipped away from doing memory work because we weren't really following TWTM anymore, except for maybe memorizing a poem once in while.

This year, after I decided to drop Sonlight language arts and go back to following the LA suggestions in TWTM, I figured we would add memory work back in too. I kind of figured this would cause a lot of moaning and groaning, but surprisingly it has not! The kids are actually enjoying their memory work, for the most part. I have a framework for each child to follow, but they mostly choose their own things to memorize.

For Rose (age 6)

We only do the poem memorization assignments from First Language Lessons. They are perfect for her. So far she can recite the poems "The Caterpillar" by Christina Rossetti and "Work" by an anonymous poet, and she is very proud. We work on our memorization when prompted to by FLL, otherwise we don't do it.

James (age 9)

I let James choose his own poem from Favorite Poems Old and New.  I can't remember if I have ever talked about that book here, but I really love it. We have used it every year since we got it, back when Grace was in kindergarten.  James started out memorizing very short poems, but lately I have been encouraging him to choose longer ones. He reads his chosen poem three times a day, four days per week. When he thinks he has it, he recites it to me. Then he chooses a new poem to work on.

James is also doing history memory work this year. Right now he is memorizing the Preamble to the Constitution and later in the year I hope to have him do parts of the Declaration of Independence and the Gettysburg Address. I just print out a copy of whatever selection he is working on and he keeps it in his memory work folder. He has memory work on his weekly checklist four days each week and he knows that means to get out his folder, read the Preamble three times, and read his chosen poem three times.

Christopher (11) and Grace (13)

Christopher and Grace do memory work much the same way that James does. They choose a poem and read it three times a day until they have it memorized.

Instead of history memory work, though, they are both doing biology memory work this year.  There are a bunch of ideas listed in TWTM for doing this. I just showed them that list and had them pick. They both decided to memorize the major bones of the body first.

I printed out a chart for them (Google is great for this) and they spent just a few minutes each day studying it. When each of them thought they had it, I had them use their little sister as a model while reciting the names of the bones. All involved got a kick out of that. Next, they are going to work on the parts of a cell. The bones chart we used is here, if you are interested.

As we get further into our year I am planning to have the kids type their poems up as they finish with them. They can keep that copy in their memory work folder to review during the year.

And that is how we are doing memory work this year!

Friday, October 17, 2014

Once more, to the beach

It wasn't the greatest weekend ever. There were fevers, coughs, croup, sniffles, fatigue, and lots and lots of television....but there were also some (short) walks on the beach, a sand castle or two, trips out for hot chocolate, take-out dinners, and a really nice sunset.

Now we are back and still battling whatever-virus-this-is. It's a tough one, to be sure. The littler kids are mostly better and have started back to their regular extracurricular, school, and chore routines today, not altogether happily on those last two! The two oldest are still mostly couch-bound, but they have been doing some of their reading here and there.

That's one more item checked off of our October fun list anyway!

Thursday, October 16, 2014

My technological inabilities

I just realized this week that the emails from my blog button were not actually making it to my primary email account. I thought I was pretty cool setting up that email button last spring, though I did wonder a couple of times why I had not been getting any emails. Apparently, they just haven't been forwarding. Duh. Anyway, I just wanted to say that if you sent me an email in the past few months and I didn't get back to you, that is why! I promise I wasn't ignoring you!

I am working my way through my very late responses and I have had one or two messages bounce back to me already, so if you do not hear back from me, that is why.  I really do appreciate people stopping by and reading and commenting and sending me questions. I like talking shop, as it were;). So thank you and I promise to answer all emails from now on!

Wednesday, October 15, 2014

Tea Time

We really like tea around here. I have a mug every morning with breakfast, usually Trader Joe's Irish Breakfast. Then sometime around 10:30 every school morning, everyone makes up a mug of their choice. I usually have a mug of green tea, the kids choose from an overflowing basket of options I keep in a cupboard near the stove. Their current favorites are Trader Joe's Harvest Blend or a pumpkin spice blend I picked up at a local market. Rose almost always wants straight up black pekoe (decaf, of course). In the winter they all like peppermint tea. I do sugar in my breakfast tea, otherwise I drink it plain.... after letting it steep for way longer than the directions say. It is never strong enough for  me, even when I use loose tea.  The kids like a little bit of demerara sugar and milk in theirs, sometimes honey. I usually sip mine while reading aloud to someone who is drinking theirs. It is a very cozy thing. The best part of my morning, I think.

Weekends, we have our tea sometime around 3 in the afternoon, with a treat if someone thought to pick something up when we were out earlier, or if Grace baked something. As it gets colder I will most likely make this 3 pm tea time a daily thing.

I do miss the summer, but I am glad to be back on tea time, too.

Monday, October 13, 2014

For the week of October 13th....

Plans for the week ahead

Recovering. We had a nice little trip to the beach planned for this past long weekend, so naturally every single kid got sick... fever, headache, sore throat, chills, exhaustion.... ugh. We stuck it out, and the trip wasn't a total loss, everyone had short windows of time when they felt okay.... so we still had some good times. This week though, those that still aren't feeling well are staying put and resting. Including me, who just now seems to be coming down with a telltale scratchy throat and headache.  Oh, well.

Thinking about

Getting back into a routine. I have not really looked at my calendar yet for the week, I have been avoiding it since we got back. 

Homeschool notes

 This week will be a short week because of our trip and needing a day to sort everything out and get back into a routine. I ordered the next Bookshark level for Grace and Christopher and it is due to arrive tomorrow. 

Out of doors

I thought we were going to spend a lot of time hiking over the weekend, but alas, no such luck. Still, it is beautiful out there. You just can't beat fall in New England. Even when you are mostly looking at it out the window.

In the kitchen

Well, I think I probably need to go shopping as I am not sure there is really anything worth eating around here! Last week, because we weren't "doing school", I had a ton of extra time, so I made lots of stuff with apples.

I made a bunch of applesauce to have with dinner and then did up a few jars for the freezer. I want to save it to go with the potato latkes we always make for the holidays. I made pie crust for an apple pie, which I forgot to take a picture of. While I was at it, I figured I would make four pie crusts so three could go in the freezer.

And then I made a ton of apple pie filling, some for a pie for that night, but most for the freezer. I really wish I felt this productive every day!

Watching & reading

I am reading Small Island. We haven't watched much of anything except lots of cooking shows in our rental cottage while various people rested! I have The Woman in Black from Netflix and am really looking forward to watching it, I loved the book.

 Hope you have a great week!