October 5, 2012

Week Four Wrap-Up

"The great thing, if one can, is to stop regarding all the unpleasant things as interruptions of one's "own" or "real" life. The truth is of course that what one calls the interruptions are precisely one's real life-the life God is sending one day by day: what one calls one's "real life" is a phantom of one's own imagination." - C.S. Lewis
We have begun a new read aloud this week entitled The Blessed Child by Ted Dekker and I am soooo pleased how well it is enhancing our study of Acts. I did not plan this but followed the Lord in little decisions and it led us here. Both books speak of God's ability to be above the natural laws of science. Caleb in our story of the blessed child says it is simply putting things right. His story enhances the truth of the bible and brings the power from back then into the present encouraging us in this era to believe in Jesus as they did at the beginning of the first century.
"The great difference between present-day Christianity, and that of which we read in these letters (of the new testament), is that to us it is primarily a performance' to them it was real experience. We are apt to reduce the Christian religion to a code or, at best, a rule of heart and life. Perhaps if we believed what they believed, we could achieve what they achieved."-J.B. Philips in the intro to his translation of the New testament.
Skipping right along to our arithmetic lesson on skip counting. Reading Mathematics: An Instrument for living teaching this last week has encouraged me to add one more element to our current mathematics lessons. In Section two entitled: The teaching of Mathematics this quote by CM inspired me towards change:

“Therefore his progress must be carefully graduated; but there is no subject in which the teacher has a more delightful consciousness of drawing out from day to day new power in the child. Do not offer him a crutch: it is in his own power he must go. Give him short sums, in words rather than in figures, and excite in him the enthusiasm which produces concentrated attention and rapid work. Let his arithmetic lesson be to the child a daily exercise in clear thinking and rapid, careful execution, and his mental growth will be as obvious as the sprouting of seedlings in the spring” (Vol. 1, p. 261).
  The highlighted part gave me cause to think...my lessons are short, but are they in words rather than figures, and are they rapid  producing concentrate effort? I decided they were not, so I added in twice a week a new lesson where by I read out story problems from Ray's PrimaryArithmetic book that I used last year for addition and subtraction. We play at the number questions like a spelling bee one day and on another day using the Storm the castle game board. We play with the dodecahedron dice we made last year to keep them game moving and the lesson is still short. The challenging part is that the answers in both games must be given in a full sentence.

So our week of mathematics now looks like this:

Day one: Review and sing all the skip counting songs we have learned.
Day two: Review last two skip counting songs and fill in a skip counting sheet for the latest one this week it was X5. Look for patterns in the table.
Day Three: Play math-bee using Ray's Arithmetic  multiplication problems.
Day Four: play skip counting song X5 and preview X6.
Day five: fill out the multiplication table up to number 5. (Next week up to number 6) Look for patterns in the table.
Day six: Read from Mathematicians are people too Vol. 2 and play storm the castle with Ray's multiplication problems.

The Story of the Greeks we have finished, so I am beginning to read aloud to them from The Black Ships Before Troy a narrative version of Homer's poem The Iliad. There is a wonderful audio of Alfred J. Church's The Iliad for Boys and Girls which I play for them at night as they are going to sleep. We alternate now between The audio of The Wind and the Willows, The Burgess Bird book and now this one. A good story should be listened to again and again I think. :)

Here are some pages from our Aesop's copywork books.

Their handwriting is improving with the challenge of not having any scratch outs of mistakes on the first attempt to gain a treat. I love it!!

More pictures below of our scrapbook activity The Ancient Greek Olympics. The pages in the slide show are from various sources, but predominately from History Pockets: Ancient Greece.

I found a new resource to go along with the Burgess Bird book...videos of each of the birds mentioned in the book. Check it our HERE. The posts are in a backwards order beginning with the last chapter, but you can easily sort it out. The boys are still absolutely loving this book. They work extra hard during our reading of The Black Ships before Troy to finish up their Aesop copywork so they can just sit and listen to the stories spun by Mr. Burgess.

In our lessons with the Primary Language lessons we have been doing a bit of dictation this week and some preliminary work on a new poem called "A Secret." Below is a snap shot of Max's drawing and copywork form the first two lines.

The boys are reading on in the Elson reader book three. At night before bed I read aloud to them from  Toad Triumph the sequel to WInd in the Willows.
 "I am so glad the stories are continuing on mom," says Max. " I just love that little mole."

Latin with Minimus has been so much fun this year. I realize now that we have begun with it how easy it is to fit it into the CM method.  Keep the lessons short, begin with oral and move to writing, copy what is right and visualize the vocabulary etc. We learn the dialogues much as we might a poem by hearing it often and reading it together. This week we have been getting the nuances of the dialogue understood and retained by playing vocab-bees. 

We end this week with a project we did painting Paul Klee cityscapes in 3-D. One side is day and warm colors, and the opposite side is night painted with cool colors. The first day we paper mache'd an old printer ink cartridge box. We have a bunch lying around the spare room. Then we drew our city and painted it with warm colors. The next day we drew our city again and painted with cool colors.


An observation lesson using the willow tree in the back yard.

Have a good week!


  1. I love getting a glimpse of your homeschool. There is much to admire and appreciate. I would like to incorporate many of the things you do into our little school. I fully agree with you about the math studies.

  2. WOW! I'm so glad I found you! Love, love seeing how CM works in your home! We have similar aged children too. I'll be back!


  3. Nice to meet you Amy...enjoyed looking at your blog too.