Thursday, February 25, 2010

Smooth sailing?

One of the nice things about sick kids is that it gives you the opportunity (aka excuse) to stay home for a while. Aside from our little farm excursion on Monday, we haven't been anywhere all week which gave us a wonderful opportunity to just stay home and focus on schoolwork. Which we did.

The spelling tic-tac-toe is still going fabulously. They really enjoy working on it now. Cassia's favorite is "Write a poem with the words." This one activity has inspired her so much that she's been writing poems about everything. She wrote one the other day after a conversation about balloons and air density...

Air, air here and there
Air, air everywhere.

Simple, yes, but I love it. Mostly I just love the inspiration of it. It inspired some breakfast talk about the rhyme and rhythm of poetry too (what is the literary term for that?) and then a quick reading of Robert Frost. And all that from Spelling? Nice.

Math is moving along nicely. Cassia finished up her book and has moved on to level 2A. Cameron has one more exercise and a review or two to go. The fact that we've been doing it every day though means that no one is complaining about having to do it every day. It's just routine. It's just what we do. Also nice.

We haven't done history every day, but we've done it at least three times a week the last few weeks. They built a Viking ship out of a cereal box the other day and are thrilled to once again be able to trace the paths of our readings onto maps. You see, our scanner was broken for ages and so we weren't able to do any of the things from the Story of the World activity guide unless I actually managed to go to Staples and make copies... which didn't happen very often, as I'm sure you can imagine. Now we have a new printer/scanner/copier and all is right with the world again. :)

We've read lots of books. I picked up a bunch of easy readers from the library and almost every day I have Cassia or Cameron read to us. We've also been continuing with our Goblet of Fire read aloud and I think Cameron finally, really, appreciates how much better a book can be than the movie.

Our really big thing of the week though has been writing. We started Writing Strands 2 this week and it has been so much fun! I think they, Cameron especially, have really enjoyed focusing on the ideas of writing rather than just the mechanics. The first lesson was on describing things and we spent three days building up big, beautiful sentences describing a pen and then we culminated today with each of them writing their own unique descriptions of something. We talked about how wonderful language is that you can say exactly the same thing in so many different ways.

Cameron's sentence: Greyson's little, orange squirt gun soaks surprised people.

Cassia's sentence: Our broom is yellow and green and used to sweep kitchen messes.

They drew illustrations too. The really great thing about this program is that it is written for homeschoolers so it's extremely adaptable to multi-age use. They were each able to work at an appropriate level to themselves and both earned an "A+" for their efforts. (I had to remind Cassia of the arbitrariness of the grades when she seemed to get overly attached to her A+ and she said "I know, but I still like it." LOL)

So it turns out that drafts saved on BlogPress are not saved into your blogger dashboard, so I'm going to go ahead and publish this now and edit it on the other computer. Mobile blogging in my living room is tiring. ;)

Cassia and Cameron seem to be feeling much better so this was written (mostly) while they were in their respective piano and violin lessons. Cassia also reluctantly went to ballet (she was afraid she might start coughing) and ended up doing just fine. Greyson, however, spiked a fever again and so I caved and called the doctor. Five days of fever is too much for me. Turns out he has a double ear infection and is now thrilled with his yummy pink medicine. (It's so much easier when they actually like the stuff, lol.) So hopefully he'll be feeling better soon. Dr. D said to give him a call back if these coughs last for more than two weeks. Seems like they always last for longer than that, but we'll see how I feel about that next week. We're already on day 8 for Cassia and Linus.

So it's been a week of ups and downs. Up on the brain work, down on the health meter. I guess you can't have it all. ;) We'll see how our newfound academic routine holds up in the weeks to come. It's so hard to hear the call of the books when the sun is screaming "Come and PLAY!!"

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPhone


G said...


I keep thinking about checking out Writing Strands. Hmmmm....

Jenny said...

I'll bring it to A&C next week so you can take a peek. It's so simple, but so effective!