The first week of October actually felt like fall. Overnight we went from shorts to flash fires. Today, the sun is back out and the windows are open again. The garden is tilled and the garlic is planted for next spring’s crop.
Slowly, I’ve been getting back into my routine, thank goodness. I did discover one thing while recovering from back surgery. I am the backbone of our home. Papa has his responsibilities outside of the home, no money, no eat. My responsibility is to make sure everything else keeps running smoothly. Papa and I are partners, and we definitely felt the difference with one partner down. The pantry is a mess, my kitchen is a mess. I am more than ready to get back in there and get everything organized again.
The girls really stepped it up, and I am proud of them. Dishes, dinners, cleaning, they’ve really been busy. I saw all our training paying off. The Little one especially, she is very comfortable in the kitchen. She reminds me of myself is so many ways. It really is such an amazing gift to be able see your children flourish.There really isn’t a better reflection of yourself than through your children, and I mean the good, bad, and the downright ugly.
This week we finished our Shakespeare study (until we study the Romans anyway) with Hamlet.
First, I read the story from Tales from Shakespeare while they read along on their tablets. Then, we read the play while listening along.
We also finished the Sonnets (where the girls learned how to read roman numerals).
The girls took the Hamlet quiz at SparkNotes.
Little Sis is almost done with The Hunger Games (book 1). Sky is reading the second graphic novel of Game of Thrones, and I am 100 pages from being done with Clash of Kings (Should have it finished by this week).
I’m still going to wait until I finish the whole series before I give my overall rating. One thing I do like about George R.R. Martin’s writing is his use of language. I’ve recognized several words in Shakespeare because of the Game of Thrones series. I love that he has invented his own world, but still uses words from an early time period. One thing I don’t like, is getting invested in so many characters that will eventually die. There will need to be a point to it all in the end, or I will not like it.
So, how do I do spelling and vocabulary without curricula? This is the first year I’ve started a spelling program with Little Sis, and is the first year for Sky using Quizlet (that I am really happy with). Before, I would pull words from the stories we would read that they might have had trouble with, and then have the girls look them up in the dictionary and write out the definition.
The girls played lots of on-line games, Animal Jam being their favorite, and learned to spell while talking with other players. If there was a word they needed help with they would ask, and I would spell it for them. Eventually, they stopped asking and started using the dictionary on-line. There’s the games Bananagrams, Word Shout, and Scribblenauts they like to play too. Little Sis is an excellent speller, she spells better than me, and honestly doesn’t need a word list. Basically, we are just going through the motions.
I started Sky at Quizlet to help expand her spelling and vocabulary beyond what she would normally be exposed to since she is in high school now. Though, I am constantly amazed at how much both girls actually know and learn from their interests. For example, one of Sky’s words this week from Hamlet was discord, she learned what it meant from watching My Little Pony.
I am a firm believer in the more you are exposed to, the more you will learn. Sometimes, this means stepping out of your comfort zone. Sometimes, this means not being so quick to dismiss a child’s interest. Sometimes, it means having an open mind. One of my biggest pet peeves is when I hear parents say, “all my child does is play video games all day.” Having played lots of video games myself, I can see all that is learned from playing them. I can see what my visual learner loves about video games. They are interacting virtual storybooks.
I will admit that I was very cynical toward technology, and I still believe it has the ability to make us lazy, just like anything when used too much. By stepping outside my comfort zone, I found out how much I love Kindle. We have a very small house, and books take up a lot of space. Technology has solved that problem for us. I love the built in dictionary the Kindle has. While reading, the girls will come to a word and can find out what it means, or how it is pronounced and we can keep right on reading. I love that I can borrow, or purchase one book and all of us can read along together on different devices. The Kindle has changed our read aloud time, only for the better.
Again, I am not putting curriculum down. If you love it, and it works for you, great. Just showing there are other ways to learn besides using one. 🙂
Speaking of spelling words, I am trying a new site for Little Sis.
I think she will like playing the games there much better, and the words seem a bit more challenging.
I am very happy with Quizlet for Sky. Her words from Hamlet this week were,
epitaph, perdition. afflict, contrive, expostulate, ambiguous, malicious, conjuration, aloof, discord, carnal, extolment, scourge, churlish.
In honor of Little Sis finishing the Twilight series, the girls copied the poem Fire and Ice by Robert Frost in cursive.
Kumon Pre-Algebra for Sky, Math Made Easy 3rd grade for Little Sis.
Yes, we watched the supermoon lunar eclipse, and discussed what was happening (NASA.com).
Then, there was the discovery of water on Mars.
We watched part 2 of Gorongosa National Park.
I do F***ing Love Science! 🙂
We started the new PBS series Indian Summer. This fits in perfectly after studying England’s Industrial Revolution and Victorian Imperialism.
We watched Crash Course episodes 26-29, learning about America’s imperialism, and Hughes’ History about the Spanish American War (YouTube).
I also printed a picture of President Taft for the girls history timeline, and we discussed his presidency.
We watched CNN’s 2015 Republican GOP debates (YouTube).
Little Sis’s STEAM class this week was all about engineering. I learned that this was something we need to work on, so I am thinking of breaking out the Zome this week.
We finished our Shakespeare study by watching the Hamlet movie starring Mel Gibson (Netflix).
We finally paid a visit to our local art museum. It is SO big we were only able to see half of it, and that took us 3 and 1/2 hours to do that.
We were able to see two of my favorite artists. Norman Rockwell
and Georgia O’ Keeffe
We didn’t even make it to the 100 acre outdoor garden, it’s no joke that we will be visiting again. Sky came away with lots of new inspiration.
We also finished the movie saga of the Twilight series.
Halloween, here we come. Peace for the journey.