Week In The Life (“How Do I Love Thee”)

So, I thought we might be ready to move out of Austria by the end of the week. Yeah, well guess what? Austria is just too darn full of history.

I often wonder how much is too much, and how little is too little? I can’t help myself really, I am addicted to history. There I said it. It is a huge pet peeve of mine, how little history one actually learns about in school. I mean, I could easily spend Sky’s 4 years of high school covering European history alone, not to mention India.

So who decides what’s the most important parts to learn? I get it, a teacher only has so much time to cover topics. I guess this was how homework came to be. Maybe hoping children will be SO excited about a certain subject that they, themselves might take the time to learn more. It sounds like a good idea, with good intentions. However, in actuality, it stinks. What school child have you met recently, to fly home much too eager to check Facebook because they must know more about Empress Elizabeth of Austria? How many children even know who she was? It’s sad really.

Then, the children that could possibly know, are so busy trying to jump through freakin’ hoops, checking off the right box so that they might be excepted into university. “Will I need to know this for the test? No, then it’s not important.” Oh, my dislike for the school system. It is sure to do me in.

Homeschooling has helped me be a little rebellious. The girls did have time to be children, time to play, time to discover themselves without the pressure from peers. Yet, here I am finding myself making sure I’m checking off the right boxes to kiss a university’s ass. Who cares about Austria? “Will it help me get into college? Then it’s not important, time to move on.”

I try, I really do, to let it go. To follow along with the rest like a good little girl. I wish, obedience just wasn’t so hard for me. I wish I could simply just buy a textbook of what needs to be covered, and be okay with that.

There is something inside of me, that just won’t make it happen. My brain invents a society of mindless obedient bodies doing everything that is expected of them.( I am actually holding back what I really want to add here, but it is honestly irrelevant to my point). I know, I overthink.

One of my goals for homeschooling was to raise individual, independent thinkers. Children who loved learning, children who are happy. Not children who worry about getting into college, so they can get a decent paying job in order to keep themselves fed.

Papa tells me not to worry so much. (Oh, how I would love that!) To take each day, one at a time. Reality is, that’s all I can do. I mean, no matter how much dislike I have for the school system until something changes, it will be there, giving me no other choice but to comply.

That doesn’t mean I must be happy about it though, and we will be staying in Austria a bit longer, whether it’s on the test or not.

Homeschooling

Language Arts

Reading:

This week we read the story Ella Enchanted. Yet again, one child liked it, and the other did not. Man, they are tough to please (I wonder where that could come from?).

I also read the book Cinders by Jan Brett.

We continued with Punctuation, The Write Stuff by Basher, and listened to the story of The Ugly Duckling at Storynory per request of Little Sis.

Writing:

The girls wrote their book review of The Land of Stories.

Handwriting:

The girls copied the poem How Do I Love Thee by Elizabeth Barrett Browning. I told them about how Elizabeth’s poetry came to be, which is fairy-tale in itself. This has been Little Sis’s favorite poem thus far, so she will be memorizing this one. Sky will memorize her favorite Emily Dickinson poem.

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There were no vocabulary words this week.

While reading a story, we will stop at a word the girls are unfamiliar with. They use their Kindle dictionary to find out what it means. It can be comical at times, while reading, to hear one child click on a word, then hear the other child click on a different word.

I find it rather repetitive to have then look up the words after they already learned what they mean. At first, I gave vocabulary words so they would learn how to use a dictionary. Now, we discuss them while reading, or when analyzing a poem.

Mathematics

The girls warmed up with XtraMath, then continued working in their workbooks. They are moving right along.

Some helpful advice I’ve taken with me because we homeschool is to not move on unless your child scores 100%. Part of my transcript will explain how the girls learn for mastery, not just a grade.

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History

World/Geography:

We watched Downton Abbey, where Sky made the comment, “Oh, surprise, something happened.”. It’s kind of becoming a running joke.

We also watched and discussed the movies, For the Love of Sissi (with English subtitles, YouTube), and Mayerling (with Omar Sharif, YouTube).

Music:

We listened to some Austrian folk music.

Art:

We learned about one of Sky’s favorite artists, Gustav Klimt.

I printed a picture of Sky’s favorite painting, The Kiss, for the girls to add into their history notebooks.

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We watched another video of his paintings (YouTube), and Sky shared the opening of an anime that was influenced by his paintings.

(Warning, this clip does contain nudity, as do Klimt’s paintings.)

Fine Arts

We watched two animated versions of The Ugly Duckling. One from Disney’s Silly Symphony, and the other from Hanna-Barbera’s Timeless Tales. (YouTube) We decided we didn’t like either of them. The animation was great, the retelling was not. I think we’ve become spoiled by Beatrice Potter and Friends animation.

We also watched the musical/ballet, Hans Christian Andersen.

http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0044685/

I don’t think the writers really knew what to do with this movie, it was all over the place. It would be interesting to have Sky write a review.

Speaking of Sky, she has been putting her pencil drawing lessons to use.

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I am interested in the reading the story behind these drawings.

P.E.

The girls had homeschool gym this week, and we Yoga Walked.

Peace for the journey.

 

 

 

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