Week(s) In the Life (It’s Beginning To Feel A Lot Like Winter)

 

The wood stove is in use full time now. My body yearns to stay indoors while waiting out the cold; that just isn’t an option for me anymore. The girls are older now and have more commitments. I sometimes long for those days when the girls were younger and we cut and pasted instead of doing long division and algebra.

Papa and I celebrated our anniversary Monday. One of the perks to having older children is that Papa and I are able to go out more alone. So, we went out to eat and then shopping for presents. Now that the girls are older, their wish lists are more precise. They have outgrown some of my favorite shopping spots. I did have an interesting conversation with a sweet kid, working at the comic shop, about his favorite horror graphic novels though. He did mention that he wished his parents would buy him the rest of the series I was purchasing for Sky, so I am taking that as a compliment.

It doesn’t help that the girls are complete opposites. So, shopping this year took longer than normal because we needed to go into different kinds of stores. Where clothes and make-up may be a great gift for one child, it would totally suck for the other one. Then there is the oldest (26, and reading this) that fits somewhere in between. 🙂

It was nice to return home to a warm house, where Sky had a fire burning in the wood stove that she was able to start all on her own, and the smell of my favorite cookies lingering in the air that Little Sis had baked.

I guess I am pretty lucky and shouldn’t complain. Not much longer, the house will be empty and I will be yearning to have children to run around. For now, I will savor these moments. Besides, there will be time for cutting and pasting with my grandchildren.

 

Homeschooling

Language Arts

 

Reading:

Christmas school:

I chose: Dodger by Terry Pratchett.

It isn’t really a Christmas story, but to us, Christmas wouldn’t be the same without Charles Dickens, and since the girls loved Oliver Twist so much, I thought why not give this story a try.  I am really glad we did. The writing style is spot on, and the plot gives off all the same cozy-warm feelings that Christmas stories do.

 

American Literature:

Since I had The Lottery and Other Short Stories by Shirley Jackson already checked out, I went ahead and read The Lottery out loud to the girls (even though we are kind of in the Colonial time period right now).

This story is a perfect example of how a short story should be written. Sky and I had so many wonderful discussions on how a short story could arise so many feelings in just a few pages. How the author could make you feel for characters you just met. Of course, the story is a little dated now, and Sky predicted the ending, but the next day she said: “You know, that story really sticks with you.” There is much substance in this little story, I highly recommend it.

 

Creative Writing:

We finished Book 1 of the Insanity series. We are interested enough to read book 2. I won’t say it is the best writing ever, it definitely has room for improvement; it does have a good plot line though. I am willing to give the next book a chance.

I think it is good for teens to read all kinds of literature, good and bad. If you don’t read anything that is poorly written, you might not be able to appreciate something that is written really well. If you only read works that are written really well, you might not be able to form opinions on why something is written poorly. In order to form opinions or write an analysis, you need to have been exposed to lots of choices to gather information from.

It is not just reading either, the same can be said for movies, music, art, theater, food, everything.

 

Independent Reading:

Little Sis finished: Perfect by Sara Shepard and started Unbelievable. We are almost done with season 1 of the show.

Sky has been listening to the audio of One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest by Ken Kesey. She chose to read this herself. I am only familiar with the movie.

Between the two girls, we’ve been having some very interesting conversations. 🙂

Homeschooling has two parts, it is kind of like slow dancing with a partner. Sometimes as the facilitator, I lead. This is where all those must learn subjects fit it. However, sometimes the girls lead. This is where all their interests fit in. It is important, to make time for both. It is important that we don’t keep doing all the leading.

Mama’s Reading:

I finished: The Lottery and Other Short Stories by Shirley Jackson. I have a hard time reading short stories like a novel. So, I read one story every night. The Lottery was by far the best story in this collection. However, I was really impressed with some of the subject matter she was writing about during the time period. Shirley Jackson has become one of my all-time favorite authors. I can’t wait to read her other works.

I also read The Library at Mount Char by Scott Hawkins. I am not really sure what made me originally add this novel to my reading list, but it sounded interesting so I went ahead and checked it out. I didn’t really know what to think about it at first. Its writing reminds me of a puzzle. The plot is given to you in pieces that you must keep track of in order to follow the story. At first, I was like ‘WTF’. About halfway through, the story began to pick up. Then it became an: ‘Oh, I see’ kind of novel.

I liked it; it was different in a sea of same. I wouldn’t add it to my list of favorites, nor add it to my least favorites either. I enjoyed it more than Horns but not as much as Shutter Island. So, if you are looking for something completely different than what you’ve been reading, and enjoy horror with a science fiction twist, I would give this novel a try.

 

Handwriting:

The girls copied, and we discussed the first half of A Christmas Carol by Christina Rossetti in cursive.

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(Sky)

Vocabulary/Grammar:

Besides working in their root word workbooks, their words were:

carol, bleak, reign, sufficed, cherubim

 

Mathematics:

The girls warmed up at XtraMath.

Little Sis worked in Kumon 4th grade division. She learned how to divide 2-digits from 3-digits.

Sky learned about: terms, variables, constants, and coefficients from: Kiss My Math. She practiced what she learned with a worksheet.

http://www.bath.k12.ky.us/userfiles/87/Classes/4180/Terms%20Coefficients%20and%20Constants%20worksheet%20PDF%20Website.pdf

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Science:

We read November’s Science in the News issue from Science A-Z – Multilevel Science News Articles for Kids.

 

History

World/Geography:

We watched: Globe Trekker’s Greece episodes.

 

P.E.

The girls had homeschool gym. Little Sis had cheerleading.

 

The Arts

Theater Appreciation (small screen):

We watched: Hairspray Live. I thought they did a really good job. This is actually one of my favorite musicals.

 

Culinary:

The girls made gingerbread cookies,

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Little Sis made Peanut Butter Blossoms,

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and I made vegan snowman pancakes.

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Drawing:

We made Frosty,

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and Rudolf from Dramatic Parrot-YouTube.

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The Christmas puzzles have been brought out, along with a new one,

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as well as the collection of Christmas movies, and music.

We also watched Christmas of Many Colors. I don’t know what it is about Dolly Parton ( I think it is because she writes from her heart), but she always makes me cry. This movie, cheese and all, did not fail.

Happy Holidays,

and peace for the journey.

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