Friday, October 12, 2007

Day 32 -- and weekly report

  • I went to pick up Kevin (DH) at the airport last night, 55 miles away, and the car broke down! He quickly rented a car at the airport but we had to wait forever for the breakdown truck to show up, and then guide him up the mountain to our local auto repair. By the time we got home it was almost 2 am. Considering that also, yesterday, I was up at 5 am, took Aidan to the transplant clinic 55 miles away, then in the evening took Sean to football practice 18 miles away and Clare to youth choir..... I am surprised that I actually was up at 8 and feeling pretty good and energetic.
  • This morning Clare and Kevin went up to help Grandma close up the lakeside cabin.
  • This afternoon is our homeschool group meeting.
  • Tomorrow Sean is going to a football game with Kevin, and Clare has a swing dance with the youth group.
  • With all that went on this week, I am quite proud that we still managed 4 days of academics even though we were on the barebones side of the scale as for as what we did.

  • Algebra -- chapter 4 lesson 2 -- absolute values which are the one thing from high school algebra I personally STILL don't really get. So it is difficult to teach it to the kids, and gives me some insight into the difficulty of dealing with something that is not comprehended.
  • Latin -- third declension --- translating English into Latin -- really hard and he got discouraged. Too bad! He doesn't have all the declensions memorized and where the vocabulary fits in and this makes it hard. So for example, he was trying to decline Christus as a third declension noun.
  • Greek
  • Vocabulary
  • He has finished Lamb's Tales of Shakespeare.
  • He read some Earth Science.
  • He matched up labels with countries in North America (much as I blush to admit it -- my middle set have very little geographical awareness. My older three knew all kinds of geographical information -- we did it so casually and sporadically that I didn't realize how much of it sunk in).
  • Finished Heinlein's Star Beast.

  • Math (fractions, easy stuff) and a bit of multiplication review.
  • Latin -- matching up declensions.
  • Maps and Things -- I showed him the NA map and we discussed the countries.
  • Religion -- went over chapter 5 which he read on Tuesday, and talked about the word definitions
  • Greek
  • Handwriting.
  • Read Nesbit's Shakespeare -- read 2 stories yesterday so now he is up past The Winter's Tale
  • Read 2 parts of Discovery of New Worlds (Nero and the Roman fire) -- I reminded him of the book we read together last year, City on the Golden Hill, which is about the same topic.
  • He picked up Heinlein's Star Beast and is reading it.
  • He saw that I had checked out Spenser's Fairy Queen from the library and expressed interest in reading it, since he liked it so much when he read it last year. In our family narrations seem to arrive 1, 2, or sometimes several years after the reading ;-).

  • More Tintins.
  • Make Way for Ducklings


  • I need to plan some supplementary lessons for Sean in Latin.
  • I need to start asking for daily readings of Logic/Thinking Skills.
  • Find some books on Mexico, Canada, Greenland etc to make the territories more vivid.
  • Look at my old FIARs to try to think of some activities to do with Aidan and Patrick.
  • Clean the house!
  • (I did start a new habit of having the kids tidy up the house at intervals -- based on "pegs" like going to the library or having computer time).
  • Look up absolute values in the math dictionary or online and see if I can finally grasp it. The thing is, I understand the CONCEPT of the values, but when asked to do problems using the concept, I have to look at the answer key.... which is something I almost never have to do with beginning Algebra.

(This is where I ought to just take a picture, but am too lazy to gather all the things and get my camera. I got to go to the craft store yesterday with Aidan, and bought yarn, knitting needles, Sculpey, playdough, and nice colored cardstock -- the cardstock is for me -- I am a paper addict!). So with all this in hand I am hoping to do some art projects with the littlies next week.

Next week will be another hectic week of running errands, but not quite as bad as this week because Kevin will be here.

Good news! The problem with the car was only a rock that got stuck under the chassis somewhere when I pulled off road to answer Kevin's phone call. So the auto repair guy is doing some maintenance that is due and we can pick up the car this afternoon. Whew!

My Further Learning:

I just finished reading the Continuum Concept by Jean Liedloff. Interesting, and lucidly written, but strikes me as "mythological" -- not in the sense of being fictional or a fraud, but in the sense that Freud built his theories about Oedipal complexes and so on. That is, using anecdotes and observation to describe and support a "paradigm" which seems to me to ring true in some places, but a bit stretched or vague in other places.

Liam "assigned" us a sort of musical progym -- I think I mentioned it before -- making our own arrangement of a given tune. Clare's already done hers, and I want to work on mine today. One of the things that has come out of our homeschool experiment is that the kids occasionally take on the role of teacher, mentor or inspirer in their own areas of interest.


  1. Still enjoying your notes Willa....I seem to be losing focus a bit (yes it happens to me after just one and a half months of focus) and am feeling more inspired to look at where we have come to and to plan the next few weeks etc. I love seeing the 'organic' growth of your year. It makes me breathe easier... our year is also an organic process, which works for us. But there are sometimes, generally after reading a hs book or blog where the author puts forth a type of plan which is a whole year thing, that I panic a little- it often happens on my low energy days too! (Don't know if that made much sense, this is one of those days!)

    I read the Continuum Concept back with baby number 1. The book was immensely popular in our off the grid community we lived in then. I did hear that it was a bit of a fraud- that the group she visited does not exist, at least in the way she wrote about it.

    Off to the library....

    Have a good rest this weekend.


  2. That should have read 'at least NOT in the way she wrote about it'...

  3. I could believe that -- my feeling was that she missed out on, or didn't tell about, some of the "down side" of the culture.

    Hope you had a good weekend too.

    I like the way you describe the "organic growth" of the year. Yes, I have been known to panic on low-energy days, as well. When I was doing our venture with unschooling, a friend counselled me about "lulls" or "ebb tides" when not much seems to be happening. Confronting my anxiety about that, back then, helps me now because I remember that not every day in the year has to be super-efficient.

    You think about how in winter plants aren't growing, but the ecology is readying itself for flower and fruit in spring and summer.

    Anyway, that helps me -- one of those off the grid type analogies, I guess : )