Wednesday, December 12, 2007

Day 73


Today was a good homeschool day, even though the kids and I have all been going to bed ridiculously late. I was up after midnight and found that they had just finished watching Signs (they are on a Shmalayan trail right now) and Kieron was listening to an audiocassette (Mossflower).

I was up at 7 am and Aidan was up too. So I gave him the small flannelboard and counting set that came in the mail yesterday. I ordered these more or less on impulse a week ago – not impulse, so much as intuition – and I was right, it was a stratospheric hit. Not only were the objects exactly the sort of thing he loves – pumpkins, kitties, snowmen, ladybugs – but the whole tactile experience and making them fit on the felt board kept him busy and happy all morning. There was a bit of tension when Paddy got up and wanted to join in, but there were enough of the manipulatives for even Kieron to have some as well as the two littlies.

It was interesting to see how differently they played. Aidan likes to arrange them on the board and count them; Paddy was categorizing them by type and making them take part in imaginary games.



  • Greek
  • Vocabulary
  • Math (went well but took a long time – I guess an hour is about right for a highschooler)
  • The Life that Changed the World (about Jesus and the background information)
  • Screwtape Letters
  • I think he read the book of Discovery too.
  • Then for Latin, I had him try to translate in writing from Latin to English, using one of the much earlier passages in the book. Oh my, he bombed pretty badly. I did not really prepare him for the difficulties, plus he is used to working with me orally (and probably picking up on my subtle cues, as John Holt describes in his books). Anyway, the idea was great but next time I will have to approach it differently and way farther back in the book.
  • He and Clare and Brendan talked about Signs, so that is literary analysis for today.
  • We also got into a discussion about Tim Tebow in relation to homeschooling role models and California law, which doesn't allow homeschooled kids to play varsity. I talked a bit about the article on Tebow's past, when his mother didn't want to abort him even though she had taken some heavyduty medications for some parasitic illness she got as a missionary. Brendan was very struck by this and said, "The Boy Who Lived."

I am going to have him do copywork from a little book called King of Kings with italic scriptural quotes and fine art pictures from the Vatican collection.

I also want him to read the first chapter of Sadlier Composition Workshop. Not a perfect solution – here is where my logistical problems trip me up. I can't get their writing program up off the ground, so in the meantime I'm going to have him read through this book that Kolbe uses for the core of their high school composition program. It's OK – just not great. But the format may be helpful to get Sean started on some usage and compositional basics while I'm trying to get past my writing-teacher block.


He hasn't done anything yet; I was so busy this morning and he was just playing with the boys. I forgot to mention that the other day he also made one of those tornadoes in a bottle – Aidan loves it.

I have a checklist for him which I will type out here – it's sort of loose since for him, I'm already powering down for the holiday season. So I thought we'd experiment with some variety.

Kieron's Checklist

  • Choose a science book from the basket (weather and continent formation books from the library)
  • Choose a book from the Advent basket – tell about it.
  • Do a snow activity from the lapbook (first, survey the information at the front – then choose the minitbook that you want to try).
  • Math – also, write backwards curves and then when you get a rhythm going, start making some 2's (he still transposes these a lot).
  • Thinking Skills
  • Read 2 pages of the Baltimore Catechism on the Incarnation – then discuss with Mom.

All four of the younger boys are outside in the snow again right now.

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