Week in Review: January 27-31

We had a calm week and I’m content. We seem to have finally and genuinely settled into a groove. I never thought it would take more than half a year to get here, but here we are. I’ve learned so very much along the way…extending grace towards my girls and myself, adjusting my expectations, taking breaks when needed, loving the process over the schedule…just so many things. Now, six months into our year, I feel we have grown closer, my girls and I. I have more patients with them and they are laughing and we are closer.

Preschool – K4

Grace loves our new routine even though we both miss Little Hands to Heaven! She drags her bag of books out and brings them to me with eagerness. She simply smiles and waits for me to tell her to either open up her reading book or play a little longer until I can get her sisters settled in with their independent work. I struggled with Grace a bit in the beginning of this year. Her frequent temperamental moods were becoming more and more frustrating, but suddenly in the last couple of weeks she has calmly accepted my need to teach her sisters. Thoughtful consideration and prayer led me to the same conclusion every time: She felt I was pushing her away instead of understanding why I needed to work with her sisters. I’ve been trying to gently help her see this and I think she’s finally there for the most part. She seems to have more fun playing on her own with a variety of toys and learning games. This little computer has been with another family for a few months and she was excited to play with it this week since the last time she had it she wasn’t reading yet!
She is reading so fast now and gets quite insistent we move quickly sometimes. While she is fine with me helping her sisters who are usually sitting near us, she will impatiently move my finger along the story if I get behind! Unlike her sisters mistakes don’t bother her. What a blessing! She’ll thoughtfully look at a letter or word and simply say, “Mommy, I don’t remember that sound.” We review it and she moves on. Her older sisters definitely struggled with the need for perfection. in some ways she is a little too unconcerned with doing things well, but I’m appreciating her laid back attitude very much. 
And yes, she is wearing a pumpkin shirt. It is one of her favorites no matter the season or weather!

I have a nice assortment of workbooks for her to complete. This one is an ABC dot-to-dot. She really enjoys it and it is a nice way to review her alphabet. This particular book has been used by both her older sisters and is one of the few I have with all of their handiwork included inside!
Math right now is all about patterns, what belongs together, and the terms alike and different. She is learning excellent critical thinking skills and I enjoy watching her process a problem. She typically figures out an answer, giggles, and then tells me the wrong answer! I know she knows all along because she’ll immediately say something like, “I was just kidding you, Mommy!” or “I’m funny!” and then follow with the correct answer. 
Beyond Little Hearts for His Glory: Unit 15

Beth has started to become more anxious to finish her work each day. While she doesn’t argue with me and seems to really enjoy the work we do, she frequently cheers when the school day is over and gets a dejected look when I remind her of a forgotten assignment. I have no idea why this change has occurred with her, but since it isn’t seeming to affect her attitude during her work I haven’t addressed it yet. Is this maybe just exerting her independence? Since she gets several breaks each day and total only spends about 45 to 60 minutes doing school work I know it isn’t the amount of time!
We are continuing with book two of All About Spelling as well as our spelling words from the Beyond lists. We are getting to more and more difficult words in the Beyond guide so I do not assign more than 5 words each week. Typically after her pretest the words she needs to work on are from the 2nd year list so I’m very pleased with her spelling at the moment. 
Beth is 1 short lesson away from finishing up Rod and Staff 1st grade math! We’re making a switch in math curriculum due to cost effectiveness. Rod and Staff has served us well, but I was able to save us quite a bit in the long run with a program I have researched and reviewed at one point. My mathematically minded husband thinks it is a solid and good option so I took the plunge! We will be moving into Math Mammoth soon and I’m excited for Beth to give it a try first. 

Rod and Staff came out with a new book in their ABC series this year which completely thrilled my sweet Beth! Just Thinking and Choosing is now one of the highlights of her day. Cutting, pasting and coloring in Beth’s world are as good as life gets! 

Cursive is such a beautiful thing. It’s beautiful to read and a lot of fun for my girls to write. There are numerous studies out about the benefits of cursive. I begin cursive instruction much earlier than HOD suggests in 1st grade. I have found cursive to be less frustrating for my girls than print and they love how artistic their handwriting looks. Beth is progressing slowly through Classical Conversations Cursive and really enjoys it.

Beth’s art project for the week was weaving a Native American blanket. I’ve struggled this time around our history books using the word Indians. I’ve talked with Beth about why they were called this because of confused early explorers and explained why Native American is a more respectful term. So now as I read aloud I just replace Indian with Native American. Anyway, we used felt to do the project so she could use her blanket with her new doll from Christmas.

Preparing Hearts for His Glory: Unit 9 (2nd half)

Rose is hard at work with her times tables! She is nearing the finish line and then we’ll start with division. For whatever reason she much prefers multiplication over addition and is doing really well.

Math Rider is a huge part of times tables sine I can adjust to have her practice specific numbers.

There are so many things which make Heart of Dakota so wonderful, and the integration of history and geography is one of them! Subjects learned independently of one another do not have the same meaning as those learned incorporated with others. This week Rose found where the locations concerning the Trojan war are located now. We have a very old copy of A Child’s History of the World which means some of the expected maps are missing. I use historical maps from Knowledge Quest I purchased a few months ago and like them very much. I don’t print them, but we view them on the iPad and it has worked out quite well. 

Rose really enjoyed the story of Troy. I very much appreciated how Greek mythology and poetry was presented in this curriculum. The history reading explain it as fairy tale gods and imaginary things rather than true, like we know the One True God to be. It is wonderful to know how exactly to present this information to my very sensitive daughter. She has such a heart for the world to know about Jesus and how wonderful of a Savior He really is. At one point she thoughtfully asked me, “Mommy, why wouldn’t they want to follow God? Why would they rather follow fairy tale gods?” We had a wonderful discussion about this which I was more prepared for because of the reading and study I’ve been doing on my own with resources from New Leaf Publishing. I’m glad she asks these questions and I have the opportunity to answer. 
This is a portion of the art project for the week. She made a creative poster about her name and things about her. She had a lot of fun with this! 
Cursive is going really well for Rose as well. For her the main issue is remembering how to write certain letters, but this is getting better gradually. Her written narrations are just lovely and improving all the time!
All the girls joined in with Beth’s project this week. They had a lot of fun and even Grace was able to join in and make little blankets for her baby twin dolls. 
When I think of the great responsibility I have been given to disciple my girls I can’t help but feel inept to the task. Only by the grace of God am I up to the task. I feel unbelievably blessed to have found a curriculum which enables me to do this task. I also feel blessed my girls can learn alongside one another. It’s not without its bumps ad frustrations, but overall our family feels very peaceful. It was a good week…a very good week! 

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