Saint-Saens: Carnival of the Animals
It's been a disjointed week here. My husband and I returned home last week from a short trip together, and next weekend we all leave for California. I'm having trouble getting focused because I'm excited and just having a hard time seeing past our trip!
Sunday was Reformation (a big day for us Lutherans!), Monday was Halloween, and Thursday was my 40th birthday. Today (Friday) was interrupted by a cable internet installation that took THREE HOURS. In between it all we did manage to get school done - or should I say LIVE LIFE!
The annual pumpkin carving occurred Sunday evening. My husband always handles this with the kids. Halloween was a great day for my children. We love everything about Halloween (except the drop from the sugar high the next day!)
The morning after Halloween we were moving a bit slow. I made my daughter a cup of tea and we settled in to work on our spelling words. She will be participating in our homeschool group's spelling bee in December. The words we study come from a list put out by the bee itself, and I'm also pulling some words from Time 4 Learning. Even though my son can't participate, I have found a list of first and second grade words and quiz him, too. We have a file box with fun colored cards (a different color for each grade level) and quiz a little each day.
The state we studied this week was Nevada. We completed our notebooking sheets and read a little bit online about the state. I never knew that Nevada was the fourth largest miner of gold in the world. We played a fun United States BINGO game, too. What I love about this game is that the call cards show the state shape clearly and in a bold color that matches the color on the bingo card. You can download the game for free here! I only let them put a coin on their state if they could also tell me the capital. Tricky, aren't I?
This US map is posted on our kitchen island. It is packed with information and is such a great resource. Between this map, state activities on Big IQ Kids and Always IceCream, my children are getting quite good at state capitals, location, and just knowledge in general. We learn about a state each week and that is working out very well.
Last week we went to The High Museum for their Picasso homeschool day. We also saw many works by other modern masters. One of these artists was Jackson Pollack. Both of my children were quite taken with his style. I had purchased a book at the museum that we read earlier this week. Interestingly enough, I had checked out a book at the library about different ways to make your own paint. Miss B found the book and started that late this week.
First she found some old sidewalk chalk:
Then she ground the chalk with the hammer:
...until it was in a fine powder. This is what she came up with (love the plate it's on!). This weekend we are hoping to mix this paint with egg yolks and water and do some fun painting! One of my favorite things about homeschooling is how my children can see something that interests them and then RUN WITH IT for however long they choose.
In history we are getting deeper into Medieval Times. We have read a few versions of Beowulf and today we started Sir Gawain and The Green Knight. What a fabulous book! We also have been reading some of Mary Pope Osborne's Favorite Medieval Tales. All of these books were recommended through The Story of The World. We do go through each SOTW chapter and complete the map activities. Occasionally we will complete one of the hands on projects, but more often than not we will read the supplemental literature and the children color or take notes in their history notebooks.
Math is chugging right along. We are reviewing some Math Mammoth workbooks that make a nice supplement to what we are doing. Miss B began geometry this week and GMan continues to work on multiplication facts. I need to incorporate more Living Math books into our homeschool. This is a goal I have which will have to wait until after our vacation.
Sadly, we only spent one morning working on science. We began learning about different types of bird nests. I also took the chance to have the children listen to The Aviary by Camille Saint-Saens and let them move creatively all around the family room like birds. The loved this! So, we listened to other pieces in The Carnival of The Animals and that was a great activity. This whole collection of pieces was written for children and provides a great learning opportunity for them. I try to integrate music whenever I can.
The best things happen in our homeschool when I leave the plans on the page and go with a tangent that either the children or myself have come up with. I try very hard to be scheduled, but I think the dear Lord just likes it better when I'm a little less structured!
The one thing that never changes in our homeschool is the way we start our days. We always have breakfast together, listen to Keys for Kids daily devotion, and then either read and study a parable or work on our Bible memorization. Having this one constant is good for us and it starts us all off on the right foot. Without grounding our day in God's word we would be lost.
Personally, I've been very busy with TOS crew reviews and some new things happening at Three Thinking Mothers (did you see the Thankful Thursday link up? - Theresa had a great idea with this!) . Life has gotten too busy for me, and I'll be glad when this next week is over so I can enjoy a vacation and then come back to greet the holiday season with more energy. I've found myself questioning my blogging and wondering if it is really eternal and does it really matter?? I think these are normal blogger questions, and I'm seeking ways to be on a better schedule so that blogging/online has its place in my life that doesn't take away from my family.
I read a great little ebook this week about that very subject - Blogger Behave. I highly recommend this book - I read it in 45 minutes and it spoke to me.
How was your week? Do you ever feel disjointed like me?
*linking with Kris, at Weird, Unsocialized Homeschoolers for the Weekly Wrap-Up!