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Collage Friday - Being Chivalrous and Creative


I love Collage Friday -- last week a record 21 homeschool bloggers shared their weeks here! This week marks the ninth edition of Collage Friday.  I enjoy documenting our homeschool weeks this way.  I'm thinking of doing something special for the TENTH EDITION next week - stay tuned!    


The week FLEW away from us.   After a few busy weeks I designed this week so that we would just be at home each day.   It allowed for a lot of creativity and free time.  

My favorite thing this week was learning about chivalry in The Story of the World.  GMan has been "chivalrous" all week - opening doors and doing good deeds for "the ladies".  It's very cute!   

Miss B has started making collages with her iTouch!  She loves using Pic Collage.   One afternoon she took a downed Bradford Pear branch and used it blossoms to decorate the swing set.  

Last Friday we took a tour of Turner Field in Atlanta - home of the Atlanta Braves.   My little guy is a baseball NUT.   This field trip was a dream come true for him.   His favorite thing was sitting in the announcers' box... 

We also learned you could buy a Sun Trust box seat for $20,000 a season.   No big deal, right?

The stadium is very close to my husband's office downtown, so he was able to join us.   I think he's equally as obsessed about baseball as his son!

A lot of time was spent with math each day.   I found a great idea (via Pinterest) with graphing the area of a roll of the dice.   We played this game several days, working to see who could fill up their paper first.    It's a great game to reinforce the concept of area and review times tables. OH -- and have you seen LEGO GEOMETRY??  I just found this and we'll be trying it soon, too! 

I ordered some new grammar story books which the kids REALLY like.   Easy Grammar is just getting to be DULL and I am questioning the validity of so much drill and repetition.  We are making a little change for now.    

We also went to vote on Super Tuesday, and read a few books about voting. 

Each spring there is a piano competition called Federation.  I always enter a group of my students, and Miss B has entered for the past four years through her own piano teacher.  Federation is in just a week, and there has been A LOT of practicing in my house.   My daughter is playing one piece that is particularly challenging to her - but she has risen to the occasion and it's sounding so good!    I LOVE hearing her play piano - and I love that she enjoys spending time at the piano just for FUN.

Our nature study this week was about the Bradford Pear.  We found a downed branch on a nature walk and brought it home.  After research and examination we learned that this tree is beautiful but STINKY.    Basically, the blooms smell like rotting fish.   We also learned this tree is native to China and Vietnam and was introduced to the US in 1963.  

As I mentioned before - lots of time was spent creating and outdoors this week.  The kids love to be in the backyard listening to music, swinging, exploring our woods, and (recently) a certain little boy loves to practice his Samurai sword skills.   I have a vantage from the deck and can watch them from the kitchen or while I'm reading a book - perfect.

Finally - I wanted to share my sweet boy's heart with you.  We have a friend at co op who had knee surgery yesterday.  My daughter made her a beautiful card, and GMan included the entire 23rd Psalm, which he copied all by himself.  

Other odds and ends from the week include:

 ~ learning about Alexander Graham Bell via this documentary on Biography (my favorite resource this week!)

~ lots and lots of silent reading by my children - I detailed all of that here.

~ continuing our unit study of Louis Pasteur

~ a day spent with horses and friends for Miss B - friends of ours from church just bought a farm not far from our house.   Miss B spent an afternoon mucking stalls and WORKING.  She loved it! 

~ a new dishwasher (hooray!!) - my kids know what decibels are and how to price shop!

~ I am LOVING Plan to Eat -- if you haven't investigated this online meal planning, recipe importer, and list generator, PLEASE DO!  (You can sign up for a month free trial, so why not?) I can't imagine planning our weekly meals without it.

Simple Meal Planning - Plan to Eat

~ a tea party in the co op class I help teach - it was a birthday party for a 14 year old girl.  We all brought our favorite tea cup and home made goodies.   

~ a baseball practice and a trip to the batting cages - opening day is Saturday! 

~ me agonizing over whether or not to further investigate a classical homeschool (one day a week) program in our area.  It has a fabulous reputation and is quite rigorous.   I had been thinking this was the way to go with my children, but this week I think I'm finally at peace with the fact that I like designing their curriculum and still want to remain UNACCOUNTABLE to anyone else right now.   I feel like we are on a good path, and that sense of WONDER is there in my children.  

How was your week?  Feel free to link it up with a collage!    

Make sure to link back to this post in some way, and please visit some of the other bloggers on the list, too - we can gain so many ideas this way!  

Reader Comments (20)

There is a huge push toward Classical in our area, too. But with our free-flowing attitude toward learning, I think my two would DIE at the "have to's" of it. Secretly I am glad you have decided against it. I always feel great comfort in knowing that you are out there schooling "my" way.

March 9, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterNicole

I sense you are on a good path for your family's learning, too. You all seem so busy with various types of learning and enjoying it so much. It is lovely to see.

March 9, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterPhyllis

Another beautiful week, Mary:)
Love all the fun math on your Pinterest Board! We're definitely trying the Lego game.

Every time I think about changing what we're doing for school and making it more structured or rigorous, I realize that it would stifle the joy of learning and the sense of wonder you just mentioned. I just can't do that to my girls! I'm glad you chose to continue on the path y'all are taking. As I read your posts each week, I can just feel the joyful learning and enthusiasm at your house:)

March 9, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterJenn

I really identify with your struggle on deciding between the classical school and being free-form at home. We haven't belonged to any official group this year that requires a meeting in a regular basis. Next year I think we're joining a new Classical Conversations group that's starting up locally. As much as I sometimes chafe at the thought if having to follow an outside agenda, I think the trade off in fellowship, structure, and accountability will be worth it. At least that's what I'm hoping! ;-). It sounds like you had a great week. I love that your son has a kind heart. That is wonderful! My eldest dd is participating in a piano competition tomorrow, too!

I hope yo be back later with my collage.

March 9, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterAmy @ Hope Is the Word

Great Friday post Mary. Re. the classical class. I have a really good friend who did it this past year. She even taught a class. While it is awesome it is VERY time consuming. There was so much 'homework' each week. She is not doing it next year.

I love the decorations on the swing set. Agree with the Bradford pears; they are beautiful and STINKY! I know G-Man was thrilled with the Braves tour! I would like to take Kei to a game, she is sports challenged. Doesn't know a lot about the rules and such. Its so funny because I was raised at the ball field and basketball court. Brothers...

March 9, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterKaren

Are you referring to Classical Conversations? I've thought about that but decided I want more control over what we do and when. But I've heard it is a great program. Will be watching to see what you decide :)

The SCM DVDs were from the day seminar in 2007, I believe. A lot of the points and tips I was already aware of but I did learn some. I also got the DVD title "Laying Down the Rails" which I found to be quite helpful. I need to read more of CM's work.

Anyway, have a good weekend!

March 9, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterNorth Laurel

I love that you got to go to the baseball field - aren't we blessed to be so close to so much and enjoy it? The opportunities for blessings others are so important in growing hearts - you are providing many of those for your children. And, yes! Taking advantage of voting to learn more about the presidential election process. Lovely week.

March 9, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterHodgepodgemom

The Lego Geomtry looks cool. I will tell my son about that. I looks like you all had another great week. What a fantastic field trip.

March 9, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterDawn

Great stuff- we love Baseball too! Must be nice to be able to drop $20,000 a season on a box huh??

March 9, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterMary

those grammar books look like fun... i'll have to look into it. we have been using easy grammar this year... a great change from what we were using, but this looks fun. ;) lego geometry... will you adopt me? ;)

March 9, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterH-Mama

I love how sweet GMan is <3 So chivalrous and so kind to his friend!
We've played that dice rolling/graphing area game before, too. I am sure we'll play it again.
Thanks for sharing (and linking up!) about the Biography website. It reminds me that I haven't visited there in a while. I do visit the site quite frequently :)
About Louis Pasteur, have you all ever watched any of the Animated Hero Classics before? We have the one out from the library now about Louis Pasteur. They are nicely done animated biographies for kids.
I am glad that you feel good about the path you are sounds like you are making the best choice for your family!

March 9, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterSusan

Hey Mary, have you seen Lego Quest over at I thought G-man may get excited about it. I'm pretty sure he would love it.

March 9, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterBrandy

Never mind. I saw it on your pinterest lego page while looking for other lego ideas. Ha!

March 9, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterBrandy

Looks like you guys had a really fun week. Every time I read one of your posts, I feel like getting rid of all of our curriculum. Even though we don't use curriculum for everything and we certainly don't follow any of them to the letter, I still doubt my ability to do it all on my own sometimes. Seeing how well you intertwine learning with everyday life and how enjoyable everyone looks is really moving me. I am finding the courage to let go through your example.

Fun week so where is the picture of the polling place, lol. So awesome you have a backyard where they can play and you can get some reading time in. I so wish we had that: (

March 10, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterKathy Balman

Looks like you had a wonderful week! My guys would LOVE a field trip to our local major league stadium. I guess I should get to planning that :) How sweet is your Gman? Love the handwritten psalm :)

March 10, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterNatalie

We gave up on Easy Grammar a while ago. We just finished Michael Clay Thompson's Grammar Town and we loved it. It's just a story you read and then periodically I would write a sentence to explain something or have the girls write a sentence. We had a lot of fun with it and wrote a lot of really silly sentences but had our gerunds and conjunctions in there--the girls had fun and I think they learned a lot more than with Easy Grammar. I am not going to "teach" grammar again right now--I did buy Editor in Chief and plan to have them work on that here and there.

We have a new co-op starting here and some of our friends joined. We thought about joining, but I really like the freedom in our schedule now--our schedule is PERFECT now. We are able to join the field trips this co-op does, however, so we can pick and choose the ones we are interested in and have that time with a BIG group of kids.

March 10, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterTheresa

Love your week! I am planning to begin Story of the World this fall. Looking forward to the chivalrous lessons in Vol. 2, right?!
We have a few of the Grammar Tales and we enjoy them, too. We do many different things for grammar, also. We enjoy changing our lessons up.
Love the creativity and sweetness of your little ones!

March 11, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterHope

I am a new follower to your site! This is my first year homeschooling and I really like your homeschool style! I enjoy reading all your posts, and checking in to see what your family is up to. As my boys get older I hope to have a fun homeschool home like yours. You're a real blessing to your family!
I linked up for the first time to your Collage Friday. Thanks for hosting!

March 12, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterChristine

Hi there!
I linked up but realized I don't have a 'collage'. I hope that is ok? Thanks for hosting this! I love seeing what other homeschoolers are doing!

March 13, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterSheri

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