Wednesday, August 17, 2005

Back in the Saddle Again

We got all the way through with lessons by 11:15 this morning. That's a new record! Of course it helped that Brighteyes had hardly any writing and no composition. She's showing more enthusiasm than she was last week, as she remembers just how much fun lessons can be.

It also helped that this week's Botany experiment is making bean sprouts. Both girls have been glued to the clear plastic tub where the beans are sprouting. Next week is our last week of Botany, and Brighteyes wants to crystalize flower petals. I'm not sure if this is the best weather for that project. On the other hand, 90+ degree temperatures and high humidity might be perfect for it.

After that we'll start Zoology. Brighteyes wants to study the animals in alphabetical order as they're presented in her Animal Encyclopedia I want to turn to the "History of Life" chart in her Usborne History book and study them in the order they evolved. Hopefully they'll make more sense in that context, and it won't hurt the girls to see books being cross-referenced.

We're covering the Neolithic Ice Age in History. We read about it and made a narration page in Usborne yesterday, today we read some more in Eyewitness: Early Humans. I'd love to do some activities tomorrow, but I haven't been able to find any for prehistoric humans except cave painting, which we'll be doing next month. Mommy's creativity is on the fritz too. It's very frustrating.

Note: must remember to mention the new theory that certain megalithic structures date from this time period or earlier, as well as the end of the Neolithic Ice Age being the source of many of the "Great Flood" myths. Seems an appropriate time to mention that our knowledge of the past evolves as well.

I've temporarily run out of myths and folk tales that I'm not waiting til later to cover, so we're reading King of the Golden River. The girls are fascinated by it. Brighteyes is asking questions about what makes things holy. I explain that it is the blessings of the God(s), which may be withdrawn if the thing is improperly used. We haven't gotten to "everything is holy, everything is sacred" yet, but that should be coming up by the end of the week.

Grammar is frustrating. English for the Thoughtful Child was a little too advanced for my six-year old, but First Language Lessons for the Well-Trained Mind is too simplistic. I'm having to skip around in it a lot. While I love picture studies, they put a confusing "sample" right next to the picture, and there's nothing wrong with Brighteyes' reading skills. I have to cover the "sample" with a piece of paper so it doesn't distract her, which of course distracts her. We're getting the art postcard box filled, so hopefully soon we'll be able to use that for picture studies instead. The poems are good, the narration exercises are good, but right now it's more an idea book for us. This week I got to a place where all the upcoming exercises were things I wanted to work on next week, so I gave up and pulled out Madlibs for a few days.

The reason for that is because my girls can only handle one Big Project a day. I can't pile experiments on top of Literature narration on top of History narration on top of pen-pal writing on the same day without screams of protest, and I would deserve those screams. Later, when narration pages aren't such a big deal, we'll go faster, but not now.

Sunshine seems stuck on her reading. She's also very fussy. The first could be causing the second, or it could be that she's about to make a developmental leap. Brighteyes always gets extremely fussy right before she reaches one; I'm dreading her adolescence already. So I'm going slow with Sunshine right now. She is remembering to go potty more often, and I'd be pleased as punch if she would just get that down. Not to mention I'd be a lot less harrassed if I didn't have to escort her to the bathroom and stay with her six times a day.

Today we actually had a tiny rain and temperature fell out of the 90s long enough for me to open the house up and chase the girls outside. It's still too hot, muggy and buggy to do much; but I filled up the bubble soap bottles and sent them onto the grass. I hope we'll be able to go outside more often from now on. A big part of their restlessness comes from being cooped up indoors.

1 comment:

Beth Mitcham said...

I thought of a possible stone-age craft. Could they chip things out of soap? Spearheads, tools, whatever would work. You'd have to use soft sticks or something as the chipper, both because of the age of the student and to mimic the stone-on-stone action of the real cave people.

I meant to post this a few days ago, in time for your craft. Oops. Anyway, your blog is very inspiring for me as I start home schooling my six year old.