Wait, what?? And what’s working

So, right after I published my last post, I broke my hand.  Yeah.  Slammed it in the sliding van door.  By the time I recovered, we were firmly in a down cycle where I’m sure some learning was taking place, but no one wanted to record it.  And then Thanksgiving and Advent and Christmas happened.  And then it was a New Year.  And did I mention I’m in a play?  So there’s that.  But this last week gave us some GREAT getting back into “formal work” (or what passes for formal work around here) moments.  I like the kids to read and write with purpose every day but it can be a pain convincing them to find something enjoyable, yet worthwhile to do that accomplishes that task.  BUT I had an inspiration that is paying off – my eldest daughter has been on a bit of a poetry kick these days, so I suggested she make a poetry book by copying all her favorite poems into a notebook.  She can illustrate them or not as she likes.  And it was a hit not only with her, but with her older brother (who hates EVERYTHING if it even smells a little like school!) so a BIG WIN around here.

Here’s a rundown of what is working for us:

1. Sneaky Copywork (i.e. poetry books).  We have learned things such as, every line of a poem starts with a capital letter.  And we learned the exception to the rule (if it’s the same line and goes over onto another line it is not capitalized).  Punctuation is getting a second look and spelling is improving!!  After copying “The New England Boy’s Song About Thanksgiving Day” aka Over the river, and through the woods…. Rebecca has mastered the spelling of “through” and many other words as well.

2. History. We are listening to a great Librivox recording of “This Country of Ours” by H.E. Marshall.  Although we started out this year with World History (The World’s Story by Elizabeth O’Neill), I decided that this is the year we are going to do some great New England historical sites (Sturbridge Village, Plymouth Plantation, and the Freedom Trail) so American History it is!!  Plus, we LOVE doing our learning in the car via audio book so this is a great fit for us.

3. Math. As much as I enjoy Life of Fred, the kiddos were lacking in some good practice and being that they are a bit behind in Math skills, I’ve started back with Math Mammoth.  Both older kids are working a grade level behind, but I’m not doing the books as written.  I’m skipping around to hit the things we need practice on (Carrying and borrowing or whatever it’s called now) and so far it is working.

4. Everything else.  As always, we learn about whatever strikes our fancy and have as many good discussions as possible.  We’re learning piano and doing some handiwork.  On Fridays we are doing a sort of co-op enrichment day that includes art and phys-ed and the all important SOCIALIZATION.  As an added benefit (to ME) I am leading a middle school/early high school reading group.  Last semester we read a ton of middle grade books and discussed the pants off them and it was a good time.  This semester we are reading through Shakespeare’s Julius Caesar.  So far the kids are enjoying it!!  We will put on a small play for the siblings and moms at the end of our time together.  The older kids are reading a good amount.  Rebecca is enjoying Noel Streatfeild’s Shoes books and Jack is reading the the Ranger’s Apprentice series.  I’m looking forward to the culmination of my play so that I can start doing a bit more reading myself.

Linking up with Melanie’s Guilt Free Learning Notes and hoping that means I’m back in the swing of things with blogging!!

Thanks for visiting and here’s a cute kid picture for your trouble:

cute Gus