School Break

FINALLY! It took an extra seven days, but the princesses are finally on break. Which means I am too. I checked out a bunch of books from the library today to read instead of what I usually do - correcting papers and such. Princesses E and S are going to a horse class through 4H tomorrow morning, so I get to do some shopping with only two kids instead of 4. Those of you with more kids than fit in a shopping cart will know why this is a big deal. But I'm not totally without schoolwork. I discovered when I rescheduled the school work from the week before Thanksgiving that it rescheduled everything to the end of the year instead of the end of the quarter. So, I have to go back through and reassign the due dates on the second half of the year by hand, because although I know how to do it going forward, I don't know how to do it backwards. Oh well.

Princess S has been working on a display board. This has been a six week project for her writing. This is a big deal because she is quite ADD. Pull-out-my-hair and grind-my-teeth-raw ADD. So to keep her on task with anything is a chore. I had to narrow this assignment down quite a bit. She was to make a display board featuring the various cultures she has studied thus far with TOG. I had her focus on three of her choice. She chose Ancient Greeks, Ancient Mayas, and Nez Perce. (The latter isn't totally a focus, but they did live on the western end of the Ancient Americas and this is where her Kaya the American Girl Doll is from. So I just rolled with it.) She had to come up with a list of the things that would be interesting to know about these cultures, and then research through her books and the internet to find the answers. Then she had to narrow the categories down to the most important five things so that she could write a paragraph on each. She had a lot more information, but I figured she would lose focus. She wrote her rough draft paragraphs and then I went back to help her edit them. I told her that it would work best to have her information in the same order with each paragraph.f

We still have a lot of work to do on writing in general. Princess S is very creative if I let her just go at it. She's written some wonderful books with great pictures. But left to her own, she won't use capitalization or punctuation. She'll run all her sentences together. So, to get as far as we did with this was a big improvement. I have to remind myself all the time with her that although she is an excellent reader, with a seventh or eighth grade reading level, her ability to translate that to her own communication via writing or speech is much closer to her age or grade level. I think I also have this problem because although they are 20 months apart in age, both Princess E and Princess S have been the same size physically for about three years now. (Princess S has way bigger feet.) Most people often assume they are twins. In my head, I also tend to think that what Princess E can do, Princess S should be able to do as well. My bad.

So without further ado, here is Princess S's Display Board project.

Now, to enjoy a somewhat quiet half hour before I have to get dinner started.


CHRISTmas Traditions

Everyone usually has their own unique CHRISTmas traditions. We do too. Here are two of them.

When I was a kid, my family of four did something that, to us, was very special. Maybe it was so special because we only did it on CHRISTmas Eve. We had fondue! My brother and I used to think we were actually "cooking" our own food. We had shrimp and steak. The side dish was beef flavored Rice-A-Roni (which we didn't have any other time of the year either.) Mom would heat the oil on the stove and when it was hot she'd pour it into the pot with the sterno can under it. We each had our own skewer. I also remember she had these tiny salt and pepper shakers that she put by our plates so we each had our own. My parents usually had a glass of wine and Brother and I had sparkling grape juice. Then we'd open our one CHRISTmas Eve gift (usually a new outfit to wear to church that evening.) It's a wonderful memory.

We still try to do the fondue with my brother's family - though we don't do it on CHRISTmas Eve, but near it. We now have two pots, because there are between 9 and 11 people now. And we each use two skewers so we can cook faster. (Maybe that's why the oil cools down so fast.) Here's a photo of this year's gathering.

One year for CHRISTmas, my Aunt and Uncle sent my family an electric ice cream maker. Mom must have known we were getting it because she just happened to have the ingredients ready and on CHRISTmas Day we made homemade ice cream. We did that for many years. I told my college roommate about it and for my graduation, December of 1994, she got me an electric ice cream maker. We made it a few times when the older princesses were real little. But we've been unable to for the last three years. So it was a lot of fun making it again. We decided to make Cookies and Cream, but the Oreos were a bit too crushed, and the ice cream turned out quite chocolatey.

It was fun to do once again.

I hope everyone had a safe and wonderful CHRISTmas.


TOG Y1r U2 W16 & W17

Okay, I realized I never listed anything for Week 16. We've been a little busy. Here's what we did:

Princess E (UG)
Bible - Judges
Math U See - Gamma Lesson 14
Growing With Grammar - 3.4 through 3.6
Reading - The Odessey, What the Bible is All About (excerpts)
Writing - first of three weeks on report writing
Hands on - none this week
Extra curricular - the girls went to a homeschool day at a local roller rink

Princess S (LG)
Bible and Extra curricular - same as above
Math U See - Beta Lesson 19 started but didn't finish
Climbing to Good English - pg 157-161
Writing - fourth of six weeks on a display board in which she will be writing about several cultures that she has read about
Reading - Old Testament Days (excerpts)

I haven't been posting this, but we have been doing maps, handwriting, vocabulary, important people, and Student Activity Pages this whole time as well.

Here is Week 17:

Princess E (UG)
Bible: 1 Samuel
Math U See: Gamma Unit Two test and start Lesson 15
Growing With Grammar: 3.7 to 3.10
Reading: What the Bible is all About (excerpts), The Odyssey (finish), Usbourne internet-linked Encyclopedia (excerpts)

Princess S (LG)
Bible: 1 Samuel
Math U See: Beta Lesson 19 test and Lesson 20
Climbing to Good English: pg 162-167
Reading: Old Testament Days (excerpts)

Princess L (PreK)
Letter M

I've discovered a new website called Quizlet and have put all the rest of our vocab words for the rest of the year into it. This site lets them go through "virtual flashcards" with the definitions and words to learn them. Then there are games they can play with those words. Then they can test on them. Finally, they will print out a list of the words and definitions for their vocabulary notebooks to look back on. I'm hoping this will be something less dry and rote for them. And that it will help them remember the words longer. I'm looking into ways to streamline how we do things. I think that's a never ending process. There are always things that can be done better. But they are still young enough that they will be going through TOG another time or two each. So if we miss things we'll catch it on the flipside. Blessings.


TOG Y1r U2 W15

Princess E (UG)
Bible - Joshua and Judges (selections)
Math U See - Gamma Lesson 13
Growing With Grammar - 3.1 and 3.2
Reading - D'Aulaire's book of Greek Myths, What the Bible is All About (excerpts)
Hands on - we may do another cookie dough map it there is time

Princess S (LG)
Bible and Hands on - same as above
Math U See - Beta Lesson 18 continues - this took several weeks for her sister and I'm anticipating the same types of errors
Climbing to Good English - pg 152-156
Reading - Old Testament Days (excerpts)

Princess L (Pre-K)
review letters
cutting practice
catch up on making alphabet lapbook

We had a good week off with Nanny and Papa in town. I hadn't planned on taking that week off. So now we are looking at one of two situations: either finishing four weeks of lessons in three weeks, or cutting our vacation by one week and finishing our unit between Christmas and New Years. Both girls said they want to do the former. I explained that means they need to work ahead and do at least two things from the next days work in order for that to happen. We'll see.

We have church pictures coming up on Friday. This will be our first full family portrait since Princess M joined us. I'm hoping for several good shots of the girls that we can use as Christmas pictures.