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Rebecca St James

Tonight we went with some good friends to see Rebecca St. James in concert.  We had a blast!  It was a mother daughter concert, so it was filled with mothers and daughters.  But there were lots of dads there too.  It was her Purity and Worship concert, and she sang several songs off her new album.  She also talked a lot about the importance of staying pure.  She was married back in April, so it was really neat to hear her talk about the benefits and blessings that have come as a result of doing things God's way.  I think it's an important message for girls to hear (from someone besides just their own mothers.)

Here are the three girls waiting for the concert to start.

E, S and R

After the concert was over, there was an autograph line.  Princess E had brought her book along to get signed.  And of course we had to get a photo.

RSJ concert

One thing that was very cool about Rebecca is that after every song, she makes it known that all applause belongs to God.  She is just a vessel for His words and melodies.

We even managed to get a mother daughter photo.  (Of course, it took two tries because some members of our family have a hard time looking normal in photos.)

Mom and girls

We had a great night and were so glad to be invited by our friends. 


TOG Year 1 Week 13

This week we began learning about Ancient Greece. Princess S has been waiting for this week so that she could read D'Aulaire's Greek Myths - again.

Princess M - Pre-TOGGLER
This week we began the letter D.  We read a bunch of dinosaur books.  This morning we played the Mugs game from IEW PAL.  I was amazed at how many of the letters she was able to say on her own.  She had fun playing with our Leap Frog Dominoes that she found in a drawer.  We tried matching the colors and shapes, and the colored dots, and she loved them both.  Guess we'll have to start playing some more games.

 Princess L - 1st Grade - LG
This week she finished up her MUS lesson on +9/9+.  I made up a drill sheet with those facts, and she has steadily gotten faster throughout the week. We also started Explode the Code Book 4.  But the highlight of her week was graduating from the Discovery cards to the library.  So this morning I gave her five books and told her to spend fifteen minutes reading through them herself.  Then I went into her room and we settled down on her bed and she read all five books to me.  She was very pleased with herself when she was done.  I snapped a photo of it.

PAL Library Day 1

Princess S - 5th Grade  UG
As I mentioned before, Princess S was excited to read Greek Myths again.  This week was a better week for this princess, losing her gerbil not withstanding.  After a horrible week prior to this one, she seemed to have a better attitude about everything.  She is finally beginning to understand long division.  I have no idea what happened to make it start to click - I'm just glad that it did.  She decided that she wants to participate in the piano festival this year, so she got her first song to begin working on this week. She has made a goal for herself to get five points so that she can earn a trophy.  I told her not to put undue pressure, just to work as hard as she can.

 Princess E - 7th Grade  D
This was also a better week for this princess in that she completed all her work.  She received the results of her piano exam and was thrilled to hear she had received highest honors.  She, too, is beginning to work on piano festival songs.  Unfortunately, she has also come down with a cold which she graciously decided to share with me.  So it has also been a week of coughing, sneezing and lots of Kleenex.

Tomorrow I am taking the big two princesses to see Rebecca St. James in concert.  I think it should be a lot of fun.  If I get any decent pictures, I'll be sure to post them.


TOG Year 1 Week 12

This week was a special one because my youngest student turned 4!  We celebrated on Sunday at Pizza Ranch.  Here is a picture with the present we gave her, which has provided hours of fun so far.


Princess M - Pre-TOGGLER
This week we finished up the letter C.  Since Nanny was in town, the big project was to make cookies.



We decided to make cookies shaped like the letters we had studied so far.


Unfortunately, we forgot how much snickerdoodles spread, so our cookies ended up very fat, and not looking at all like the letters they were shaped like.


But they still tasted awesome!

She made a pom pom caterpiller.


We counted and measured with our caterpillar.


We made a C caterpillar picture.


And finally, our C puppet was a black cat, just like our Oskar cat.


One thing that I have been mixing in with our Letter of the Week curriculum are the letter stories that go with IEW PAL that we are using with Princess L.  She LOVES these, and they are helping her to really retain the short sounds of the vowels, and the consonants we've done so far.  I work in a review of these letter stories at least once a week.  She gives me the nickname for the letter (which is the memory clue to help write the letter,) then it's name, and finally it's short sound.  Next week it's on to D for dinosaur!

Princess L - 1st Grade - LG
This was a busy week for Princess L.  She has, officially, one lesson left of IEW PAL reading.  She has been working through the discovery cards.  She is currently up to pack 20.  We will plan to finish them by the end of next week.  She also finished up lesson 8 in Math-U-See.  We moved on to lesson 9 - which is, incidentally, adding with nines.  I have always loved this lesson!  Every time they look at what they perceive to be big numbers and say to me, "I won't ever be able to get this."  But once they learn the secret to adding nine to any number, it turns out to be easy.  And they are so pleased with themselves.  It is always an ego boost.  That is what happened this week for Princess L with this lesson.  Since Calculadder goes in a different sequence than MUS, I ended up making my own drill sheet for this one.  She is also finishing up Explode the Code book 3, and we will begin book 4 next week.  I like this series because she has reached a point where she can read the directions and do everything almost completely by herself. 

Princess S - 5th Grade - UG
This week in TOG, we studied the ancient Americas.  The focus in year one is on the Mayans, Aztecs and Incas.  In year two there are other tribes that are studied.  These big three tend to be the more violent ones, so we tend to go a bit light on some the details for the more tender-hearted princess of the group. She began lesson 8 in Latin, finished lesson 8 in Caesar's English, and week 13 of Fix-It Grammar.  This next week has us beginning Ancient Greece, and this princess has been looking forward to D'Aulaire's Greek Myths.  She has read it several times.

Princess E - 7th Grade - D
Princess E finished up module 6 in science, and lesson 12 in Latin.  In The Magic Lens, she is almost to the point where she will begin the first loop. She also prepared for her level three piano exam.  She said she felt pretty good about it, so we are anxiously awaiting her scores. 

In another month the girls will begin to work on their songs for Festival, which is in February.  My how time flies in the music world!  Hearing Princess L beginning on piano reminds me of how far Princess E has come in such a relatively short time.  Princess L seems to be doing the same thing that Princess E does - play by ear rather than reading the music.  It comes naturally to Princess E - a gift really.  Perhaps we will see Princess L with this gift as well.  Princess S, while she can do some things by ear, seems to follow my footsteps of reading the music well.  Praise be to God for their gifts and talents!


TOG Year 1 Weeks 10-11

We have been visiting Ancient India and Ancient China the last two weeks.  It is fun to see how much the girls remember from the first time we went through this year plan.  We didn't get a chance to eat Chinese food or Indian food yet, but I plan to do that.  Chinese food is common in our house as DH likes to make it himself.  But I don't believe they have ever had Indian food.

Princess M - Pre-TOGGLER
We have finished up letters A and B.  I took photos of letter A but for some reason they aren't on my memory card.  I think some little elves - who shall remain nameless - were using my camera.  But I do have two photos from letter B.  Princess M made a bee and a bear puppet.


Princess L - 1st Grade - LG
IEW PAL Reading - Today we finished up lesson 74.  She started in on the Discovery Cards last Friday and is up to pack 18.  I have her do about three a day, and have her review the cards from the previous pack that she was having a hard time with.
Math-U-See - We started back up this week on lesson 8.  This is a lesson on solving for the unknown.  After a quick refresher, she remembered how to do it.  She finished level four in Calculadder, but since the MUS sequence is different, I will have to mix up the order on Calculadder from here on out. 
All About Spelling - We finished up step 18.  My frustration is that she spells very well during spelling, and during school itself.  But when she makes up one of her many books, her spelling is absolutely horrid - even on words she spelled correctly during school.  It's like all of the rules she knows just leave her brain on vacation.  Not sure how to deal with that as I didn't have that issue with the first two princesses.  But then again, they learned how to read a lot faster too.

Princess S - 5th Grade - UG
In math, Princess S is almost finished with lesson 18.  This has been a more difficult one for her.  She has this need to cross out her numbers, not sure why, and it is making it difficult for me to read her answer.  She also is forgetting about the remainders.  So it's been a bit slower of a lesson.
She is working on lesson seven in Latin.  She is doing quite well and I have decided to speed her up just a little bit. I had originally planned for her to take two years to do this course, but I think she can handle moving just a bit faster so that we'll finish about 3/4 of it this year.
Ceasar's English One - Though she complains about this course, I can definitely see some improvement in her ability to decode words by their stems. 
Science - She is working through the bird unit and is almost done.  She is looking forward to moving on as we have studied birds before.
TOG - Because I didn't get the literature book assigned for her level for our Ancient India week, she ended up reading the D level book and doing the SAPs that go with it.  She did quite well, so I'm thinking I will switch her over to the D level literature books for the third and fourth units of this year.  It will mean that both girls will have to share, but it also means less books to get from the library or purchase.
Other activities - Fix It grammar, Practice Town, Paragraph Town, and IEW Ancient History writing.

Princess E - 7th Grade - D

Princess E is working hard for her piano exam which is next weekend.  She is also Princess L's "piano buddy" as they go in for lessons at the same time and she is assigned to sit with Princess L during piano practice time to help her out. 
MathUSee - She is almost done with lesson 17.  This seemed to be a better lesson for her.
Word Within the Word vocabulary - She studied list five this week.
Magic Lens grammar -  She finished the sections on conjunctions, prepositions and adverbs.  I am now alternating vocabulary and grammar so that she will move a little bit faster with each book.
TOG - She is enjoying her online class through the Lampstand Learning Center.  We continue to work one week ahead of where her class is. 
Science - Module six has her doing a lot of lab experiments.  Since she is really struggling with this, I have decided to finish out this semester with science, and then finish the book next year.  She isn't going to be far enough in math to begin Physical Science next year anyway.  So to fill the void I'm looking at a Logic course which will probably be right up her alley since she loves to argue so much.
Other activities - Fix It grammar, Practice Town, Paragraph Town, IEW Ancient History writing.

It's been a busy two weeks and I anticipate that as we move closer to the holidays, the schedule will start filling up more and more.  I don't know who is looking forward to our one week break at Thanksgiving time more - the girls or me!


Princess M Funny

This morning I was trying to get through all the blogs in my blog reader.  Princess M was at the table eating breakfast.  She asked me for some juice and I told her I'd get some in a minute.  (I think she must hear that a lot.)  She kept on talking, I assume to me since I was the only one around, and asked several questions that I only half-heartedly listened to.  Finally she walked over to the computer, put her hand on my shoulder and said to me, "If you just get me some juice I'll stop talking."