How did three more weeks get away from us?? Well, they actually didn't get away, we've been buzzing along quite nicely in our first term and I just haven't had time to put it all down. (Swirly clouds courtesy of the Matthias & Seamus Cloud Research Center, we have an abundance of these out our window regularly for identification and study ;-)
I'll try and share some of our highlights of the past three weeks and hope I don't put anyone to sleep in the mean time ;-)
We had lovely celebrations of both the Nativity of the Blessed Virgin Mary and Our Lady of Sorrows in these few week's time, not to mention the Feast of St. Matthew (on the 21st) and the Feast of the North American Martyrs (Sept 26th at our parish). *It has come to my attention as well, that my dear boys have been requesting more regular afternoon teatimes as they really enjoy a little snack and something warm now, in between all their lego building and music practicing, especially on days where the weather is less than cooperative for the pool or baseball ;-) Violet and I have no complaints!
I always like to catch up on what everyone is reading since this comprises a large bulk of our schooling. This time I'll start with Sean-Paul as his variety of read alouds has increased significantly and he is really enjoying many different kinds of stories.
- Several short stories and poems from The Children's Kindergarten Hour
- Treasure Boxes 1-20 (various readings)
- Currently reading aloud Socks by Beverly Cleary
- "Moses the Kitten" and "The Christmas Day Kitten" from the James Herriot Treasury
- Blueberries for Sal and One Morning in Maine by Robert McClosky
- The Color Kittens (a Golden book) *Coincided nicely with our Color Mixing Activity which is always requested! EVERYONE has to do this when it is brought out, LOL!!
- Scuppers the Sailor Dog (another Golden book)
- The Angelina Ballerina Books by Katharine Holabird (what can I say, his sister's a dancer)
- Many, many other picture books chosen at random when I happen to plop on the couch for a moments peace (always better with a snuggler and a picture book).
Besides the books, Sean-Paul has been learning up a storm. He loves anything math and science related (not surprising) and has been obsessed with watching our Science Experiments DVD and then carrying out the experiments mostly on his own (I LOVE this)! What could be more fun for a Kindergartner?
Here he is performing his Parachute:
And this is his Weather Vane (he told me all the things we needed for him to build it and he went around the house collecting it all):
And the piece de resistance, the Boat Test with a sail, to see how wind works (not sure if you can see in the photo, but there is a knight riding the waves):
Scads of other good stuff ~ Landforms got lots of action one day:
He went through all eight of them and then we created some booklets:
We played a LOT of games of Uno (ours is the Cars version). Sean-Paul beats me most of the time 'cause I forget to say "uno" when I'm down to my last card. He is adding up to three numbers to 18 using the Colored Bead Bars and doing marvelously with subtraction. I plan to do a Subtraction Board post soon, it's a fun way to learn.
Allright, I better move on or this post will end up being all about Sean-Paul, cute as he is ;-)
- Finished The Adventures of Danny Meadow Mouse and began The Adventures of Reddy the Fox (both by Thomas Burgess) *These little gems have nice short chapters, so perfect for narrating.
- Aesop's Fables (we have an Illustrated Junior Library edition) He's really enjoying these and always tells me the "Application" at the end of each reading.
- Finished Weather and Climate by Barbara Taylor, this one is so perfect for a 3rd grader.
- Started How Weather Works by Robin Birch, also good, nice diagrams and text
- Read many chapters in Story of the World Volume 1: Ancient Times covering: the Greek Alphabet, Odysseus and the Cyclops, the First Olympic Games, Medes and the Persians, Cyrus the Great, Life in Sparta and Athens, The Golden Apple. *He created many a Notebook page for his readings as well as narrating them to me.
- Continued RA's w/me ~ Francis and Clare (Vision Book) and Black Beauty (w/Sean-Paul)
- Continued readings in Child's Bible History, narrating after each and adding a picture to his Bible Timeline.
- RA w/Matthias ~ Mystery of the Periodic Table (coming a bit slowly)
Seamus is working on The Land of Storybooks by Robert Louis Stevenson. Cranking out math problems in his Mammoth Math Fractions 1 and Decimals 1, plus reciting his Multiplication tables, one each day. I am alternating using Primary Language Lessons (selected exercises) and Voyages in English 3 with him orally and it's such a lovely way to approach grammar with a 3rd grader. Sometimes he will do some copywork from these selections, but mostly our copywork is coming from Religion and literature for him. In addition, we've covered Measuring the Classroom and Playground, Giving Directions, How to Tell Disctance and Plains, in Home Geography (a gem of a book). Seamus also is enjoying the St. Joseph's Catechism No. 1 that we are working through together. Latin is one of his favorite subjects (overheard a conversation between classmates just this morning, and it was declared 2nd to Math :) Flashcards are cool, methinks! Oh and lest I forget, Seamus clocked about 25 hours of Cello practice and lessons in the last three weeks preparing for a recital this past weekend, it was so worth it, he sounded amazing!! Played The Swan, an Arutunyan Impromptu and the Tarantella by David Popper, unblievably beautiful.
- Finished The Bronze Bow (hailed as an awesome book)
- Read several Saint's Lives including: St. Jerome, St. Ignatius of Antioch and St. John Chrysostom after which he delivered a presentation of each and created a Notebook Timeline page (scroll to the bottom of this link for the free timeline templates, he is using the landscape style). *Matthias claims he is really enjoying this way of reading and learning about the Saints (quiet little "woohoo" from moi).
- Began reading The Histories by Herodotus (Battle at Marathon, Thermopylae), written narrations followed for each
- Read in Famous Men of Greece ~ Pisitratus, Lycurgus, Pericles, and Lionidas, added to his timeline (BOC)
- Started Rascal by Sterling North (going a bit slow)
- We read Act 1, Scene 1 of Julius Caesar together, hysterical!
- Began The Encyclopedia of Weather and Climate Change, excellent recource, it's on my wishlist now :)
- RA The Mystery of the Periodic Table to Seamus.
In addition, learning some lines from The Tempest in Harp & Laurel Wreath, working through grammar, dictation and writing selections in Lingua Mater orally, enjoying Vocabulary from Classical Roots lessons also w/me orally (wish I'd found this one sooner), cooking along in Forester's Algebra 1 nicely, finished 2/3's of Ch 3, worked on some fun chemistry experiments on Diffusion w/Seamus.
Oh, and Matthias was excited to be the family member to teach Sean-Paul how to play Poker ~ all in good fun of course :)
(Seamus' poker face is pretty good don't you think, lol!) *Lest you think Sean-Paul doesn't have any other shirts is his drawer, he will invariably go and find his batman shirt from Old Navy even if it's in the laundry. He says it's cause its so soft mommy, well, got me there :)
Violet ~ (many books were devoured, but here are the highlights)
- Bird Life (Golden Guide) for zoology research
- Wildflowers of Mount Rainier, also for research for occaisional botany reports
- Finished Columbus to Cortez by John Eidsmore
- Read "St. Bernard on a Second Crusade" in World's Great Speeches, compared to the Calvin and Luther speeches
- RA in Pride and Prejudice with me in the afternoons, several chapters
- Shadows on the Rock by Willa Cather
- Cartier Sails the St. Lawrence by Ester Averill
- Started Longitude by David Sobel (reading for Earth Science, very interesting with a forward by Neil Armstrong)
- Catholic Morality by Fr. Laux, reading small sections at a time and discussing together
- Story of the Church is coming along very well! Now into the section where the Catholics begin to reform, Council of Trent, etc. This delightful little tome has led to so many awesome discussions, I wish I'd found this one sooner too :)
- Lots of reading for Earth Science, mostly Earth chemistry, Mapping the Earth, finished up sections on Ecology.
- Catholic Girls Guide by Fr. Lasance, continuing in the Carnation section
- Other reading for fun ~ Hatchet by Gary Paulson, Moonstone Castle Mystery by Carolyn Keene, The Daring Game by Kit Pearson, Horse Crazy by Bonnie Bryant
Violet has worked very hard these past three weeks and is diving in to her high school studies with abandon. She is the last to leave the table in the afternoon and feels poorly if she doesn't get a chance to finish everything on her daily plans. (I have to keep reminding her, it's a framework, not a straight jacket). She has produced some lively writing and discussions throughout and it's a joy to enter into conversation about subjects she finds so interesting :) She's also worked incredibly hard at her Algebra 1 (doing Forester's w/Matthias), and she is actually liking it :)
All in all, an amazing amount of learning going on here, I am so blessed to be surrounded by children who truly love to learn, thanks be to God! Have a beautiful beginning of Autumn and see you back here soon!
*Please, if you might, say a prayer for Violet as she is having a procedure done on Wednesday, Feast of St. Michael the Archangel, to verify whether or not she has a stress fracture in her right shin. Thank you so much for your prayers, they mean so much.