Wrapping Up Week 6 (2015-16)

Weekly Wrap Up 2015-16
We tend to follow a loose “Sabbath” schedule when it comes to schooling: 6 weeks on and then a week of rest.  Right now I’m wishing I were a little stricter about that.  It’s been 6 weeks and I am definitely ready for a little breather.  However, since we’re about to take several weeks off for the arrival of a baby brother, I’m trying to push through at least one more week before we let things go for a while.  So we just finished up a pretty solid week and I’m hoping we can finish strong this coming Friday.

This week in our Preschool

I finally got our flannel board set reorganized and ready to use!  This has been on my to-do list for weeks, and while didn’t actually get around to using it as we learned about Lazarus this week in Old Story New, I feel better knowing that we’ve taken a baby step in the right direction.

flannel board organization
Arianna decided to pick back up with her Reading Eggs lessons.  She had started finding them challenging, so I hadn’t brought them up for a couple weeks and figured I’d let her mature a little.  I was surprised at how much she has remembered, and I think her main problem right now is confidence.  I want to spend a little more time working with her to provide some encouragement.


We plowed through four lessons in Our Weather & Water, skipping the activities because I had zero interest in them and Ian didn’t ask at all.  That had originally been my intention for this whole term, so I’m trying not to feel guilty.  We’ve done far more already than I ever planned on.


Most of the literature I have planned for this year is connected in some way with Ian’s history course. Veritas Press has specific assignments that correspond with the lessons, but since some weeks have no assignments (and since we’ve read about half of those given), I’ve lined up a few choices of my own.

This past week we started Beowulf as retold by Michael Polpurgo, with beautiful illustrations by Michael Foreman.  I remembered very little about this early British epic from my high school “study” of it, but at some point I stumbled upon this book, and this week I decided to give it a try.  It’s probably a little gory for some families, but I was willing to over look those aspects, and actually that’s probably what made it such a hit with Ian.  He begged me to keep reading each day, so it looks like we’ll get through the entire book in two weeks rather than the three I had originally planned.  I was pleasantly surprised by how often the characters referred to God and gave Him the glory for their triumphs and victories.  This book may not make everyone’s literature list for their 2nd grader, but I’m really glad I pulled it out.  Usually Ian just endures my literature selections without much comment, so his enthusiastic reception of Beowulf was a breath of fresh air.  I think he’ll remember far more about the story than I did.

Independent Learning

The boys are continuing to do well in their independent computer lessons.  Ian finished up the Storylands lessons on Reading Eggs and is now back to working through the Skills Bank spelling lessons.  Both boys have settled in and are doing much better with their daily facts practice on xtramath.org, and I’m pleased with the progress their making in their lessons on CTCMath.com. (Elijah) and Teaching Textbooks Math 3 (Ian).

I continue to be impressed with the Veritas Press Self-Paced History Course (Middle Ages, Renaissance, and Reformation).  Ian has never been so eager to study history!  He’s being asked to remember a lot of dates and facts, and I was concerned he would find it too boring (or too challenging), but he looks forward to his history lesson each day and is learning far more than I expected.  This past week he learned about Justinian the great, Byzantine architecture, and the Hagia Sophia in Constantinople.  I was hoping to find time to do a mosaic craft, but it didn’t happen.

A few final thoughts

IEW ReviewMom had some school assignments this week as well.  I started going through the Teaching Writing: Structure and Style DVD seminar from the Institute for Excellence in Writing.  I have heard so many positive things about IEW over the last few years, and since Ian and Elijah are going to be part of an IEW class with some other homeschool friends starting in September, I decided it was time to learn more about it.

I have always enjoyed writing myself, but even as a classroom teacher I struggled with helping students learn how to write.  I have a feeling I’ll be reviewing these DVDs multiple times in the years to come, but I’m hoping to at least build a basic foundation so I can understand what the boys are learning in their class this fall.  This week I made it through the first two DVDs (there are twelve in the seminar altogether), and already I’m feeling much more confident that I’m not going to completely fail my children when it comes to helping them develop as writers!

Upcoming Reviews

Here’s a peak at the reviews I’ll be posting soon: