Don’t you love those weeks when everything actually goes according to your plans? I have a natural tendency to try to pack too much into our days/weeks, and it’s really
hard for me to ease up or take a day off. Yet I really want to minimize the time we spend on academics over the next few weeks, so I battled with the side of myself this week. And won.
At the start of the week I sat down with Ian and showed him my lesson plan book for December. We looked at what needed to be done (basically two weeks worth of lessons in his Veritas Press Self-Paced History Course, and five math lessons with lots of additional facts practice). I told him once those things were completed, I wouldn’t ask him to do any more official schoolwork until after Christmas.
To be honest, I wanted him to dive in and get through it all this week. He didn’t. And so I just bit my tongue, took a deep breath, and let him go at his own pace. We took a day off for Arianna’s birthday and he still managed to get in a solid week’s worth of work, so I can’t complain. In addition to his history and math work on the computer, he’s reading through Robin Hood (A Stepping Stone Book), the assigned literature for his history course. Ian loves being read to, but he’s usually reluctant to read on his own, so I was surprised at how enthusiastically he picked up the book each day. He even asked if we could get some of the other Stepping Stone books, intrigued by the titles like Man in the Iron Mask and 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea. I told him I’d rather he wait a couple years and just read the “real” books, but I’d help him look at the library for the Stepping Stone versions.
As far as Elijah goes, I didn’t demand much from him this week. Instead of doing regular lessons, I set him to work systematically going through his Architecto Gameand the Equilibrio book that uses the same blocks. I like giving him something to do besides flying through grade levels on CTCMath.com, and since he’s fascinated by building things, I figure his time is well spent developing his spatial visualization skills. After Christmas I’ll have him go back to lessons too, but for these light weeks I think this is a great Kindergarten activity.
One of my goals over the next few weeks is to read with my children as much as possible , and we got off to a great start. They spent a lot of time pawing through our collection of Christmas books, sometimes just flipping through them quietly on their own, and sometimes bringing them to me to read. Here are the ones we read this week(for my most complete list of Christmas picture books, see my post Christmas Book Countdown):
I also had the pleasure of introducing the boys to The Best Christmas Pageant Ever by Barbara Robinson, one of my childhood favorites. From the first page, Ian was hooked, and within a few chapters we had drawn Elijah in as well. They kept begging for more and we ended reading the book in one sitting (well, with a few interruptions from the little ones). It was such a hit I went searching for the movie, which I’d never seen.
So all in all we had a delightful week of snuggling up with books and enjoying lots of family time in the glow of the Christmas tree with the iPod serenading us with Christmas carols pretty much all day every day. Bliss!