Friday, February 27, 2015

Weekly Homeschool Wrap-Up 2/27

Some new read alouds I'm excited about:

The Five Little Peppers and How They Grew by Margaret Sidney (first published in 1880 as a series in a magazine) (Kindle edition linked)
Times are tough around the little brown house! The widowed Mrs. Pepper has to sew all day long just to earn enough to pay the rent and to feed the five growing Peppers. But she faces poverty and trouble with a stout heart, a smiling face, and the help of her jolly brood: blue-eyed Ben, the eldest and the man of the house at the age of 11; pretty Polly, so eager to cook for the family and make everyone happy and comfortable; and the three littlest Peppers, Joel, Davie, and baby Phronsie.
A favorite of children, parents, and teachers for generations, this heartwarming classic first appeared in 1880. Since then, it has inspired countless young imaginations with its tender tales of the ways in which courage and good cheer can overcome adversity.

I ordered used copies of the Moody Family Series of books by Sarah Maxwell (books 1-5). 

Summer with the Moodys is the first book in the Moody Family Series. This book celebrates the adventures of everyday life in a Christian family. Come along with the Moodys as they help a widowed neighbor, start small businesses for the children, enjoy a family fun night, live normal life, and wrap up the book with two special surprises! Woven throughout the book is the Moodys' love for the Lord and their enjoyment of time together. Children (parents too!) will love Mr. and Mrs. Moody, Max, Mollie, Mitch, and Maddie—they'll come away challenged and encouraged.
The Moody books are wholesome stories about a homeschooled family, authored by the adult daughter of Steve and Terri Maxwell (Manager's of Their Homes authors and creators). We are nearly done with the Miller Family series, which has really blessed us, and I wanted something similar to continue the joy.

FYI: I've mentioned the Miller books a number of times, but I didn't warn you about some content. They were written by a Mennonite author so there are two stories that might raise your eyebrows: one is about pacifism, which the Mennonites are know for. It comes up along with a discussion about Memorial Day. The other is about wearing plain colors so as not to draw attention to yourself. Both stories are just a few pages so very small parts of the whole series. We read these stories anyway and just explained how we differ from these views. 

Don't let that scare you away though--these books are the best devotionals I've used with children by far. My children loved them and began to incorporate the Christian principles into their daily behavior. Most of the stories are based on one of the Proverbs, and many are also missionary stories.

Our Dyslexia Life
When you walk into my girls' room, you would expect to see the horses on their comforters facing as shown in this picture, but Mary consistently faces the horses the other way, so that they look upside down when you walk into the room. I've explained that the picture should look right-side up when you walk into the room, but that isn't enough of a hint for her. I started putting it the right way so she would get used to that perspective, but that hasn't helped. The next morning, I see it upside down again (and not because of defiance).

It's the same with her numbers. Giving her strategies to form the numbers to 9 the correct way hasn't helped much. She reverses them 50% of the time, and she has never once when writing a teen number remembered right away which digit comes first, even though she understands place value. I'm not frustrated with her, but I'm at a loss as to how to help her. I suspect time will be the answer. Dyslexics don't enjoy the same automaticity which the rest of us take for granted. Many things involving a perspective (a certain direction) are difficult for them.

The school secretary at the elementary school I taught at lived fairly close to the school, but when she first began working there she couldn't figure out which way to turn out of the school driveway to drive home (she has dyslexia). Her husband came after work and she followed him home for a couple months until she could do it on her own. Putting signs on her dashboard didn't help because in her mind she could make the sign mean left or right, depending on the perspective she looked at them from. Still, I will try putting a horse picture above Mary's bed showing the way the horse should face when you walk into the room.

Beth has similar problems. This week she made many little paper books, and she kept fastening them to open the wrong way (fastening the pages on the right instead of the left). After correcting her a few times, I got a book and had her compare her homemade paper books with the professional picture book, and she couldn't see the difference right away! By late Thursday though, she got it. I've been reading to her since her early infancy, so it wasn't a lack of experience with books that caused this.

This week I also noticed that when Beth decodes a word, she starts from the right instead of the left about 35% of the time, and doesn't realize the mistake until I point it out.

Miss Beth makes dolls out of everything.
Beth went looking for a sweater because our house is so cold. She found her sister's pink sweater, pictured here. Her sister hugged her and said, "You look just like a librarian!" That thrilled Miss Beth, who really looks up to librarians, so she asked me to take her picture. :)

Prayer time after nighttime devotions. Our house is cold this year! It takes four of us to keep warm together.

Sonlight Science G - DNA and genetics

Sonlight provides questions to review the chapters.

Saxon math

Personal reading time for the girls.

Akron Children's Hospital infusion center--works with cancer patients to infuse chem drugs through IV, or in our case, arthritis drugs. Everything is top notch here, including the waiting rooms. This is the playroom located in the waiting room.

Here's the hospital room where the infusion takes place. First they put a numbing patch on her hand for the IV (takes 20 minutes to work), and then they give her benadryl to prevent a reaction. Thirty minutes later, they start the infusion after drawing some blood.

Waiting for the nurses to come in.

Mary's painting

All About Reading time coming up.

Math time for Peter

Sonlight novel time for Paul

All About Reading Level 2 story (Mary's story)

During quick write the three older kids all made up recipes in their journals, and then later tried them out. I did have to help a little bit because each recipe needed a little more liquid, but after that edition they were all delicious. Paul made cookies with chocolate sauce. Mary made chocolate-chip cake, and Peter made apple cake. You can see in this picture what OCD is doing to Peter's hands. Makes me so sad. Sometimes they get so red and raw that they bleed.

Usually it is boring sandwiches for lunch around here, but other times we have leftovers (taco bake).

You can tell by this picture that Paul is a mathematician. He makes a lot of patterned drawings.

Cutting the pieces for an All About Reading game (Beth)

All About Reading Level 1 - practicing reading /th/ words, which are hard for her because she struggles with the /th/ as a speech sound. She had to fry these "eggs" and then take them out with a spatula one by one and read them.

Sonlight novel time for Peter
Mary mixing up the recipe she wrote in her journal.

Peter teaching Mary science. They're preparing for the experiment.

Sonlight's DVD of experiments
Magnet experiments

Math time for Paul. We had a little drama with math because when I returned the faulty PC we ordered, I accidentally left the math CD in the player and sent it off to Amazon. I was sick to my stomach over it, and Amazon, with their excellent customer service, tried to help but it had already gone to a refurbishing center. Eventually I realized that Teaching Textbooks will replace lost (single) CD's from the four-piece set for just $15, which includes shipping. They also have excellent customer service. We had to take a week off math, but now we're back in business.

Paul's check-off sheet for school tasks he does by himself on Thursdays. We have a schedule but I still need to keep them on track this way.
Folding time. Everyone has a basket except for Daddy. Beth changed her clothes three times, and is now pictured in a leotard. Sigh. It does add to the laundry load when you have a little princess who changes clothes more times than you can keep up with.
Here are all the clothes I picked out at the Goodwill this week, plus two pairs of jeans for Paul and two pairs of pajamas and a couple of other shirts for the girls, which aren't pictured. All for $45, and most like new, though I don't know that the pictures do the clothes justice. I haven't been able to find many dresses in several months. I guess they just make fewer dresses for older girls. When the girls wore sizes 5 and below, dresses were always plentiful. Fancy holiday dresses are easy to find, but not others. There were many skirts available, but all too short for Christian girls.

I'm storing shorts for the boys for summer. These look like they would fit my husband, but thankfully everything I'm finding comes with an adjustable waist.

Mary was very happy about the lavender snow bibs because she's been wearing one of the boys' navy blue bibs. Of course it doesn't matter, but I knew these would make her smile.

Thank you for reading. How was your week, friends?

Weekly Wrap-Up
Mother's Journal here