Giving Thanks This Week
~ Stomach virus only lasted one day
~ Mary mastered two more vowel digraphs for All About Reading
~ Weather nice for planting
~ Our new devotional book came and Mary already incorporated the first lesson into her day
~ Nice nurses at the hospital for Beth's infusion
~ Peter explaining Heaven to the neighbor boy he's been witnessing to (9-year-old boy thought heaven was a person)
~ Peter faithfully praying that the neighbor boy will grow in Christ and ask more questions
~ Curriculum sold fast to pay for this year's portfolio review and a Compassion child's birthday
~ Mary tries to read her Bible, but it is a full, NIV Bible, and she is in tears quickly because the reading level is just too high. I looked for a beginning reader's Bible she can read herself, and after researching, I found two. One I bought new, and the other used. They're not full Bibles, but they will work to help her get into the habit of a personal devotional time (we do a lot of family devotions, and I will read the full verses to her too, from the stories these books select)
|buy here and see sample pages ($11.99)|
|This one has easier words than the above.|
buy here and see sample pages ($12.99)
Activities this week
Origami, always a favorite with Paul and Mary, was a fine pursuit on a rainy day this week.
Ducks and ducklings
Peter teaching Mary science...here, an experiment
Beth made this contraption as an airplane for her stuffed animals.
Paul continues with his computer programming classes on Khan Academy. Here he created a picture with a moving car, using commands. It's all Greek to me but he loves the challenge.
Beth sketching birds from online images, because they just wouldn't stay still long enough at our bird feeders.
Marigolds (Peter and the neighbor boy he is witnessing to)
Zinnias by the fence, two types of marigolds, morning glories (Mary and Paul)
and radishes and basil (Beth)
More planting will happen this weekend and next with Daddy (tomatoes, yellow squash, sweet banana peppers)
I don't know what else Peter has planned, but there is quite a bit more going in.
Here's my mess as I prepared to sell Sonlight Core F, which went fast
Paul found a sauce recipe and we just use, so far, lean Italian turkey sausage and mozzarella cheese for toppings. This weekend (we make it every Sunday) I will try a veggie pizza too, which just three of the six of us will enjoy. The others like just meat and cheese.
Middle Grades News (Sonlight Core H, World History, Part 2)
Paul and Peter are still reading Out of Many Waters (shared last week)
Overview: It is known that in the summer of 1768, Captain James Cook sailed from England on H.M.S Endeavour, beginning a three-year voyage around the world on a secret mission to discover an unknown continent at the bottom of the globe. What is less known is that a boy by the name of Nicholas Young was a stowaway on that ship. Newbery winner Karen Hesse re-creates Cook's momentous voyage through the eyes of this remarkable boy, creating a fictional journal filled with fierce hurricanes, warring natives, and disease, as Nick discovers new lands, incredible creatures, and lifelong friends.
My Thoughts: I think the boys will really enjoy it. Just to give you an idea of how good it was, let me just say that it has 304 pages and I read it from 5 PM to 1 AM. I know...not a good idea to stay up late when one is sick, but I couldn't help myself and my stomach felt all hollow and yucky, so I wouldn't have fallen asleep well anyway.
This book is primarily about a young boy maturing over the three years he's at sea, from ages 11 to 14. Prior to that he was apprenticed to a butcher, who beat him mercilessly. He has scars from it, in fact, about which he remains mum when questioned. Prior to his time with the butcher, he'd run away from boarding school, where he was also beat, so his father, disappointed in him, boarded him with the butcher (giving up on his son's education). Two brothers pleased the father, doing well at school. Nick, the main character, changes from wanting to run away from his problems, to being prepared to take them on with honesty and courage. He also develops a yearning for knowledge, due to the many science observations some gentlemen engaged in on the ship, drawing from sea creatures and floral and fauna. This book is outstanding for all young boys (and girls, too, for that matter).
I've found that a majority of inspiring books for young people are primarily about a female lead. This one presents a nice change from that pattern. It's hard to develop our boys into great leaders without enough role models in modern history and in literature. Jesus is our primary teacher in how to behave, but boys can benefit from other role models as well.
The boy works extremely hard on the ship, which is a good message to all the young men these days who waste so much time with electronic games. I think these games are proving to be the downfall of many a young man, and young fathers too. We all do well to just. say. no. Young people have done well without these games for centuries, and I think historical fiction proves that to young men. Historically, children had much more responsibility and created their own fun in their spare time, which was often just on Sundays.
K and Second Grade News
I had Mary just review this week, reading over a few All About Reading Level 3 stories and going over her phonogram and word cards, to master several new sounds she had trouble with. Next week, we can move forward.
Mary tells me that journal writing is her favorite subject. Like her sister, she has dyslexia, but her strengths are different from Beth's. Dyslexics are good at spatial relationships, and rotating 3-dimensional objects in space, and for seeing patterns and relationships that many of us don't see. Beth is good at all this, but Mary has a different strength known in dyslexics--narrative. Many bestselling and established authors have dyslexia, and Mary has long had this strength, being the best of my children at narrating stories and events.
Paul has a much milder dyslexia, but he has both Mary's and Beth's strengths. Researchers are finding that they can spot dyslexics as much by their strengths, as by their reading, spelling, and penmanship deficits. Even when they grow to read well, they still typically read slowly, and their spelling is usually below average, with sloppy handwriting being common as well (but not universal, as they are still unique individuals).
Both girls still have difficulty writing, and recognizing the difference between, 6 and 9, and b and d. However, they're doing better at writing 7 and 3 correctly. They still don't, when seeing a 31 and 13, or 24 and 42, name it correctly right away. Two-digit numbers may always be a challenge. Even adult dyslexics indicate that telling the difference is not automatic for them.
The general concepts of math don't seem to be a problem, but these aspects slow us down and frustrate them considerably. They do well when I illustrate two-digit numbers with unifix cubes, but that doesn't translate yet into reading them correctly.
Library Books We Enjoyed
My New Granny
by Elisabeth Steinkellner published 2012
My New Granny is a heartwarming and important story about a grandparent who is suffering from dementia and how a grandchild can learn to accept this change in personality in a loved one. With an estimated 5.4 million people affected by Alzheimer’s in the United States, this is an essential resource for many children who may have a grandparent suffering from this disease. Elisabeth Steinkellner’s text captures the thought process of children while Michael Roher’s simple yet evocative illustrations paint a realistic picture of how to cope with dementia in a family.
Draw What You See: The life and art of Benny Andrews
by Kathleen Benson, published February, 2015
Sleeping Cinderella and Other Princess Mix-ups
by Stephanie Clarkson, published February, 2015
Once upon a time, four fairy tale misses,
tired of dwarves, witches, princes, and kisses,
so bored and fed up, or just ready to flop,
upped and left home for a fairy tale swap.
What happens when Cinderella, Sleeping Beauty, Snow White, and Rapunzel get so fed up with their fairy tales that they decide to switch places with one another? Hilarity ensues in this clever, rhyming story about whether the grass really is greener at someone else's castle.
Author Stephanie Clarkson crafts an incredibly witty manuscript, with rhymes that shine and predicaments that will make little girls everywhere laugh out loud, as illustrator Brigette Barrager brings these beautiful princesses to life with her rich, warm colors and charming retro-girl style!
The Alphabet War: A Story About Dyslexia
By Diane Burton Robb, published 2004
My Thoughts: A valuable book, but since it was written in 2004, there is little about the strengths dyslexics have--that it is a gift, and not just a learning disability. This is more about the struggles than the triumphs, but it will still be appreciated by all dyslexic children.
John Muir Wrestles a Waterfall
by Julie Danneberg, published March, 2015
How was your week, friends? Thank you for reading here and have a blessed weekend!