Saturday, October 16, 2010

Weekly Wrap-Up

I often get to Saturday and think, "I have absolutely no idea what we did this week." That's why I rarely post a Weekly Wrap-Up. I dislike having the days all blur together. When the kids were little, each day seemed to last for eons. These days are fast ones, hopping from moment to moment, place to place.

Still, we have our quiet moments at home each day, and I am often amazed at how much we get done in a few short hours. Laurel asked about homework the other day. She said that a friend at church couldn't come to Bible study because she had so much homework. "What kind of homework does she have to do in 7th grade?" she asked. "Why does she have so much of it?" I went through our day with her, explaining that while we take 15 minutes to go through a math lesson, her teacher probably takes up to an hour so that everybody understands it. And the math problems that Laurel does right after her lesson—those, I explained, would be homework. We went through our whole day like that, and I think it was very enlightening for her.

I'm glad we don't have to spend our evenings doing homework. I remember what it was like when Jesse was in 1st grade, and we spent up to an hour each evening doing tedious busywork. Blech. What a waste of great bike-riding, digging-in-dirt, or kicking-leaves time!

But I digress.

Teaching Textbooks is working well for Laurel. For the first time ever I'm grading her, and she enjoys that. Still, though, how does she get these questions in her head? Are they innate? I give her an 85%, a B. "Is that good? Is that failing? That's bad, isn't it?" Good grief.

Duncan is taking a few weeks off from his regular math to drill multiplication tables again. Since I skipped a whole year of math with him, I figured he'd better at least spend some more time drilling. Unlike Jesse, he loves being timed. He gets great satisfaction from beating his previous days' times. I love how each of my kids is motivated in such different ways!

We finished reading The Magician's Nephew this week. Sigh. I've been reading these books for 35 years, and I still get choked up every time I read them. Now both kids are writing essays on the book. This is Duncan's first real essay, so we're totally writing it together. Laurel is comparing/contrasting how the Cabby responds to Aslan's request that he be king and how various Biblical people responded to the calling to be leaders. Duncan's topic is about miracles, based on Digory's mother's recovery.

Everything else goes on as usual: spelling, grammar, vocabulary, handwriting, co-op homework, reading, science. We're slowly making it through our Focus on Scientists book, enjoying a casual year. Duncan and I have also been reading Richard Halliburton's Complete Book of Marvels. Published in 1937, this is an absolutely fascinating journey through the natural and man-made wonders of the world. Halliburton's style of writing is almost exactly like Hillyer's A Child's History of the World, and Duncan loves it. I'm not sure where my copy of this old book came from—either my family or Randy's—but it is an absolute treasure. We've been looking up the various marvels on the internet so that he can see modern-day photos of them. This is my favorite geography "program" we've done yet!

In other news:
* my fourth brother is visiting from New York, and he brought a carload of apples from his orchard.
* we had yearbook pictures on Tuesday. (Yes, our support group has a gorgeous yearbook.) My kids' pictures turned out fabulous, thanks to Donna. She's going to have her own photography site up soon, so watch for it, local yokels!
* Jesse is home for the weekend for fall break. He got his midterm grades, and I'm happy to report that he has all As and Bs. Mostly A. ;-) So yes, your homeschooler can do well in college, in case you ever doubted. (As an interesting side note, that he was homeschooled has never come up in any of his classes. He said a couple of people have asked where he went to high school, just as a matter of course, and no one has given any sort of negative feedback when he said he was homeschooled.) Also, he's reported that there is a mouse in his bedroom. No wonder the cats have been meowing to go up there…

And that's about it for this week. Randy has taken the Cub Scouts hiking on this beautiful October day, and I'm about to finish lesson plans for this Monday's co-op classes.

Linked up on the Weekly Wrap-Up


  1. What a lovely read this post was. Your week seems to be a wonderfully balanced and full of wholesome stuff. I will have to look for the Complete Book of Marvels. It sounds wonderful. I have had to explain to my children about the homework thing, too. They were amazed. I agree about all the wasted time. What a shame. No wonder the kids grow up too fast -they have no time to be kids.

  2. I've gotten the homework question from my kids a few times. My 13-year-old is in a robotics club and sometimes boys have to quit or take a leave of absence because they get behind in their homework.

    But this year my kids are taking two classes that give homework: art and composition (IEW). So they are getting a taste on their own. A small taste!

    Great post. I just requested the Book of Marvels from the library!

  3. Your wrap-up was such a breath of fresh air for me as I read it. I really, really enjoyed it. Your Jesse is the opposite of mine--my Jesse just turned one and yours is all grown up. Bittersweet.

    Your family is beautiful and your journey of homeschool is inspirational! I am so glad to have found your blog!

  4. No, in fact, most comments I've heard from college kids toward homeschooling are positive, such as, "I wished I could have been homeschooled."


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