I started this blog to keep family and friends updated on our lives here in Virginia, but lately the blog has been all about me and my hobbies. And I can go on and on about the things I love to do. There’s a good reason I haven’t been posting much about the Ellie and Mac – they’ve been concentrating on their studies since the holidays and I’m determined to have everything finished by the end of June. We love the flexibility of homeschooling, but we still have goals to meet. And when our school days get too “flexible”, we have to make up the time somewhere.
Noelle is finishing up the last chapters of math this month and couldn’t be happier. This year has been a bit of a struggle for her; we’ve been concentrating on decimals and percentages with plenty of review of area, circumference and word problems thrown in. We did a little pre-Algebra, some beginning geometry and dabbled in probabilities, and, while she understands it now, getting there was a challenge. She’ll also finish her Latin studies this month. She’s enjoyed it a great deal and is looking forward to taking the next class in the fall. We’ve still got a way to go in English and we really need to do some more work in composition and outlining. I’m thinking of combining both with our history lessons and kill two birds with one stone. Speaking of history, we’re moving along nicely and have made it to the Greeks (at this rate, we’ll finish up the Roman Empire just before leaving for vacation at the end of June). She’s slogging through The Black Ships Before Troy, a middle school version of The Illiad, with enough complaining that you’d think she was the one fighting the war. But she loves Greek myths and the two big books of stories awaiting her is motivating her to read two chapters a day instead of one. Science is meshing nicely with history right now, with Plato, Aristotle and Socrates being our main focus for the next couple of weeks. Logic and typing are on-going studies and are getting done, if not done enthusiastically.
Malcolm, like Noelle, is finishing up math. He has enjoyed the work this year, especially learning to tell time and read thermometers and gauges. He’s adding and subtracting 5 digit numbers with ease and is slowly mastering money (the decimal point is giving him problems). We’re nearly finished with the 7th phonics book and have started identifying common and proper nouns. We moved through his history studies quicker than Noelle has through hers and we’ve just covered Julius Caesar. Our extra history reading continues and, while Malcolm is usually not interested in history unless there’s a battle or someone dies (he takes a rather morbid pleasure in “bad guys” getting their comeuppance) , the children’s version of The Odyssey has captured his attention like nothing else has before. Finishing science before the end of the year will be tough, but I’m determined to get it all done, even if it means doubling up on lessons and schooling on Fridays.
They’ve been putting in some time in the kitchen this year, learning some basic life skills. Both kids love to cook and help with making meals and goodies, so I’ve got each one helping with at least one meal a week. Noelle is becoming more independent and is able to put together lunch for her and Malcolm with very little supervision. This past week, I had her dust off her fraction knowledge and increase a recipe by half. The banana bread was delicious and she got to see where exactly in life she’ll have to add fractions.
I’ve been thinking about having a few lessons this summer, mostly to keep them from getting too bored. We haven’t really covered health topics this year (in Malcolm’s case, only peripherally as it pertains to the human body studies we’ve been doing for science) so I think that may be a good place to start. I may also sneak some geography or nature studies in during our vacation in June – it just depends on how much scrambling we’ll be doing to finish up the school year at that point.
As for extracurriculars, tennis started this week. They’re both excited to be playing again and I can’t wait to show you pictures of them smacking the ball around the court.