Sunday, August 11, 2013

Oh, has it been a month?

'Cause it sure doesn't feel like it.  At. All.

What have we done over the past thirty-odd days?  Well, let's see.  We moved.  Scratch that.  We're still moving.  It's a slow process when your husband is working constantly and you have four little kids who are tired of sitting in the van while Mommy hauls another load of boxes from the old house to the new one.  Thank goodness our rental is in the same neighborhood.

We are just about done.  We have some things to drop off to Goodwill and we have to get through the last bits of the sale and closing, but we're settled in to the new place and everyone is adjusting nicely.  It helps that the rental is the same floor plan as our old house.  Everything pretty much went into the same spot and nobody had to relearn how to walk around in the dark.

In preparation for Virginia's homeschooling laws, I'm keeping an official portfolio now.  Since documenting twice is not my thing, I'll keep his school updates pretty general on here from now on.  We took a couple weeks off at the height of moving, but we're back on track now:

Catechism: He's working his way through memorizing the prayers in the New St. Joseph's.  Henry has one more to go until we begin the question and answer pages.

Math:  Saxon is still a great fit.  We've started doing the timed math drills and he likes trying to get a new high score each time.

Language Arts: He loves the vocabulary roots.  He thinks it's awesome that he knows "FOUR GREEK WORDS, MOMMY!  I KNOW FOUR GREEK WORDS!"  Grammar and writing are fantastic.  I'm really happy with the pace and progression of First Language Lessons and Writing with Ease.  He memorized his second poem this month:
History: We'll finish up the first unit next week.  We're both enjoying this program.  The reading selections are really nice and they're keeping his interest.  He's retaining a lot and talks about what he's learned constantly.

Science:  The one thing that's changing.  I still like the layout of Elemental Science, but I've come (once again) to the realization that experiments are a bust at this age.  I love the reading selections and so does Henry, but why do a lame "experiment" about camouflage when you can watch an awesome documentary about real animals using camouflage?  So, we're going to finish the schedule of reading for this year, but for the rest of the grammar stage, science is going to consist of reading a lot of awesome books, watching a ton of interesting documentaries, observing nature outside, and hitting up as many science museums and exhibits as we can.  I simply refuse to spend an hour setting up a demonstration that takes less than a minute to observe.

Geography: It's probably more accurate to call this "map skills."  Henry likes it.  It's easy to teach.  It's helping him with real geography, which we're doing in context with history and science.  I'm using Bing Maps to bring up the places we're discussing in those subjects.

Fine Arts:  We have yet to do one art project.  We're listening to plenty of classical music though, and we watched a ballet on Netflix this month.  All the kids loved it.  One of our local art museums has a weekly drop-in art class and I'm going to take Henry there as time permits.  I think he'll enjoy that.

Latin:  We're still listening to Song School Latin and to Lingua Angelica in the car.  I've backed off on Getting Started with Latin because the difficulty level is ramping up and it's getting hard to complete orally.  We'll just keep up with the immersion in order to increase his familiarity and be ready for Prima Latina next year.

Logic:  Lollipop Logic is quite enjoyable and we're increasing the number of logic games that we have laying around the house.  Perplexus is killing us all and Henry has only had it for a day.

Literature: This has been lovely.  I made a point of getting all of the first grade books recommended by Memoria Press and each one has been an absolute hit.  I've realized that I never read a lot of these "classic" read-alouds because I was an early reader.  When I started first grade I was already on long chapter books, so I missed out on a lot of really beautiful stories.  I'm enjoying reading these to the kids as much as they're enjoying listening to them.

And Henry turned six.  I can't believe he's six.