Week 25

Memory Verse: He will take great delight in you, He will quiet you with His love, He will rejoice over you with singing. -Zephaniah 3:17

Poetry: Love Between Brothers and Sisters by Isaac Watts

Hymn: Come Thou Fount of Every Blessing

History: The compass, gunpowder, Hundred Years War, Joan of Arc

Science: Uranus and Neptune

Five in a Row: break

Read Aloud: The The Last Little Cat by Meindert Jegong

Artist: Norman Rockwell

Composer: Johannes Brahms

A Few Photos From Last Week:

Johannes Brahms

We learned about Venn diagrams last week when we were comparing Jupiter and Saturn in science. We decided to make one comparing Elliot and Caroline. Turns out they have a lot of differences, with a few similarities such as brown hair, freckles, liking books, and being born on a Wednesday.

We had a wonderful Valentine’s Day lunch with a friend of my family, whose house I used to play at as a little girl.

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Creating a Free-Reading Book Catalog

I had an idea come to me sometime last year which has been really helpful that I thought I’d share. Since the time that Elliot became a reader, I wanted to make sure to keep him well stocked with reading material and I was doing a lot of research on books that he might like. At first, I would just keep a mental note of new ones I came across, thinking that I’d remember the next time we were at the library, but then we’d get there and I’d be trying to remember what that book was that I wanted to find for him. I’m not a big fan of just picking books at random at the library, because you just never know what you’re going to find in there and I’m uncomfortable with that for when my kids are reading on their own. But at the same time, I don’t want to be a complete control-freak-mom who choses each and every book and when they’ll read it. So I’ve been working on creating a massive “catalog” of books that, as far as I can tell by reading reviews, are of good quality with content I approve of. The entire thing is thirteen pages long, separated into three groups: beginning readers (around K-2nd), established readers (3rd-8th), and mature readers (9th and up). I’ve got three copies of our catalog, one for at home, one for our library bag, and one for the car (in case we stop in at a book store and I don’t have our library bag). Now, no matter where we are, Elliot can choose from lots of options for his next book and I can rest assured that it’ll be something I’ve already looked into and approve of. It’s a win for both of us.

Right now I’m up to thirteen pages of books/ series that I would guess add up to around 1,500-2,000 total books. It would appear that we’re pretty much set with ideas for free-reading through all of high school.

This is Elliot’s most recent choice, a book about a dog and cat’s adventures in the time of Noah. He absolutely loved it and flew through all 432 pages in less than a week.

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Week 23

Memory Verse: He will take great delight in you, He will quiet you with His love, He will rejoice over you with singing. -Zephaniah 3:17

Poetry: Love Between Brothers and Sisters by Isaac Watts

Hymn: Come Thou Fount of Every Blessing

History: West Africa in the Middle Ages, Churches in the Middle Ages

Science: Saturn

Five in a Row: Mike Mulligan and His Steam Shovel by Virginia Lee Burton

Read Aloud: The Twenty-One Balloons by William Pene Du Bois

Artist: Norman Rockwell

Composer: Johannes Brahms

A few photos from last week:

Mapping the Crusaders’ Journey to Israel

We made a hurricane in a bottle after learning about Jupiter’s “great red spot” storm.

Josh and I saw Saving Mr. Banks a few weeks ago and it inspired an interest in P.L. Travers’ Mary Poppins so we decided we’d read it together as a family in the evening so we can compare it to the Disney movie.

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A Reflection on Raising Daughters

We’ve all heard the admonition that the best thing we can do for our daughters is to raise them up to be “strong, independent women”. Thanks to the intensity of the feminist movement, the world’s echoing message to young girls is, “You don’t need a man. You can do ANYTHING a man can do.” While I’m all for encouraging girls to develop skills and follow their interests, I suspect this mindset is going to end up being harmful to them and destructive to their future marriages and families. That may seem like an extreme statement, not to mention absurdly politically incorrect, but if you’ll excuse me, I’ll try to explain my position.

Men and women were created with unique abilities and gifts. We were created to NEED and compliment each other. It would be an outright lie to say that women do not need men. I’m not saying a woman cannot survive without getting married, but there will most certainly come a day when that woman needs a man’s unique abilities and strengths in some way. This world needs men! To say that a man is not any more physically able than a woman is nonsensical. Case in point, more than fifty percent of female marines fail their strength and fitness test. I’m not saying this to criticize those women. They’re trying to achieve something they were not built for. It’s a fact that men are better equipped for physically and mentally demanding tasks such as combat. Likewise, men need women. Women have many remarkable talents and capabilities that most men do not possess. We influence the next generation and enrich a home and family in a way most men cannot do on their own. This world needs women!

Unfortunately, when this generation of little girls grows up, they will have become fully convinced that they do not need men. When their marriages hit a rough patch, what idea will ultimately rise to the forefront of their minds? “They told me I didn’t need you. They were right. I’ll be better off without you.” And as their daughters watch this “self-sufficiency” being asserted, the seed will be planted once again and the dangerous cycle will continue to dismantle families instead of strengthening them. The independent woman mantra is so cleverly disguised as a huge breakthrough for women, but I truly believe it’s toxic for families. So I will not set out to raise a “strong and independent woman”. There are so many other dreams I have for my beloved daughter. Will I teach her to be helpless? Of course not. One of the wonderful things about homeschooling is having even more opportunities to teach both of my children life-skills, and I’m sure she’ll be right there with her brother when Josh is teaching him about changing the oil in the car. But I will not lie to her and tell her that she will be able to do everything any man can do and in doing so, declare that men are useless. I love that each day my daughter witnesses me needing my husband…and him needing me. It’s a beautiful thing to need each other.

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Week 22

Memory Verse: In Everything give thanks; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.- 1 Thessalonians 5:18

Poetry: Trees by Sara Coleridge

Hymn: Holy, Holy, Holy

History: The Crusades

Science: Jupiter

Five in a Row: The Duchess Bakes a Cake by Virginia Kahl

Read Aloud: The Door in the Wall by Marguerite de Angeli

Artist: Norman Rockwell

Composer: Johannes Brahms

A few photos from last week:

It’s hard to get this girl to sit “normally”. I’m pretty sure she’d drive a school teacher crazy. Luckily in our classroom she’s only a minor distraction to one other student.

Every once in a while there comes a project that I pass on to Josh to do with the kids. The construction of our medieval castle, with all it’s meticulous cutting and pasting was one of those.

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Week 21

Memory Verse: In Everything give thanks; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.- 1 Thessalonians 5:18

Poetry: Trees by Sara Coleridge

Hymn: Holy, Holy, Holy

History: The Middle Ages, Battle of Hastings

Science: Jupiter

Five in a Row: The Duchess Bakes a Cake by Virginia Kahl

Read Aloud: The Door in the Wall by Marguerite de Angeli

Artist: Norman Rockwell

Composer: Johannes Brahms

A few photos from the last few weeks:

At Their Weekly Art Class

They’ve also been doing some art with Daddy. On this particular evening, they were learning about shading, hence the giant spotlight.

We learned that Elliot needs glasses and should be receiving them sometime this week. This is a pair of frames he chose.

History Notebook- Charlemagne

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Week 19

We’re back after taking off two weeks for the holidays. Prior to that we were busy, busy busy! We went to Walt Disney World in early November and then during Thanksgiving break we went on a road trip to see various family, going through Oklahoma, Missouri, Illinois, Indiana, Ohio, Kentucky, Tennessee, and Oklahoma. We were able to observe the very divergent terrain from place to place and kids were excited to add on to their list of states they’ve visited. Shortly after returning home we got to “enjoy” some winter weather (lucky for us, there are no snow days in homeschool so we didn’t have to get behind) and then had a wonderful Christmas.

Here’s what we’re up to this week:

Memory Verse: But with eager hope, the creation looks forward to the day when it will join God’s children in glorious freedom from death and decay. – Romans 8:20-21

Poetry: Trees by Sara Coleridge

Hymn: Holy, Holy, Holy

History: Muhammed and the beginning of Islam

Science: Space Rocks

Five in a Row: Katy and the Big Snow by Virginia Lee Burton

Read Aloud: Aesop’s Fables

Artist: Norman Rockwell

Composer: Johannes Brahms

Photos from Thankgiving Break and Beyond:

We stopped by Lehman Park in Berne, Indiana, where Elliot and Caroline’s Grandpa grew up.

Painting Field Trip

This book was one of our gifts to the kids for Christmas. Josh came across it and thought it would be something they’d be interested in. It’s a story with a mystery to solve, with lots of searching for clues, note-taking, and de-coding. There’s a section that’s sealed at the back to open only when you think you’ve solved it all.

The three of them spent at least an hour and a half looking for clues (sometimes with the help of a magnifying glass) and jotting down notes.

Elliot also spent a lot of time cracking a secret code the next day until we were finally ready to open the sealed pages to reveal if they got it all right.

We also got them a microscope for Christmas, which we’ve been experimenting with lately.

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Week 14

Memory Verse: May the grace of the Lord Jesus Christ, and the love of God, and the fellowship of the Holy Spirit be with you all. – 2 Corinthians 13:14

Poetry: break

Hymn: Away in a Manger

History: Julius Caesar, Virgil, Imperial Rome

Science: Mars

Five in a Row: Papa Piccolo by Carol Talley

Read Aloud: The Borrowers by Mary Norton

Artist: Pablo Picasso

Composer: Frederic Chopin

Last Week’s Photos:

Roman Gladiators Notebook Page

Frederic Chopin

Josh captured this sweet little photo from just outside the schoolroom as he was passing by. Elliot was attempting to teach Caroline how to do multiplication. (She was listening earnestly, as one of her goals is to catch up with him someday.)

How do you even attempt to explain something like this face? She is an absolute riot and cracks us up all day long. I’m thankful to have her sitting next to me, making me smile during all three meals a day.

We totally had to take a Middle-of-the-Day-Mother-Daughter “selfie” in the schoolroom after conquering some phonics together. (This one was sent to Daddy who works just around the corner and down the hall. We like to keep in touch during the day.)

We’re on vacation next week and after that things will begin to get pretty busy as the holidays approach. This may be my last update for quite a while!

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Week 13

Memory Verse: As for God, His way is perfect; the word of the Lord is flawless. He is a shield for all who take refuge in Him. 2 Samuel 22:31

Poetry: The Moon by Robert Louis Stevenson

Hymn: Away in a Manger

History: the Romans, Carthage

Science: Mars

Five in a Row: Papa Piccolo by Carol Talley

Read Aloud: The Borrowers by Mary Norton

Artist: Pablo Picasso

Composer: Frederic Chopin

Last Week’s Photos:

The weather lately has been so nice and the kids have been spending a good deal of time outdoors during our middle-of-the-day break after lunch. Here they’re “camping” in their tent.

First Choir Performance at Church

I’m so happy I have a husband who is musically talented, because I’m already so lost when it comes to piano practice!

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Week 12

Memory Verse: As for God, His way is perfect; the word of the Lord is flawless. He is a shield for all who take refuge in Him. 2 Samuel 22:31

Poetry: The Moon by Robert Louis Stevenson

Hymn: All Creatures of our God and King

History: Alexander the Great, Aristotle, the Punic Wars

Science: The Moon

Five in a Row: Owl Moon by Jane Yolen

Read Aloud: Owls in the Family by Farley Mowat

Artist: Pablo Picasso

Composer: Frederic Chopin

Last Week’s Photos:

Adding the Parthenon to our Book of Time

Play Dough on the Porch

Fresh homemade play dough attracts neighborhood kids like a moth to a flame.

Preparing for their Moon Phase Experiment

Moon Phases on Sandwich Cookies

Elliot has been teaching Caroline some of the things he’s been learning in his piano lessons.

We spent a day hiking around Fort Worth Nature Center with the grandparents.

It was exciting to see a great-horned owl up close, as we’ve been reading about them lately.

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