Friday, July 25, 2014

Our Weekly Highlights ~ Week 2 MFW: Creation to Greeks

July  21- 25, 2014

This week was not typical for us. One great thing that happened, my dad (He lives in another state.) stopped by to have lunch with us. Just before he got here, our garage door opener (that big machine that sits in the middle of the ceiling in the garage) broke, not so great. The chain fell off because of a bad bearing. So, after our lunch, he put a brand new system in while we assisted.  It was a wonderful hands-on lesson AND we got to spend extra time with him. (We ditched our afternoon book work.)

The broken one.
Also, Caraline participated in a five day, two hour volleyball camp at a local Christian school. That's in addition to the two hour Fundamentals of Volleyball class she already takes twice a week. Ryan still has his 2 days a week Football Fundamentals class, and Jonathan's Upward Soccer doesn't start for another month, thankfully. We wouldn't be able to participate in all these extras if it weren't for my husband helping with the chauffeuring. He's a great daddy.

Homeschool Expo
Plus, on Friday, Caraline and I attended the Southeast Homeschool Expo for a few hours.(The boys stayed with Daddy.)  We picked up a few fun things to use this year and ordered the Timeline History Cards from Classical Conversations. They are so pretty! And we saw many of our friends!

The goodies we bought while we perused the Expo.
Our main goal at the Expo was to get a good idea about what we'd like to use for our main curriculum next year. My Father's World was not there! But, we did get to see another great looking curriculum called Biblioplan. Since seeing Biblioplan, I'm now unsure as to what we might use for our spine after we finish Creation to Greeks. Will we stick to MFW and continue with Rome to the Reformation or make a leap to Biblioplan? I will say we are thoroughly enjoying CtG. Everyone looks forward to what we call our together time or CtG. It works and it's FUN! It would honestly be hard to switch from MFW.

Peek into our week with MFW: CtG
Since we didn't do much school on Friday and took an afternoon off, we have a couple of hours worth of lessons to finish for week 2, mainly science, measuring the length of the ark (437 feet!), and finishing our final copies of The Fall summary. We might try to complete everything this weekend for homework if it's rainy, or just start where we left off on Monday and double up a little bit to finish Week 3 on schedule. 

  • We read about Adam and Eve, The Fall, Cain and Abel and Noah and The Flood from the Bible. All three wrote a paper highlighting the key points of the Fall, as suggested by MFW. Jonathan and Ryan narrated their summaries to me, and I wrote them down. Ryan was going to write his final draft himself but as he started, the table shook when someone else was erasing and it made his hand unsteady. As he erased his misshapen letter, his pretty note booking page smudged and got a little messed up. Now, Ryan prides himself on his beautiful manuscript penmanship. So this sent big tears down his sweet little face. His heart was broken to pieces that his paper was ruined. We took a break for a while and I told him that if he read the words to me, told me how to spell the big ones, and where to put the punctuation, I would be his scribe for his final copy. He would just have to sign his name. This allowed us to continue on with a happy heart. Since this was NOT a handwriting exercise, it was a creative writing and grammar exercise this was FINE by me!

  • I want to take take time to write a genealogy with ages and special skills as we find them. As the Greenleaf guide suggests, it's a good to help see the early history of man. It also shows how far into history first hand accounts of Creation could have been passed down by Adam himself. Plus, the connection of the Flood and the timing of Methuselah's death is an aha moment. (There are lots of those.) I want the little ones to see all of the connections. So I plan to work on this with them next week.
  • We read a Creation myth from Egypt called The Star-Bearer and contrasted the differences and similarities with what we believe.
  • We also learned how  the Jewish calendar differs from ours and how that relates to their feasts. We watched a couple of Youtube videos to help visualize the differences.
  • We began our Music Appreciation lessons on Vivaldi by listening to the CD's recommended by MFW and began reading Introducing Vivaldi.
  • It was fun learning the Greek word for lizard, sauros, and lots of derivatives for it this week. Our favorite might be allosaurus. English from the Roots Up defines it as allos - leap and saurus - lizard. So allosaurus means leaping lizard. They brought to our attention that this must be Shirley Temple's favorite dinosaur in Annie since she says "leaping lizards" a lot. We all had to laugh at that one!

I promised last week I would share other things we are using. So here's a couple. Saxon Math is what I use for all three. I love the hands on aspect in the younger years, the spiral approach, and as a longtime public school teacher I know and respect calls it "the common sense approach to math... that works." I know Saxon produces good mathematicians, and I plan to stick with it through high school.

Ryan is learning cursive this year. We've been using A Reason for Handwriting for a couple of years now. I like the Zaner-Bolser cursive and that they use Bible verses as their copy work. Jonathan is working in Book A manuscript, Ryan in Book C and Caraline in Book E.
Ryan's first attempt at cursive Ff. He is doing so good!
 This is what Caraline's final copy work looks like for a 5th grade lesson.

Creative Writing
For more detailed instruction, I chose Institute for Excellence in Writing. The boys are working on Bible Heroes. The teacher's manual is an e-book download that I sent over to Office Depot for printing and binding.

This is what their first lesson was like. We learned about key word outlines and how to retell a story using only those notes. The next day we explored adjectives and nouns and completed another key word outline and both took turns retelling the story using it. They didn't whine or fuss. This is very promising!

Caraline is working on IEW's: Ancient History-Based Writing Lessons. The first lesson is all about descriptive adjectives and alliteration in poetry. She's been finding examples of alliteration all over the place now! She enjoys this!

This is Caraline's rough draft of a poem using alliteration and quality adjectives.
We have a Boston Terrier puppy, Snoopy. He's seven months old. We gave him a bath this week and Caraline and the boys just had to sooth him to sleep afterwards. While Caraline rocked, the boys sang sweet lullabies. In my opinion, his is truly a wonderful beginning to parenting practice.
Caraline and her little papoose.
Hands on Science!
Ryan had his eye appointment this week. We went swimming afterwards with friends so we chose not to get his eyes dilated. Instead he got this cool picture taken. The bright circle is his optic nerve and the darker area to the right is his macula. The doc commented on his long eyelashes. You can see them on the bottom left and a few on the top right.
Years ago I bought an anniversary edition of Calvin and Hobbes for my husband.
It's neat to see comics, including Calvin and Hobbes, in The Fallacy Detective we bought at the Expo. My friend, Suzanne, mentioned that she used Calvin and Hobbes for reading lessons for her kids. Genius!

I just love this one!
So... that's our week in a nutshell.

I'm linking our week with Weird Unsocialized Homeschoolers.

Weekly Wrap-Up

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  1. Great summary of a busy week! We love MFW as well, and are getting ready to start Year 5 in the cycle! So excited! We, too, were very disappointed they weren't at the curriculum fair.
    Enjoy your weekend!

    1. Thanks! How exciting that you are beginning Year 5! It would honestly be hard to switch to something else. MFW fits so nicely with our family, too! Congratulations!!

  2. So interesting. I enjoy reading and seeing what my babies are doing each week. It makes me happy to be able to get updates of what is going on with you all. Can't wait to hear next week's. I love you all.

  3. Homeschooling kids is a very hard job but i think you guys are handling it wonderfully! You have the perfect balance of fun activites and learning time.


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