Friday, April 20, 2012

The Week's H/School Journal.

I recently saw on another h/schooler's blog an interesting way to catalogue some of the better/worse parts of the week...a kind of h/school journal for mothers.  I thought I'd try it here today:

In our homeschool this week...
...we started the countdown to the end of Matthew's grade 2 curriculum.  He has seven lessons left to complete in addition to the Reviews for four subject areas:  Math; English; Social Studies; and Science.  I'm thinking that we'll be all done approximately two weeks from now.  When that's done, we'll take a week off and then begin our spring/summer school (our first attempt at year-round schooling).

Places we went and people we saw...
...We've recently gone on a couple of great field trips (make-your-own pizzas at Boston Pizza Restaurant; and a visit to a Maple Syrup farm).  We saw a play on stage at our local children's theatre, too, but that was not a highlight.  The kids' extra curricular activities this week included art, music, gym, gymnastics, and kids-of-mud cycling programs. We've also enjoyed a few play times with friends and a cousin.

My favourite thing this week was...
...watching Lizzie light up the room at her gymnastics class.  Seriously, I looked at her and at all of the fifteen or so other four-and-five-year-olds and I thought she was the most beautiful, sparkly little thing out there...she even got the world's saddest-looking coach to smile!  Who could resist her??

What's working for us...
...reading out loud.  I've been reading out loud to Matthew for years...we're getting through a fair number of chapter books these days.  Over the past six or seven weeks, I've also really been loving the read-aloud times I've had with Seth and Lizzie first thing in the morning before Matthew wakes up.  We head downstairs in our PJs at around 7:00am, cozy up in our little library, and I read out loud the stories that the kids take turns picking.  They love it.  We've been doing that until Matthew comes down...usually about an hour+ later.

...not watching tv.  Lizzie has no use for tv at all, but the boys will watch if I let them.  Almost two weeks ago, I realized that every single time I had the tv on (even if for just twenty minutes) they would immediately start fighting and squabbling after the tv went off.  So I experimented by keeping it off for five days...and the increased level of (relative) harmony was notable.  After day #2, they even stopped asking to watch.  Why would I mess with that??  They've watched one movie during that time, and they watched twenty minutes of tv on Wednesday morning when I was having a rough moment or two.

What's not working for us...
...Seth is, very clearly, not ready to learn his letters yet, but I had to try again (for the first time in four months) before really understanding that he's just not there yet.

Things I'm working on...
...planning our summer school agenda and making lists of fun things to do in our city; my goal is to take one day a week just to goof off and do something fun and a little out of the norm.  I'm getting excited about our plans!  This week, I also booked basketball camp for the boys, and four weeks of daily swimming lessons for all three kids in July and August.

I'm reading...
...Beneath A Marble Sky, by John Shors...set in India.  Sometime in the past week, I also read Clockwork Angel and Clockwork Prince, both by Cassandra Clare; these are young adult books that are the prequel to another of her series that I read a year or two back...they were ok...just ok.  I'm about to start Nancy Horan's Loving Frank, which is for our book club meeting in two weeks.

I'm cooking...
...baked trout, marinated pork, chicken cassoulet, pizza, and lots of brown rice and roasted veggies.  Fruit smoothies, too.  My parents took me and the kids out for dinner this week, too,  while Geoff was away overnight, and that was a lovely and welcome relief from cooking.  A week ago, I baked up a batch of pumpkin muffins, which we'll enjoy for a while yet.  My mom also surprised me yesterday by handing me several large yogurt containers to put into my freezer - but instead of yogurt, the containers were full of chocolate chip cookie dough that she had mixed together for us!  What a great idea that was...and we'll get to enjoy freshly baked cookies for some time to come.

I'm grateful for... many things.  My house (the kitchen, oh, the kitchen) is a complete mess, but our schooling went well this week and we squeezed in a good amount of fun.  I was also grateful for my Mom this week - not only for the cookie dough, but because she answered the phone on Wednesday morning when I was having a tough couple of hours with the kids.  A good friend was also very encouraging on Wednesday and today - thank you, L.  I'm glad it's the end of the week and that Geoff's home for the weekend.

The H/school field trip to Boston Pizza was really well done.  The manager taught the kids: about different types of pastas and cheeses; how to set a table correctly; gave them a tour of the kitchen and freezers; and helped them make their own pizzas.  The kids loved it...what kid doesn't love Boston Pizza??!!   

We also enjoyed a terrific field trip to a maple syrup farm a half hour's drive outside of the city.  The kids learned about voyageurs and the origins of maple syrup, how to make maple syrup, they sampled maple syrup, enjoyed a horse-drawn wagon ride around the town, and had a great old time playing in the fields and trees.  We loved our afternoon there!


  1. A while back you invited "readers" to let you know of any books they particularly enjoyed reading. I found the International Best Seller, "Secret Daughter" by Shilpi Somaya Gowda, hard to put down. "Interweaving the stories of (two women) and the child that binds both of their destinies, Secret Daughter poignantly explores the emotional terrain of motherhood, loss, identity and love as witnessed through the lives of two families - one Indian, one American - and the child that indelibly connects them."

  2. Thanks so much for remembering my plea for book titles!! I've actually read "Secret Daughter" and, like you, found it hard to put down. But though I happened to have read this one, please keep suggesting titles...I love it, and thanks again.


  3. Great week! The field trips sound really good. I have tried the no tv thing in the past and it has worked, and your report makes me want to try it again. They don't watch every day, but when they do, their fighting does seem worse.