Thursday, March 6, 2014

Random Updates

Well, our Lent got off to a rough start. At 6am, Cecilia came to our room and began throwing up. She threw up about 10 times over the next 7 hours. All my plans to cut back on TV/DVD time went out the window and I was so thrown off I forgot my own morning prayers and the whole days just fell "off". None of us made it for ashes and by the afternoon I was exhausted.
I love the way the snow sparkles when the sun comes up in the morning and hits it at just the right angle.

So our regularly scheduled Lent began the day after Ash Wednesday. Which was interesting, because we didn't do much of anything at all. Which was nice. We read another part of Anderson's The Snow Queen. I picked up McDonalds for lunch because I wanted something easy and the girls wanted more Lego Movie cups. We got the last 6 cups from both of our nearest McDonalds.

Like a dusting of diamonds.
Then the girls played cards and watched The Nightmare Before Christmas while I worked on planning the next school year. I was thinking, instead of doing every chapter in Story of the World Vol. 4 next year, to just go through and do the bigger, more relevant chapters, as Americans. (Obviously if we were Chinese or African, different parts of history would be more or less relevant.) After going through the entire book and noting which chapters or half of a chapter I thought would be good and important to cover, I've reduced 42 chapters to 14 whole chapters and 10 half chapters. That still seems like a lot to me but I'm not sure I'll cut it down any further. There is simply so much that happens in this volume. Just the chapters and half chapters I've kept include 11 wars, 8 of which directly involve the USA. I would like a few of the subjects to be larger unit studies, the Civil War being one. Not sure what the others will be yet though (I'm worried going too in depth into WWII would be too much for them at this age, but it is certainly a possibility).

I used to think chickens were the stupidest birds now that dodos are gone, but now I'm thinking the cardinal is a top contender. This idiot flies into my windows more times every day than I could count. Dozens. Until I go up to the window and scare him off.
I'm also considering changing Cecilia's math book. A Beka has served us fine, but she gets frustrated over how much work there is and whereas the books have been colorful and more fun, at grade 4 they, so to speak, grow up. I've heard great things about the Life of Fred books, but I'm worried they would require more from me than a more standard approach, and I simply don't want more work at this point. So I'm looking at Saxon Math 5/4. I've only seen what I can find online, but so far I like the structure of it and how it seems to encourage independent work.

His favorite spot to hit my window is right next to my stained glass of the Holy Spirit. James and I have had a lot of fun making clergy jokes. 
 I had hoped to get the girls up to the Seton Shrine this week, but between the snow and Cecilia's illness, it just hasn't happened. I did however manage to go through the playroom and declutter a bit. The room looks so much nicer and more open. I still need to take all the snowflakes off the ceiling. I keep wishing there was a way to make the kids do it without just ripping them down. Oh well, I'll get to it.

James began reading Lewis' The Lion, The Witch, and The Wardrobe to the girls in the evenings.

"Cardinal attacks Holy Spirit." "Holy Spirit eludes cardinal." "Cardinal unable to obtain Holy Spirit, denied entry to conclave." Etc.  
Next week is Spring Break, for James, but hence also for us. But we aren't taking, exactly, a break. We will be driving to Colonial Williamsburg for a few days. So, we are basically having a few days of school in the form of a field trip. It should be fun and informative.




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