Saturday, September 20, 2014

Learning Notes IV

Since we took off the week of September 1st, we are still catching up but we are almost there.

Monday got off to a bit of a slow start but we made some good progress and should be set for History for the next two weeks, which is a break. The girls focused on Handwriting and Geography with a bit of Math. Every day after lunch I focus on unpacking or organizing something. I got a bit of order in my office but not much. We all headed out around 4pm to head out for a simple Burger King dinner and then attend our first Wisconsin AHG meeting.
Teresa was in a special kind of 3 year old's Purgatory watching her older sisters decorate cupcakes. She circled the tables whimpering like a pitiful little puppy. Elizabeth was kind enough to share some of her icing (she had eaten the cupcake, but it isn't like Teresa would have eaten anything but icing anyway... the cake part seems to be a mature taste with my kids).
There are two possible troops "near" us - one is 35 minutes west and one is 45 minutes south. Despite the greater distance, I really think the southern troop would suit us better. First of all, of the two, it is the only one planning on doing any camping, which my girls love. Second, the farther troop is meeting twice a month while the other is meeting only once. The other's second gathering each month will be a service activity, which is fine, but it will be by joining with a local school's service club. Since we homeschool, joining up with a school's club doesn't help us as much towards the girls making new friends as a second monthly AHG meeting does. 

The church where the AHG troop meets has a Catechesis of the Good Shepherd Atrium. Teresa saw this figure of The Last Supper, got very excited and said, "Oooooo! Happy Birthday!!!"
Now that I have 1 Pathfinder, 1 Tenderheart and 1 Explorer, meetings can be a bit busy. Elizabeth loved being a Pathfinder but who wouldn't enjoy decorating and eating cupcakes. She was only bummed she didn't have her own Pathfinder book since those didn't exist when I last ordered supplies in the Spring but one is now on the way. Felicity shocked me... she was either so excited or so desperate for other kids to be with my usually quiet and shy girls chattered nonstop. I had to speak to her twice about not interrupting others, particularly her leaders, and not bragging about all the badges she already has. I don't think she meant to brag but she was clearly over the moon to be there. Cecilia struggled a bit. She was uncomfortable not knowing anyone and a little disoriented that her unit didn't focus so much on getting to know each other as going over details of the flag ceremony and requirements for the joining award, both of which she already knows. She did make a new friend though, a Tenderheart, who she looks forward to seeing again. And we met another homeschooling family from just over the Illinois border with kids similar in age to ours and also expecting. 
When Brigid gets scolded, she either breaks down crying in hysterics or tries to be funny. So when I scold her for throwing fistfuls of crayons, she responds by shoving one in her mouth and just leaving it there like a cigar. She doesn't chew it, but the little Marx Brother routine makes me laugh every time so she keeps doing it. 
Tuesday was a bit of a down day. We did get more work done in the morning but I had a check up with my midwife in the afternoon and I just needed a day to not do much. In fact, the school part of the day is a bit of a blur. I need to start typing these posts throughout the week. Check up went well though and I am measuring about 10 days ahead. He is definitely losing space in there. 

Wednesday we made better progress and did two chapters in Religion to be completely caught up. It was easy though considering the book split the story of the Old Testament Joseph into two chapters, so basically we just did the entire story of Joseph, complete with Scripture passages, coloring pages and an animated video. 

At the Church on Monday's AHG meeting, there was a metal welcome sign that Elizabeth accidentally knocked over with her face. She actually got hit in the cheek and didn't make a big deal of it at the time, but by Wednesday morning it was quite pink and swollen. She never complained about her eye or vision and said it only hurt when she touched it. Fortunately by Thursday it looked much better. 
By Thursday we had done a nice amount of work for the week. It is tricky keeping up with what each girl has done and needs to do though considering each has been behind in some subjects but not others and rarely the same subjects. Felicity is more of my simply-do-it-and-get-it-done girl, so she generally gets more done each day. Elizabeth, being only 5 but doing 1st grade work, needs a bit more help and more breaks but it also helps when she takes those breaks for me to help the older two and she occupies the younger two. I spent Thursday afternoon cleaning up and finishing organizing the play room. Apart from any decorating, de-cluttering and the needed addition of a lamp on the desk, I consider the room done.

The desk has paper, magnetic words and letters and on top is the toy laptop. The pink and red bins on top are the only items left to find a home, but that is where a lamp will go as there are no artificial lights in the room. 

The bookcases which are just about out of room. I will have some kids books overflow in my office but most fit in here and certainly all the board and picture books. My office just has some of the extra chapter books. 
Friday we did some more school work just to try to keep catching up. Felicity is actually all caught up. Cecilia is caught up in everything except Math, which she is 1 week behind, and Vocabulary, which she is two weeks behind. She is loving learning her current poem though, a continuation of our Civil War unit. She has memorized the first two verses of Whitman's O Captain, My Captain and reminds her sisters every week who the Captain really is. I think that trip to Ford's Theater definitely made an impact on her. Elizabeth is only behind in Poetry, which being so new to she does struggle a bit, Latin and her reading lessons. Honestly, she plows through her reading lessons so well and so fast, I'm hoping we can finish the book this coming week. She only has 8 or 9 lessons left and she does very well with it. We only got behind in them because of the packing and moving but it will be nice to finish it and have one less book to need each week.

The rest of Friday was spent cleaning the dog's mess, cleaning the patio and setting up the kids' table, play table and toy box and trimming some of the bushes around the patio that wanted to take over the walkways. Then James and I finally finished unpacking all our clothes into our drawers and closet. Strange, but nice, to not need to get my clothes out of a suitcase for the first time in the past month. Then we began organizing part of the basement so we can finally get the girls' Lego table set up so they can get back to building again.

Under the window is the toddler area with the play piano and little toys. The slide takes center stage and is a favorite of Brigid.
The rest of Friday was spent cleaning the dog's mess, cleaning the patio and setting up the kids' table, play table and toy box and trimming some of the bushes around the patio that wanted to take over the walkways. Then James and I finally finished unpacking all our clothes into our drawers and closet. Strange, but nice, to not need to get my clothes out of a suitcase for the first time in the past month. Then we began organizing part of the basement so we can finally get the girls' Lego table set up so they can get back to building again.

In the corner, the Thomas Train set and tracks are stored beneath but can be played with on the table or around the room. Brigid showcases the little kitchen. Notice she is NEVER without that panda. The small bookcases next to the little kitchen hold all the board and early reader picture books. 
 It wasn't a bad week, but it was busy. Every day is busy. Every day is school in the morning and unpacking/organizing in the afternoon. By the time the kids are in bed, I'm too tired to do much besides sit on the sofa, catch up on Facebook, try to narrow down baby names and watch TV or a Netflix. On the one hand, when it comes to pictures to hang on the wall or such things, I don't care if they sit in boxes for months. On the other hand, there is a certain degree to which I'd like things organized, unpacked and ready before this baby makes his debut next month. So while some things I don't care if they get done, other things I really want done.
The basket holds the musical instruments. 
We are working on getting the back yard fenced in, but that won't happen until next month and I'm far too pregnant to chase Teresa, so while I can let the older three out back, she spends much more time indoors than she or I would prefer. Rosie's barking has already annoyed one neighbor (she is a Beagle... we have bunnies out back... she is leashed and can't get them and you must know how Snoopy enjoys bunnies... it drives her absolutely crazy!)
The closet, to which we removed the mirrored doors - can't imagine how those could go wrong in a playroom, has all the puzzles, board games, blocks and toy bins. The room is bit crammed but I have a hard time de-cluttering toys. What is the favorite of one is not the favorite of another and what is a favorite this week might not be next week but might be again the week after that. And the toys in this room have to engage quite the age range. So while I'd prefer it a bit less crowded, apart from storing some toys and rotating them out (which I might do once the basement is in some order), I've no idea how I'd go about doing that. 

I will try to blog next week as the week progresses so I have more details and a better account of the week.

 Much thanks to Melanie for hosting such a great Learning Linkup!




2 comments:

  1. Found you through Melanie's link-up! 5 girls--how wonderful! My daughter (the lone girl among 4 boys) and I love AHG. I'm so glad you found a troop that will work for you. We have to drive a long ways to ours too, but it's worth it.

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  2. I'm astonished at how much you can accomplish with five kids, a new house, and at the end of your third trimester! I'd be a puddle on the floor, I think.

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