Wednesday, May 31, 2017

May Learning Notes


We really tried to push a lot of school work through in May, trying to finish things up for the year. Even though I schedule our school year through the end of June, we have been aiming to finish by mid-June, so we are trying to do enough extra to finish early.

We went to the last Catholic Homeschooling Girls meeting for the year and did chapter 29 in the 4th grade Faith and Life book. The older three read about the Vikings in The World's Story, The Story of the World, and Famous Men of the Middle Ages and then spent the week reading Beorn the Proud. They also watched a 2 hour NOVA documentary on archeological discoveries about the Vikings: Vikings Unearthed.
Then we read chapter 9 in our Botany book about trees, but there wasn't much we could do in terms of experiments. Elizabeth read the first two chapters in The Butterfly Who Loved Jesus, all about the Eucharist and Reconciliation. We also read the parable of the Lost Sheep and did a pretend/play confession. Then, on Saturday, Elizabeth made her First Confession!
She did great and we are so proud of her. She requested Taco Bell as a celebratory dinner.

The second week of May we read about the fight for the English throne, particularly Edward the Confessor and William the Conquerer, in The World's Story, The Story of the World, and Famous Men of the Middle Ages. Then, while Elizabeth continued with Beorn the Proud, Cecilia and Felicity began reading The Striped Ships. They also read the relevant chapters in 12 Bright Trumpets and about St. Edmund the Confessor in Saints: Lives and Illuminations.

We finished the final lesson in the Faith and Life book and did lesson 10 in our Botany book about conifers. And we began setting up the beds for our garden! Elizabeth also read Friendship with Jesus: Pope Benedict XVI Speaks to Children on their First Holy Communion as we begin focusing on final preparations for her First Holy Communion.
Teresa became anxious about finishing her reading lesson book, so she completed 2 reading lessons, lessons 94 and 95. She is very concerned about what and when she will get her completion of the school year present.

We didn't get to play multiplication bingo, but that is because we were busy renting a rota-tiller and preparing our home garden. It should work well to complete our botany studies and give us a place to grow veggies, fruit and flowers!
 On Mother's Day we went to a lovely mass and then picked up Chili's and Culver's and had yumminess in the comfort of home.
May seemed to be speeding right along! On Monday the 15th, we had 2 1/2 cubic yard of dirt delivered and filled our garden beds.
The older two girls also began reading The Namesake, about King Alfred, and G.K. Chesterton's The Ballad of the White Horse. Elizabeth is still working her way through Beorn the Brave but our history has had a lot of reading lately and not only is she younger than the other two but is also preparing for her First Holy Communion, so I'm okay with her not reading quite as much as the older two right now.

We did the 11th lesson in our Botany book on Seedless Vascular Plants and went out to buy seeds and seedlings.
Then we bought chicken wire and fenced it off.
On Friday we went to Green Meadows farm which turned out to be a big mistake. Not only did they have over 20 school groups, some 50 people big, but it rained almost the whole time. We made the best of it though and try to get in our favorites before we left.
Over the weekend, Elizabeth learned how to ride her two wheel bike without the training wheels.

We got a lot of rain the week of the 22nd, which was great for our garden and lead to a lot of living room dancing as well as school work.

With all the rain, the girls got very motivated to finish their school work for the year. They all finished their spelling and english. Cecilia did 4 math lessons in one day to finish her math book for the year. Elizabeth finished her vocabulary for the year and both her and Felicity worked to finish their handwriting for the year. Cecilia finished her geography for the year and Teresa worked especially hard to finish her reading lesson book. She was ecstatic to get her prize:
 I had a set of 6 of them so each of the kids got one, but Teresa got first pick. She had been asking for that chick for a month or two!
 She also joyfully threw the reading book into the recycling bin. It survived through 4 kids but the binding was busted and the pages ripping out so I decided to buy a new one to begin with Brigid in August.
Felicity, Elizabeth and Teresa all worked their tails off and finished their math for the year as well.
In addition to all that bookwork, Cecilia and Felicity read William the Conqueror and the next chapter in 12 Bright Trumpets. We also finished reading chapters 12 and 13 in our Botany book finishing Science for the year and .  By the end of the week, the only school work left was reading for History. I was eager to be done but ordering the girls' finishing the school year presents motivated them to sprint to be done. Totally worth it!
Fortunately, after all the rain, we found little green babies sprouting all over our gardens! I don't know what most of them are as we didn't label anything, but it is still very exciting!!!
So, while there is a degree to which I can officially declare our 2016-2017 school year complete, the learning never stops. I have several fun field trips planned and we will continue to monitor our garden with much excitement and our summer reading will focus on the Crusades with Robin Hood, St. Louis and Thomas Beckett. Hence, while we are all excited to be done bookwork until August, there will be no shortage of learning over the next couple of months.
On Memorial Day I finally got Cecilia's new volleyball/badminton net set up.
The girls set to practicing right away while Brigid tried to spray them. So far we've only had 1 birdie land in a tree!
 Two weeks into our experimental garden and we are seeing a lot of sprouts!!!

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