Saturday, September 21, 2019

Weekly Report: Rough Week
September 16-20, 2019

Second full week done!  I had a bad back day on Thursday, so we got behind a touch in a couple of lessons, but it won't be much work to catch back up.

Walking in the rain for recess
Math: Finished Lesson 10.

Spelling: Finished Level 1.

Grammar: Finished Lesson 9, this is one that we fell behind in because it wasn't something he could do on his own, although, now that I think about it, he probably could have done it on his own.  Hmm.

Writing: Almost finished Week #2.  Fourth lesson of the week needs to be made up.  Dictation was NOT a happy time this week.

Reading: I forgot to write down last week that he read an abridged version of The Secret Garden, and started working on The Jungle Book in the first weeks of school.  This week he finished up The Jungle Book and started reading through a kid's version of Just So Stories.

Penmanship:  It's cleaning up really well.  He regresses when he's upset, and then gets really upset when I ask him to erase his sloppy work and do it over.  But you can't let kids think that they get a free pass on doing poor work because they're upset.  Probably one of the hardest parts of homeschooling--insisting on neat, good work even when your child is getting upset.  (And for the record, he was upset because he wasn't going to finish by lunch that day because he'd been messing around all morning.  Them's the breaks, kid...)

Science: We did two days of experiments, which he really enjoyed.  Both of them were about force and mass and gravitational pull via measuring how far a steel ball will roll after going down a ramp.  One was about energy transfer, too.  I really like this Delta Science kit.  The hard part is deciding which other two (or three?) kits to limit myself to throughout the year...

History:  In order to free up extra time to focus on some hobby topics, the American Civil War, World War 1, and World War 2, some weeks we have to just mash chapters, and this was one of them.  He did both chapters two and three out of SOTW, and they really weren't interesting to him.  Whatever, they're over now.  He does really enjoy adding things to his timeline though.

Latin: We just went ahead and started on Lesson 1.  I got him set up with an account on AnkiWeb* to create flashcards, and we'll just do our best.  I actually helped Emily and Ren gut/declutter/deep clean their bedroom today and was absolutely certain that we'd find the Latin DVDs in there, but we didn't.  Ugh, ugh, ugh, I don't want to buy another set of them!  We'll see how far we can get without 'em.

Art:  Got a little more technical this week and he didn't like it.  He threw away his drawing right after he was done, or I'd show you the cylinders and bowls he practiced, which were totally great for a nine year old's efforts.

Music Appreciation: Whoops.

Nature Study:  Nothing formal, but for recess on rainy days we'd walk around the neighborhood and I taught him the names of the plants growing in our neighborhood.  It always made me feel super smart to know the names of  plants near where I lived, so there you go.  (Also, I've forgotten the names of a lot of plants around here...)  He also helped me clean out the garden during a recess, which really had him enthused:

Scouts: We didn't work on anything at home.

Piano:  Oh my goodness, it was a rough week.  This kid has such a perfectionist streak to him and it gets ugly.  I'd noticed that he didn't seem to be getting stuff checked off in his lessons, so I sat with him on Monday to help him stay focused and get through all his assignments.  There were tears, there was hitting the piano with his pencil, there was an epic hug afterwards while he calmed down...ugh, it turns out that he was just practicing the same safe songs over and over again because he didn't want to work on stuff that was more difficult.  I'll have to keep an eye on him for a few weeks until we break that habit.  Joy of joys.

All of the rough stuff this week?  Really boils down to what I call the "intensity of homeschooling"--namely, that you can't zone out, or not raise your hand and allow someone else to sit in the hot seat for the correct answer.  You have to be paying attention the whole time and there's no hiding behind other kids if you don't feel like participating.  He's a really clever kid, but I think he was zoning out in class after he figured out what was being taught, and, because he's a clever kid, he might have been left alone because he wasn't making any trouble and he obviously knew the material. This is harder, and it takes a bit of an adjustment period.

Soooo...yeah, a long week.  Nothing terribly bad, but it did drag, the weather was somewhat yucky most days, and we were pretty happy to put away the books once Friday was over.  I need to brainstorm some fun things to do with him--once his sisters get home from school there's really no time for any of that because I'm then running around picking them up and dropping them off at their various extras.

But that's how it goes some weeks!  And rather than end on a sour note, look at this great shot of him from our nature walk last week, simply because I love the lighting on it:

Fingers crossed that this next week is a little more enjoyable for him!

*I found out about AnkiWeb when I read the really informative book, Fluent Forever, by Gabriel Wyner. If you've ever wanted to study a foreign language, I really recommend it for a different approach that is very doable on your own.

Linking up with:

Homeschool Highlights @ Homeschool Coffee Break

Friday, September 13, 2019

Weekly Report: September 4-13, 2019

Well, hello there!  It has been forever since I've written up a homeschool weekly report, but here I am, ready to get going with these again!  Nathaniel started asking last year if he could be homeschooled during this upcoming year, and I tried to put him off of it by doing homeschooling over the summer, but that backfired because he loved it so much that it cemented the idea into his noggin, and so here we are...

Alright, there have been some big changes in our family since I last posted 'round these parts.  We ended up moving to Washington State last year for my husband's work, and that's been a huge adjustment.  But, we're finding our footing, and let's be honest, it's absolutely gorgeous here and I love rain,'s good.

School started up last week, and we had an easy first week.  We really hunkered down in earnest this week, and Nathaniel's been a champ about it.  It is SO WEIRD to homeschool just one kid!  Every time he starts a worksheet or any kind of  independent work, I literally turn to the other side of the table to start teaching another kid's lesson, only to find that there is no other child waiting.

His sisters are going to the public school, even though Emily and Renaissance would both like to come home.  Emily is, in her words, "being held hostage" by her desire to do Running Start next year--I've been told by many sources that she can only use Running Start to earn her Associate's Degree if all her high school credits come from an accredited source, which my homeschool is not.  Boo.  Renaissance is in band, and service crew, and the gifted program at her middle school, so...she's doing fine there.  And Rachel has no interest in staying home because that girl wants to be where the people are.

And I've misplaced my camera's cord that allows me to upload photos to my computer, possibly because I haven't used my camera in about four years, so I'll only throw in some phone photos until I can right the situation.

Math:  We are using Saxon 5/4, and he is doing great.  He finished up lesson #6 this week.

Spelling: We're starting at the beginning of All About Spelling Level 1 just to make sure he gets everything.  We went through a lot of it over the summer, and we're working through a lesson a day because he understands everything already.  There's only a few more lessons in the book and then we'll move up to Level 2.

Grammar: We're using First Language Lessons, Level 3.  We finished up lesson #6 this week.

Writing: Writing with Ease, and we finished Week #1.  He's doing great with dictation, which is so different from my experience with the girls at this age.  My goodness, they struggled with dictation.

Penmanship:  One of his weakest areas.  You would not believe the amount of homework he's brought home over the years because his teachers just could not read his writing.  We're using Zaner-Bloser 2M, and I'm watching him like a hawk.  He was holding his pencil in the most weird way, and so I have to constantly remind him to adjust his grip, and yesterday he was starting to write with the correct grip sporadically, so yay!  He also keeps all his letters the same height across the alphabet--a "t" is as tall as "a," and "y" sits on the line instead of dropping below it.  It's really odd.  So, lots of work there, still.

Science:  We are doing physics because he's in the fourth grade, and why not?  He read about force this week, and the "Force & Motion" Delta Science Kit I ordered for him arrived yesterday.  Next week we'll have actual experiments!

History:  We're using Story of the World 4: Modern Age.  (As if I'd use anything else!)  We've set up a timeline in the school room and he's put lots of events on it already because he really enjoys filling out his little papers.  We read Chapter 1 of SOTW this week, and he did not enjoy filling out the outline for it.  I don't think he's had to find multiple examples to support an argument that aren't explicitly spelled out for him before.  It took a little bit of explaining, but he figured it out.

Art:  We are using Drawing for the Absolute and Utter Beginner.  While I was rounding up art supplies last week, he informed me that he "hates art,"  to which I failed at hiding my horror-struck expression.  But after last week's lesson he seemed like he might like it--he was so pleased with how well his drawings turned out!  I think he's got a nasty case of perfectionism, and drawing is one of those things that you really only get better at by practicing, and Rachel draws all. the. time., so he's not as good as her and it really bothers him.  So he's avoided it.  Today's lesson had us draw a favorite object and his drawing turned out good yet again.  I daresay that he's starting to enjoy art.

My plan is work through our drawing book for the first quarter, and then move onto painting for second quarter.  I'd like to do sculpture for third quarter, but...yeah, I don't know.  I'm not fully committed to it yet.  Maybe we'll repeat drawing and painting.  We'll see.

Music Appreciation: We learned about Beethoven last week.  Nathaniel's favorite piece is "Rage over a Lost Penny."

Nature Study:  We went on a nature walk today with the goal of identifying five trees.  Nathaniel really wanted to use my camera, and he's nine years old, so I let him.  He had a blast!  Our identification guide is not user-friendly, so we took pictures of the trees we want to identify and we'll use them to look them up in our other books here at home.

Scouts:  We were able to check off his Outdoor Activity Award, and we realized that he earned the Summertime Pack Award.  He still needs to earn his Bear Claws and Paws for Action Adventures in order to earn his Bear Advancement.  Only a couple more months to work on it!  (I don't know if we'll continue with Scouting or not...I'm waiting to see just exactly what the new program that the Church is rolling out will entail.)

A good week and a half of school done!  I'm trying to track down my Latin instruction DVDs, but if I can't find them by the end of next week I'm just going to order new ones.  (ARGH!!!)

And he's getting done with school most days by lunch...that doesn't sit well with me.  I'm trying to decide if I'm going to throw more stuff into the mix.  Maybe I'll wait until the end of September to really decide...beginning-of-the-year lessons are always mostly review/easier, and that might be why he's speeding through everything.

Have a lovely weekend!

Linking up with:

Homeschool Highlights @ Homeschool Coffee Break

Sunday, July 2, 2017

City Softball Tournament

 We made it through another year's City Softball Tournament!  Whew!

Rachel's team lost their first two games, and seeing that it was a double-elimination tournament, that meant they were done.  Ren's team lost their first game, and so this picture was taken the second day of the tournament right before both of them played their second games.  Ren's team ended up winning their second game, which placed them in the game for fourth/sixth place honors.

Emily's team had a bye the first day because they had such a high league ranking, and then they won their first game which sent them directly into one of the championship game slots.

Ren's fourth/sixth place game took place before Emily's championship game, with a tiny window in between the two games, and I decided that we would treat ourselves out to dinner either as a reward for Ren's team winning fourth, or as a consolation for Ren's team taking sixth.
Before her last game

Watching Ren's last game, waiting for her championship game to start
Ren was walked a couple of times in her game and stole home almost every time.  She fielded the ball really well, and her whole team just did a great job!

It ended up being a CELEBRATION dinner...congrats, my little penguin, on your team's fourth place finish!  Taco Bell for all!

And then we drove like crazy people back to the ball park for Emily to warm up, and sat through a nailbiter of a game which ended thusly:

My girl played the best I have ever seen her play, EVER.  She fielded a number of hits, got them thrown back to infield quickly, and, joy of joys, SHE HIT THE BALL EVERY TIME SHE WAS UP TO BAT AND GOT ON BASE EACH TIME.  This girl has improved SO MUCH over this season, and it's just one of the best feelings in the world to watch your child succeed at something they love.  I straight up cried and totally screamed like a banshee each time she got a hit.  I was that woman, and I wouldn't change a thing.  When the inning ended where she got her first hit and she and her team ran to the dugout, her coach turned her around and faced her to the crowd and we all gave her a special cheer to celebrate her hit.  More tears from me...ugh, totally that mom.  Such a great game.

We are so enjoying not having to be at the ballpark this week, but are also excited for the State Tournament that's coming up soon.  Ren and Emily's games will take place in two different towns, so that's going to be just a super-duper awesome time running around getting to those...but who cares?!?!  Two kids in the State Tournament!  Woo hoo!!!

Friday, June 23, 2017

Pictures from Some of the Last Softball Games

Alright, this post is super heavy with pictures, but whatev, most of you come here for your fix of Brookelet pics.  ;)

Last week was the last regular season softball games, and all three girls played at roughly the same time, and the games didn't count, so I thought I'd pull out the camera again.  (The girls tense up a little when I'm taking pictures of them while they play, so I try to keep it contained to games that won't matter to their league're welcome, Softball Coaches.)

Rachel's team didn't have a good season, game-winning-wise.  It was a little painful to sit through so many losses, but she kept showing up to her games with a smile on her face and eager to prove herself.  She has such a cheerful personality, and it always brings a smile to my face to watch her play!

Emily's team finished in first place in their league, and, therefore, have an automatic bid to the State Tournament.  For a girl who has never been on a team with a winning record, this has been a dream season.  I heart her coaches so crazy much for working with her and encouraging her non-stop.  She's a completely different ball player since the start of this season.

Emily has improved SO MUCH, it is just such a joy to watch her play and to know that she's picked up some skills that allow her to feel like she really understands the game and can make her moves appropriately.  At the beginning of the season, she still hadn't had any experience with tagging up on a pop fly, and suffered through an embarrassing out because of that lack, but at this game you can see that she now knows to watch what happens with the catching of a pop fly, and then, boy oh boy does she run.  My mama heart is so full watching her have fun and doing a good job.

Renaissance's team had a pretty good season.  They finished third in their league and have an automatic bid to the State Tournament, too.  Unfortunately, the field that Ren's team plays on is the warmest field--the sun just beats down on them non-stop, regardless of what time the game starts, so they all get pretty wilted quickly.  Ren looks kind of sad in some of the pics, but she's really just overly warm.  She's a good little fielder; she covers the bases she's nearby, and I'm not sure if I've seen a ball get past her all season...she does really well!

They were a bunch of fun games.  This week is the City Tournament, and I'll post pictures soon!

Wednesday, June 14, 2017

An Oldie, but a Goodie: Hiking to The Grotto

Emily was at Young Women's Camp last week, so we did an easy hike without her one afternoon.  It was in the high 80's, so The Grotto was a good choice because it's so much higher in elevation, and therefore, much cooler in temperature.

We haven't been up to the Grotto in two years, so it was fun for the kids, who kept commenting about how much more able they are to hike the steep side trails now that they're older.