Weekly Wrap-Up

I always read my friend Ellen's weekly wrap ups, and I see some others, and I thought it'd be nice to do it myself. I like to stop and think about what we are doing. When I do that, I appreciate how much the girls are growing, how much we are living and experiencing together, and if I count my blessings and write about them I will leave less room for complaining! :)

This week we had some lessons, continued with our weekly readings. On Wednesday we have the Japanese Twins in our reading. My friend Heather said her daughter loved this so much. They finished it, we are three quarters into it. And Heather's daughter is drawing Taro and Take (the twins), and their kimonos and clogs. We watched some sand painting videos, since they did that in one chapter, and it is a fascinating art. See for yourself,

Heather and I were talking about unit studies, and how her daughter, inspired by the reading of the Japanese Twins, is locating books about oriental culture by herself. She said she does not use unit studies since the reading of some good books on a topic leads her daughter to learn more about that and that happens rather effortlessly on her part. She said maybe unit studies are for moms who do not know how to do this, and a few good books on a subject maybe a good start. But I tend to think that if you as a mom don't know how to pick living books, a collection of books on a topic may not necessarily help  you. I wouldn't know how to homeschool with textbooks only (apart from the math, for security, and some guidance books), without living books that lead us from idea to idea. It is you first the one who needs to know how to learn like this and read like this. You need to see how ideas work on you, and then you will be able to model, inspire, and recognize this amazing activity of the mind happening in your children. If you want to know more about living books, the next Charlotte Mason Carnival is precisely about this topic, READ ALL ABOUT IT AT AMY'S.
Also, if you want to know about the ground for all the other "traditional knowledge", read with us about POETIC KNOWLEDGE in our book club on Tuesdays. This will be revealing for you, and it will open you up to a broad view of your children. It may also, incidentally, save you money and worries too! It will hopefully give you an adequate balance between books and other things that are crucial but we tend to abandon (music, dance, physical activity, contemplation, play, singing, art, walks...)

We had Heather and kids on Tuesday, and our little friend Z. the day before. Wednesday we went to our homeschooling group End of the Year Party (I can't believe one more year ended), and had fun with our friends bowling.

In our vacation to a State Park we had sooooo much fun. We saw different plants and animals, the girls learned to ride their bikes, and the weather was perfect. I couldn't ask for more in life. Now back to our fast pace city and our routines. But it was a nice break and we are re-energized. We definitely be taking some more breaks to that wonderful park.

My husband has agreed to do math with my oldest, for a change and to be involved. I keep preparing for our first year with Ambleside, and so far they are doing great. (Understand this doesn't mean there are no intense days or moments we loose our patience, or that they don't fight, or that they need correction, prayers, adjustments, redirecting or changing gears completely. But when I sit and reflect I know we are fine). I realized how much my six and a half year old girl has grown this past six months and from five. She has learned to read, to ride a bike, to swim (she floats, she does not have much style or continuity yet), she has beautiful handwriting (and she is practicing cursive), draws with imagination, loves being read to, narrates nicely (her favorite is the Bible stories), loves, loves, loves DOGS, is crazy about jumping and doing hand stands, and enjoys singing.

My youngest, four and four months, has gained so much detail this past month. Her drawings are full of details, she attempts profiles too, draws people holding dolls, or walking pets, different hairstyles, glasses, slanted eyes, crying and smiling people, details in clothing, etc. Her memory is quite amazing, and she loves listening to stories and SINGING. She says she wants to be a "cooker" and a scientist to make her own experiments. Now it is becoming difficult to differentiate some of her drawings from her sister's.

But what I am most content about, it is that I see they have a wonderful heart, they care about others. (My youngest told me her friend -Heather's daughter- looks beautiful in her bike). There are still some rough edges we are working on with both of them, some areas of their character that need attention, habits still not acquired, but all in all, I can already see the benefits of educating at home. It makes us both, parents and children, better persons.

My four and four months old drawing. The second girl to the
left is Strawberry shortcake with a strawberry hat.

8 opinion(s):

Sarah said...

Welcome to the weekly wrap-up. Looks like you had a good week. It is nice to look back and see how much the kids have grown and what they've learned.

Silvia said...

Thank you Sarah. It is a great idea to have a place where we all can share our weekly happenings.
I'm very excited!

MissMOE said...

Great first post! I enjoyed reading about your week.

Blossom said...

Silvia, it's great to see how your week went. I really appreciated your statement that when you reflect back on things, you know you are doing fine. Isn't that so true. In our day to day routines, sometimes we may feel that it isn't going right (or if you are like me, you think that perhaps you've done it all wrong!). Taking the time to see the whole picture is very beneficial.
Great to see you at the Weekly Wrap-Up

Books For Breakfast said...

Silvia, this may just be one of those areas that we must agree to disagree. I LOVE booklists. It was booklists that first led me to discover living books, although I wasn't yet using that term. I just knew that I had found (through lists and the rabbit trails they lead to) books that were several cuts above the rest. And as much as I think I may know about kids books, my pulse always quickens a bit when I find a new list. I think a book list (imbecably chosen) arranged by subjects would be a good jumping off point for the parent who is stuck in the main stream rut. Great books lead to great books, partly because the hunter has developed a sharper eye and finer taste. But if a person has not discovered the truly great books, they may bumble about forever in kidlit mediocrity, never knowing (or caring) that there is so much more to be discovered. But I must add a caveat. I would NOT recommend saying, "Now Susie, we're going to spend some time learning about Japan. Look at all these great books about Japanese children/culture/geography." I think the parent should use such a list to simply gather the books, make them available to the children. Then let the children discover them in their own home. And let them make the connections.

Silvia said...

I'm totally like you Blossom. I say we are doing fine humbly, but I beat myself up all the time, that's why I like this recaps to see the balance.

Heather, I think it was my fault, I know I did not express myself very well. I do like booklists, I have led you all to some, haven't I? (Ambleside year 0.5, An Old Fashioned Education, The Broad Room Shelf, the blogs in my blogrool have ladies with fantastic booklists - Jeanne, Pam, Brandy, Mystie, Ellen, Blossom, Nadine, YOU... and I apologize, I'm sure I'm leaving many behind).
I meant what you very clearly said in the second half of your comment, that you do not go about learning about something using a bunch of books on a subject and forcing up the issue.

Actually I was harsh on those who are a bit at lost when it comes to choosing books. I quickly forgot I was not born with this skill. I used, read, recommended and bought much junk, and as time passed and we got into this learning experience, I opened up to this more solid criterion (living books), when choosing our reads. I still have to purge our books on occasion, I am still learning.

When you homeschool it is to me crucial you learn this skill, and yes, you are right, lists of books arranged by subjects, or booklists in general are a good starting point. The question is how you use those books and those lists what it's of more importance to me . Thanks for your comment, it made me write it better.

Giggly Girls said...

Welcome to the wrap-up. Your little one is quite the artist.

Ritsumei said...

Welcome to the wrap-up!

I absolutely agree; it makes us all better people. That's one of the things I love about this.


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