Friday, August 15, 2014

Easing back into school -- the rest of the week, or "Not Nearly as Pretty as Day One"

Things went so well on Monday that I overdid it and went to bed too exhausted to sleep well and didn't wake up Tuesday morning until almost 9:30, so I spent the morning grouchy and annoyed, and by the time I'd eaten and gotten some work done and had time to call everyone to Morning Time I had to go into my room for an attitude adjustment first.

We start the school day off with prayers, so, well . . . .  The good news for my kids is that we don't start the school day when Mama is feeling grumpy.

So then it was time for lunch.

Finally around one o'clock I rang the bell for Morning Time, and since it wasn't morning any more we turned to the page for noontime prayers in our prayer book (I know I've mentioned before how much I love using the Book of Common Prayer; let me just say it again -- I love the prayer book!).  The verses were especially meaningful to me after my cranky morning.


At Noon

From Psalm 113
Give praise, you servants of the LORD; *
   praise the Name of the LORD.
Let the Name of the LORD be blessed, *
   from this time forth for evermore.
From the rising of the sun to its going down *
   let the Name of the LORD be praised.
The LORD is high above all nations, *
   and his glory above the heavens.

A Reading
O God, you will keep in perfect peace those whose minds are fixed on you; for in returning and rest we shall be saved; in quietness and trust shall be our strength.
Isaiah 26:3; 30:15

Prayers may be offered for ourselves and others.

The Lord’s Prayer

The Collect

Lord Jesus Christ, you said to your apostles, “Peace I give to you; my own peace I leave with you:” Regard not our sins, but the faith of your Church, and give to us the peace and unity of that heavenly City, where with the Father and the Holy Spirit you live and reign, now and for ever. Amen.

After that was Poetry (I've decided to read through Ambleside Online's list of poems for Year 6).  I read Sir Philip Sidney's "His Lady's Cruelty," which is the one that starts, "With how sad steps, O moon, thou climb'st the skies," and that sparked a lot of discussion on whether the poet was justified in ascribing his own feelings to an inanimate object.  For the record, my position is that it's correct, when done properly.  If the poet had been saying, "With how sad steps, O lightening bugs, thou light'st the night," or some such, then either he's trying to be funny, or it's just bad poetry, and I'm not talking about botching the sonnet's meter.

Then we reviewed the grammar terms we'd covered earlier in the spring.  I'm using an ancient copy of Kittredge and Arnold's The Mother Tongue, Book II, recommended by Cindy, and it's perfect for my needs, but some clever ladies have published an adaptation for modern students, which is also recommended by Cindy, so you might want to check that out.

Next we read our chapter of The Wanderings of Odysseus, listened to narrations, discussed stuff, and sent everyone outside to play.  End of Day 2.

I think that took two hours.  Because we talk too much.

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Wednesday we had an unexpected scheduling conflict that meant we couldn't do lessons in the morning, and in the afternoon the three oldest girls had an engagement and the two younger boys had outside work, so we couldn't do school then.  That left me and my youngest alone in the house for most of the afternoon so we played card games together.  In between rounds we quizzed each other on tricks for counting the score rapidly in our heads.

In the card game we were playing, 2s are wild and are worth 20 points each. Face cards are 10 each and the rest are their face value.  I asked her, "If you have three cards that total ten points and one is a four, what are the other two?" At first she said she couldn't do that (this one is shy about answering new problems aloud), but when I asked her to take four away from ten, then figure out how to make the leftover number out of two cards [remember, since 2s are 20 each, there was only one way to do it -- two 3s], she answered correctly.  Then she made up a question for me.  The questions got more complicated as we went on.

I'm learning how to do this kind of thing by reading the Let's Play Math and Talking Math with Your Kids blogs.  You should check them out if this something you need help with too.

~*~ ~*~ ~*~

Thursday was prettier.  We started roughly on time -- generally I shoot for ringing the prayer bell at 9:00, and I think we were within half an hour of that.

First we did a spot of pseudo-Swedish Drill because after seeing the video that Brandy linked to a few days ago I'm thinking about including it, or some variation thereof.  I have serious issues with some of the postures in the only handbook I've spent much time looking at, but I think a few minutes of the kind of mindful movement talked about in the video would be good for all of us.



Next we sang a hymn.  Normally we would have had prayers before anything, but one of the children was cranky and I wanted to give the child some space to cheer up a bit before we started.  Now that I write this out it makes me wonder if that's really the right way of going about it -- am I inadvertently teaching my children some sort of works-righteousness?  Hm.

Our Scripture reading for the day was from Luke 23 about the veil in the Temple tearing when Jesus was crucified.  I don't usually have a sermonette during Prayers, but this time I decided to ask them what they knew about the arrangement of the Temple and the role of the veil.  One of my children was really excited when she figured out the significance of the veil's being torn -- that now all of God's people can come into his presence, not just the high priest, and not just on one day of the year.  So that two minute digression was well worth breaking my usual habit.

Another poem, another interesting discussion.

A brief section from The Mother Tongue, which sparked yet another discussion that ranged from nouns to languages to Charlemagne and I don't remember what all.

The next chapter of Odysseus, narration, and more discussion.

New memory verse begun -- Psalm 103.  I started by having everyone read the first five verses aloud with me, then they closed their Bibles and I read the first verse, phrase by phrase, with them repeating after me.  Then I read the whole verse, all but the very last word, which they supplied. Then I read it again, leaving off the last two words, then the last three, and so on.  After about five words were done this way, I asked them whether they could say the whole verse from memory yet, and most of them could.

Outside time.

~*~ ~*~ ~*~

Today, Friday, the boys had a lot of outside work to take care of in the morning so we didn't start till eleven.

Rex, gnawing on Sunchokes during our morning walk

Gratuitous Cute Kid and Animal shot,
also taken during our morning walk


Did a bit of pseudo-Swedish drill while waiting for everyone to assemble.

Said Morning Prayers, including reading the rest of Luke 23, and Psalm 106 (Psalms are read responsively by the half-verse).

Sang hymn.

Read poem for the day, Donne's "Death be not proud."  Lovely discussion.

Grammar lesson with lots of input from the children, including my special needs one, which is encouraging.

Another chapter of Odysseus -- The Archery Contest -- with interesting discussion from my 15 year old, who took Angelina's excellent Great Books I class last year.  Chapter concluded to a loud chorus of, "NOOOOO!" from the children, because I wouldn't read the next chapter.

It was noon and I was hungry, so we finished.

Rats.  Just realized we forgot to do memory work.

~*~ ~*~ ~*~

Overall, I'm satisfied with the week and looking forward to several weeks in a row of uninterrupted studies.

How are things going for you?  Have you started back to school yet?

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