Sunday, July 7, 2013

Weekly wrap up~ Week One

Week one is done!  Well, week one-half technically. We are starting out slow so we did about half of our math and language arts lessons each day, and half of the weeks readings. Next week we will do everything. :)


Three kiddos and an aunt.

The kids were so excited to begin their new grades, although it really doesn't mean anything to them except new books. We only schooled for 3 days, because the holiday was on Thursday. On Friday, we headed to the mountains for a short camping trip. Our first week went great! The kids enjoyed all of their books, so far, and the new Charlotte Mason-style reading and spelling lessons were and overwhelming success. They said they like ALL of school now, because we got rid of those irritating phonics lessons with all that writing.

Instead of workbooks, we are doing spelling on the white board or a notebook. I simply pick a word from the reading lesson and together we think of all the words in that family. I write them on the board, and she attempts to place them into her visual memory by taking a 'picture' of each word. Then I erase the words and  she writes them from memory. The whole process only takes about 5 minutes. For Caiden's phonics I did away with the worksheets which were used for spelling practice, and instead we have spelling lessons every other day.

We do several lessons for language arts each day. These lessons are all short, and we don't do them all at once. Instead, working on the principle that brains get tired after too long on one subject, we do one and then go to something completely different before coming back to another lesson. Hailey and Caiden have a reading lesson two days a week, and spelling on the off days. We do copywork everyday.

As we left for the 4th of July parade, we saw three baby deer and two does having breakfast. I was so excited, I have been watching for them for weeks!

Tasting the flowers.

These twins were a little older, and trying a few bites.

Mama and twins. 

This baby was very little, so mama kept him pretty well hidden. He was still toddling when he tried to run. 

Waiting for the parade to begin. 

Later we headed to the lake to watch fireworks. The next morning we were on our way to the mountains... a whole 15 miles away, we stopped to camp in the National Forest. We finally found an un-occupied campsite, without anyone else (Or their dog) around. The kids learned how to set up the tent first. Later, they got to practice starting a fire and had some gun safety lessons. We took several hikes, but had to keep them short because we forgot the baby carrier. :)

Nature study was everywhere, of course, but we worked carefully to identify wildflowers. We found many different kinds, more variety then I have ever seen. Colorado columbines, pink and white paintbrushes, (which were new to me, ) bitter cress, orange sneeze weed was everywhere, pink elephants (Which I have wanted to see since I was a little girl, first fascinated with field guides), and toxic monkshood.  Soon the kids were calling out whenever they saw those dark purple flowers, "There's the poisonous ones! Stay away!" I was so proud. :) We brought several specimens home to press and mount, and they will know them forever. 

I love what I do. :) 

Reading Charlotte Mason's advice on "The Outdoor Life" for children, while enjoying the mountains... what could be more appropriate? 

Nature Study~ Wildflowers

Abby investigating a small 

Colorado columbine.

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