Friday, April 10, 2009

Emerging From Winter

borrowed from

Where has the time gone since my last post? Homeschool is back on track. We have been hunkered down during the winter months catching up on schoolwork. It seems, according to my hourly charts, that the end of November through mid-January were hit and miss as far as getting anything done. Some weeks, great! Some weeks, oh my goodness. We might as well have taken them off. And we did take off several for holidays and vacations. The last 7 weeks have been spent reevaluating where we are at in every subject, seeing what needs to be accomplished, seeing who is lacking in what.

The little one (4th grade): She FINALLY has her times tables down. Kind of. She can't spout them out immediately like she can her list of favorite cartoon shows but she knows them well enough to do all her math. For science we quit winging it because she couldn't decide on a subject to study and we opened a book I had that is quite colorful and direct. We've been studying volcanoes, earth, and fossils. I may have to give in this week and build a volcano and grow some crystals like a good homeschool mom should. Ugh.

The piano lessons she started taking in January are going so well. At least I think so. She loves her teacher (who wouldn't) and it just squeezes my little ole' heart when her dainty fingers reach out to make chords in a song. All week we've been belting out 'Down In The Valley' while she plays. I'm so proud.

The teen (11th grade): has been ACT driven. Almost all schoolwork went by the wayside while we brushed up on every subject known to man for the ACT. She took it last week. Up til the test we didn't feel confident about her knowledge at all even though we had studied non-stop. But after the test she was all smiles. We don't really care what she gets this time. It's the experience of test taking that we care about. She can take it many times during the next year.

She has been reading all over the board for World Lit. She read a lot of Grapes of Wrath, really getting the gist of the time period. I didn't require her to finish it. Maybe she will over the summer. Right now she is engrossed in Watership Down.
I love to see my kids huddled in bed, glassed perched on noses, reading big books. Last night she couldn't sleep until she had found out what happened to BigWig (if you don't know what I'm talking about, read the book!) After she is done I plan to rent the movie for her to watch.
This week has been all about painting. We've just felt like it. The teen takes watercolor painting instruction from a very talented friend of mine. Every week we meet and they paint and talk. Good relationship being built there as well. Always good for the teen to have good christian mentors outside of her parents. Anyway, her painting is improving drastically.

The little one has been watching videos I picked up from the library for her art; Art Lessons for Children (several volumes) by Donna Hugh. I've order Ms. Hugh's Drawing Lessons for Beginners as well. Excellent video series. I've seen her painting improve immensely!

The little one was so excited about what she is learning that when DH came home early from work today, she sat him down and taught him how to paint a chinese dragon. So cute!

DD's painting, DH's painting

We've also started doing the Illustration Friday prompt each week. See my blog here, here and here for the newest examples, or search my art blog for 'illustration friday'.

I think that's enough of an update. I'll be back soon. We can see the light at the end of the tunnel. We're in the homestretch. Seven more weeks until Summer break! Hallelujah. I think we all need it.

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