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Homeschool Highlights #8

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There has been lots of behind-the-scenes activity going on here, but when I go to bed at a reasonable time, I don't get much blogging time in. During the last couple weeks I have been going to bed early and it feels great. One night I even fell asleep with Eliana at 8:00. I am glad because Dylan is not feeling well right now and it is sure to get around. Needless, to say, I want to go to bed early tonight. :-)
 
So, real quick, here is what we have been up to:

Plugging away with our Instant Challenges.

Nathan and Dylan are on Lesson 3 in Land Animals of the 6th Day and have notebooking pages to finish up for this week. They are learning about the families: Ursidae (bears), Mustelidae (weasel family), Mephitidae (skunk), and Procyonidae (racoon). Their lessons include reading, narration, notebooking, tracking and mapping exercises and an experiment.

Nathan and Dylan are on their last week of Y basketball and Nathan started practicing on a traveling basketball league 2 nights a week. Also, Jordan and Nathan started on a dodgeball league and they began to practice this week and volleyball also will start with a clinic for Nathan and Dylan on Wednesday! (phew)

We wrapped up our study of Noah and we are beginning our next Biblical History lesson: After the flood, the descendents of Noah and the tower of Babel.

We finished lesson 17 in Prepare and Pray (chapter 17 in Swiss Family Robinson).

Mali has been learning about earthworms and what lives underground for the letters E and U. He has one more lesson in our Alphabet Fun: the letter O. And then we will take a break as I gear up to begin Kindergarten with him.

Elli has been doing a few tot school activities here and there, but I am taking a break from formal Tot School. I bought some tot trays from Oriental Trading and am building up my Tot Supplies, so that I can have a fresh outlook and new start for Tot School as Elli turns 3 next month.
We are still doing ASL. I ordered a whole new set of Signing Time dvds and we are progressing through them and enjoying them very much!

I also have a new math program for Jordan on the way. (I can't wait to meet Fred!)

We are starting the Madsen Method for Language Arts for all my boys. The MM is a "complete, fully scripted, evidence-based, field-tested, non-consumable, penmanship, spelling, grammar, composition and reading, use-it-with-all-students curriculum based on systematic and explicit phonics taught via neurological response instruction." Our "box" arrived today and all I can say is, "Wow!" I have committed to teaching Part One, which will take 6-9 months. With this curriculum, you can teach in 8 years what other curricula teach in K-12 and is based on our forefather's method of instruction. Since this is longer than our typical 6 week review period, I will probably share what we are doing as we go and before I write my final review.

Other products on the review front are Maestro Classics, Kinderbach, (preschool piano lessons for Mali and Elli) and Worship Guitar. (I am finally learning to play the guitar!)

On Luke's front:

My very scheduled husband has the boys on a new schedule in the mornings and they are up early for:
  1. Read the Bible (A proverb and a chapter a day on their own)
  2. Think of Me book
  3. Amazing Race (multiplication facts)
  4. Independent studies (3 or 4 subjects per child)
They usually have this all done before he walks out the door (and sometimes before I wake up). :-) This makes my day so much easier and a guarantee that we get the basics done each day. {In other words, I get to do all of the fun, creative and messy stuff, lol}

At night, Luke is reading Life in the Great Ice Age for History (he just finished chapter 3). He is also reading Boyhood and Beyond: Practical Wisdom for Becoming a Man (1-2 chapters every other night). Then we listen to the CJB audio Bible, where we listen to the whole Bible in two years: the Torah twice, the Prophets and Writings once, and the New Testament twice in about 14 minutes a day. (We are on Genesis 37, Judges 1, and Matthew 24).