Our Weekly Amble for January 9-13, 2017

It was our first week back!


We had a very productive week.  A few struggles here and there, but when people are together all the time, you have to think they’ll rub each other wrongly from time to time.

You just hope they don’t do so on purpose. Which, sadly, they do.

So we stop and correct then continue on. Sometimes school takes longer than I wish, but we’re in for the long haul and someday it will be better.

Lord willing.

As first weeks go, it was pretty good, though!

We’ve added some new things for everyone – particularly for M-girl. Some things are tougher. Some things will help a lot.  I added new things for me – which is tougher. Some of the things are hard to track in our Spiral Notebook assignment books, so I made everyone a laminated index card with the requirements and check boxes:

They’re color coded – mine is purple, M-girl’s is red, N-boy blue, and R-girl is green.  I’ve had a hard time keeping track of narrations typed vs hand written, so I’m hoping this will help a lot. I also hope it will jog memories so that no one is scrambling at the end of Friday to check everything off – like M-girl and I were yesterday. (I just made N-boy’s & R-girl’s cards yesterday).

They match up with my new Weekly Meeting form that I was inspired to make (and copied almost completely from) by Jennifer Mackintosh. That post is so helpful! She had been inspired by Celeste to do better at weekly prep and at follow-through, so I added this one to the repetoire of forms I posted about last week. I’m printing it on the back of my Weekly Review checklist – one for the beginning and one for the end of the week :).

We had our firsts individual meetings yesterday and they were a hit with everyone! I felt like we had more connection based on the week that was past and expectations for the week to come.  Love that.  Now to ingrain the habit!

We did Whatchamacallit four days this week.  During January – the first three weeks of this term – we’re doing all review for memory work. That means singing hymns, reciting Bible passages, poetry, and Latin review. We are moving forward in Catechism as we read Training Hearts, Teaching Minds by Starr Meade, but the children have learned their Catechism in Sunday School mostly, so it’s mostly review too.  I added readings from The Ology which I got for Christmas, so that’s fun.  I wrote about our Morning Time on Tuesday and that’s what we’ve mostly done.

Those plans aren’t too hard and fast, though – we did Shakespeare two days in a row. We’re prepping to study Henry V as our AO selection and following Mystie’s plans to some extent. The books she recommends are out of my budget and not available ILL, so I shopped my shelves and pulled my Usborne World of Shakespeare off the shelf.  We read the four pages about Shakespeare’s history plays over two days. I was reminded why I don’t readaloud from Usborne books, but we have a basic introduction to the sequence and some of what the play is about. We watched the St. Crispin’s day speech from YouTube and my SIL is borrowing the Kenneth Brannaugh Henry V from her libary so we can watch it this coming week. I ordered the Folger’s Henry V for Kindle, so I think we might take parts and read it aloud this time. We’ll see.

In our Beauty Loop, we did two days of Shakespeare, one of drawing. Drawing is generally one meltdown by one child. I really like the Art for Kids: Drawing book we’re using. Perhaps I need to find something else, though. LeSigh. Yesterday we listened to an Oboe Concerto and all enjoyed that. We read four days from The Chestry Oak and if I make it through the introductory chapters without crying it will be a miracle.

Monday being our first day of the new year, we did self-portraits, as always:

Wednesday, we did slightly different self-portraits at our Art with Friends group:

We’re reading AO Year 5, Term 3 work. We only made it through half of the first chapter of Kim, but I think we can catch that up today. I’m really enjoying the Teddy Roosevelt biography Carry a Big Stick by George Grant and the George Washington Carver book. My kids are liking Story of the World 4.

We did math four days. It was a relatively easy math week for the girls, N-boy is in the throes of long multiplication and division.  M-girl is starting MEP Year 5 (yay!) and R-girl had a section about geometry and symmetry which are easy for her.  We began working on the final lesson of Latin for Children A. It’s kind of nice to have that lesson after our long break, but it’s a challenge for everyone!

Wednesday is a scheduled “off academics” day. We cleaned the house (and company wasn’t even coming!) and went to the library (first time in months. Helped that we returned all the books [yikes]). We made it to church early enough that M-girl could do some organ practice before Art and Plutarch, then N-boy did some afterward.  We did the drawings above, played with our friends, and read Lesson 4 of Publicola which is how Valerius becomes consul.  It was a good discussion.

Edited to add: I knew I forgot something big! We were able to do Nature Study with our friends on Friday. We pulled out our Nature Pal Exchange goodies and other specimens we have, spread them out, and the kids and moms drew. Anna posted theirs here:

We did some music lessons and made a trip to the Y – I’d like to go more often next week! M-girl cooked dinner on Wednesday:

After dinner we’ve been working through The Young Peacemaker and Swallows and Amazons.

All in all it was an excellent week! How was yours?


  1. Dawn, what books are you looking for related to your Shakespeare studies? If I have anything, I'll lend it to you! Sounds like you are off to good start. You all are in my prayers, my friend. You are doing kingdom work. 🙂 (Sally)

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