Our Weekly Amble: July 25-29, 2016

We had a good week of school this week, but that’s likely because it was rather light as the school work goes.

We’ve now finished Week 8 of AmblesideOnline Year 5.

This week was the second of two weeks of swim lessons for the children. M-girl and N-boy both finished the “Fish” level and R-girl passed the “Guppy” level – and her teacher said she should skip “Minnow” to “Fish.” For all of them, their strokes improved greatly, their endurance is better, and each worked on skills or activities they could not do before.

R-girl went off the diving board, which two years ago she said she would never do. This reminds me to be patient and allow her to mature. She really needs that. Sometimes, because she is as close in age to her older siblings, I forget what expectations I had of M-girl and expect her to act as M-girl does *now.* That’s not right or fair.

N-boy learned butterfly (a stroke I cannot do), he learned to dive – including from a run (I can dive, but only from standing still), and in general was encouraged in his abilities. He’ll never be a racer, but I just want them all to be safe and steady in water.

M-girl went down the slides, improved her strokes, and gained confidence in water. She is quiet about her success, but went from “I don’t want to take swim lessons” to “I’m really enjoying swim lessons.” Improvement inspires confidence.

We did ‘Whatchamacallit’ every morning. Our new binders have been an excellent addition. I followed Mystie’s example of using sheet protectors for everything, but I filled our binders with our own things and schedule. I scoped a video about our binders and how I store our Whatchamacallit books and accoutrement.

It really is a catch-all time for us. We are finishing ‘Take My Life and Let It Be’ for July’s hymn. I determined our hymns for the next year (they’re on our list).

We started Luke 10:25-37 (The Good Samaritain) for our new Bible Memory Work. We also set aside ‘The Catechism for Young Children’ and begain Training Hearts, Teaching Minds by Starr Meade and began the Westminster Shorter Catechism.

This was a grammar week, so we reviewed some punctuation in Memoria Press’ Grammar Recitation 2; diagrammed some sentences with linking verbs and predicate adjectives; and had fun with MadLibs.

We read about Queen Anne’s Lace (then I brought some home from my during-swim lesson walks) … we had a at the height bloom and a birds nest to look at.

We reviewed poems. We’re on #19 of Level 2 in Linguistic Development Through Poetry Memorization (the first two levels are free through Homeschool Buyer’s Co-op this summer through August 31 … get it!) That means the children get to choose their own poems for #20. N-boy is thinking about ‘Excelsior,’ M-girl a couple Emily Dickinson poems including ‘There is No Frigate Like a Book,’ and R-girl is making a whole list of poems to choose from.

We review Latin during Whatchamacallit, but on the last day of each week, I want to do Ecce Romani, so we pulled that out today. One of our new words was ‘lente’ which means slow. I asked the children what music word that reminded them of. They didn’t remember, but N-boy went and got the metronome and there it was: lento.

In our Beauty Loop, we read about Schubert, looked at a Velazquez print, sang ‘I’ve Been Working on the Railroad’ and listened to ‘Blow the Man Down,’ did some counted cross stitch, and read Act 4 Sc 3 of ‘Taming of the Shrew.’ It felt incredibly productive and beautiful. We finished each day with some of Kate Seredy’s The Good Master. We had to discuss discrimination and how we think about people on their own merits not based their people group. This is why we read these books!

The children did math Monday through Thursday. M-girl is rocking fractions and decimals. N-boy was working on three and four digit numbers, patterns, and working with them. R-girl is working on measurements and time.

They did one reading per day aside from their free reads for the week. We had to finish Week 8, so they read from Inventions finishing about Stephenson, Trial and Triumph about John Paton, Isaac Newton about Newton’s teaching, and Wild Animals I Have Known about the Springfield Fox.  They did some written narrations, but not enough this week. After reading Mere Motherhood, I feel the need to do more narrations with my older children. We did have letters written and received from camp friends.

For Free Reads, M-girl is reading Green’s King Arthur, N-boy is reading Tom Sawyer, and R-girl is reading Farmer Boy. As a family, we’re still working on Pyle’s King Arthur.

While the children were at camp, I cleaned out the school room. It has been two weeks of school, and we’re keeping the room tidy! This is a huge win for me. We added new name tags to the chairs today because that’s just fun.


  1. Looks like a great week- yippee for keeping it all tidy! 🙂 Remind me what you use for diagramming?

  2. How are you liking Training Hearts? We're on question 5. If we miss a day, we just pick up where we left off, so some questions are taking longer than a week, but it's not a race. 😉

    Congratulations on swim lessons going well! We started the summer as a minnow, and will be ending as a minnow. Side-breathing and getting those arms and legs coordinated is not easy!

  3. This looks like such a satisfying week, thanks for sharing it! I enjoyed seeing the differences in your children's art, what fun.

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