July was, to put it mildly, a mess. A few bright spots, though: the baby is very sweet and good-natured and mostly sleeps MUCH better than his siblings did at this age (I have decided to call him Leo for blog purposes, since his blond hair, complexion, and place in the mob of little boys reminded me a little of a lion cub); my birthday was nice; we celebrated our 16th anniversary; and the kids have mainly kept themselves busy. Before I forget, I wanted to write down some of the more schooly stuff, in a place where I won't forget it, lose it, or inadvertently pack it in a box. (Actually, I've just put my record book in a tote bag which I will bring with me in the van, but it's set up in weekly fashion and I am just making a big ole lumped together list right now.)
Let me be quick to note that nothing on this list was formally planned or executed by me. Some of it was informally executed by me, meaning that when I sat down to nurse and turned on the TV, I found something interesting for the kids to watch, or when Chipmunk asked me to read Thomas the Tank Engine ABC's I complied, or when one of the twins asked me what 3+2 was, I helped him figure it out. But none of this happened because I had it written down on paper. After 9 years of "official" homeschooling (more or less), this is just sort of our lifestyle.
Didn't want anyone to picture me cheerfully hustling kids through novels and physics whilst nursing a newborn, packing boxes, and recovering from childbirth, an infected incision, and wicked allergies.
What I know the kids were reading
Gareth: (lots of science fiction and fantasy)
- Foundation, Isaac Asimov (finished)
- Wizard of Earthsea and The Tombs of Atuan, Ursula LeGuin (finished)
- Serpent's Reach, CJ Cherryh (finished)
- The Dark is Rising, Susan Cooper
- Ballad of the White Horse, GK Chesteron (still reading)
- Njall's Saga, (Icelandic saga, still reading)
- Just in Case (emergency preparedness, because I was reading it and it was sitting on the couch)
- a book about Robert the Bruce (still reading)
- the Iliad and Companion to the Iliad, keyed to the Lattimore translation... I think the one we have is by Fitzgerald, though (still reading)
- Patriot Witch, CC Finlay... otherwise known as my friend Charlie :-). Not a YA book, this is written for adults, but appropriate for teens if they can handle a bit of gross zombie description. (Gareth didn't think it was too bad.) Proctor Brown is a "witch" and an American patriot fighting in the Revolutionary War. Magic here is based on faith in God and prayer (the good side), fighting against sorcery (the bad side), which is being used by the British (ahem) against the Americans. I won't tell you who fired the first shot at Lexington, but it's a fun, fast read.
- The Silmarillion, JRR Tolkein (still reading)
- "For the first time ever, scientists watch electrons moving in real time"
- The Gift of Music: Great Composers and their Influence, Jane Stuart Smith, Betty Carlson (thanks, Jen!)
- Rascal, Sterling North
- The Trojan War, Olivia Coolidge
- various issues of Birds and Blooms, Nature's Garden
I know this child has read more books than this!!! Or maybe she's just been knitting when she would normally have been reading. Hmmm...
Farmerboy (RA and audio):
We actually got some interesting news about Farmerboy's reading this week. Turns out that he can't focus and he sees double. You'd think a child would tell you about this when he was trying to learn to read, wouldn't you? At least he told our eye doctor!!
- Mattimeo, Brian Jacques (RA by Daddy)
- Mossflower, audio
- Otto of the Silver Hand, Howard Pyle (audio) -- Farmerboy and I had an interesting discussion about this book.
Little Boys (picture books):
- The Pirate Cruncher, multiple times (cute and funny book, which everyone has enjoyed)
- Richard Scarry's First Word Book
- The Lion Bedtime Storyteller Book (special favorites are the Tiger and Rabbit stories)
- What's Bigger than a Blue Whale?
- assorted DK books about robots
- a Marvel create-your-own-story book with cardboard flaps that allow you to give different superheroes and villains different heads, bodies, etc. I have no idea how we came to own this book as it contains grammatical errors that make me cringe, but the boys, of course, love it. I believe their latest adventure involved a discussion of Magneto's underwear (not pictured, of course).
What we were watching
- NOVA: Who Killed the Red Baron?
- NOVA: Missing in MiG Alley
- Through the Wormhole with Morgan Freeman (episodes on how the universe began and what the universe is made of, including particle physics, mainly me and G)
- The Universe: Seven Wonders of the Solar System
- History Channel episode on Lord of the Rings (me, G, and K -- this one was pretty good and prompted G to work on revising his epic poem and K to begin a story where all the characters have "meaningful" names... lots of excitement from G as he recognized the parallels to Beowulf and the Norse sagas)
- In Search of Ancient Ireland (PBS) (G)
What the kids have been doing:
- Katydid: knitting and weaving and taking wildlife photos. She also learned to fry eggs.
- Farmerboy helped Andy fix the toilet and figured out how it worked on his own
- Lots of Lego building
- G worked on his epic poem
- Lots of adding by the twins
- Chipmunk and the twins learning that there is such a thing as *too much love* give to a baby.