Weekly Update

We have been home for almost a week now, and we are starting to get back into the swing of things. The first few days the kids and I were very tired from our trip that we had trouble getting motivated.

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This is a picture of three very bored and tired kids on the plane on the way home from Chicago. Our four-hour flight turned into more of a six-hour flight due to runway delays at both Chicago and Orange County. In Chicago we had to sit on the  runway for nearly an hour while the mechanics double checked the plane due to a warning light that came on. We finally left, and our flight was quick and uneventful to Orange County. However once we landed we were informed that there was no gate for us to taxi to due to the thick fog that had been in Orange County that morning. We ended up spending another hour on the plane just waiting for a gate to open. It was hot and stuffy in the plane, and we all wanted off.

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The kids and I were only on about four hours sleep, and by the time we got home I was done. I hardly made it through the day, and that night I slept for almost twelve hours which is quite crazy for me. I must have been worn out from the trip and needed the sleep. The next day the kids and I finished decorating the tree for Christmas.

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My parents put the tree up while we were gone, and my mom decorated the house. It was great coming home to a festive house with a tree already up (thanks Mom!).

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Besides decorating the house the kids each began reading new books this week. The twins are reading Seraphina, and they both love it. They are enjoying it so much that neither can put it down, but since we only have one copy, they have to take turns. The minute one of them puts it down, the other picks it up.

photo(10)Tru is often into a book like this, but it has been a while since Autry has been. Because she was in school the last year and a half, she rarely had the time for reading for pleasure. She had very little free time due to school, homework, and lessons. In addition she seemed to have lost her love of reading while at school. I am so happy to have her home, and I am so happy to see her once again lost in a book.

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Decca also started a new series this week. He is reading The Boxcar Children. This series is below his reading level, but somehow we missed it when he was younger (although the twins read it). There was a deal on kindle this week for the first ten books in the series for only $6.00. I decided to grab them at that price, and he has been reading them all week. It is a pleasant change to see him reading something other than Scooby Doo.

Tru is still plugging along in all his work. He is flying through Teaching Textbooks geometry, and he is nearly finished with his great course on Understanding the Universe. I need to get him a new course for January, and I am hoping I can pick it up greatly discounted. With all the sales floating around lately this shouldn’t be too hard.

Autry is working through Life of Fred algebra. She came home from school with no confidence in her math abilities, but with Fred’s help, it is slowly coming back. Today we worked on mixture problems which did not come easy to either of us. Luckily Khan Academy is around to help. She watched a few videos on the concept, and then she sat back down to work them out.

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We finished the week working on Block by Block and with a game of Sushi Roll. It was a great ending to our week.

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Weekly Update

Autry and Tru –

Life of Fred

The twins worked hard all week. They are loving LOF pre-algebra, and they made it through the first bridge this week. They also read the entire book on their own, as it is such a great read.

A page from Life of Fred

They are working on many of the same things from last week. They have their first draft done on their research paper and will be working on the second draft next week. They are still reading and studying Twelfth Night and Shakespeare for history.

The twins have also begun a weather unit in science class. This week they had to record the weather and looking at it I realized how great our weather is.

They have a recital in a few weeks, so they are working on their pieces everyday and continuing with their music theory.

Autry has a play in a few weeks that she is trying to memorize her lines for. She also got another play last week, so she is going to start rehearsals on that soon. She will be playing Mary in The Secret Garden.

Decca has been busy with his Moving Beyond the Page units, and his study of the states. I downloaded him Stack the States on my iPad just for fun, but he became obsessed with it.

He often becomes obsessed with different things, and then this obsession turns into an enormous amount of creative output. His last obsession was the Poppy series, and I have to say I was glad for a change. Anyway he beat the game, and he has all the states and capitols memorized. He also has read various books on the US. His favorite seems to be The Scrambled States of America.

Decca also began writing his own book series. It is a series of books on each state, starting with  the first state. He has done four so far, but he plans to make all fifty.

In addition to his state craze, Decca has continued to work on Moving Beyond the Page. He is studying American heroes. He studied Abraham Lincoln and Harriet Tubman. Here is his hero cards from this week.

And that is our week in review.

Beware of the younger sibling…

She loves being his older sister.

The other day the twins and I were going over their Life of Fred math. I LOVE this curriculum, and we always go over the chapters together. I read the story out loud, and then we work through the problems. After this I have the twins do more problems to reinforce what they have learned.

Everyone in this family loves to hear about Fred, and that includes Decca. Usually he does not say much during the lesson, and sometimes I do not even know if he is paying attention, but lately that has changed. Decca has decided he would like to work on these math problems too.

The twins think this is funny, and they love to give him hard questions that he cannot answer (“Decca what is 300 times x divided by y times .275 times 3.14 etc….). However the other day Decca answered a Life of Fred question from the decimal book, and he did it before his sister could figure out the answer. She was mortified!

He's only 7, how can he figure out a math problem before me?

I had to explain to Autry that math is one of Decca’s strengths. Everyone has their strengths and weaknesses. Math happens to be a weakness for both Tru and Autry, and it happens to be a strength for Decca. She didn’t like the sound of that, but then I reminded her of all of her strengths, and that made her feel better.

They learn from each other.

I am glad I homeschool. In school Decca would probably be bored out of his mind, and unable to sit still. He might not have discovered his love for math and Fred. Autry might not have discovered her love of music, and Tru would not have discovered his love of books. At home it is easy to figure out where their strengths and weaknesses lie, and this is one of the greatest strengths of homeschooling.