The last few weeks have really flown by. We have been having a lot of fun!
Highlights of our last few weeks:
Bible- We’ve been reading through the stories in the book of Joshua. We’ve had some good conversations about kindness, obedience and integrity. We are learning another verse of “Amazing Grace,” which the kids are picking up quickly. X-man’s verse for Sparkies this week is Joshua 1:9, “Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous… for the Lord your God is with you wherever you go.” How fitting that we should be reading about Joshua and his life at this time. I love it when this happens.
“Trip Around the World”- We have studied three countries so far in Asia: China, Korea, and Japan. We read the Exploring Countries or True Book for each country and then enjoyed several stories from each country.
Yeh-Shen– A Cinderella tale from China
Story of Paper – A tale based on the story of how paper was invented. The book even gave a recipe for making your own paper, which we did not attempt. Maybe next time.
Lon Po Po– A Little Red Riding Hood tale from China with three sisters who outwit a wolf. It is a fun, engaging, and clever tale that is quite enjoyable. The kids noticed that it was like Little Red Riding Hood! That was fun.
Master Swordsman and Magic Doorway– These two ancient tales were in the same book and both were fun short stories set in China. One was about a young village boy under the tutelage of a great master swordsman. The kids really thought it was funny that the boy chopped vegetables with a sword at the end. The other was about a painter who painted beautiful pictures and was able to escape a dire fate by painting a magic doorway in his painting.
Sir Whong and the Golden Pig– A story of a rich, generous and wise man who outwits one who tried to fool him.
The Chinese Mirror– A very funny tale of a man who brings home a mirror to his family who had never seen a mirror before. The kids did not fully appreciate the hilarity of this story, but I laughed all the way through the reading.
The Firekeeper’s Son– This was a very wonderful story with beautiful illustrations about a boy who fulfills his duty despite being tempted to neglect it. It was very interesting to read about the signal fires of old Korea. We all really enjoyed this book.
The Korean Cinderella– Princess K always enjoys having what she terms “a beautiful story” in the week’s reading. So this book was that. A beautiful tale of a poor girl who wins the heart of the magistrate despite her cruel step-mother and step-sister.
The Royal Bee– A really wonderful story- based on a true story- of the determination, persistence, perseverance and hard work of a boy who longs to learn so that he might provide for his mother. It holds up education and learning as an honor and very valuable.
The Magic Fan– This was a very cool story. It had an interesting feature of fan shaped cutout pages to reveal more illustrations which we all found very intriguing. It was a huge hit with my oldest son as the main character’s name was Yoshi (which is the name of a character in the Mario universe- a universe he loves!).
The Crane Maiden- A sweet story about how a poor man’s compassion on a crane caught in a trap leads to improved circumstances. My daughter enjoyed this as it was another “beautiful” story.
Umbrella– A beautiful story about a young Japanese-American girl who eagerly anticipates the rain so that she can use her new umbrella and rain boots. We all liked this book.
Then there are two more stories to read for this country- The Long Silk Strand and The Girl Who Loved Caterpillars.
Phonics, Math, Copywork- We have started the Victory Drill Book for a change in phonics. The fact that it is a race against the clock and that he has to get a certain number of words in a minute before he can move on to the next page is incredibly motivating and interesting to my son. The day he “won” page 1 and got to move on to page 2 was the best day this week!
My daughter began this week with just sitting beside us on the couch, running the timer. She has now requested to be timed as well and she is very excited to work through the words. X-man so longs for her to win that he is not entirely trustworthy with the timer, but we are working on that one.
We’ve been focusing a lot on coins and halves in math lately. My students- and my two year old as well- love playing with money! They think it is great fun!
We’ve been working through Delightful Handwriting from Simply Charlotte Mason and I can see improvement in their Es, Ts, Ls, and Hs in the writing they do for fun every day. Princess K informed me this week that copywork is now her favorite thing to do in school. I have them work on their copywork page as I’m preparing snack for them, so perhaps the promised snack is what makes copywork so delightful. Or perhaps there is great joy in having a task set before you that is achievable and produces noticeable results quickly. Either way, I’m glad that they are improving- it is encouraging to see.
Movement– Last week we borrowed Billy Blanks’s Tae Bo Kicks (an exercise dvd for kids) from the library and we’ve been working out with Billy nearly every day this week. The kids absolutely love pretending to punch and kick bad guys and they are so impressed with how strong Billy is. It has been a blast.
Adventure– Daddy took the kids to the San Francisco Zoo today and I had the house to myself. What a gift! And what a wonderful treat for the kids. Apparently Z-urchin attempted to hang out on train tracks while the train was coming and he really wanted to make friends with the prairie dogs- Scotty found him being led out of the prairie dog exhibit by some helpful adult people. How on earth did he get in? Only he knows. One thing I do know- I’m sure glad I wasn’t there for that! Good thing that Toddler Tornado is charming because boy is he trouble!