Here are a few pictures of our usual school day. Yes, it looks something like chaos, but it has been going really well!
Since Odelia was born last fall, I've found myself relegated more than ever to "survival mode." Hence, this fall finds us a bit behind where I'd like us to be academically but more importantly, we are suffering from the lack of consistent character training over the last year. Last week we kicked off a new school year - a year I plan to take by STORM. Our renewed diligence is already paying dividends.
This month our hymn is Oh, That the Lord Would Guide my Ways. I love this group: http://koinemusic.com/ and I selected one hymn for each month that we can play ad nauseam that goes with our character study and some of the other things I've selected for the year. These guys do actual hymn-format music but with kicked up modern instrumentals. I absolutely LOVE them. All the hymns I chose for the year are from their albums so that it's easy for us to listen to them and sing them. =)
What I would LIKE to do is compile a "soundtrack" for each month with the hymn for the month and related songs I know of and like, our theme song for this year (Nothing but the Blood of Jesus by the Branches Band) and stuff like that. I think it would be fun to have those CDs later and be like, hey, remember the month we studied XYZ and be able to play the music we listened to that month (ad nauseam because that's how I do things) and it would really be a neat memory tool. On the other hand, maybe a soundtrack for the whole year would be sufficient.
Meanwhile, I am creating a theme for each week based on this acrostic poem Christian Character ABCs so last week we talked about Alertness and memorized 1 Peter 5:8 and learned about lions. This week we're discussing Benevolence and memorizing Philippians 2:3,4 and writing illustrated stories in which someone is behaving in a benevolent manner. Oh, and we're also reading through the book of John this month, at a pace of one chapter each day.
So... in summary, here is the plan! Next month we'll sing The King of Love my Shepherd Is - and we'll also be reading the 23rd Psalm and studying Diligence, Endurance, Faithfulness, and Gratefulness
Then...November - Chief of Sinners though I Be - and we'll be reading Psalm 122 and listening to another song based on that by another fave of mine - The Branches Band http://www.andyandrachel.biz/BranchesBand/Home.html
And we'll be studying Honesty, Integrity, Joy, and Kindness
Then...December - Of the Father's Love Begotten - that's a little known Christmas hymn that ties in with out character studies for the month of Love and Meekness
Jan - Be Still my Soul - I thought it would be fitting with the quietness of winter and stillness of snow. We will also be studying Psalm 46 and our character studies will be Neatness (hooray - can't WAIT for this one!), Obedience, Patience, Quietness, and Resourcefulness
Feb. Take my Life and Let it Be - we will be reading Psalm 146 and studying Sincerity, Temperance, Unity, and Virtue
Mar. Brothers, Sisters, Let us Gladly - and we will be reading Psalm 133 and studying Wisdom, Excellence, Yielding and Zeal
That brings us to the end of our acrostic poem so I will see where we are at that point and continue my planning and training. The first two weeks have gone well and I think it's going to be a very good year. =)
And as far as academics, Cymbre and Eli are both using a math workbook from Horizons. Allegra and Shiloh generally play with math manipulatives and puzzles a few times each week. Cymbre is working through Spelling Power, which is new for us this year and which we are LOVING. Eli is working through the reading program from My Father's World and starting to take off with it. I have Allegra sit in on our lessons when I can, but she is not always willing. Cymbre and Eli do handwriting practice based on our memory verses for the week. Cymbre got started writing essays with my little sisters this summer and is now writing essays and reports for me that we file in her binder. Science and social studies will be thematic, based on our interests and our many travels. Last week, for example, the children learned about the 1812 Overture with Matt, who used the internet to learn the real story of the war. We then got the CD from the library, as well as books about Tchaikovsky and other music by Tchaikovsky. At the end of the week, Cymbre and Eli put on a reenactment of the War of 1812 using stuffed penguins and Nerf guns that was quite a spectacle of understanding, complete with the Russian penguin praying for deliverance from the French penguin.