Friday, December 21, 2012

Random Highlights {Weekly Wrap-up 12-21-2012}

a post by Jenni {aka Mom}

(I'm part of this week's Weekly Wrap-Up over at Weird UnsocializedHomeschoolers! Click over to check out all the other posts, full of tips and tidbits that work in real life.)

We had some really good, full school days this week! You know, the kind of day in which everything goes smoothly - all schoolwork done, all meals fixed, all appointments kept. The kind of day in which attitudes are all sweet. The kind of day that makes you feel like you’re doing everything right (at least for a few moments). I really enjoy the couple times of year this sort of day occurs ;)

This week each of the boys also experienced breakthroughs with long-term struggles they’ve each had. Times Tales saved the day again - it helped Bo back in the day, and Rooster found it to be a helpful tool when he was learning multiplication as well. I had tried to use the program with Bird when he was first learning multiplication, but the memory trigger stories just confused him. We found since then that despite the last couple years of various math drills, he still hadn’t memorized his multiplication facts, and that was really slowing him down in his math work. So we revisited Times Tales, really focused on it the last two weeks, and this time it clicked! He’s now drilling though the multiplication and division flashcards like it’s nothing! Praise God!! Bird is really encouraged to have passed this milestone, and to be able to tackle the math he’s in more quickly and easily since he’s not spending so much time trying to do the simple multiplication involved. Definite win!

Last week my wonderful husband installed more shelving in the study, so we no longer have stacks of books on the floor, waiting to be knocked over! The study here in our new house is definitely set up for function, not looks. It’s basically a big closet (small bedroom) crammed with books. But it keeps our school stuff organized, which keeps our school days smoothly functional (and non-school days, when the stuff all actually has a place to be put away!), which makes everybody a lot happier. I’ve found that everything just goes better when everything has a home - even when too much is taken out and you’ve got a mess on your hands, at least you have a designated home to put everything back in! 

On Monday the boys and I braved the threat of rain to take a short hike and while it was overcast, it turned out to be such a pleasant outing! Mondays we do P.E. outdoors if possible. We either take our run outdoors, or we go on a bike ride or hike, or we play games in the yard. Where we currently live, I enjoy the outdoors so much more from late fall through early spring than I do during the warmer months. It’s not as pretty, but much more pleasant in my opinion! One of my fondest memories is a hike my father took me and my best friend on for my birthday one February -- in the snow. There were gorgeous icicles and sunlight reflecting off the snow. It was just beautiful! I prefer to bundle up a bit over sweating like crazy, and there are exponentially less insects out to bother us when the weather is cold. Plus, there’s no conflict with gardening or other outdoor work. You’ll definitely find me outdoors a lot more this time of year. :)

I made water kefir for the first time this week, and it’s much better than I expected. I’ve been so happy with all the starter cultures we’ve used from Cultures for Health. So far with the water kefir we’ve made Water Kefir Lemonade by adding lemon juice to the finished kefir. The culture makes 2 quarts of kefir per batch (every 24-48 hours), so we plan to expand and try other flavors as well. I think tonight we’ll flavor it with cranberry juice, for a holiday twist.

I got a lot of cleaning done this week. Even though we’re not going anywhere for Christmas, and we’re not having anyone over, I’m trying to clean as if company were coming or as if we were leaving for vacation so that next week I can just relax and do “fun stuff” with the family.

We’re planning some fun school-ish and non-school-ish stuff for the days following Christmas. Bird and I hope to spend some time completing a photography course on I want to “interview” each of the boys (I had wanted to do this annually, but I haven’t followed through). The family plans to watch a DVD apologetics course we bought recently. We’ll probably take at least one hike, play some games, and have at least one campfire (our family activity staples). I also want to hop on to Picaboo and prepare our family yearbooks for 2011 and 2012. (I’m a year behind! Good thing there’s digital scrapbooking - I wouldn’t do it at all if I had to really scrapbook.)

What is everyone else planning to do for fun next week?

1 comment:

  1. Sounds like a lovely week! I love those kind of smooth-sailing days as well. And your study looks lovely! All those books, and they look so organized!

    Merry Christmas!