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18 January 2018

This Week: Miss Kitty Turns Five

A peek into what we did this week in our classical LDS homeschool.

All year, we've been telling Miss Kitty how long it is to her birthday. She asks frequently:

"How long till my birthday?"
"It's a long time; about 9 months. Which means that it's about 36 Sundays."

I don't think she counts to 36 yet, but that seems more meaningful to her than the number of months.

"Is my birthday almost here?"
"No, it's still a long time. It's summer, and then fall will come, and we'll have Halloween, and Thanksgiving, and Christmas, and the New Year will come, and THEN it will be your birthday. It's around 24 Sundays."

"My birthday is far away, isn't it? How many Sundays to my birthday?"
"Still a whole bunch. First Daddy has his birthday, then Hero, then Jesus, then you. That's about 20 Sundays."

Sometime after Halloween, the number of Sundays got low enough that it started to be close enough to be numbers that are meaningful to her. This was pretty exciting. And then something even more exciting happened just this last Sunday night at bedtime:

"I only have ONE SUNDAY LEFT until my birthday comes!"
"Well.... actually, today was that last Sunday. There are no more Sundays before your birthday: your birthday is on Friday. That's only five Sleeps away!"
"No more Sundays? Only five Sleeps??"

Oh yes, this was an excited girl. And that's the biggest news of the week: Miss Kitty is turning five at the end of the week. And she's making Big Plans: she's having friends over to make crowns (made out of paper, with stickers) and play in a fort (a really big fort), and eat a cake (because we usually eat cake on birthdays) with ice cream.

But, even with all that excitement, we still did some ordinary things. Turns out, the Birthday Girl loves school so much that she thanks God for it in her prayers. That makes me smile, more than a little bit. She has been known to cry if she doesn't get to participate in school, so her "preschool" is more intense than it would otherwise have been, if it wasn't so important to her: I'm certainly not going to tell her, "No, you can't learn with us," particularly not when it matters so deeply to her to be included in the learning. I am in the business of feeding hungry minds, even if the mind is "too little" by the standards of the "better late than early" crowd.


Classical Charlotte Mason homeschooling
Photo courtesy FreeImages.
Last Saturday, we got up at the crack of dawn and went out in the frigid weather to watch Bald Eagles with a group that does a local recurring citizen science project. It was pretty cool, both literally: it was -2F with a -20F windchill when we left home, and figuratively. The kids were super excited. We saw several eagles, including some adults and some juveniles. We'll probably go back and try it again next month. By summer, sunrise will be painfully early, but this month it was right at 7am, which is not so bad, and next month we should have warmed up some, and only be slightly earlier.

Classical Charlotte Mason homeschooling
Both the boys and I did a nature journal entry on Cow Parsnip, which gives a rash similar to Poison Ivy. Hero needs to learn local poisonous plants for scouts. He'd previously done Poison Ivy, and I was thinking that I'd have him do Poison Oak next, but it turns out that there's not much of that in our State at all, so I've got a list that I found that was done by the Extension Office, and we're working through that. Three of the five plants (Cow Parsnip, Wood Parsnip, and Wood Nettle) I'd never really heard of, so this will be great. Plus, Cow Parsnip is one of the plants that I'd wanted to learn for the HerbMentor Know Your Plants course that I'm fooling around with. It's from the same family as Queen Anne's Lace, which is super common around here. I'm loving learning the plants by families: the course uses Botany in a Day, and if I ever manage to get through it (it's self-paced, which is a blessing and a curse), then I'll know tons more when we go outside and see plants.

We also looked at a piece of strawberry leaf through our microscope, but I forgot to take pictures. That was really interesting: I love seeing the tiny parts and pieces of the plants. I find plants fascinating at any level.

We're following the hymn rotation from By Study and Faith, and we finally started January's hymn, On This Day of Joy and Gladness -- such a pick-me-up for January's dim, chilly weather!

We had some snow. Always a joy. The kids shoveled the sidewalks. And the lawn. No small amount of the white stuff got thrown at each other... and the window where I was standing and watching from! It was especially nice to see the dreary January grass recovered after the thaw last week. Plus, if it's snowing, it's not that cold. And that's always nice, too.

Classical Charlotte Mason homeschooling

One of the cooler developments this week is that I figured out how to go about using the flashcards for our Latin program much more effectively: I set them up the same way that our scripture box is, so that we aren't trying to do all the cards every day. Which isn't an effective way to do flashcards... we don't do them. And so we aren't actually learning the vocabulary. But the new system is working much better: it's quick and efficient. We really focus on only a few words at a time, and we're getting the hang of how to learn this challenging language. We're still only on lesson 5 after six months; this should allow us to make better progress. I like that. Progress is important.

Classical Charlotte Mason homeschooling

We also made good progress working on hiragana this week, using post-it notes. They are easy to mix up to make words, to drill the letters we've learned to far, and to practice putting in order. I think that this method is going to be more successful than things we've tried in the past, which is exciting: it's about time that the kids started toward literacy in this language, too! We're making clear progress in speaking (slow progress, but clear nonetheless), and I'm looking forward to helping the kids break into some of the picture books we've got.

Classical Charlotte Mason homeschooling

Also, in this week, there were books. Always the books. What a wonderful gift that God gave us, when He gave us writing.

Classical Charlotte Mason homeschooling


misskate said...

What a fun week! Yay birthdays and all the other fun things :)

Cross Rhodes said...

Bless little Miss Kitty's heart. She was so excited about her birthday. Happy belated birthday sweetie. Sounds like you all had a fun week of learning :)


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