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Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Pumpkin Farm time is arriving soon!
Schooling Update:

We are nearing the end of the first quarter of school! It has been such a great experience this time, I think because I have become more comfortable with the Tapestry of Grace curriculum. I really learn more about teaching every day, through the Teacher's Notes, and the Yahoo forums. Tapestry is probably one of the more overwhelming curriculum choices to begin, but once you get your bearings, it is so natural to teach. Here is a little summary of what we have been working on.


She has been working on the most gorgeous lapbook. A lapbook is essentially four file folders glued together, and filled with all kinds of mini books and graphic organizers to help her record all she learns. I am so excited to see the finished product next week. Rebecca is really detail oriented and artsy, so she just loves it. Luke would rather stick needles in his eyes than do this type of project! It was very easy to do, as it all the little books came on a CD. We printed them out on parchment, so they look "medieval". It is just another great product from Tapestry of Grace!

She is also working on a report about her ancestor, Marco Polo. My maiden name is Depolo, which means "of Polo". My great-grandfather migrated from Kortula, the small island on the Adriatic, where Marco Polo was born. My grandparents were even able to visit the Polo home and were given a warm welcome as family. It has been extra exciting for the kids to study someone they can claim relation to. This is Rebecca's first long "sixth grade" report, but she has overcome her initial fear and trepidation and is working away!

All our basics (math, english, etc.) are going well and are on target. We are using some new curriculum there, so it will be interesting to see how we test this year.

Luke: I have spend this first nine weeks with Luke getting him really disciplined about his basics. He is working on Horizons phonics, Math, Penmanship, and Spelling. He has been reading Robinson Caruso (children's version) this year and recently noticed that he's read over 150 pages of his 300 page book. This would have seemed impossible at the beginning of the year, and it's cool to see him see that "drop by drop, the bucket is full". Luke is starting to branch out a little and want to do some of the stuff his sister is doing. He actually made a mythical map the other day, which in Autism Land is huge, because anything involving the imagination is really difficult and usually met with much grumbling and complaining. He is even considering wearing a costume for our Medieval Celebration in a few weeks. He wants to be Sir Cumference from this book http://http//www.amazon.com/Sir-Cumference-First-Round-Table/dp/1570911606/ref=pd_bbs_sr_1?ie=UTF8&s=books&qid=1224672747&sr=8-1

- a math adventure he really loves.

Sam: Poor Sam. He's always been the easy, self-sufficient child. He plays easily through the day, gets his own food, plays with the cats, and generally has such a great disposition and attitude that I don't need to give him much direction, time wise. Well, kindergarten has been a rude awakening for him. He says school is "just sitting at a stupid desk" through his tears. I had to laugh when I thought of what he'd think of real school. It has taken quite a bit of doing to find his motivator. This week he is working toward obtaining a small Star Wars Lego set. If all goes well, he will earn it by Friday, in time for Clone Wars! He especially enjoyed showing his reading skills off to his daddy last night, so hopefully we have turned a corner! I attribute my better week to the wonderful women in my homeschool group that have been praying for Sam and myself! Thank you!

Lilly: She is having so much fun discovering Rebecca's old toys that I have saved. She loves the dress up clothes, barbies, and dollhouse. I am so thankful that SOMEONE is playing with the dollhouse. I bought it for Rebecca, well, actually myself, and out of four kids, Lilly is the first to show any interest, and creates elaborate stories for the family that lives in it. Yesterday the dollies all went to the zoo in Grandma's car, for example. She likes to do her "school" which consists of Walgreens preschool books that she just circles random objects in. We are using some Horizons preschool with her, but frankly, I've spent so much time working on Samuel that Lilly has not got her full dose of school. Thankfully, she's only two, so that's okay!

We are going on a field trip this week to Burt's Farm....we go every year, and everyone is very excited! This year we are going with our homeschool group of about 40! We will pick pumpkins and take a tour, and finish up with a hayride. Then we will go hike up to Amicolola Falls. We are going to make Halloween cupcakes today, and the kids are looking forward to sharing them with their friends at the pumpkin patch!


Michelle said...

Thanks for sharing what you're doing with Tapestry of Grace. We're also studying Year 2 this year, and we're about to study Marco Polo too. I'll have to come check your blog often. Hopefully we'll begin to post some pictures of our own studies ourselves. We're in Alabama, btw. I figure you're probably in the south too with the "kudzu" reference.

Anonymous said...

I just started using TOG this year and have been too self conscious to post yet. I so enjoyed reading your Marco Polo recipes. I was touched by your comment about Sam..."Well, kindergarten has been a rude awakening for him. He says school is "just sitting at a stupid desk"..." I have the same child in female form. With all the *wonderfulness* of TOG I can't seem to get her willingly involved. Time...time...time... but it was nice to know I'm not alone! Our "reward" this week is to take Rachel on an airplane ride. She's been dying to do it and a man from our church stood up last week and said he was offering short free flights from a local airport for anyone who had never flown! Talk about a gift from heaven! I'm praying that both she and Sam have a good end of the week and he will be at a Clone Wars celebration and we will be flying over VA!

Also, I purchased my TOG second hand (with a few items missing) and never could understand the whole "lapbook" activity or discussion. Thanks for the simple straightforward explanation.

In the hope we share,