Tuesday, September 25, 2007

Example Week: Year One Week One

**Just wanted to clarify that we NEVER got started with lessons by 8:00 AM. Eventually, I gave up on even having this as a goal :) Didn't want anyone to think that we actually did that. It seemed like a good idea, but reality set in rather quickly ;)**

This is not the official Ambleside Online reading list. I have taken a good deal of liberty with arranging, rearranging, deleting, and adding. For the AO list, please visit the Ambleside Online homepage.

Our schedule this week will not include all of our subjects. We are using this week to ease back in to a school day routine. All of the readings will include narration. I'd really like to be able to work with Shug some this week with her drawing and I also want to work with watercolors once this week. Shug has also started making her circles clockwise - need to fix that :) Punkin will be learning about seasons and we'll introduce a shortened version of our preschool Apple theme for her. Some of my goals are not directly related to the curriculum, but instead relate more to family life and running the household. Prayer is always good :) Here are our hopes for the coming week:

Do 20 mins. of chores after breakfast each day

Begin Lessons at 8:00am each day


Before we even got going this morning, SweetP asked, "Mama, what's 'the fall of Rome'?" Checked my facts in an encyclopedia and we discussed it for a few minutes (Yay for books in the house - I wouldn't have come up with Germanic Barbarians on my own, lol.)

Began lessons at around 9:15am - we'll try again for 8 tomorrow ;)

We did 20 minutes of morning chores after breakfast*


I made my bed

Among the Forest People - Chapt. 1* (love it!!)

Livingstone - Chapt. 1* (lion attack, intense, SweetP only. Looked at Africa on the globe. Found the Atlantic Ocean, Indian Ocean, Equator, and Victoria Falls)

Poetry* (favorite was "Somewhere" by Walter de la Mare)

A.A. Milne (kindergarten)* ("We Are Introduced to Winnie-the-Pooh and Some Bees, and the Stories Begin" - somehow Pooh just feels restful. I like that.)

5 books for Punkin* (6 if you count the one SweetP read to her)

Work on counterclockwise circles w/ Shug* (also "o", "a" on the dry erase board)

An Island Story - Chapt. 1 (Sam in P.M.)* (with 2 oldest girls - Hubby even listened to a narration from SweetP)

Well, we got everything on the list read and narrated today, but not without a few eventful moments. The actual "school" part went fine, but everything was against us getting outside today. LOL, more later... ;) Thanks for your prayers and encouragement! We're feeling a bit better, btw. Little Dude is still the worst off - gunky nose, poor guy.


Began lessons around 9:00am - a little improvement, *sigh*. We were ready at 8:30, but baby peed on himself.

Girls did 20 minutes of chores after breakfast, but I bathed Dude & fed him, washed his sheets- did chores later


Aesop: Hercules and the Wagoner* (discussed why the moral isn't truthful. A better choice might be "Do thine own part faithfully." from the hymn 'If Thou But Suffer God to Guide Thee' - old PCA days, lol)

I dusted and vacuumed the living room after Aesop/ older girls played in family room/ Punkin helped me dust

Just So Stories: Whale* (Vocab "astute", "infinite", "sagacity"- Shug got SO excited when it mentioned Albion)

I put new sheets on Dude's mattress before his nap, then I broke the crib - literally. *sigh, again*

Poetry* (favorite was "The Secret Cavern" by Margaret Widdemer)

D'Aulaire's George Washington: 2 pgs.* (discussed slavery a bit)

Work on counterclockwise circles w/ Shug* (also "o", "a", and "d" on the dry erase board)

5 books for Punkin*

50 Famous Stories - Sword of Damocles* (Sam in P.M.) (Sam wrote out "Dionysius" and "Damocles" on the dry erase board beforehand. SweetP had a hard time narrating this one. Sam more or less discussed it with them afterward. Concepts a bit abstract, it seems.)

I feel like I ran a marathon and I never did get around to making my bed today. Little Dude still not shaking this cold :( Joy asked me today if Aunt Sissy was coming soon. Hopefully, we'll see her at the end of the week :)


Began lessons by 9:15am. I chose to let the children sleep in a bit because I wanted to have breakfast alone with Sam. He left for NYC today. I also chose to hold off on most of our lessons until the 2 youngest were down for nap. Not sure yet if that was a good idea or not.

We did not do chores right after breakfast. Instead, because there was a lull in the rain, we went for a nature walk around the neighborhood. Incorporated map study by drawing a little map of the corner and a dozen or so trees that are there.

We did chores after our (rather lengthy) walk*


Parables From Nature - Faith*

Little House in the Big Woods - half of Chapt. 1 (Joy's first time!)*

Poetry (didn't get to this today)

D'Aulaire's George Washington: 2 pgs.*

A.A. Milne (kindergarten): ("Pooh Goes Visiting and Gets Into a Tight Place")*

5 books for Punkin*

Drawing with Shug (Draw-Write-Now Book 1)*

Also, older 2 girls played the card game "War" together in the afternoon (greater than, less than)*

Added in copywork (Shug copied o,a,d,g again and SweetP copied "Praise the LORD!"*

Began memorizing Psalm 150*

Folksongs and dancing/exercise in family room for about 20 minutes ("Turkey in the Straw" is a fave)

I made a big mistake today with SweetP's narration of Parables of Nature. She has been narrating so fluidly and with such great detail that I thought she might be able to narrate once at the end of the reading. I turned out to be entirely too much for her to narrate in one fell swoop, and she became flustered and overwhelmed. Poor thing. It was foolish of me, really. I know I'm not *supposed* to read twice, but I felt that I had to give her another chance since the mistake had been my own. I'm also not *supposed* to ask a beginning narrator to narrate an entire reading at once. I'm also not *supposed* to do lessons in the afternoon. That whole lesson was a big CM failure.

On the bright side, though, I did get a chance to explain again why we even do narrations at all. I emphasized how narrations help SweetP fix the story in her mind and are really part of the learning process - not just a test of what she remembers. I wanted to ease any sense of pressure she may have been feeling. Testing, as such, is a nasty process - I saw a glimpse today of how a test-oriented misunderstanding of narration could take the focus off of the material and onto the "performance". Lord willing, we dealt sufficiently with the issue this afternoon. Her next narration (of the D'Aulaire book) was lively and detailed again. Phew. Thank you, Lord, for covering over my mistakes.


This is a light day. Yay. I hope to add in some recitation, copywork, and something for our nature notebooks. Collected leaves yesterday, so we may try to identify those trees and press the leaves. Sissy is visiting, too, so it's nice that we don't have a full school schedule going. She'll probably read all of the books to Punkin ;)

Began schoolwork by 9:00am - maybe I should just give in :[

Did 20 minutes of chores after breakfast*

*Heather did come today and she read 3 books to Punkin. I love my sister. Also, my mom came down last night so I'd have another adult in the house with us. I love my Mom, too. See you tomorrow night, Mom!*

Bible* (John 9, helped illustrate concept of "faith", clarifying Parables of Nature a bit)

Poetry* (favorite was "Rathers" by Mary Austin - Shug just helped me remember the poet, lol)

D'Auliare's George Washington: 2 pgs.* (did 3 pages instead, really took time to enjoy the illustrations today)

5 books for Punkin*

Drawing with Shug (Draw-Write-Now Book 1)*

Read through Psalm 150:1,2 several times for memorization*

Copywork* (Shug worked on o,a,d and SweetP wrote "Praise the LORD in his sanctuary;")


Had "Aunt Sissy Time" instead of doing nature notebooks

Good, good day today. I think I'm starting to get a feel for what to do in the morning and what to save for the afternoon. Also, if we're going to do some work during naptime, I have to get the youngest two down by 1:15pm or so. Much later than that and the older two are too toasted to give much attention by the end of lessons. Good day today. We're getting there... I'm looking forward to tomorrow.


Finally! Today felt right :) *relieved sigh* Amanda asked me earlier this week, "Isn't this fun?!" and my honest reaction was, "No. It's exhausting." Today, though, we found a groove. Of course, now we have to add more into the picture for the beginning of next week, but at least we ended this week without Mama wondering if she'd completely lost her mind :)

We began "lessons" today at 9:45 am - and in a prairie. The morning was so beautiful, I decided to head for the great outdoors before we did anything else. We were moderately successful animal trackers - we located the tracks of one mature deer with a fawn. We were able to follow their walk for about 30 feet along the muddy trail. SweetP noted how they stayed to one side of the path and Shug found several spots that looked like deer had bedded there. Goldenrod, asters, and prairie coreopsis were everywhere - beautiful. We stayed at the arboretum for about 2 and 1/2 hours. Had lunch from Tim Hortons on the way home (I mentioned that just for P Steve).

All of our lessons were during naptime. SweetP and Shug did fine with that today and didn't seem too tired. We did not do any copywork. Honestly, the days that we did copywork this week were a "bonus"; I hadn't planned on officially beginning handwriting until next week. Mom is coming over again this evening to spend the night with us. Considering that Little Dude was up no less than four times last night (teething?), I'm very glad to have her with us :) I'm always glad for her visits, but this one is especially appreciated. Sam comes home late tomorrow afternoon. Yay.

Bible* (Exodus 25:1-8 describing the offerings for the building of the tabernacle - God's earthly sanctuary)

Recitiation* (Read aloud through Psalm 150:1,2 together twice. Talked about "Praise God in his sanctuary")

Paddle to the Sea - Chapt. 1* (We cheated. This was the very beginning of the book and the first chapter was ONE page long. I read the first three chapters (three pages total) just to get into the story a bit. The girls really, really enjoyed this book. SweetP narrated chapters 2 and 3. I'll try just reading one page next time, but I felt like it was worth it to get "into" the story a bit here at the beginning. Believe me, they are highly anticipating following along with Paddle on his adventures!)

Poetry* (Favorite was "For a Child" by Fannie Stearns Davis. Shug is really getting into the poems. She actually asked to take our poetry book up with her for rest time yesterday.)

A.A. Milne (kindergarten): ("Pooh and Piglet Go Hunting and Nearly Catch a Woozle". Punkin asked me if we were going to read about "catching the weasel". I told her we were and then she said that she didn't like that one. "My sisters like that one, but I don't like that one. May we please read a different one". Sure, honey ;) Woosels apparently unnerve more than just Pooh Bear.

5 books for Punkin (we'll reach this point by tonight)

Watercolors* (Used tubed colors for the first time. Played around with adding more water and changed the shades of green from dark to light. Worked on brushdrawing ovals (tip from a Parent's Review article). Then, SweetP and I brushdrew (sounds funny) one of the leaves from our Wednesday nature walk. We'll add it to her nature notebook when it dries. We always take longer w/ watercolors than I mean to. It was a profitable lesson, though.

Animal Tracking :)* (SweetP also studied the introduction to our tracking field guide. She drew a picture of a white-tailed deer and assigned herself copywork. She was writing common tracking terms down when I came downstairs from laying the baby down. She's a crack up.)

Praise the Lord that our first week is under our belts! Part of me wishes everyone could be in kindergarten forever, but I think I'm just adjusting to the change. It will probably take a full three weeks to start hitting the groove on a regular basis. Thank you for your prayers, everyone!