Wednesday, January 17, 2007

Weather Reports and School Reports

There is no snow or ice to report here, but the temperatures have dropped significantly. We lit our first fire of the season and kept the boys up late to sit and stare at it, snuggle, and sing winter songs.


We have been focusing our attentions on studies these last few days and this cold weather arrives at just the right moment to encourage us to stay indoors with pencils and books and paint. We've had a few bumps and starts, but I am happy to report that things really are going well on the whole. Here are a few of the ups and downs (I'll give you the bad news first)...

Lows:

1. When Alex forgot how to read words with short vowel sounds because he learned about long vowel sounds.

2. When I discovered that all the neat tricks Simeon was using to get the answers right on his math work were also ensuring that he was never actually practicing the math facts he needs to learn.

3. When I walked past a mirror today and the definition of "dowdy" stared back at me in horror. Oh well, we're not going anywhere, right?

Highs

1. Listening to The Marriage of Figaro yesterday afternoon and painting with the four oldest boys. Most people who hear I have five boys probably don't imagine that we listen to opera and paint together, but we do! It's certainly not all we do, but we do! I love homeschooling!

2. Sipping "Sweet Apple" tea with Simeon yesterday evening while reading all about that fateful Golden Apple that began the Trojan War. Simeon decided that, were he Paris, he would have chosen all three goddesses as "The Most Beautiful" and divided the apple into thirds. (He has a lot to learn about women and vanity and greed--Thank goodness!)

3. Today, when I asked Simeon to fill in this blank map of the United States, I did not ask him to illustrate it, but there you go...


He offered me some funny stories and facts about some of these illustrations. I would share them with you, but my husband just rented the new (as in 2007) series of the television hit "24." We are pathetic addicts even though we don't have television. He is standing outside the door beckoning me out...

"Chu-Ching...Chu-Ching...Chu-Ching.." Guess that means I don't have much time.

10 comments:

Michelle Halpin said...

Oh, my gosh! ANOTHER 24 addict!! WE have one at our house, too...he's 33rd and has a flat screen TV to watch it on. It's pitiful. (grin) ;) I just don't get it...that show stresses me out! LOL!

M

Jamie said...

We are addicts too, the way you are, we just finished last season last week, my husband now wants to watch it on tv with the current episode, we did Sunday and Monday! I just don't like being tied to a tv show, I like to go to the bathroom and pause it and I like no commercials--now I feel like I need to cancel everything that goes on on Mondays now!! It is a stressful show, but Jack is great!

Jane Ramsey said...

Suzanne,
First of all, thanks for linking to my blog. That's the first time I've been linked to and I'm very excited!
Secondly, when you get the chance, I'd love to know what the picture is that Simeon drew on Florida. I would guess it's an orange but I can't quite tell.
Third, your fireplace is beautiful. There's not much need for a fireplace around here, and I do miss cozying up to one on cold winter nights. I'll just enjoy it vicariously with you.
Jane

Jane Ramsey said...

I should say I am honored, as well as excited!

Suzanne Temple said...

Oh sure, jane, it's my pleasure to link to you. Secondly, Simeon drew an orange in Florida. He also drew a shark just off the Eastern coast. On the Western coast he drew a crocodile, "though they don't live in the ocean in Florida. That's in Australia." he is correcting himself now. Thirdly, We love our woodstove, too! It is so wonderful on cold winter nights. You are welcome anytime to come and sit by it. I'll put some tea on.

Margaret in Minnesota said...

Sipping sweet apple tea while studying Greek sounds just delightful.

Which flavor do you recommend for American History? :)

Ladybug Mommy Maria said...

Suzanne!

Did you get dear Simeon's map online!

My oldest daughter is a map aficionado and I'd love to do this with her!

Thanks, Mama!

Your evening sounds magnificent, btw, and what special memories for your dear boys!

Simeon is quite the diplomat in regards to dividing the apple into thirds!

I just enlarged the map and see it says scholastic news....hmmmmm

God Bless!

Suzanne Temple said...

MinM, Simeon thinks strawberry tea would go very well with American History.

lmm, this particular map came from a neighbor who is third grade teacher and is always giving us materials that the school was just going to throw away. But there are many online. Here's just one example...
http://www.internationalgiftitems.com/state_magnets_usa_map.htm

Anonymous said...

Hi! I was wondering if you can recommend some in expensive art supplies. It sounds like you enjoy painting with the boys and would also like to introduce my children (5-all under 6)to some. We absolutely love to do arts and crafts but I have to admit that the thought of painting gets me nervous even though I am sure the kids would love to do it.
And ideas???? thanks!
GOd bless.

Suzanne Temple said...

Anon, I highly recommend watercolors. Both in the pencil and tube form. They are very washable, inexpensive, and offer a great variety of color blending possibilities. This is the perfect paint for under fives. Just be sure to use the proper watercolor paper so that there is no tearing!