Sunday, August 29, 2010

Girl of the House~~Homeschooling Plan for 8th Grade

I've noticed that a lot of homeschooling bloggers post their kids' homeschooling plans for the year, so I thought I'd do the same. I'm only homeschooling one since Girl Out of the House graduated last year, though she was pretty much independent the last few years and managed her on-line classes herself for the most part. So here's what Girl of the House will be up to this year:

Ancient History and Literature~~Since Man of the House is a classicist by trade, he is heading this up and, in fact, much has already been accomplished this summer. They started with Hesiod's Theogony followed by a couple Homeric hymns. Then it was off through Homer's Iliad and Odyssey, which they finished a couple weeks ago. Last week they had fun with a few fellow homeschoolers reading through Aeschylus' Oresteia. Three days, three plays. As unlikely as it sounds, they all had a great time and are getting together next week to read Sophocles' Theban plays. After Sophocles they will move to Plutarch's Lives (selections), Plato's Republic, Aristotle's Politics and/or Ethics, Livy's History of Ancient Rome, Virgil's Aeneid, possibly some Ciceronian Speeches against Cataline, Caesar's Gallic Wars, and something by Tacitus still to be determined. They will supplement with the relevant pages of Spielvogel's Western Civilization. We've also been slowly working through Peloponnesian Wars lectures, about half of which is background information and talks a lot about Greek culture and history. Man of the House has been throwing in some writing assignments too. This will count as a credit or two on the high school transcript.

Physical Science~~Girl of the House is taking this through The Potter's School. Her experience with General Science at TPS last year was fabulous, and we are hoping (and expecting!) a repeat this year. The text is from Apologia. Another high school credit.

German I~~Another TPS class and another high school credit. Girl of the House is really looking forward to this one. The text is Deutsch Aktuell and I know nothing about it. I think her desire to take German is related to her World War II craze.

Math~~Math is the bane of Girl of the House's existence. She grins and bears it pretty well, but it is far from her favorite. We discovered Math-U-See a couple years ago. It's the best fit for her that I've found so far, and she tolerates it better than other curricula we've tried. That Boy started tutoring Girl of the House last spring over Skype, and it's provided some much needed motivation. We are rounding the corner on Epsilon and will be moving into Zeta pretty soon-ish.

Writing~~Now we move from the most-dreaded to the most-loved with the One Year Adventure Novel. Girl of the House loves to write and spends hours writing in her spare time. She discovered this curriculum through her fellow writer-friends. It's quite expensive but not as expensive as a TPS class, as she often reminded me before final curriculum decisions were made. And you do get a lot for your money, including books, video lessons, and access to web extras. It also counts as a high school credit. So far I've been impressed!

Grammar~~Building Christian English by Rod and Staff Publishers has been our grammar text of choice for many years now. (We skip the writing exercises.) Using R&S English 8, a very thorough grounding in grammar can be accomplished by the end of 8th grade, leaving time in high school for subjects more fun and interesting. I love that it includes diagramming because a student who can diagram a sentence understands that sentence. We've put an emphasis on grammar for both of our girls, but with Girl of the House's love of writing, we think it's more important than ever.

Spelling~~303 Dumb Spelling Mistakes and What You Can Do about Them by David Downing is the capstone to many years of spelling practice. As the title implies, this book simply consists of a listing of 303 commonly misspelled words with little memory tricks to help the student remember how to spell them. We'll work through the list, noting those that Girl of the House doesn't know and just work on those. It shouldn't take long. When she's finished with this book, she's finished with spelling as a formal study forever! Hurray!

Bible~~Introduction to the Old Testament by Tremper Longman III and Raymond B. Dillard, Introduction to the New Testament by Douglas Moo and D.A. Carson, and Luther's Small Catechism~~These books will give Girl of the House a solid, basic understanding of the Bible. This is another area Man of the House is spearheading, so I'm not sure what all this will entail, but I feel very blessed to have a husband capable of and willing to undertake the spiritual formation of our children. The catechism is an on-going study, and we are also working our way through The Peacemaker by Ken Sande. We consider this book crucial to helping our children understand how to live in a fallen world full of sinners~~including themselves!

I'm hoping there will be time later in the year to add Traditional Logic I by Martin Cothran, but if not this year then next year. There will also be music instruction in the form of children's choir and/or voice lessons and some memory work~~Scripture, catechism questions, poems, selections from Homer and Shakespeare. Oh, and speaking of Shakespeare. . . On days when Girl of the House is feeling poorly (and let's face it, there will be some of those days), we are going to listen to the ArkAngel recording of Henry V and follow along with the Oxford School Shakespeare edition of the play. Then we are going to watch the Kenneth Branagh version on DVD. I've already got the materials on hand and at the ready. If we get through that, we'll pick another play, amass the various media and be ready with it should illness strike again. Girl of the House loves Shakespeare, and I think (and hope!) this will be a relatively painless way to squeeze in a little mind and heart expansion when she's not up to regular schoolwork. Throw in lots of independent reading and that's a lot of larnin'!

So there you have it. It looks like a full year, but I'm pleased with the line-up. Fatten her soul and sharpen her mind~~that's what we're after.

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Even More Summer Reading

Summer is winding down and so is my summer reading, though I won't be starting school (teaching online as well as homeschooling) until after Labor Day. I think I can still squeeze a few more titles in. Here's the most recent line-up:

The Fellowship of the Ring by J.R.R. Tolkien~~A re-read. I'm embarrassed and sorry to say that I did not read The Lord of the Rings trilogy until I was in my 30's . . .ahem . . . mid-30's. For shame. But I think I'm making up for lost time by re-visiting these wonderful stories every few years. Is it okay that I'm listening to them instead of reading them? I love Rob Inglis' narration. My favorite character from the trilogy and maybe from all of literature is Samwise Gamgee. "Frodo wouldn't have gotten very far without his Sam." As heroic as so many of the characters are, I contend that Sam is the real hero of the story. Tolkien's love of the common man shines through in his sympathetic portrayal of the noble Sam. There is much to be learned~~absorbed, really~~through these stories, and like the true classics they are, no matter how many times I return to them, there is more treasure to be found.

Through the Kitchen Window by Susan Hill~~This book, published in 1988, kept appearing on my favorite homemaking blogs, so I bought a copy for myself and I'm glad I did! I knew the minute I saw the cover that I would like it. The illustrations alone are warm and enticing enough to lure me in, but the glimpses of life in England and English recipes to boot . . . ! Well, what can I say? I only wish it were longer. I want to live in this book! I'm sure it is one I will read over and over when I want something fun and cozy. It's what I call a "Sunday afternoon book"~~something comforting to read on quiet, lazy days.

Morning Tide by Neil Gunn~~I had a hard time making myself finish this book. (Maybe that's why my reading list isn't very long this time~~that and all that time I spent quilting!). Neil Gunn certainly has the skill to string words together to write evocative sentences, but I could never find a discernible plot. The book consists of vignettes of life in a Scottish fishing village about, oh, eighty years ago. That alone could make for a good read, but I didn't get the point of the vignettes, either. I was sorry because I really wanted to like this book. Maybe I'm not grown up enough yet to appreciate it.

There are a couple more books I haven't finished yet but expect to soon. I'll tell you about those when I do.

Saturday, August 21, 2010

New Header

Girl of the House created my new header! Isn't it cute? She knows what I like!

ETA: I should have said earlier that the previous photo in the header was taken by Girl Out of the House and is one of my favorites of hers. Credit should go where credit is due! :-)

Thursday, August 19, 2010

My New Quilt and House Tour--Bedroom

I know, I know~~I said I would next show you Man of the House's office, but I wanted to show you my completed quilt and it just made sense to do the rest of the bedroom at the same time. So without further eloquence (The Quiet Man fans get the reference), here it is! Ta-da!!

Here's a close-up so you can see my mistakes. ;-)

Yes, that is Little Red Riding Hood, Puss 'n' Boots, and Jack and the Beanstalk you see. Girl of the House made a quilt with adorable fairy tale fabric, and I loved it so much I used the scraps in my quilt. You're never too old for fairy tales!

I decided to make this quilt because I didn't like the prices I was seeing on all-cotton ready-made quilts. While I did have to buy some materials, I also used up a lot of leftovers from other projects and worn-out clothing, which means it's full of memories. I also didn't want an artsy quilt created with coordinating fabrics and a fancy design; I wanted it to be more like what my grandmothers would have made with what they had on hand. I don't know if I'll ever make another one, but if I do, it will be because someone needs one. I like the fact that my quilt is frugal, practical, and pretty all rolled into one.

I machine quilted it in diagonals. Anna suggested going both ways, but I liked the way it looked with the diagonals going just one way, and besides, it took less time. :-) The pillow cases were embroidered by my mother. The rag doll is pretty bedraggled, and I'm thinking of making a new one and some decorative pillows too.

Here's the view from the doorway.

If you look to your left, you see this:

The jewelry box is a gift from my husband from the early days of our marriage. A co-worker made it. I l-o-v-e these curtains! I nabbed them ten or twelve years ago for $9 apiece from the Walmart clearance aisle. The brush and mirror set on the dresser were a gift from my grandmother when I was a little girl. The blue and white Spode vase came from my mother a couple Christmases ago. The rag doll on top of the bookcase is Anne of Green Gables, also a gift from my mother. The little shelf she's sitting on was made by my father before he died in 1990. The dresser itself as well as the headboard were borrowed from my in-laws 23 years ago! I wonder if they will ever want them back?

Here is it from a different angle and in better light. The books are Man of the House's TBR pile:

I love this little spot!

The lamp was a wedding gift, and you can see my basket of needlework on the floor. I'm working on a cross stitch for my niece who is getting married next month. I've just started it, so I'd better hurry! The books? Let's see . . . from top to bottom . . . The Lutheran Book of Prayer, the Bible, The Psalms of David by James Freemantle (gorgeous illuminated manuscript!), Green Dolphin Street by Elizabeth Goudge, Resounding Truth: Christian Wisdom in the World of Music by Jeremy Begbie, and Literary England: Photos of Places Made Memorable in English Literature by Richard Wilcox, et al. (The remote control is for the A/C. We don't have a television.)

Two more windows with those curtains I love. Oh, and the closet:

I have to tell you about these two pictures:

They are both from my grandparents. The top one was painted by my grandmother when I was a little girl and had a vegetable garden. I believe the frame was made by my grandfather. The bottom is an old Easter postcard decoupaged with some fabric and rick-rack to a piece of wood beveled and finished by my grandfather.

As in all old houses, the closet is teeny-weeny. Man of the House uses it and I use this wardrobe. Before Girl of the House was born, we had a spare bedroom and it lived in there, so we had War Drobe in the land of Spare Oom. ;-)

Looking from the far corner to the doorway. I think that pink blur is Girl of the House's hand as she's running away. LOL The shelf on the wall was also made by my father.

Don't you love seeing what books people have on their bookshelves?

That's it! Like the rest of our house, this room is not very fashionable or trendy, but we are comfortable in it. :-)

Sunday, August 15, 2010

Exciting Day

Earlier this summer, Man of the House was approved as a Rostered Licensed Lay Pastor by the American Association of Lutheran Churches. That means he will (hopefully!) be placed to serve in a church under the supervision of another pastor until he finishes his seminary training, which should take several years. At that point he'll be fully ordained. Last week he filled in for a pastor on vacation. It was his first time to wear the "costume" and perform the divine service (what Lutherans call "worship"). Here's a picture of him in "full uniform":

Did you know there is symbolism in what a pastor wears? The clerical shirt is black to signify the sin of the wearer, but the alb (the long white robe) is white to show that the person's sins have been covered by the righteousness of Christ. The cincture (rope belt) is green to match the color of the current liturgical season, which right now is Pentecost. When Man of the House is fully ordained, he will change his alb for a surplice, which is a different kind of white robe. His pectoral cross is pewter with "May the Lord Bless You and Keep You" inscribed on it.

On another topic~~I finished my quilt and will show it to you very soon!

Edited to make the changes mentioned in the first comment (which I already knew, but my fingers typed the wrong thing anyway! ;-) ).

Sunday, August 8, 2010

Quilting Update

Remember when I said I was going to make a quilt this summer, even though I have never done any such thing before? I figure if Anna and Leila can do it, I can too! So I've neglected this little blog in favor of cutting over 700 fabric squares and piecing them together. Guess what! The top is finished! I took Anna's advice and it really wasn't too hard. I'm a little nervous about the actually quilting and binding, but I can't quit now!

Because I wanted to use what I already had as much as possible, I used fabric leftover from other projects, and I even used a couple of Man of the House's old shirts, but I didn't have nearly enough, so I had to buy some. I did use up quite a few scraps, though. And I didn't worry too much about whether the fabrics matched, and I also didn't worry too much about the order I sewed them together either, so it turned out to be quite a colorful hodge podge.

Here's the top in all its glory:

So what do you think?

Catching Up

Lake Michigan--gorgeous! It really has been two months since I last made a blog post!  This summer has been full of traveling, gardening...

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