Thursday, June 4, 2009


Yesterday went well, but not as well as I'd hoped.  We're still making progress, so I'll view yesterday as half-full, rather than half-empty.

I played with Numbers and am tweaking their gradebook template.  I think it'll work.  I'll play with it this summer and hope to have my gradebook settled by the time we start our real school year in August.

We had a great time in English.  We've parsed the first three sentences of Psalm 1.  We've diagrammed the first one and will diagram the next two today.  The three little ones are copying it for handwriting and our pastor will preach on it in two Sundays.  We learned about some cool rhetorical figures - antanaclasis (or a clashing of words) and hyperbaton (changing word order for effect and emphasis).  We're also looking at the difference between the seven basic parts of speech and the different jobs that are done in a sentence by words, phrases, and clauses.

We haven't tackled logic yet this week, and we have more economics to do.  We're about half-way through Hazlitt's Economics in One Lesson, reading it aloud and watching Jeffrey Tucker's interviews with various economists about the book.  When we're done with that, we'll begin watching the Teaching Company's Economics lectures and reading Thomas Sowell's Basic Economics.

We also started working on learning to sing in parts.  We're starting with 'Happy Working Song' from Enchanted and I'm thinking of adding in 'How Will She Know?' from the same movie.  And we've started doing some exercises that I remember from my high school theatre classes.  We may do a readers' theatre or else choose a scene or two from a play and block it as both a play and a film.

It's time to head to the salt mines!

Tuesday, June 2, 2009

New Session

Last week was a Sabbath week, and boy did we need it!

I spent some time messing around with PlanBook and had great hopes for it, but I don't think it's going to work.  I'm tired of writing our all the kids' lessons by hand in their planbooks, so when PB didn't pan out, I began messing around with Numbers and finally got it figured out - thanks to a friend who graciously answered all my stupid questions.  Now to see if I can get my money back for PlanBook - I'm not holding my breath.

I had hoped to audition for a summer play, but that didn't get off the ground.  I also had hoped to teach at least one film class, but I'm not sure if that's going to fly either (I'm still waiting to hear).

So, what to do with my summer?  I decided that I want to teach the kids to sing parts and I want to start doing some theatre exercises with them.  We'll also continue with English, math, logic, economics, and Latin review.

I hoped to get us up earlier so we could finish our academics and have time for extra stuff like sewing, more gardening, and baking.  Didn't work out yesterday - restless night on Sunday caused me to wake up late on Monday.  I didn't give up and we did some of what I had planned.

Today was better.  We started a bit earlier and I got more of my to-do list done.  We dove into Psalm 1 for English (our pastor is preaching on it in a couple of weeks), parsing and diagramming the first sentence.  Also discussed nouns: definition, categories (abstract vs. concrete, proper vs. common), and the many jobs of nouns in sentences.  Will tackle verbs tomorrow.

Began our singing with a lecture on posture, opening our mouths, and abdominal breathing, then warmed up and played around with singing different notes of a chord together.  Found that our 'Happy Working Song' sheet music has parts, so we started there.  Need to call Music Mart and order another song to work on.  Nathan is hoping for Handel's 'Messiah' (yeah, right), but the others are hoping for a song from a Broadway musical.  We'll see what Ross has to offer.

Also went through some stretches and posture and drama exercises - made the kids move across the room as if depressed.  I've got a few more in mind, but I found a book with theatre exercises for kids at B&N which I hope we can pick up tonight.