Thursday, September 29, 2011

R.H. Series, Day 5

The sun is shining right now, but Beezy's soccer coach called to cancel practice this evening due to a big storm that is supposed to be coming. I guess I can just put my plants out to be watered! I am feeling very tired today, and I still have to teach my dance classes this evening. Maybe Bee and I can rest awhile and watch Tom and Jerry cartoons on video. I think the busy week, beginning with the death of Mittens, is catching up to me, so tomorrow we will take it easy, just do a little school before we go to the library. We have a weekly play date there on Fridays with some homeschooling friends. The truck comes in on Fridays with deliveries from other libraries in the system, so we go and pick up items we have ordered and visit with our friends.

Many of the materials we use for homeschooling come from the library, and it is free! Right now we are doing a unit study on ancient Egypt. Charlotte Mason believed in using living books rather than dry textbooks. Living books include classic literature and those written by a person who is passionate about his or her field, and that are preferably written in story form. We read three picture books recently that were excellent and depicted elements of life in ancient Egypt in this way. Temple Cat is told from the perspective of a cat who is worshiped in the temple, as cats were in those days, and how it just wanted to be a regular cat. The Egyptian Cinderella is based on the true story of a Greek slave girl who married an Egyptian pharaoh. And Seeker of Knowledge is the biography of Jean-Francois Champollion, who deciphered Egyptian hieroglyphs.

I found the titles of all these books from a Google list and ordered them from the library! Most of the books I find on such lists have been available through our library system. I got the idea to do this unit from the chapters on ancient Egypt in A Child's History of the World, which we bought used on Ebay. Using books from the library is obviously a much more sustainable practice than buying them new, and it really is not all that time consuming. Also, homeschooling parents qualify for a teacher card, which has the benefits of extended check out times and no late fees!

There were a couple of math workbook activities I had planned to do with Beezy today dealing with money, but on closer inspection, she will need some lessons to prepare her for them first. While the Charlotte Mason method does not use textbooks or workbooks, or at least uses them very sparingly, I have found the BrainQuest series to be very useful in putting things to be learned in a logical progression, so I will simply go back in the workbook and work up to the money section.

Today we did some phonics pages out of the BrainQuest book in which Beezy colored the pictures of words with particular short vowel sounds in them. She extended the activity by pulling color groups out of her box of 64 crayons. She would find all of the shades of blue, green, purple, and orange and was interested to know the names of each shade. So there we had an informal study of color and vocabulary!

I am progressing well with the laundry, but as far as the project of working on one room at a time goes, well, I think my house is actually messier than it was at the beginning of the week! So I am off to do the dishes that can't go in the dishwasher and throw in a load of laundry. One thing at a time, one day at a time, and easy does it!

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