Flu, teeth, shadows, and ice cream: Weekly Report

Monday morning began with Caleb getting sick to his stomach twice. I felt a bit let down at the prospect of taking a sick day on only the sixth day of our new school year. I’ll risk being called a slave driver and announce that we ended up doing a full load of schoolwork that day! (self-satisfied grin here) We went slowly, one subject at a time with breaks in-between (starting with his math DVD, the lesson being an easy concept); and to my surprise, we finished. He wanted to eat a full meal for dinner that evening. I limited the fulfillment of those desires though! I am thankful to the Lord for keeping the rest of us healthy this week. Our entire family has already experienced three bouts of stomach flu in the last eight months, so my stomach literally sank when I saw him get sick.

Caleb also lost a tooth on Wednesday. I call it his first lost tooth, though it is his second. Why the juggling of terms? He lost his first tooth when he was three. It shouldn’t have happened so early, and we don’t know why it did. The dentist said not to worry unless we saw when he grew older that no replacement tooth was coming in. Now he is 5½, which I still think is early, but is closer to a more acceptable age for losing a tooth. So I’ll call this his “first” lost tooth. It’s the tooth adjacent to the missing one, so I wonder now if he had a bad bump as a toddler, and connected with some bad teeth genes, lost those two early. I told myself not to worry about the early timing, and instead we celebrated his “growing up” (sniff!) with chocolate chip pancakes and reading Franklin and the Tooth Fairy.

This week Caleb “mastered” two more lessons in math, bringing the total to three. He probably could have completed a fourth as well, but I’m new to a mastery-style math curriculum, and am still feeling my way as a teacher to know how fast to go. I’d rather go slowly, cementing the knowledge.

Caleb began reading and language this week with ABeka. Language is just one side of a worksheet, and so far, has just reviewed phonics in a fun, painless way. We started learning our second poem, a sweet one that makes us both laugh.

We studied the story of Noah for Bible this week, and since it only took three days for me to read through the story, I took Thursday and Friday to ask the boys to narrate the story to me. Colin talked about the animals, but Caleb did fairly well with some prompting. He tends to start a story in the middle, which could be encouraging if I consider that finding the main point! On Thursday I asked what we could learn about God from the story of Noah; on Friday, what can we learn about man from the story of Noah? These are two important questions that my husband shared with me to ask when reading the Old Testament. The boys enjoyed a song about Noah from Wee Sing Bible Songs, and we’re also using the Old Testament song to learn the OT books of the Bible.

We are now studying light (the first day of creation) in science. We experimented simply to show reflection and refraction and traced our shadows in chalk on the sidewalk at different times of the day to show how our shadows will change in accordance with the sun’s (or rather, the earth’s) movements. We related this study on shadows to a description of God in James 1:17—“…the Father of lights, with whom is no variableness, neither shadow of turning.” Isn’t that a neat thought? I am surprised to find myself enjoying these studies in science so much when it’s always been my least favorite subject, in which I feel most inadequate to teach!





And this week we read about the Old Kingdom of Egypt in history, enjoying (and a bit grossed out by) the process of making mummies, and fascinated with the incredible pyramids. We made our own pyramid! We were reminded of the futile, and in this case, untiring attempts man makes to preserve his soul without a true knowledge and acceptance of Christ as the way to eternal life.

Our studies of the arts are progressing—I did manage to do a sort of preliminary lesson for Drawing with Children today and feel quite good about that!! I also did not forget to quiz Caleb on Tsonga every day this week.

Colin finished the letters E and I this week, so we borrowed Incredibles from a friend to watch in celebration and ate ice cream as well!

Callie, unfortunately, is learning, and loves, to wash her hands. This creates a wet mess, usually right after I popped the last load of laundry in the washer. She also plays with the tap outside. (Think dirty, wet mess.) This is a big no-no. And Carson is learning the word “no” as well; he’s delighted with his ability to reach the Christmas tree with the help of his walker.

We also found the time on Thursday to make a special birthday lunch for our neighbor Lawrence, who has met with Seth for evangelistic Bible studies for two years now. When asked by Seth if he wanted to continue Bible studies or quit, he said (as he’s said before) that he cannot follow Christ yet because he can’t quit his sin; but that he will come to Christ eventually, and that the Bible studies have helped him immensely. We would appreciate your prayers for Lawrence.

I’m sorry I can’t have more pictures this week. Ita vita African—even though we have 6 replacement batteries, they’re all so cheap that none work.

Kids "playing school."

Kids “playing school.”


About Amy

I'm Amy, a missionary wife and mother of four children, blogging about our lives and perspectives on culture in South Africa.
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5 Responses to Flu, teeth, shadows, and ice cream: Weekly Report

  1. While I wouldn’t call you a “slave driver” I will comment on mistakes I’ve made in this department and feel bad about when I think back. Parenting would be so much easier if we could turn the clock back for a do-over anytime we realize we’ve made a mistake! I’ve made a lot of mistakes over the years, thinking the school calendar, workload, law, is the most important thing. I’ve had to learn the ahrd way, and at my children’s expense, that there are times when such things simply are not so important. Having said that, in the department of illness I’ve learned to let them be sick. These days I always expect them to do school with the sniffles or mild cough. If they are running a fever, however, they get the day off. Throwing up due to flu or food poisoning (don’t know if ever, but it can mimic flu)? Day off. Of course, it’s up to you, but after 9 years of schooling and five children, I’ve learned not to drive them when they aren’t well. They really need to rest when ill, whether we think so or not, minor colds, sore throats and coughs exempted. The work will always be there for the next “well” day. Thankfully, God has blessed us both with a bounty more of well days than sick days. Enjoying the blog, your family and your mother-in-law!!! :-)-|–K

    • Amy says:

      Thanks, Kelley, I understand what you’re saying, and I was concerned that he get his rest. It was getting difficult after a while to make him rest, and he asked me to watch his math DVD, so knowing it only covered counting to 20, I figured it would be fun for him. An hour later, I gave him his language ‘color by code’ worksheet–that type of thing. All of this on the couch…so Imade some self-disparaging comments, but I actually think he was fine and wanted to do it. 😉 I’m not sure what he had, but he recuperated pretty quicklyand wouldn’t even nap that afternoon. Anyway, in general, you have way more experience than me, and I’m sure you are absolutely right. Thanks for taking the time to write your thoughts. Keep the comments coming! 🙂

  2. Lisa says:

    Your pic reminds me a game my older kids used to play. They would line chairs up and play “train.” Sweet memories! sounds like a great week!

  3. Pingback: Getting Ready… | Ita Vita

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