The last two weeks, we stuffed each week of school into only four days of school, because I took off Monday each week: last week, to go shopping (by myself!) in town–for the first time in two months! I don’t think I’ve ever stayed longer in the village without the slight break of at least getting out for grocery shopping in town. Now that our guest is no longer here, I took advantage of a day to myself without any homeschooling or hostessing responsibilities. This week we spent Monday with my husband, as he has gone away for several days (the longest we’ve ever been apart!), and we wanted to take advantage of our time with him.
We also adjusted Thursday (the day he left) so that we could be with him for some last-minute projects in the morning and an early lunch. Then we learned in the afternoon. The rest of the week we completed all of our schooling responsibilities though, and did manage to fit in our work for the week, except for one day of Colin’s lessons. Colin will finish both his ABeka phonics and math early this year, so I’m thinking ahead on whether to move right into 1st grade phonics or to review and work further in Teach Your Child to Read in 100 Easy Lessons.
Caleb began level 4 in All About Spelling, and we finished a lesson on “cephalopods” in science (octupus, squid, cuttlefish, and nautilus), including one failed science experiment. Actually, I’m surprised whenever a science experiment works correctly for me. If there’s such a thing as a “green thumb” for science experiments, I don’t have it!
In history, we learned about Columbus, Vespucci, Magellan, and the medieval American empires–the Mayans, Aztecs and Incans. I was tired last week, so our history activity was kind of lame: unscramble the explorers and fill in the answers worksheet. If any of you think that’s fun, you don’t know how hard it is for a 2nd grader to spell “Vespucci” or “Magellan,” especially when the letters are all scrambled! Caleb was a bit disappointed. So this week I made up for it by making homemade Aztec hot chocolate, which we drank while working on “Mayan math,” followed up by grinding our own maize meal. Now that was fun!
Caleb completed a major accomplishment: learning all of his multiplication facts! He enjoys math and is motivated to check off the facts on a grid as he learns them. He also wrote another friendly letter this week to his cousin. He drew a grasshopper and a snake skin for nature study this week.
Callie has learned her letters up through “K,” but she retains very little. At this rate, I’m thinking of backing her up a year to start with her little brother, rather than starting her a few months early in kindergarten as I did with Caleb and Colin. But I still have over a year before I need to decide that.
We were struck with the malaise yesterday. After Caleb read to me, we both just slid down on the couch and pretended to doze for several minutes. When I peeked, I noticed that everyone had made his own napping station. It’s rough getting along without daddy! (I’m sure our colds had something to do with sapping our strength as well.)
Seth has gone away to an annual minister’s conference. He wanted to go other years but has never been able to. This year it is in Johannesburg. He will preach at a friend’s church on Sunday (on missions!), and then will attend a week-long course on preaching at a church in Pretoria. The course has gotten great reviews by other friends who have attended, and it’s only $50. 🙂 Ita vita African! When he comes back next week, he’ll be bringing his dad back with him, who will visit us until the end of September. My “homeschool” room should just be called a guest room, I think! We’re excited to introduce our home and life here to a family member.
I’d appreciate your prayers for my safety and sanity without Seth for all of that time! Safety: from thieves or other dangers (we found a snake skin coming out of a large hole right by our outside wall, and I’m nervous that one of the kids will get bitten by a large snake; Seth tried to plug the hole before he left, but there could be an exit hole.) And sanity: to homeschool and care for four young children with meekness without support for several days.