Monday, November 10, 2014

New Library Books, New Math

We just went to the library for the first time in weeks. Last year the library was part of our regular weekly rotation, with a visit tucked in between a riding lesson and gymnastics. This year we don't have such a convenient time slot and our longer school days and busier evenings mean that we often go two or three weeks between library trips. It's okay though. Grace reads longer books and has been using her allowance money more and more to buy her own books. She also trades books with friends frequently. Christopher likes to take his time reading long fiction books and has been borrowing a lot of books from Grace. James really prefers nonfiction and has read most everything from there that he wants to. I keep meaning to teach him how to request inter-library loan books. And Rose always enjoys a good library trip, but we have so many books at home for her that she certainly isn't lacking when we don't go.

 I like to look for books for myself once a month or so. It takes me awhile to get through a fiction book, so I don't get very many of those. I am still reading the massive Under the Dome, so I didn't need a new novel. Instead, I picked up a stack of nonfiction books that looked interesting.

In my haul:

Quiet Mind 
The Nature Principle
Homegrown and Homemade
Real Simple's 869 New Uses for Old Things
Christmas Crafting in No Time

There is just something calming about having a new stack of library books sitting on an end table, don't you think? And for free! That always amazes me.

In homeschool news lately.... Rose has made the switch to Math Mammoth 1. She had been doing Rightstart Level B. I spend a good amount of time getting this program all set up over the summer so that it would be more open and go and user-friendly. At first she loved it, but the past few weeks it has been a struggle to get her to do it. Her main complaint?

It takes too long.

I think so, too. I was not entirely disappointed that this didn't work out. I am not sure why I thought this program could work with a fourth child. It is very, very teacher intensive. Rose is also not such a big fan of all the bit and bobs... the place value cards and cut-outs and such. It all just gets in the way of what she really wants to be doing - practicing her bridge kickovers and handstands.

So we have switched to Math Mammoth, which is much easier on us both. I will not say she loves this program either, but it is quicker to do each day and there is the bribe of playing one of the recommended games at the end of the lesson. She does love that. I purchased the Grade 1 Complete Curriculum and each chapter includes links to online games. Lately,  she has been playing games to help her practice her addition facts up to 10.

 Around the yard, things were looking pretty sad. Each fall we have a huge mess of leaves to contend with. We have lots and lots of trees, and they are lovely. Until they drop their leaves en masse. We usually put off the major cleanup until November when most of the leaves are down and then do one afternoon of raking, mowing, and leaf-blowing to get the yard back to mostly presentable. That happened this weekend, so things are looking better out there, except for the pumpkins which look sadder each day. They look way worse than this since the dog discovered they were edible.

We have one tree still hanging onto  foliage -  the Japanese Maple is always the last to go. I am glad, because it looks so pretty out the back window. Once the leaves are down, I think it may be time to hang our bird feeder up again.

We will have a short week this week, we'll be taking Veteran's Day off to relax a little and maybe finish the yard cleanup, as if it ever can be done. I also really, really need to plant garlic, so I am thinking that may happen that day too. I also need to figure out a science plan for Christopher, he is finishing up Sonlight's Core F with Core E Science. I am thinking we will go with Bookshark's Grade 5 science because they should have the next level out by spring and we could do that next year, if it looks good.

Happy Monday!

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