This was the snowiest February in 100 years in Colorado. Our little foothills town looked more like a high country ski town with drifts piled high. We enjoyed plenty of time sledding, building snow angels, shoveling, making ice slides, and just walking and enjoying the winter beauty.
We had a fun Valentine’s Day celebration. We started the day by opening cards and letters from loved ones and enjoying some sweets. At the end of the day we had delicious homemade minestrone, bread and cherry pie.
The kids seemed drawn to the table this month to color and do various handicrafts. I got out all the workbooks, coloring and activity books that I have collected over the years from thrift stores and Bud and Peanut eagerly worked through them. They also found ways to occupy themselves inside digging through the recycle bin and making crafts and homemade games.
Homeschool: Reading and Literature
We are reading Little House on the Prairie in the evenings before bed and the kids love snuggling up and hearing about Pa, Ma, Mary, Laura, and Carrie. We are also reading through Trumpet of the Swan by E. B. White with Bud. This has been a wonderful book incorporating great lessons about family and integrity. Bud has also learned a great deal about trumpeter swans and water fowl by reading this book.
In his spare time, Bud is reading through the first 16 original books in the Boxcar Children series by Gertrude Chandler Warner. He also loves The Childhood of Famous Americans series.
Each day during our Morning Basket time, Bud reads from Busy Times – one of the Pathway Readers. We work on pronunciation and having a loud, clear voice while reading aloud.
Our history read aloud this month was Pocahontas by Ingri and Edgar d’Aulaire. This has been a wonderful introduction to Native Americans, Jamestown, and the early Colonial times. Bud has really improved his narrations. It helps him to look at the detailed illustrations in the book while he narrates. To go along with this study, we are reading Pocahontas and the Strangers by Clyde Robert Bulla. It tells the same story in much deeper detail and with more character development.
Each week we copy a picture from the book, Bud colors it, and narrates while I write in his history notebook. This has been a wonderful companion to our verbal narrations and I think it will be nice for him to have something to go back and look at to help him remember the story. It will also help him to see how his narrations have improved over time.
Bud also made a teepee from a craft book that he found. I loved the animal drawings he drew on the outside of his teepee.
We started RightStart Level B this month. I am still keeping our lessons short (10 minutes or less) which, for Bud, amounts to about 1 page in the book. We also took several days off to play the RightStart card games or we made up our own games.
Science / Nature Study
We finished reading Fatty Coon by Arthur Scott Bailey and began Tommy Fox this month. We all really enjoyed this story and I loved hearing about the fox’s close relationship with his mother. She was very patient in teaching him to hunt and protect himself.
We remained committed to our Friday Nature Study walks this month even with the record setting snow amounts. I wrote more in detail about this in a other posts: Nature Study: Freshwater Algae and Nature Study: Snow and Ice. We also participated in our local nature center’s program about “Winter Homes for Animals”.
Family Studies / Bible
We are reading through the gospel of Matthew during the Lenten season and are really enjoying hearing about the life of Jesus. We usually read about 5-10 verses at a time and I have each child narrate to me “what they heard”. Peanut loves to tell details she remembers. Bud’s narrations have improved so much! He usually starts with a few details about who and where the passage is taking place and then gives details throughout the story. He adds on to what Peanut has said. Often DH or myself, will add additional details. By the end of that progression we have discussed the whole passage. It’s really a neat process.
Along with our normal scripture memory that we do each day, Bud is memorizing Psalm 23. He has been working on speaking loudly and clearly. Peanut and I always applaud him when he is finished. 🙂
We continued our composer study of Chopin this month. The nocturnes are now familiar and I find the kids humming along with the music like a friend.