I hope you all had a great Thanksgiving week last week. Our was . . . pretty uneven. The good news? My whole family was available to come and visit with us for nearly the whole week. It was so great to see everyone. We played lots of Speed, Speed Skip-bo, Uno, and other games. I also experimented with using almond milk and coconut oil in place of the butter and milk I usually use because my dad does not tolerate milk products.
The bad news? Everyone, except my dad, got sick with some sort of flu. It was really short-lived, thankfully, so you would think it was food poisoning, except we couldn't pinpoint one thing in particular that we had all eaten and we didn't all get sick on the same day. It kind of traveled through the family.
On the whole, I very much enjoyed Thanksgiving and being with my family. I was thankful to see them, thankful they got home safely, and thankful for the activities we shared.
Now on to today. Oh, my goodness. What a day! The kids had so much energy, the science experiment did not work at all, the twins have a cold, and our art/history project messed up our table. It was a lot of hecticness. Yeah, I know that's not a word. I'm thinking I need to see if I can readjust our schedule or find some way to occupy the children that are not doing school. I should hop over to Large Families on Purpose and explore her blog again.
Religion - We started an Advent calendar from Making Christmas Count. I printed it off, but somehow reversed my pages so the cards didn't line up right. If I use it next year, which is quite possible, I will try to print it off again. I don't get some of the symbols on the backs of the cards, but they look nice. I will do some of the activities, but some of them we will skip this year. I really like the scriptures that are on the cards and the discussions they can start. We'll do this Advent calendar through the month and then pick up our Church history in January.
Math - Chicklette and Racer did their Xtramath and then went on to their workbooks. Turtle and I did manage to get his reading lesson done amidst the general hubbub. Chicklette did fine on reading the kilogram scale. Racer had issues with figuring out the area of rectangles with cutouts. Maybe this Friday I'll find a worksheet that just drills area of rectangles to make sure that he has learned it completely.
Physics - Oh, what an experiment. The directions in Gizmos and Gadgets for the Up and Down Dino were not very clear. I found one blog, Almost Unschoolers, that showed a couple pictures of how they did the activity but it still wasn't clear to me. I fiddled with the thing for about an hour while the kids were running wild and finally gave up. Of course, DH comes home, glances at the instructions and says, "Oh, yeah. It's just a pivot point and you just need to adjust it here and here and it works." Anyways, here's a couple pictures of how it turned out. The straw ended up working much better than those fiddly beads and yarn or string. I also had to make sure I left enough room to allow the weight to swing and drag the head up and down.
Latin - We watched our Latin video. I had to stop and rewind it because the kids were getting distracted during the lesson. During the lesson, I was able to put all the babies in bed as well as Sunshine. This gave us a bit of peace and breathing space for our history lesson.
History - We skipped Road Trip USA today in order to get caught up a little on our Pioneer Sampler book. We read about making cheese, peddlers and tinkers, making cloth and shearing sheep. We tried to spin some fiber-fill, the stuffing for pillows and stuffed animals, into yarn. Polyester is a little more slippery than wool so it didn't work really well, but it was fun. We also punched designs by hammering nails into aluminum pie plates like they did with tin wear. That's how we messed up our table. Apparently one cardboard box doubled over on itself does not really protect your table. Word of warning! Next time we will do it outside on top of wood. We will need to readjust our schedule in Homeschool Tracker for our history so we can have a reasonable amount of history work to do per day.
Language arts - Chicklette's Writing With Ease was a copywork sentence that reinforced capitalizing names of the days of the week. Racer and I composed a summary of a passage he read. Chicklette's grammar was starting to learn how to summarize a short story and answer comprehension questions. In Racer's grammar we are starting to learn how to write a good thank you letter. It's good timing since we just had his Grammy and Papa, aunts and uncles and cousins here. He decided to write a thank you letter to Papa thanking him for his visit. Today he reviewed the correct way to write dates and wrote a rough draft which we will revise on Wednesday.
I sincerely hope tomorrow will be a little less hectic. We got a lot done but it was at the expense of my sanity, I felt.