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Weekly Wrap-Up: Gardening, Gravity, and Geometry

In my life this week…  We had days of rain, and now a few days of sunshine.  That translates to emerald grass, blooming tulips, blossoming trees, and gardening.  The Little Misses planted onions, Miss 13 seeded carrots, and the rest of us did the prep work.  Today we hope to finish planting all the early seeds and begin work in the flower gardens.  We want to do the bulk of the garden work before the black flies start biting.

In our homeschool this week… We’re faithfully doing our daily work, and it’s paying off.  I am so excited to see the end of the formal school year approaching!  The Little Misses have daily check-off lists for their work, and yesterday I prepared their last six-week sheet of these check-off lists.   We’ve found such lists, whether daily or weekly, to be very helpful in keeping us on track.

After slogging through many chapters of rigorous Euclidean geometry, Mr. 16 is exploring the mind-boggling world of alternate geometries, where parallel lines either don’t exist or where each line has an infinite number of parallel lines.  Simultaneously, Miss 13 is trying to understand gravity, which is closely related to one of these alternate geometries.  Such “coincidences” add depth to our family’s learning.

Mr. 16 concerns himself with significant figures for chemistry; Miss 10 rounds off numbers meant to represent dollars and cents in her math; and Miss 8 needs to estimate temperature readings between the marked lines….  I love it when the children are learning different aspects of the same thing!

Places we’re going and people we’re seeing… We all hugely enjoyed a choir concert that Miss 18 sang in.  And Miss 18 herself was invited to watch the Dominion Carilloneur play the bells on Parliament Hill!  What an experience that was…and now she’s enthralled by yet another instrument.

My favorite things this week were… Spring weather.  The children’s smiles.  Schoolwork being finished.  Our Manchurian apricots blooming.  Organ music.  Trifle and home-made French fries.  Dressing up for a concert.  Pondering triangles whose interior angles do not add up to 180 degrees.  An offer to review God and Stephen Hawking (available September, 2011).  Electricity turning on after another power outage.

What’s working/not working for us… We watched H.M.S. Pinafore.  Miss 8 said it   “involved too much singing”, but was “nice” even though she “didn’t understand it at all.”  Now that I’ve had a chance to read the words that were being sung, I’m quite pleased that she didn’t understand it!  It’s not really all that “nice” at all, with its fortune-telling, swearing, and innuendo.  I should have previewed it, of course, but I honestly did not remember anything questionable from watching it years ago…without reading the lyrics.

Homeschool questions/thoughts I have…  Why do publishers so often put the most fascinating material at the end of the textbooks?  Since many students in traditional schools never finish a textbook, they miss out on so many fascinating ideas!  At least we homeschoolers can enjoy them.

A photo, video, link, or quote to share…  My friend Carmen, a successful homeschooling mother of 10, entitles a blog post, “Teaching boys…” and wonders “Is it possible?”   

This post is linked to The Homeschool Mother’s Journal  and Weekly Wrap Up at Weird Unsocialized Homeschoolers. 


  1. JoAnn says:

    Sounds like a great week. Glad it’s all going well.


  2. Jenn4him says:

    Wow! I hardly know what to say. You all are certainly on top of things. It is awesome how you all are learning together. 🙂 As for the movie, I do that often. I think I remember a movie being fine and then watch it with new eyes as a parent and think I made a mistake!

    1. Annie Kate says:

      No, we’re not on top of things, Jenn!

      LOL That’s always one of my goals, but life seems to happen in the midst of things…. That’s why I value the checklists. Without them we’d let things slide much more than we do.

      I’m glad I’m not the only one who makes movie mistakes! We tried Mansfield Park last night…but the costumes and general atmostphere were not ideal, so we quit and watched parts of the royal wedding instead.

      Annie Kate

  3. Congrats to your daughter for such an honor! As far as previewing movies, I remember as a teen my father rented the movie the Graduate. He remembered it from his teens being a GREAT family movie. Well, after about 10 minutes it was obvious that this was NOT the movie he had been remembering from his childhood. We tease him about it to this day lol. It happens to us all, I am sure my day is coming!

  4. Briana says:

    It sounds like you have a beautiful green world around you, how lovely!

    I think I’m going to be reviewing the same book. I’m looking forward to it.

    I used to worry about not finishing the textbooks when I was in school. What message does that send to the children anyway?

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