Posted in Nature Study, Our Adventures

Nature Study: Grapevine Beetle / Pelidnota Punctata

Mr. Chivalry and the kids saw one of these giant scarab beetles hanging around some grape vines.  The beetle was about the size of Mr. Chivalry’s thumb.  Apparently these beetles, also known as the Spotted June Beetle, like to eat grapes in mid-summer and do not cause a lot of damage to the vines.

Here are some links to further information about these beetles in case you want to know more about them:



Posted in Our Adventures, Reading & Literature

20 Lessons in and Taking Off

Boy Reading LACMA 54.89.61I decided to delay teaching reading to Enigma, 6, until Grade 1 because he is a Wiggly Willy and didn’t see the need for learning his alphabet until the past couple of months.  This past month, he showed an interest in trying to learn to read, so I got out 100 Easy Lessons to see if he was ready for it.  Boy, was he ever!

We are now just over 20 lessons in and Enigma has already read the following with minimal help in addition to his lessons:

  • Dan Can Add from Itty Bitty Phonics Readers
  • the first 5 I See Sam books
  • 3 Lessons from McGuffey’s Primer
  • 3 Lessons from Christian Liberty’s Kindergarten Phonics Reader “It is Fun to Read”

It is so exciting to see the lightbulb come on when a child realizes they really can do “that reading thing.”  Looks like I’ll soon have 3 readers for students!

Posted in Our Adventures, Reading & Literature

The “Morons”

Sunny, 8, has been working very hard at reading over the past couple of years and is reading at a Grade 2-3 level.  She is nearly fluent but still needs some help with sounding out new words.  Yesterday, she decided to read Bunnicula: The Vampire Bunny to me all in one sitting.  This is how the story begins:

My name is Harold.  I am a dog.  I live with the Monroes: Toby and Pete and Mr. and Mrs. Monroe.

We all got a great chuckle when Sunny read the passage as follows:

My name is Harold.  I am a dog.  I live with the MORONS: Toby and Pete and Mr. and Mrs. MORON.

Thankfully, we got the pronunciation sorted out by the end of the book.  It did make for entertaining listening while it lasted, though!


Posted in Our Adventures, Writing & Penmanship

Super Sentences


I was very impressed with these two sentences that Delightful, 10, wrote as part of her Christian Light Grade 5 Reading course.  The assignment was to use personification:

The ocean ate hungrily at the beach, devouring all the sand.


The volcano belched and heaved up great clouds of sulfur and acid.

Now, if only I could get her to consistently produce this level of quality writing!


Posted in Our Adventures, Reading & Literature

From “T.H.E.” to Chapter Books


It’s hard to believe that just a short time ago, Sunny was still mastering reading and spelling the word “the.”  In the past two years, she has gone from working on phonics and very easy readers to now suddenly reading chapter books in Grade 2. Her favorites at the moment are the Magic Tree House series, which she is reading out loud to me at her chosen rate of about 3-4 chapters a day.  It’s a very exciting time.  The only thing that would have made it better for me energy-wise (I am battling hyperemesis gravidarum again) is if she had started on these chapter books BEFORE I read the entire series we own to her earlier this year.  Ah, well, small steps…

Posted in Our Adventures, Subject Math

Done with Ice Cream!


In light of our recent math woes, I am thrilled to announce that after working with Math Mammoth for a couple of months, Delightful, 10, has managed to make it all the way through Life of Fred Ice Cream with only one question about one problem!  She is now nearing the end of Jellybeans, which means she may soon be able to say goodbye forever to Life of Fred’s Elementary Series.  Yay!  Now on to Intermediate!

Posted in Our Adventures, Subject Math

Jumping For Joy

Wilhelm Rögge Eine fesche Oberin 1889This is an update on what has happened since I got Frustrated with Fred.

For the past few weeks, Delightful, 10, has been working through Math Mammoth 3 in order to solidify her basic math skills and learn some topics and problem-solving methods that she had not covered in Life of Fred.  Since we are trying to accelerate through levels 3, 4, and possibly 5, we have been doing more than one chapter at a time in order to keep the program from becoming too tedious.  On average, we have been doing 4 pages a day, spread among the 5 chapters of level 3A.  This means it is taking longer to complete each chapter than it would if we just worked straight through the worktext.

Today Delightful wrote her first test, and to be honest, I was a little concerned about how she would do.  Even though the math being covered is not overly challenging for her, kiddo does have a tendency to make careless errors, even to the point of accidentally leaving certain questions blank and forgetting to do them.  Today I need not have been too worried, though, because she scored 100% on her test!  Yay!  Now she is jumping for joy and starting to think that maybe she isn’t so bad at math after all.  Kudos to Math Mammoth for rebuilding her math confidence!