Sunday, September 26, 2010

Raggedy Ann Days

As a child, my bedroom was decorated in the red white and blue of R*ggedy Ann and Andy.  My favorite color is still red :)  So, earlier this year while reading Nie Nie, I found the link to this darling party.  I knew then I had to dig out some old R*ggedy Ann dolls and revisit the colors of my childhood!
First, plenty of lovely flowers, real and paper, all in red and white.
Next, add lots of sweets! Striped lollipops from here, and instructions for the amazing (super easy) lollipop tower.
Red cherry sours and aqua jelly bellies from the grocery store filled apothecary jars to tempt the little ones......
.....who could resist?

But before too many sweets, some potato salad and blue cheese slider burgers, Barefoot C*ntessa style.

To top it off, a few "couture" cakes to complete the meal......

....cute as a button, don't you think?
Speaking of cute as a button, get a load of these "rag-a-muffin" cuties in their party dresses.  We don't usually give them a gift on their birthday (with the exception of milestone birthdays) since I consider the party gift enough, but I usually gift all three girls a new dress for each birthday. 

For patterns, check out Pink Fig's "tea party skirt" and "cuppy cake dress", and Portabellopixie's Claire.
Time to say goodbye to our guests, send them home with a few more sweets, and a little rag-doll love.

Happy Birthday to my two youngest dolls!

Now mommy is tired, and ready to give her feet a rest :)

Saturday, September 25, 2010

Sixth Grade Plans

Planning this year has seemed harder than in past years.  I suppose part of that is the heavy burden that a homeschool parent begins to feel as your children get older, the fears, the self-doubt, the second-guessing.  Part of it is because I have allowed my time to become too scattered, I have fallen away from my routines as I put all my effort into several other projects.  Part of it is getting older :)  So, here we are, the end of September, and I finally feel as if I have a plan, sort of!

Christian Studies:
Rostov's Lives of the Saints
Saints of Anglo-Saxon England
The Holy Unmercenary Doctors

Here I am keeping it pretty simple.  Some days we will read Rostov's lives together in the morning.  Other days he will read it independently.  It is so far my favorite collection of saints lives, the translation is nice, and is very readable for all. I am also using Sanctity through the Centuries to help incorporate lives of the saints into our history studies.

If you have read my blog for long, you know my feelings on this subject.  And, once again, I have to eat crow and say, we are using Saxon.  I hate it.  Last year the crocodile hunter hated it.  But, we finally turned a corner over the past few months, and I will be honest, it is great to have him be able to work so independently in this area. 

Latin & Classical Studies:
First Form Latin
Augustus Caesar's World
Horatius at the Bridge

After what seems like forever, we finally wrapped up Lively Latin Book 1. I think it was a good choice, and will use it again.  Now, we are moving on to something more rigorous, and I hope Memoria Press' First Form will provide us with that.  For fun, he will read Augustus Caesar's World.  As a long term goal for the year, he is going to attempt to memorize Horatius at the Bridge, a feat which is attempted by the 6th graders of Highlands Latin School each year.

History & Geography:
Middle Ages History Portfolio
Famous Men of the Middle Ages

The Core - I learned about this book at a Classical Conversations Practicum this summer, and it contains a great method and plan for teaching mapping skills, so we will be using those this year for our geography.

English Studies:
IEW Developing Linguistic Patterns through Poetry - still loving this resource!
Spell to Write and Read
Robinson Curriculum booklist for literature

Exploring Creation with Zoology 1 - our co-op is covering this book, as well as a short series of lessons on aviation by a homeschool dad who is a pilot
Burgess Bird Book for Children - this is a great complement to Flying Creatures, and I bought each child a Peterson Field Guide coloring book as well as the Audubon birds coloring book.  More on how we are using these in a later post.

Music & Art:
Piano Lessons - he received his first "real" piece of classical music to learn this week - a simple piece by Beethoven, but not a simplified version. He is very excited to learn to play a classical piece just as the composer wrote it!
Beginning Drawing
The Art of Watercolor
Byzantine Chant - there is a wonderful series of podcasts on Ancient Faith Radio which we are going to try to follow along with at a very slow pace

Composers: Tchaikovsky, Rachmaninoff, Prokofiev  (here is our approach to composer study using Charlotte Mason's methods)
Artists:  Audubon, Cassatt, O'Keefe - we also follow Charlotte Mason's picture study method for art appreciation

Physical Education:
Karate - he is close to earning a green belt, which means by next summer he could be a brown belt!