Thursday, September 25, 2014

Beyond the Three Rs

flash card production
JT and I have been learning German using Rosetta Stone's Homeschool version. We both completed the first unit of level one this week. Although I am starting to get a feel for the language, as I mentioned before, we are struggling to figure out the rules because they are not specifically taught in the program. This week we started making flash cards for all the nouns we have learned in the first unit. I was having an especially difficult time remembering their definite articles, so the cards are going to be a big help.

conjugating verbs
JT's difficulty centered around knowing the proper form of a verb. We made a list of the verbs we learned on the white board and my husband gave us basic instructions on how to conjugate a weak verb. German has weak and strong verbs where we would call them regular and irregular in English. Most of the verbs we know so far are weak, so that made it easier. Once he could see the pattern on the board, JT did a much better job picking the right word when needed.
Bronies play piano too.
EM had his first piano lesson on Friday and LOVED it! His new teacher is a perfect fit for him. Just the right amount of encouragement and fun. EM is very excited to go to his lesson tomorrow. He practiced every day this week with no need for me to remind him. Hopefully that pattern lasts for a long time! We went out and bought a new folder to carry his music. EM and JT are both My Little Pony fans, so the Rainbow Dash folder was a winner. If you are unfamiliar with the Brony demographic, be sure to check this out. We aren't the only weirdos out there.

EM continued his research on Mongolia. Today we watched a National Geographic Live! program about Tim Cope's horseback journey across Mongolia. EM will do a little more traditional research in the next two weeks and then put together a presentation.

staging area
But first we will be spending a few days in a cabin at Moraine State Park. I started the preliminary packing this week. I begin by dumping piles of stuff into the living room and will eventually transfer it all to the back of our van before we head out next week. We have put in a solid six weeks of work already this school year and we are ready for a nice break with nature. I believe keeping a good balance of work and relaxation has been a key component to the success of our homeschooling lifestyle. We always have more energy to tackle what lays ahead when we take the time to recharge. I'll leave you with my favorite picture from our last trip to Moraine. Hopefully I'll have many more to share from Lake Arthur next time.

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