Expressions from our Youngest

Expressions from our Youngest
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Saturday, October 29, 2011

My Homeschool Week

It is time for "The Homeschool Mother's Journal" where we can share what occurred during our past week.  It is wonderful to hear what everyone experiences from week to week.

In my life this week...We didn't have our usual co-op classes for the Kindergarteners once again this week because too many families were ill.  I had a few doctor visits and so did some of my children.  We were unable to do all of our subjects this week like Science, Writing and Art.  You will notice that my Middleschooler is efficient in doing the basics of Math and English - even when we have an 'off' week.  This is something good to instill in your children.

In my homeschool week...

Middle Schooler - ***Saxon Math Level 7/6:  Lines, Segments, and Rays; Perimeter; Number Lines - Ordering and Comparing; Sequences and Scales; Frequency Tables, Histograms, and Surveys.  ***Voyages in English:  Use of Nothing and Anything w/ Diagramming; First, Second, and Third Person and Forming Plurals w/ Diagramming; Plural and Sigular Form of Nouns; Gender and Predicate Nominative w/ Diagramming; Appositives and Nominative of Exclamation w/ Diagramming.  ***History:  Read about 'Congressional Reconstruction' and completed workbook; Also did research and paragraph on Mary Surrat and Thomas Ness.  ***Religion:  Analyzed two articles - 1)  "Nicodemus Seeks an Answer" and 2)  "One God in Three Persons."  Recorded the 'Cornerstones' of these articles and discussed the role of Jesus as our 'Cornerstone.'  ***Readers:  Read and complete workbooks on two different Saints.  ***Latin:  Studying Present Tense, Future Tense, and Imperfect Tense and Vocabulary Cards.  ***Geography:  Read and answer questions and do research and write paragraph on Canadian Province.  ***Map Skills:  Three Pages (review next week)  ***Vocabulary:  Study and take Test.

Kindergarten:  My five year old is doing great work in Math, Phonics, and Journal Writing and Drawing and Coloring.  His Journal entry this week was on Isaac's servant asking Rebekah to be Isaac's wife.

Helpful homeschool tips or advice to share...Just to restate what I said earlier.  It is good to train your children, once they are older, to make a committment to schedule a time every day to complete the basics of Math and English.  In fact, Michael Farris from HSLDA said something similar in his great article in the HSLDA magazine Sept./Oct. 2011 issue titled "10 Lessons I've Learned from Thirty Years of Homeschooling."

I am inspired by...Michael Farris' article this week.

Places we're going and people we're seeing...Nothing too exciting this week as we've had a few doctor appointments.

My favorite thing this week was...feeling better on Saturday morning with the first snowfall in Maryland (early for us on October 29th) and drinking coffee with hubby.

What's working/not working for us...Hubby bought a new area rug for our downstairs.  Now the ruined rug that my daughter spilled black paint all over is no longer there and the little ones can play downstairs when we have our co-op at the house.  This will really help out.

Questions/thoughts I have...Now that you have kids, would you have more if you were able to start a family earlier and be 100% physically and mentally capable to go through the pregnancies?  Or would you go the career route?  Now that I've had five kids, I feel like I would have had more if things were a bit easier to handle.  I am very happy with the five I have but children bring so much joy to one's life that I feel like I would have had more if I was physically and mentally able to go through it.  I would rather be paid by witnessing and assisting in the growth of a child than recieving money and a fancy title from a career.  Although, I greatly admire those who have been able to do both.  You go girls!

Things I'm working on...Still preparing lessons on the Luminous Mysteries for the Kindergarteners because our class was cancelled this week.

I'm praying for...My mother-in-law.  My husband had to take her to the emergency room this week.

A photo, video, link, or quote to share...Let words be a search to reveal truth.

Short Answer History Questions (L. 5 - 8)

If you are using Volume II - The Civil War to the 21st Century, ALL AMERICAN HISTORY - Uniting America's Story, Piece by Piece by Celeste W. Rakes from Bright Idea Press for your middle schooler's history curriculum; below please feel free to use some of these short answer questions for an assignment or test on Lessons 5 through 8 during the Civil War and Reconstruction Periods.

1)  What was the principal weapon of all Civil War infantryment?

2)  How did the Union and Confederate armies attain more weapons in the beginning of the war when weapons were scarce to aid the growing armies?

3)  After this battle, Union Armies would be able to move into Georgia and Alabama and split the Eastern Confederacy in half.  Union Armies under Major General William Rosecrans wanted to control this city to put the whole state of Tennessee in Union hands.  After Union troops advanced upon this city, they forced the Confederates to evacuate and withdraw to Georgia.  Capturing this city meant cutting the Eastern Confederacy rail links with the West and opening the way for the Union to advance into the heart of the Confederacy by way of Georgia.  (This information was taken from Christ and the America's by Anne Carroll).

 4)  This was the Confederates greatest victory in the western theater during the war.  Confederate General Braxton Bragg chose not to follow up with an attack on the retreating Union troops and permitted the Union Army under Union Major General William Rosecrans to regroup.

5)  Confederate General Robert E. Lee decided to invade the North for once (instead of staying in the South) to engage Union forces outside of Virginia to give this war-ravaged state a rest and capture some badly needed provisions for the Confederate Army.  President Lincoln gave a famous speech after this battle.  Name this battle and Lincoln's speech.

6)  This battle took place in a key city guarding the Mississippi River between Memphis, TN and New Orleans, LA.  Union gun boats and supply ships slipped past Confederate batteries in the night and established a base on the Mississippi River below this city.  Union Major General Grant planned a non-stop bombardment of this city to besiege it, starving it into submission.  The Confederates held out for six weeks but surrendered the day after the Battle of Gettysburg was over.  (This information was taken from Christ and the America's by Anne Carroll).

7)  Confederate General Robert E. Lee's devastating defeat of a much larger Union Army paved the way for another Confederate invasion of the North.  Also, Confederate General Stonewall Jackson was hit by friendly fire and died on May 10th in this battle.

8)  Confederate General Robert E. Lee had demonstrated superb defensive skills in these three battles in the state of Virginia because his Army was half the size of Union General Ulysses S. Grant's Army.  One was the first direct confrontation between Grant and Lee.  Another stimulated newspaper articles in the North to start calling Grant a butcher because he refused to give up on defeating the Confederacy - whatever the cost.  The third battle was a direct frontal assault by Union General Grant to push his way toward the Confederate capital of Richmond.  It was the only attack Grant wished he had never orderd because 7000 Union soldiers were cut down.

9)  Union forces constructed a 2,170 foot pontoon bridge to cross the James River and move into this city, successfully concealing their movements from Confederate General Lee.  On April 2, 1865 the Confederates source of supplies were exhausted and they were forced to abandone their defense of this city.

10)  This was an unaposed burning and plundering of Confederate houses, livestock, crops, cotton gins, factories, and railroads.  During this time, Lincoln won re-election.

11)  Richmond was finally captured by the Union.  This was the last battle of the Confederate Army of Northern Virginia.  On Apirl 3rd, Union troops entered Richmond and raised the U.S. flag.  Lincoln toured the city and visited the Confederate White House and sat for a few moments at Jefferson Davis' desk.  (It is also your teacher's birthday - ha ha).

12)  This is the place where Lee finally surrendered to Grant.  It wasn't until 1975, after his death, that Lee was officially pardoned for his role in the Civil War.

13)  How many Americans died in the Civil War?

14)  This was the name given to the period during which the U.S. government reintegrated the former Confederate states into the Union.  The complex and controversial era lasted from 1863 to 1877.

15)  Fill in the blanks:  Both ________________ and __________________ (two president's) favored a plan that was lenient toward the ex-Confederate states.  The _________________ _____________________ in Congress wanted to punish the former Confederate states for starting the war and keep them under military occupation for a period of time.

16)  These two men were the leaders of the Radical Republicans in Congress.

17)  Congress passed this Act which set forth a stricter congressional plan for Reconstruction than Lincoln's Ten Percent Plan.  Lincoln responded to this legislation with a pocket veto.

18)  Who was Lincoln's assassin?

19)  Who succeeded Lincoln when he was assassinated?  His plan for Reconstruction was a modified version of Lincoln's plan.

20)  These two Amendments were the first two Reconstruction Amendments.  One abolished slavery and the other granted U.S. citizenship to freed slaves and offered protection of their civil liberties.

21)  What was the new agricultural system that replaced the plantation economy of the South after the Civil War?  Under this system, white land owners supplied land, seed, and tools to former slaves and poor whites who owned no land of their own.  In return, they were required to give the landowner a share (one third to one half) of what they had grown of their crops.

22)  After the war, a number of people from the North migrated to the South.  Some of them came to look for money and power.  Most white southerners resented their prescence.  What were they called?  And what were the white southerners called who cooperated with these northerners?  Give two names.

23)  In March of 1867, the Radical Republicans moved to put into place their own plan for Reconstruction.  This Act passed over Johnson's veto and placed ten Confederate states (except Tennessee) under military occupation and provided detailed requirements for those states to be readmitted to the Union.  What is the name of this Act?

24)  How did Johnson's term in office end?

25)  Who succeeded Johnson as president in 1869 and served two terms in office.  His administration was plagued with scandals.

26)  The last of the Reconstruction Amendments was passed in 1869 and ratified by three fourths of the states in 1870.  It was designed to prohibit discrimination against voters on the basis of color or previous condition of servitude.

Thursday, October 27, 2011

Eileen is Grateful

It is time once again to join A Thankful Woman's Blessings at Judy's blog to express what things we are thankful for in our past week.  To join, just click on Judy's name.  I am especially thankful for the people in my life this week.  So often when we are having trouble, there are angels that come to help out as you will see from my thankful list.

1)  I am thankful for a good friend who let others know I was unable to make a coffee night and our co-op gathering because of a flair up with my PTSD.

2)  I am thankful for my doctor that saw me yesterday.  I really needed to see her.

3)  I am grateful that my husband was able to stay at home and work so that I would be at ease when I had my doctor's appointment.

4)  I am thankful for my daughter who took care of my five year old while I was gone.

5)  I am grateful for the magnifying lense glasses I bought from CVS so that I can grade my daughter's work better.

Sunday, October 23, 2011

Sabbath Moments

Over at Colleen's blog, we can partake and share some Sabbath moments with each other.  Sabbath moments are quiet and reflective moments we build into our week for prayer or admiring God's Creation.  Here are some of my Sabbath moments this week:

1)  Each morning we say a short devotion, morning offering, and decade of the rosary together.  These prayer times are always so peaceful and joyful.  As we pray, I hear my five year old learn to say the new prayers he is learning while viewing the Autumn leaves against the sky outside my kitchen window.  We have a sitting area in our kitchen.  I'm looking forward to the time I can turn the fireplace on while we pray come winter.

2)  Every Wednesday, we get together for a class I teach to Kindergarten age students for our co-op.  I am teaching them the mysteries of the rosary and praying a decade together.  I always love this time of the week to see them growing and bonding in their Faith.  I envision Mary coming to put her arms around them with each prayer they say together.

3)  This morning at Mass, before my son got too wiggly, I was totally immersed in the song being sung about 'loving the Lord with our whole heart, mind, and soul and loving our neighbor as ourselves.'  I love this Bible verse as it always brings me such joy to realize that the most important point in our Faith is achievable through loving relationships.  Rules are important but when relationships are involved our giving is enhanced and comes more naturally through the love that grows among and between us.

Saturday, October 22, 2011

My Homeschool Week

It's time for A Homeschool Mother's Journal where we can share what occurred during our homeschooling week.

In my life this week...we didn't have our usual co-op classes for the Kindergarteners.  Instead we had a Halloween celebration.  I thought it was going to be more stressful than it turned out to be because of my PTSD.  The kids had a great time together and the moms enjoyed each others company.  We had to run out to buy a costume for my five year old and buy the ingredients for Witchly Cupcakes to make at home.  Therefore, we didn't get as much homeschooling done as we had planned.

In my homeschool week...We began our new Saxon Math Level 7/6 this week.  I also started using the Kolbe course plan layout for grading English.  For Art my daughter had to make up some poems for three different paintings.  She also completed her book report for Red Moon at Sharpsburg and completed her IEW draft on siblings. We learned about the future tense in Latin and compared two religious articles entitled "Jesus is the Center" and "Mary is our Model."  My daughter is learning about the Civil War in History and is keeping up with her Physics lessons and vocabulary.  My five year old is doing great work in Math (adding and subtracting), English (knows 4 types of sentences now), Phonics, Science (knows about gravity and our solar system), and creating two different Journals (A Rosary Journal and an Old Testament Journal). He is also learning his prayers.

Helpful homeschool tips or advice to share...If you have a young boy, I would highly recommend trying to begin a group with other young boys to come together in prayer and learn the Faith.  See my blog post at

I am inspired by...all my wonderful homeschooling friends.

Places we're going and people we're families and my high schoolers Open House at her Catholic school for a potential admission next year for my middle schooler.  We also had a great time at the last Maryland football and tailgate.  I love to see my two college sons come with some friends to our tailgate.  It is such a joy to see them.  It was a beautiful day to be outdoors with friends and family.

My favorite thing this week was...saying a decade of the rosary with the kindergarten class.

What's working/not working for us...Latin Alive! is working wonderfully for us.  I never thought I could teach Latin, but these books make it fun and easy.

Questions/thoughts I have...I wish I could keep my house neater and more organized.  Why did my daughter spill black paint all over our rug downstairs?

Things I'm working on...Creating a History test for the middle school class and preparing lessons on the Luminous Mysteries for the Kindergarteners.

I'm praying for...Our Country and our Church.

A photo, video, link, or quote to share...All serious daring starts from within.  Eudora Welty

Thursday, October 13, 2011

Eileen is Grateful

It's time to post to Judy's Thankful Woman's Blog where we list five things we are thankful for that have occurred during our week(s).  This world is far from perfect but I'm sure thankful to live where I do today.  It is important to point out to our children how fortunate we are as Americans.  It would be great to share our thankful lists with our children some day.

1)  I am so grateful that my husband and I and three youngest children were able to escape to Wintergreen resort in Virginia this past weekend for our 25th Wedding Anniversary.  The view from our condo was beautiful and peaceful.

2)  I am thankful and was pleasantly surprised to find a bouquet of flowers and a long note left by one of my sons for us upon our return from the trip.  The note he wrote for us is profound!

3)  I am grateful for the opportunity to get to know candidates running for president through the debate process.  Sometimes it can be stressful but is the best system found thus far to uphold the will of the people and not the will of some dictator who would like to control everyone and everything.

4)  My husband was able to take me out for a nice lunch at a fancy restaurant for our 25th Anniversary.  It was a nice break to be able to spend some quiet time together.

5)  I am grateful that my tenth grade daughter informed me that her English teacher used Rush Limbaugh as her example of a hypocrite in her class because he does drugs but tells everyone else not to.  This English teacher is new to the school and has a bumper sticker on her car revealing her political views.  It would have been better to use someone the Church has called a hypocrite - like the pharisees - or something.  Limbaugh was a poor example because he just had an addiction to overcome and is highly political and highly successful.  There is no proof that he has been labeled a hypocrite.  This is just her opinion.  Many people respect him.  Therefore, we can talk to my daughter's advisor regarding this - just in case there is a hidden agenda to indoctrinate the students with strange political opinions in her teaching methods.