Saturday, September 29, 2012

Weeks 3-4

School was different the past two weeks, since I was gone for half of that time. We started before I left for Poland. When I went away, I left math pages and audio playlists for Jaan and Raia for their books that are available that way... and they didn't touch them while I was gone.

Then, when I got back on Wednesday, I needed a nap instead of school, so they each listened to what I had left for them then. Raia absolutely amazed me with her narrations from that: she had six different selections to listen to in a row, so I didn't really expect much back from her, but she did beautifully. I was happiest with what she had to tell me about Beauty and the Beast from the Blue Fairy Book. It's almost an hour long! She contrasted and compared it to Аленький цветочек. Oh, and by the time she finished retelling it to me, she thought that she had listened to it in Russian.

Jaan didn't narrate so much, but he and I did have some good discussions after he had listened to his audio books for a while. He was finishing up Pilgrim's Progress, and he made some good connections between what he had heard and real life. He also just about drowned in homework from music school, but with lots of help from Will and some from me, he seems to be caught up there now.

And then, because I didn't write anything about these two cuties, here's a photo of them from our walk in the park today:

Wednesday, September 19, 2012


If you have a slow internet connection, skip this post! Two videos here: the first is from about a month ago, when Bogdan was just starting to walk. The second is from a few days ago. It shows how he has started "reading." I think both he and Jaan were speaking Chinese there.

Please pray for Bogdan and me as we travel to Krakow. Thanks! Sleep on the train tonight would be so nice.

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Spring-summer prayer letter

I have a current prayer letter ready for you to read, pray over, print out, and share. It took me a little while from the time I started writing until I got it pulled together, so the prayer requests are for now. Please come take a look....

Saturday, September 15, 2012

Week 2

I almost forgot that I wanted to post about each week of school here.

Week 2 flew by, mostly without any bumps. Again, Raia finished everything (and begged for more); Jaan is still making progress with work from before. My favorite part with Raia was narrating Damon and Pythias with a doll king and two stuffed animals. Jaan is much more a just-the-facts-ma'am kind of student, so Raia's creative bent is something new for me.

Jaan floored me in math by showing that he already has a basic understanding of negative numbers. He was supposed to write a subtraction with the numbers 5, 4, and 9. Just a regular problem; his lesson had nothing to do with anything below zero. He came up with 5-9=-4, and then he showed me a bunch of other similar problems and how he was figuring them.

Bogdan woke up before the end of school one day,
so he got to watch Raia's Ukrainian video with her.

We could all use your prayers on Fridays. They have traditionally been our hardest day of the week with school. First graders in our family just get a nap instead of school on Fridays, but we don't have any at that age now. This year Jaan also has two classes at music school every Friday. One is piano, which isn't a problem, but the other is solfeggio, a long, baffling class with a very unsympathetic teacher. I have noticed progress since last year, but it's still a rough day!

Friday, September 07, 2012

Week 1: Done!

I would really like to post weekly school updates this year. We'll see if I can keep up with that. I can at least write now about our first week. We pretty much follow Ambleside Online as written, so you can see Jaan's and Raia's weekly lists there. Jaan is still finishing up some of Year 2, but he's also starting into Year 3. Raia was able to get through everything I had planned for her; Jaan still has a little to fit in as bed time readings over the weekend or something. Both loved just about everything we did. The only complaints I heard were when I didn't let them do more... and when we got to today. We were all just tired by today.

Jaan and I especially enjoyed starting American Tall Tales. He and I laughed so hard over the first chapter and then talked about it enough at dinner time that Raia and Asya had to know more. So, I found a little book about Paul Bunyan in Russian, and now Jaan's reading that to them.

I had chosen Lermontov as our poet for the first term of Year 3, and today we discovered that one of his poems is a hymn that we sing at church. So, we'll have to make that the Russian hymn we're studying, even though I had a different one planned.

I'm sure there were some other highlights that I wanted to write about, but they've slipped my mind, so that's all for now.

Saturday, September 01, 2012

First of September

September 1 is the first day of the school year in this part of the world. After a week of camp, I didn't plan much for today; we were just too tired. We did get dressed up and go out to take photos. I think some of them turned out great! And then we came back for tea to celebrate the beginning of the school year.

On Monday we'll actually start. Jaan will be in Ambleside Online Year 3 and Raia in Year 1. Raia can't wait to start; Jaan says that he doesn't want to. He doesn't want summer to end. I don't think he'll have any complaints about his school work, though. Asya and Bogdan will continue to learn about the world around them through as much contact with nature and life as they can take in.

Oh, this made me laugh: when we were out, everyone was picking wildflowers. Jaan gave me a beautiful bouquet, saying, "So that you'll teach us well." Will looked at me after Jaan walked away again and asked, "Was that a bribe?"

P.S. I put the rest of today's photos here.