Memory work (catechism, Ten Verses cards, theme passage, sign language, Apostles Creed, review)
Mondays we worked through our catechism questions. I never learned a catechism as a child, so this has been a huge blessing to me as well. Even Adelia, at 3- pipes in with the answers to some of the questions, and I love that. :)
Tuesdays we worked on the Ten Verses cards. The kids loved this concept but I think I was a little overly ambitious, for two reasons:
1) I have five children. Four of them were learning verses this year. That's four *different* verses to go over in one relatively small time-frame. It just always seemed a little crazy come Tuesday mornings when we pulled out the verses.
2) Several of the verses I selected were actually passages of Scripture, not just one verse. For instance, right now Isaac is working on Revelation 5:11-13 for his verse #5. He's been working on it for several weeks, and has gotten a little bogged down with the length of it. I wish now that I had given only a single verse. (Then, if I wanted them to learn a passage, I could have just broken it down into single verses: so, Isaac could have been working on Revelation 5:11 for verse #5, Revelation 5:12 for his verse #6, and Revelation 5:13 for his verse #7.) Lesson learned.
That said, Ella has made it to verse #8 (so far... five weeks left and I bet she'll do it!) Isaac is on verse #5 (but SO close to finishing that and four out of his next five verses *are* single verses!) Isaias is on verse #6. Adelia (and Audra, sometimes, too) is on verse #7. They all love saying their verses to daddy and they love choosing a sticker and putting it on their cards.
Wednesdays we memorized our theme passage for the year (it is so much easier memorizing something all together), and then we moved on to implementing it (which they LOVE.) Now, every Wednesday morning we draw a name and then spend the day honoring the person whose name we drew. They have done each others' chores, made cards, made each others' beds, helped a little one get ready, invited a little one to do something with them, made a special effort to play whatever that child likes to play, and generally have been especially kind to that person on that day. :) It's been fun to watch what they've come up with.
Thursdays we learned the alphabet in Sign Language, and this was something else the kids really enjoyed- I think largely because it was different than our other memory work (because it involved their hands and their minds!) They learned this pretty early on in the year, so then we spent our time practicing. Sometimes we'd just sing through the ABC song and sign as we sang. Other times I'd write a few words up on the board and we'd all "spell" the words using sign language. Other times I would spell something to them and have them tell me what letters/words I was forming.
Fridays we learned the Apostles Creed, and then we played Rich Mullins' song and Third Day's version of it. When we had learned that- just a few weeks into the year- I used our time on Fridays to review our memory work from previous years (OT & NT books of the Bible, Landmark cards, verses). I think reviewing previous memory work is really important for retention, and next year I plan to start the year devoting one weekday to *just* this.
On Saturdays it was always my plan to read poetry during this circle/table/breakfast time... and then have the kids choose one poem to memorize and recite, but... we read poetry only a handful of times and never memorized any of it. Oh, well. Maybe another year...
Next up: Composer study/Classical music