Archery, Youth Symphony, & Lake Days – Collage Friday

The summer has flown by! I can’t believe that we have only one week of August remaining on the calendar! We have taken advantage of many wonderful opportunities this summer – some I have yet to share with you, but I will … I promise.

Literature Circle

In the spring, we started a homeschool Literature Circle that has been a great success. Literature circles are a collaborative and student-centered approach to the study of literature. They are a students’ equivalent of an adult book club, but with greater structure, expectation, and rigor. The aim is to encourage thoughtful discussion and a love of reading and writing in young people.

Our Literature Circle group has two components: Writer’s Workshop and Book Club. I shared a little previously about how we got started with Writer’s Workshop.  Today, I am excited to give you a sneak peak into Book Club

Archery

“The most important thing is to read as much as you can, like I did. It will give you an understanding of what makes good writing and it will enlarge your vocabulary.” ~ JK Rowling

Given a specific genre, students begin by selecting books they desire to read together. We generally plan ahead about 6 months.  Thus far, I have modeled how to lead a book discussion.

We will soon begin to transition to more student led discussions.  They will rotate through five roles: Discussion Director, Literary Luminary, Creative Connector, Word Wizard, and Stupendous Summarizer.

Archery

This month, our book selection was Ranger’s Apprentice (The Ruins of Gorlan, Book One) by John Flanagan. This is the first book in a delightful new fantasy series. Most of the story focuses on the learning process that Will, the main character, goes through as an apprentice. One of the skills he comes to master is archery. It was fitting, therefore, to introduce the kids to one of our favorite sports.

Reading the Ranger’s Apprentice also renewed our own enthusiasm for the sport. We thereby signed up for 4H and have selected Archery as our first project. We are all looking forward to bringing archery back into our routines.

lakedaysLake Days

This past weekend, we had the opportunity to spend a day with our dear friends back home in Central Oregon. It was a very casual weekend without any big plans – we just enjoyed one another’s company, catching up with one another.

We’ve also spent a few weekdays at the lake with our homeschool friends. Lake Days are a much anticipated break from our regular studies. We are blessed in NorCal to have warm temperatures even through October so we plan on continuing these unstructured days for a few weeks more.

youthsymphony

Youth Symphony

A few weeks ago, I had asked the kids to write an essay describing their goals and aspirations. What hobbies were they passionate about? What new skills did they hope to develop? As expected, my described in depth his interest in piano and aeronautics. My daughter, on the other hand, surprised me a little.

As a result of this assignment, she expressed an interest in Youth Symphony whose mission is to provide young music students the opportunity to participate in a performing ensemble. I think this will be the perfect motivation for her – she tends to be a little less inclined to practice than her brother.  I thereby contacted the director and set up an audition time. Assuming she passes, we will be adding symphony to our weekly routine.

 Homeschool Omnibus

The Homeschool Omnibus is on sale until Sunday.

With so many incredible resources, this is an incredible bargain. Less than 25¢ per eBook! This year’s e-Books are also formatted for Kindle for the same low price!

Plus, you can purchase an optional DVD so you don’t have to store all the files on your computer. You’ll also have a chance to win 1 of 3 Kindles!

Omnibus-5

Many thanks to these kind blog hop hostesses:

Archery Lessons Week Three

Archery lessons have continued these past couple of weeks and I can see a remarkable improvement in our accuracy.  The instructor has been working with us to improve our form, encouraging us to go through a mental check list before we release each arrow.   The key terms we focus on are stance, anchor point, patience, and follow-through.  With this short list, there is no doubt that we have all gotten a little better.

It is fun to see the progress we have made. Though our anchor points vary slightly, we are each very consistent.  We have thus begun to look at another key to accuracy .. our grip on the bow.  We were instructed to loosely grasp the bow and to not lock our elbow.  Despite instruction and an arm guard, I still manage to nail my forearm with the string at least twice each time, leaving some nasty bruises.

We are looking forward to possibly taking part in some organized shoots this year.  It should be fun to see how we compare to others, but most importantly, we know it is ourselves with whom we compete.  The goal is to improve and to learn from our mistakes. 

Archery Lessons Week One

We were able to take advantage of a wonderful opportunity today. A mom had posted on our local homeschool board that she had set up archery lessons with a young man who has been successful in competitive archery. In her post she stated the class was for boys but upon inquiring, they made allowances for girls as well.

We met this afternoon and both Sweetie & Buddy liked the instructor. He had an easy going, humorous attitude and was gentle in his instruction. He first introduced the parts of the bow and though Buddy implied that he knew it all, we all learned a few new terms. He then explained the whistle commands:

One Blast- “Shoot”
Two Blasts- “Get Bows”
Three Blasts- “Go get Arrows”
Five or more Blasts- “STOP SHOOTING”

They both had a great time and look forward to attending again next week. In the mean time, we hope to encourage a few friends to join us so as to assure the course continues in the future.