Friday, September 7, 2007

Week 4: It's been a great week!!

It's been a really great week!! We still trying to get the hang of the morning schedule. We seem to consistently either overshoot or undershoot our allotted times. Looks like I'll be doing some tweaking this weekend.

What's that? Could it be a smile? DURING MATH TIME?!? Yes, Jessie has joyfully left behind the drudgery of long division for another unit of multiplication. This week she's worked on multiplying and dividing by 6. Because she hasn't memorized the facts from 6x6 to 6x9 yet, it wasn't quite as easy as she originally expected. Between mental calculations, use of the abacus, and borrowing the x6 wrap up (which she completed and then used as a reference), she managed to finish early every day this week. Of course this particular smile may have had as much to do with the fact that she secured the coveted purple dry erase marker for the morning. Solving riddles and coloring purple robots during math time never hurts either.

Violet's been reviewing addition using the corresponding chapter in Singapore IP. She struggled a bit this week with the lack of visuals, but for the most part she managed quite well her rods and some occasional help from me. On Thursday she was quite excited by the color by number exercise in math (and of course by having a legitimate reason to monopolize not only the coveted purple dry erase marker but all of the others colored ones as well). She worked through 2/3 of the problems alone, and basically just needed my help to keep her focused for the rest. She insisted I had to take a picture so here it is. She was also thrilled to find to game pages among her Miquon assignment. She and Jessie played cat and mouse rolling the die to see who could race up to 30 the fastest. Another day she raced mom (truck v. car) rolling a die to go from 30 down to 0.

Poetry memorization, grammar, and spelling are all going fine. The girls did much better with their spelling test Tuesday. We are a little behind in reading our poetry and literature, but that's been more my fault. It's easy to let the last subject slide when Dad is home two days, and Mom has a project that has to be finished. There's always this afternoon, especially with highs in the 90s again. Jessie loves her CW. This week she insisted that we use the entire passage of Androcles and the Lion instead of just the excerpt in the student manual. In handwriting, we're still working on holding the pencil correctly with both girls. Sigh. It's hard to break bad habits.

I decided to try an experiment with history this week. I had added Magellan to our Truthquest schedule. The only book scheduled for the week was Magellan, First Around the World by Ronald Syme. Rather than waiting until the end of the book for the girls' narrations, I took time each day to discuss and get each of their narrations written down. The result was the best summaries yet for our history. They were much longer and more detailed than usual. We had an ocean stretching to the sunrise and starving men eating sawdust(YUCK!!). As a result we resorted to the accordion style booklets for the lapbook.

Exploration has also be added to our play. (Always a good sign of learning). Here's Jessie's queen and princess are leading Pooh bear and company (her bank) on an exploring to find a new island inhabited by an assortment of other Disney figures. (I wonder if that's where all of the missing ones have disappeared.)

Our lapbook approach to geography also appears to be working. Jessie calls geography fun time. By the 3rd day, I was glad to see Violet picking out Alabama on an unlabeled map. We seem to have a good balance of fun and learning. On the downside, DH and I both find the geography songs tape highly annoying. We'll have to put that up for sale. I started teaching the girls the song Fifty Nifty United States. I learned it in elementary school and can still sing the 50 states in alphabetical order. Maybe we can find a song for the capitals online somewhere. Coincidentally, I see a thread on the WTM curriculum board to check out.

With DH home two days we took the week off from music. We skipped art again this morning because I had to meet someone in town. Hmm. Tomorrow's suppose to be hot too. I'll see what the girls think of that suggestion.


As always, Benny is ready for me to start preschool before I am. Thank goodness the stack of books in the chair stayed at 5 or less this week. (Once he unloaded most of his bookshelf when I suggested he go pick some books and make a stack for me to read.) Apparently a group of 4 is a new concept to him. He had to actually count flies on the lily pad and needed help to show me four fingers. I'm hitting some resistance with the alphabet. He can do the egg puzzles, but can't always tell what the letters are that he is putting together. I'm not sure if he doesn't know the name of the letter or if he just doesn't want to tell me. Next week is alphabet review, and I have the weekend to come up with a way to make the letters more fun. Perhaps I just need to brush up on learning styles again.


Kerri said...

Looks like you all had a fun week of school. I like the lapbook approach to geography and would love to hear more about it.

Kerri (Way out in the Desert)

Deanna said...

Click geography on the right under topics of interest. It shows our lesson plans and what's in the booklets. HTH

Tami, part-time blogger - full time scrapbooker said...

First of all, your kids are adorable! We are also TruthQuest and lapbook fans! I enjoyed your blog and can't see what you do next!

: )

Mrs. "M" said...

I happened upon your blog from the WTM board. I enjoyed reading the run down of your week. We started this past week and are slowly getting back into our routine.