Friday, October 31, 2008

Week 12: Getting back into a rhythm

It's been another busy week. I'm close to catching up on cleaning and the laundry. I do still have Benny's suitcase to unpack from the beach. I've been procrastinating because unpacking the suitcase means I then need to pack up his summer clothes also. Hopefully, I can get to that tomorrow morning. School has gone well this week. Jessie had a couple of long days due to dawdling and daydreaming. Violet zipped through every day in order to have more free time (which of course resulted in even more distractions for Jessie). At any rate, we did end up accomplishing a lot this week.

Jessie has spent the week in the Intensive Practice book reviewing fractions. Overall, she has done an excellent job. She definitely seems to have the concepts down. She did almost all of the work in her head instead of writing it out like I used to have to do in school. As long as the answers are correct, I don't mind at this point. Her biggest problem with math this week has been simply concentrating and staying on task. As a result, sometimes she forgot to reduce the fractions. Sometimes she forgot to read the directions and wrote mixed numbers instead of improper fractions, but in the end we got it all sorted out.

Violet spent the week working on different topics in the money section of the 2B textbook and workbook. She practiced writing dollar amounts as numbers and converting back and forth between dollars and cents. She spent two days adding amounts to make one dollar and then to make ten dollars. She was quite proud to have be doing her work mentally instead of writing it out. I think there was one day of review thrown in there as well.


Language arts was the other area in which Jessie struggled to stay on task this week. She did finally manage to complete 4 out of the 5 scheduled grammar lessons and finish up the unit on nouns. She accomplished her dictation work, although on Thursday I did hand her the book and tell her she could just copy one of the sentences. Even I can't spell Corradin, Azrooh, Chlamash, and Ilgamuth without looking at the book. In CW, we got a good start on the story "King Alfred and the Cakes" but didn't finish up all the editing. We'll just take an extra week to finish and spend an extra day on Reading Detective. Spelling went fine. For reading this week, Jessie continued Little Lord Fauntleroy by Frances Hodges Burnett and read the story of "MacBeth" in Lamb's Tales From Shakespeare. No problem concentrating here. She got so engrossed in reading Little Lord Fauntleroy on Wednesday that she had read part way through chapter 7 before remembering that she was supposed to stop at the end of chapter 5.

In grammar this week, Violet and I covered commands. For Thursday's lesson, we played a came of Simon Says. I'm not sure whether Violet or baby Henry had more fun playing. For some of the commands I had her make a funny face at him, do peek-a-boo 3 times, and jump with him a few times. At any rate, I think it would be safe to say that it was probably the first time anyone in this house ever giggled their way through a grammar lesson. In spelling, Violet has started the SWO D book this week. For the next few weeks until we finish learning the cursive alphabet, I am printing the list words out for her on the dry erase board. For handwriting, we worked on the letters Dd, Ee, and Ff this week. On the right is a look at Monday's lesson. For reading Violet has finished Ginger Pye informing me that the last chapter when they find the dog is the best chapter in the book. This week's fairy tale was "Rumplestiltzkin", and from Just So Stories she read the chapter entitled "The Cat That Walked By Himself". Wednesday she started reading Follow My Leader and although she thought the first chapter was sad she still loves the book. (YEAH! I wasn't sure about this one.)


The current poem is entitled The Captain's Daughter. The girls are both about half way through memorizing it already. It seems they are competing again to see who can finish memorizing it first. If it gets too competitive, I'll have to start them on different poems next time.

In Latin, Jessie has caught up on all of her vocabulary and grammar concepts this week during lesson 10's review. Adding the Latin grammar cards to the memory box has worked extremely well to keep the info fresh in her mind. Jessie also enjoyed going through the vocabulary cards and watching the stack of words that she needed to learn shrink during the week. She passed her review test on Friday with flying colors. I think her favorite part of Latin this week was the 3 page crossword puzzle in the Activity book.


This week in history we finished learning about Texas' war for independence and the Mexican American War. Monday, we read about the battle of the Alamo. Wednesday, we read a chapter from Guerber's The Great Republic to get a quick overview of the Mexican War. On the left are the girls' booklets on Sam Houston, Susanna Dickinson (a woman in the Alamo), the battle of the Alamo, and the Mexican American War. Jessie also had a booklet on Levi Strauss. For timelines we added figures for Sam Houston, the Alamo, President Polk, and the Mexican American War. I also discovered that their were figures covering the colonies and territories becoming states. We went back and added in all of these. There were states added in 1787, 1788, the 1790s, the 1810s, the 1820s, the 1830s, and the 1840s. We did two separate maps this week. The first map shows the United States at the time that Texas became an independent republic. The second map shows the United States after the Mexican American War.

In science this week, we started our new Apologia Elementary book, Exploring Creation with Zoology 2: Swimming Creatures of the Fifth Day. Both girls were very excited about the new book. Jessie was excited because we have an art book called 1 2 3 Draw Ocean Animals by Levin that she has been waiting to start. Violet is actually excited about the new topic. (She enjoyed studying insects, but they aren't her favorite.) Having the new book may be one reason why she picked science as one of her two favorite subjects for the week. Tuesday, we covered some introductory information with lots of vocabulary (aquatic animals, benthos, nekton, filter feeders, etc.) and completed a crossword puzzle booklet. Thursday, we just reviewed the different types of animals and their characteristics (ie. What makes a mammal a mammal? etc.). Here I went a step farther than the book and had the girls write two examples of each kind of animal and then gave them time to draw an example of each as well. Benny wanted to join in on the fun. He asked me to draw some whales for him. He traced what I drew and then tried drawing a couple of his own.


I hadn't originally intended on starting art this week. Jessie pointed out to me that we had read about plankton and requested that she be able to use the art book to draw plankton this week. Violet also completed a plankton drawing. No music this week. I'm still waiting to get the book from the library again. I'll try to get all of their drawing up tomorrow afternoon in a separate post.


No themes this week for PreK. We had several random library books that Benny had picked out for himself as well as a few that hadn't been available when I put them on hold the past few weeks. We just read through these, and Benny made his own paper dragonfly on Friday. As far as PP goes, Benny is doing very well. We added the R page this week, so Benny got to read his very first real word, ran, on Tuesday. He's also made some great improvements in being able to say the letter pairs together quickly instead of in a slower more stretched out fashion. On the counting front, I am confident that at some point he will remember 15, 16, and 17; however, this week is not the week.

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