Friday, August 21, 2009

Week 2: Adding on...

This week in addition to the core skill subjects, we have added history, science, literature, Latin, and art (which is correlated to history). We've had several longer than normal days trying to fit in all the subjects so far. The kids haven't complained yet because they're still having fun, but I know we need to make some more adjustments.


Jessie is still working in unit one of the Singapore 5A book. The beginning of the week was spent on mental math and estimation. Basically, instead of multiplying or dividing by 80, multiply (or divide) by 10 first and then 8. Estimating is not Jessie's favorite math topic although she did very well. (She'd rather just figure out the actual answer). The only brand new concept that she encountered this week was order of operations. Her work was excellent, but it's going to take some effort (or at least harder problems) to convince her to show her work instead of calculating everything mentally.

Violet finished up the first unit of 3A this week and has completed the corresponding section in the Intensive Practice. Friday morning she began the second unit in the book which is basically a review of addition and subtraction. She continues to struggle with the Miquon yellow book. I think I'll look over it this weekend to see if we need to take a break from it for awhile.

Benny, of course, continues to breeze happily through his math lessons. He has finished the first section in the textbook and workbook and started the corresponding section in the Intensive Practice book. His Miquon is very easy at this point. This morning he found it a bit boring to count and write numbers or take a number and color in the right amount. There were several that were completely blank where he could choose his own number and color in the corresponding amount. He chose the number zero several times.


Jessie has quickly settled back into her language arts material. Spelling is going well (another 95% on her test). Grammar has included some diagramming review. I was surprised at how well she did on the challenge ones which reviewed everything from last year instead of just the basic skeleton that we covered in the lesson. For CW this week, she wrote and revised Hercules and the Waggoneer. Rather than start the new Homer routine, I chose to keep the editing for this first one identical to what we ended with last year in Aesop. The new Homer routine required some analysis that won't be introduced until the next model. For literature, Jessie is starting off the year reading Tuck Everlasting (not a hit so far) and Bulfinch's The Age of the Fable. The latter is a huge hit. Tuesday, I had her draw a picture of how the early Greeks viewed the world. Thursday, she drew a family tree for the Greek gods. She was very excited about both of them.

Violet has settled quickly back into spelling. We're still struggling with the first unit in R&S 3. It's not that the material is hard, but the explanations are much less clear than the ones in the grade 4 book. I'm beginning to wonder if that is why Jessie had such a hard time with grammar in 3rd grade. For literature this year, Violet is reading Understood Betsy 3 days a week. One Tuesday, she reads a fairy tale from The Red Fairy Book. On Thursday, I have her reading The Complete Peterkins Papers mainly just because I needed something for Thursday and knew she would appreciate the humor in it. We were supposed to start back to copywork this week, but that got dropped due to lack of time.

Benny's phonics and handwriting have been up and down this week. He hates making mistakes and would much rather do nothing than be incorrect. We made it through the material and will continue emphasizing the importance of effort over outcome. For literature, Benny was thrilled on the return of read aloud time with Mom (although he's been trying to convince me all week it should come earlier than right before lunch in our schedule). We actually have several different books going at once this year. Four days a week we are reading from Winter's Aesop's Fables. On the fifth day, we're reading a story from The Treasury of Little Golden Books. We're reading from a collection of Pooh stories by Milne on Tuesday and a collection of Beatrix Potter on Thursday. That leaves us three days a week to read a chapter book. Our first one this year is Three Tales of My Father's Dragon. There is one advantage to reading right before lunch. When he asks for one more chapter, I can remind him that he is hungry (which may be the only acceptable reason for stopping a perfectly interesting story).


History seemed a bit disjointed this week partially because the girls are reading their own books and partially because I've got it spread out over the schedule instead of being together in one block. For Bible history, the girls have both been reading the introductory parts to What the Bible Is All About for Young Explorers by Graham. They listed the different sections of each testament on our scroll booklets. On the inside of the booklets is a sentence or two explaining what that section covers and then a list of the books found in that section. We also covered creation and the fall this week. Jessie is reading from the NIV and discussing the question in The Greenleaf Guide to the Old Testament with me. Violet is reading Egermeier's Bible Storybook independently, while Benny and I read it together. For ancient history, we've focused on archaeology this week. Jessie read Digging the Past by Purell, while the other two read The Magic School Bus Shows and Tells: A Book About Archaeology. For hands on activities, the girls used the scroll books to make notebooking pages of the Bible. They completed the picture of creation from the Drawing Through History book and added it to a new notebooking page on creation. Benny and I made gingerbread Adam and Eve cookies. Altogether, we still need to read about Shabbat from Walk with Y'shua Through the Jewish Year and make challah. I'm hoping to do this over the weekend while my Mom's here to help. The girls also wrote narrations about Adam and Eve which we'll add to our notebooks next week and added timeline figures for creation and Adam & Eve to their timelines from last year.


The first two days of Exploring Creation with Botany has gone very well. The girls completed their booklets with minimal help from me. All the kids had a great time on Tuesday planting some seeds. (See the post from that day for more details and pictures.) I had an activity for Thursday which we didn't get to. Maybe next Tuesday.


Jessie is off to a good start in LfC B this year. The grammar for the week is all review, so the only new material was a few new vocabulary words. The new revised DVD is excellent. The teacher led the chant for the first lesson with two students rather than having a student lead. The chants are more clear and easier to follow. I had to help her with one of her Mind Benders this week, but she figured out all of the Think-a-Grams on her own.

Violet has started Prima Latina which she says that she loves. We're currently doing one page per day so the lessons take less than 10 minutes to complete.


OK technically the older kids didn't start music this week, but I couldn't resist adding a picture of Henry walking around with Violet's recorder. He actually plays different notes as well based on where he happens to be holding it.


cyn said...

What a week- you achieved so much!
Sounds like the week was both fun and productive!

Paige said...

Looks like you guys had a great week, thanks for sharing it.

Dacia's School said...

Wow that was so detailed I had better get on the ball!!!