Friday, August 28, 2009

Week 3: Starting to gain traction...

It's been a good week here. My Mom was visiting for the first half of the week, so she was able to keep an eye on Henry for us during school leaving me free to work on getting the girls back on track. Most days we finished either on time or even early, so the adjustments seem to be working well. I need to add a little more structure for Benny in the second half of the morning, and maybe a little more structure for Henry although I haven't decided how yet. Here's a look at our week.


Jessie has finished the first unit in the textbook and workbook working several multi step word problems and began the corresponding section in the Intensive Practice. She has done very well this week. The only thing that threw her was a portion of Friday's assignment. They set up 3 tables. The first column had a number. The second column ask what was the smallest number that would round to make the number in the first column if you were rounding by tens or hundreds or thousands (depending on which table she was on). The third column asked for the largest possible number. I gave her an example, and she completed about half on her own. Then we worked through the others together.

Violet is continuing to plug along in the second unit of Singapore 3A reviewing addition and subtracting. I honestly can't fault her understanding of the concepts, but we spent a lot of time in this and other subjects talking about working diligently and carefully. We did continue with the Miquon Yellow book this week without any major difficulties. It appears that we simply started at a particularly difficult place. Now I just have to mark that in my notes so I change that for Benny in a couple of years.

Benny would still prefer 10:00 to be read aloud time instead of math and critical thinking time, but he's doing very well. In the Miquon Orange book, he's still in the first section on counting. In Singapore 1A, we finished up the first unit in the Intensive Practice book and began working on number bonds today. Rather than relying just on the pictures in the book as I have done in the past, we used the cuisenaire rods to build a wall showing all the ways to make six. Then he could refer back to the wall for the workbook page where he had to identify whether a pair of numbers would make six. A couple of them that he was unsure about we tried adding to the wall only to find them too long or too short.


Jessie completed the first unit in R&S 5 this week and scored very well on her test. The second unit began with a review discussion about paragraphs. She was quite frustrated on Friday when she missed three words on her spelling test. I wasn't surprised, however, because there were a lot more mistakes in the workbook exercises themselves this week. It served as a good reminder that the work needed to be done carefully as well as quickly. For CW Homer, we analyzed the fable, Belling the Cat. I decided to stick with the diagramming format from R&S grammar rather than follow the suggested changes in the book to maintain consistency, but we still covered the same information. In The Age of the Fable, she learned about the Roman gods, the myth of creation, and Pandora. She got a little carried away with her reading in Tuck Everlasting and is finishing it today instead of next week. That gives us some time to do some literary analysis next week during our normal narration time, and her time to write a book report during her normal reading time.

In grammar, Violet has been reviewing the 4 types of sentences and learning how to diagram them. Her spelling went very well. For CW Aesop, we analyzed the fable The Fox and the Grapes completing more alphabetizing for day 2, identifying sentence types for day 3, and dictating the moral for day 4. She is continuing to enjoy Understood Betsy and The Complete Peterkin Papers. Her fairy tale this week was "The Princess Mayblossom". Her copywork for the week has been verses from "All Things Bright and Beautiful."

Benny and I finally reached the end of the three letter word section in the Pyramid book and have moved on to 4 letter words with double consonant endings in Phonics Pathways. It's been a little slower going, but he's doing very well. In handwriting, we covered the letters G, g, H, and h this week along with the numbers 6 and 7 and spent more time reviewing. Reading aloud, we've been averaging about 3 Aesop fables a day. We completed reading My Father's Dragon and are 4 chapters into the sequel Elmer and the Dragon. We also read about Pooh going to visit Rabbit and Squirrel Nutkin.


For Old Testament history this week, the kids have read about Cain and Abel, Noah and the Flood, the Tower of Babel, and the beginning of the story of Abraham up to the point where he and Lot separate. For ancient history we were studying about Creation vs. Evolution. Looking at my notes, I just realized we're a week behind in the latter schedule. Apparently, I messed up my numbering and was supposed to start ancient history a week earlier. (Grr.) Anyway, Violet and Benny both read A is for Adam by Ham and Yellow and Pink by Steig while Jessie was reading The Amazing Story of Creation by Gish. Violet, Benny, and I discussed what is basically the watchmaker argument for creation after reading the book by Steig. For Jessie, I had made a list of questions ahead of time by chapter because I knew her book would be challenging. There were a few portions that I had to explain, but for the most part she understood the general idea of the book. The girls created notebooking pages for Adam and Noah; mapped the Tigris River, Euphrates River, Mt. Ararat, and Babel; drew a picture for Noah using the Draw and Write book; and completed a written narration for the tower of Babel. Jessie and I worked together to create the bar graph of the lineage from Adam to Noah. It was interesting to see the amount of overlap in the generations. She also completed a map showing the dispersion of mankind after Babel, which I'll have a picture of once the girls have drawn the tower and put their notebooking pages together. Benny made a rainbow with glue, a paper plate, and bunched up squares of tissue paper.


While I get the rest of the geography program pulled together for the year, the girls started some general mapping for the Middle East. Violet labeled the main bodies of water, while Jessie also labeled rivers, mountains, and deserts. Last week, we did a review of continents and oceans. I also had Jessie do major river, mountains, and deserts. Next week I'm planning to have them fill in the country names. Hopefully by the following week, I'll have everything ready to focus on one country at a time.


We complete lesson 1 on Tuesday learning about the different categories of plants. We haven't gone on a nature walk to find them outside yet just because it has been so hot, but I'm hoping to go this afternoon if it doesn't rain. For Benny's benefit, we also modeled the difference between vascular and non vascular plants. I made two spills of water. The kids used straws to clean up one and we set the edge of a paper towel in the other. On Thursday, we began chapter 2 and started learning about seeds. Benny and I read From Seed to Plant by Gibbons (which was made far more entertaining by the fact that Henry climbed on the bed with us and we kept rolling back and forth every page or two to keep him off the book). Then we did the bean seed dissection, and the girls drew and labeled diagrams in their booklets. Our planting from last week is going well. Everything has spouted in the girls triads, and Benny's jars have several carrot sprouts as well.


I know most of the art is up under history, but I couldn't resist putting up Benny's picture of Pooh and a honey pot as well. Music, I hope, will start up next week.

LATIN / LOGIC / and everything else

Jessie also completed lesson LfC B and her logic assignments. In Memory work, she's learning 2 Timothy 3:16-17 and a poem entitle Thy Word. Violet is memorizing John 4:24 and "All Things Bright and Beautiful". Benny is learning Genesis 1:1. We'll see how long I can keep up with separate memory verses from 3 different Sunday school classes.

Baby Henry spent the first half of the week playing with Nana, and the second half of the week looking for unattended pencils, markers, and crayons with which to make his art work. He succeeded in getting one page of Violet's copywork, a page of my binder, a page from Jessie's grammar notebook, my plastic tablecloth, and a small section of my kitchen floor. Needless to saying, keeping all art and school supplies put in their proper places is currently a priority for training.


MJ said...

I hear you on the art supplies -- my 18 month old also finds her brother's school work to be the most interesting thing to color, followed closely by the walls!

Christie said...

Same here with the art supplies. My 16 month old has discovered them recently and my 3 yr old (who knows better) occasionally covers himself in his favorite color! =)

What a great fun week you all had!! I love reading these weekly reports! I hope to have ours up tomorrow sometime.

Kristine said...

What a great, full week you guys have! And I love the picture of Pooh and the honey pot. :-)