Friday, September 11, 2009

Week 5: Two steps forward, one step back

This has been an extremely challenging week for us. Monday, I was trying to get the kids through their school work while finishing up pricing clothes to drop off at our local consignment sale. (Note to self: Never try this again. It doesn't work.) Tuesday, we took some school with us as we went to drop off the stuff at the sale. By Wednesday, we were behind on several assignments, and the house looked like a disaster. The girls are still working on finishing up their work while I write this on Friday afternoon. Make that they were supposed to be finishing up their history while I worked on this yesterday; but since they goofed around, we are actually doing school on Saturday for the first time ever. (I could have let it pass if they had actually been working.)


Jessie's math this week has been like a roller coaster ride. She started off dividing by two digit numbers. Tuesday's practice page in the textbook took forever and earned her a 92%. Then Wednesday it all fell apart. I assigned her two pages in the IP. It took forever for her to finish and half of the problems were incorrect. Thursday's assignment became correcting all the mistakes from Wednesday. Interestingly, she got them all correct on Thursday, and Friday's assignment was also completely correct. I'm at a bit of a loss as to whether or not I'll need to give her some more practice before we move on to the next unit. I suppose I'll wait and see how the rest of the IP assignments go next week.

Violet's week wasn't quite as bumpy of a ride. She did well with the word problem assignments. Her practice pages had as many copying errors as they did computation errors. I'm tempted to write out the problems on paper for her, but I want her to pay more attention and be careful when she's copying something. (She does the same thing in her grammar assignments.) At any rate, she finished the second unit in the textbook and workbook and started working in the IP by the end of the week.

Benny finally finished up his hundreds chart in the Miquon Orange book. We did another fill in the missing number page, and then starting adding blocks together. In Singapore, we worked on ways to make 9 and 10 using the cuisenaire rods to help us like we've done the past couple of weeks. So far so good. He's doing very well.


Jessie's spelling got done. In grammar, we spent most of the week either working with sentences with compound subjects or predicates or compound sentences. As part of compound sentences, we learned the difference between a correct sentence, a comma splice, and a run-on. The compound sentence diagramming was just in time for our CW Homer analysis. In addition to identifying parts of the scene and dictation, one of our assignments was to mark up a few sentences. We took the conventions that we use in R&S of underlining the simple subjects, double underlining the simple predicates, and circling the conjunctions and added some of our own conventions. We did squiggly lines under prepositional phrases and arrows to connect adjectives and adverbs to the word they modified. I dropped off a few of the parts when we diagrammed that Jessie hadn't learned to diagram yet. Overall, it went really well. Jessie's not quite finished with The Phantom Tollbooth. We did take a few minutes to discuss the behavior of Zeus after her Age of the Fable reading, noted the similarities to human behavior, and introduced the term humanism.

Violet's spelling also got done. In grammar, she worked on using apostrophes and rules of capitalization. For her CW Aesop analysis week, we discussed the fable "The Crow and the Pitcher", did some more alphabetizing, identifying sentence types, changed a sentence from one type to another, and used the moral for dictation. She has finished reading Understood Betsy, and continued to enjoy her assignments from The Red Fairy Book and The Complete Peterkin Papers. Copywork was rather hit and miss. I'm going to take some handwriting paper to Staples can have it bound together at the top. Hopefully, I can write out next week's assignments ahead of time. I've decided to focus on literature selections (with the occasional Bible memory verse) rather than poetry to work on her capitalization skills for awhile.

Benny's phonics is still moving along. We haven't quite reached the end of the section with double consonant endings yet. He did some handwriting off and on during the week, but I wasn't very consistent. We're continuing to zip through his literature at a much faster pace than I had originally intended. Friday, we finished the last story of Three Tales of My Father's Dragon. (I think Benny already has plans to get his sister's to read it to him for a second and third time.)


This week we covered Abraham and Lot for our OT history. The girls completed a summary for each and a map that showed Abraham's journey. For ancient history, we covered the Sumerians and the Epic of Gilgamesh and drew a map of Mesopotamia and the Fertile Crescent. They added timeline figures for Abraham, Lot, Sumerian civilization, Sumerian cuneiform, and the Epic of Gilgamesh. Jessie outlined the first two pages of her reading about Sumer in The Usborne Encyclopedia of the Ancient World and read Excavating the Past: Mesopotamia and Gilgamesh the Hero (which she didn't liked because it was weird.) She did a great summary of Gilgamesh. Her essay on the Sumerians wasn't quite what I was looking for, but I decided the fault was mine for not giving clearer instructions. We'll keep trying as we go through the year. Violet read the Sumer section from The Kingfisher Book of the Ancient World, Life in Ancient Mesopotamia, and Gilgamesh the King. She picked 5 things that she found interesting about daily life in Sumer to write down and narrated about Gilgamesh. Benny and I read (with Mom editing the content on the fly) from The Usborne Book of World History. He actually found it more interesting than I expected and was disappointed that we didn't keep reading. Below are the notebooking pages that the girls assembled on Saturday after Jessie finished her Abraham summary.

GEOGRAPHY fell through the cracks this week.


We completed all the reading and booklets for chapter 3 on our botany book. Thursday, we finally got around to our flower dissection that was scheduled for Tuesday. We didn't make a clay model of a flower (which I was going to count as art this week). We also finished up both of our bean experiments from the previous week. All the bean roots grew down as the kids predicted. (Now Benny wants to plant the sprouts. Maybe they'll actually eat them if we grow them ourselves.) Our germination experiment didn't go quite as well. The bean in the refridgerator, of course, did nothing. The bean in the dark started to mold along with the paper towel. It did grow longer than the one in the sunlight before I terminated the experiment to throw it in the trash.


Jessie completed lesson 4 in LfC B. I was glad to see the translation exercise in the history reader was much shorter this week although I did finally have to download the answer key to make sure I was translated the first sentence correctly. She completed her logic assignments and memory work as well.

Violet and I reviewed Latin vocabulary all week. Monday, we chanted. Tuesday I made a matching exercise for her. Wednesday she translated from Latin into English, and Thursday we reversed it so that she translated from English into Latin. I guess I forgot to do anything with it on Friday.

Benny decided he wanted to make a tiger puppet this week. It turned out to be a lot more involved that I expected. He insisted on cutting out all of the stripes rather than just drawing them on. I helped him color a few of them when his hand got tired, but he was very happy with the end result which always makes the added effort worth while.
Henry continued his normal routine of checking the doors to see if he could go outside and scouting the dining room for unattended writing utensils to use.

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