Friday, October 9, 2009

Week 9: Starting to come together...

It wasn't a perfect week. There were still moments of whining, daydreaming, crying babies, and general chaos; but it was manageable. I've learned the schedule well enough to get the kids back on track All I have to do is say, "Henry, go play with ...", and he's off. The girls have figured out what I expect of them again (although that doesn't mean they won't try to push the limit at times). We finished on time a few days and persevered until the work was done on the days of daydreaming and doodling. Here's a look at what was accomplished.


Jessie had one day of reviewing multiplying fractions. Then she moved on to dividing a fraction by a whole number by writing the inverse of the whole number and multiplying. She did great when the problems were written out horizontally. One of the workbook pages had a little path chart that went both down and across, so of course she tried to solve the problems mentally instead of writing them out. After a few tries, we eventually got it all straightened out. Friday, the introduced word problems for the fractions skills we've been covering. I liked the way they took one problem and showed three different ways to solve it. The first method was to solve for the final fraction first before multiplying it by the whole number. The second had you multiply the fraction and whole number first and then answer the question, while the third used a bar diagram. Jessie also started the CWP 5 book this week and has done very well so far in the first section.

Violet had a harder time this week in math. She spent part of the week multiplying a two or three digit number by a one digit number. After explaining it conceptually, we stacked the numbers and multiplied ones, then tens, then hundreds regrouping as necessary. The problems may have taken her more time, but she did an excellent job on them. Friday, I introduced the beginning of long division. We discussed what a quotient and remainder were and then set up several small problems (some in the textbook and some I made up) on the dry erase board and worked through them together. She had some trouble remembering all the steps when she tried to do it on her own, so she kept coming to me to verify what she needed to do next. I'll try to spend some extra time next week working with her although it may mean I write on the whiteboard while she eats her cereal a couple of mornings.

Benny is still working with the concept of addition and addition sentences in Singapore 1A. Basically, we went over how to write an addition sentence, what the parts mean, and how it relates to the number bonds we used in the last unit. His Miquon pages also have him adding with the cuisenaire rods.. He likes to try to solve it using only two blocks. The problem would say 5 + __ = 7. He would lay the 5 and 7 rods next to each other and tell me the answer was two without bothering to get out the two block and check. The amazing part to me is that most of the time he was right.


Jessie worked on the words from last week's spelling lesson again. One day I had her copy the words. Two other days she took 10 words and wrote them in sentences. Friday, she got a 95 on her test. In grammar, we finished up with nouns and have moved on to the unit on verbs. She covered action verbs. This year the text had her further classify them as a physical action, mental action, or possession. We also reviewed state of being verbs and helping verbs. Most days she did the worksheet with the lesson and only a portion of the written part in the text. In CW Homer, we started analyzing our new model, "Xenophon, to the Sea". We reviewed the different parts of a scene and further discussed what each part meant using the new list of questions for each one in the core. There were plenty of vocabulary words to look up on day 2. I like the way they have her determine the part of speech before looking the word up in the dictionary. I guess I've always done it automatically, so I'm not sure it would have occurred to me to mention it. Day 3 was more diagramming, and day 4 was paraphrasing by synonym substitution. For literature, we completed a story chart for God King before Jessie wrote her book report (scroll down a post or two to read it.) She seems to be comfortable with the plot and conflict, so I think we'll try adding in one of the other elements next time with some of the Socratic questions. Her new literature selection is The Cat of Bubastes.

Violet is continuing steadily along through SWO E. We tested lesson 13 and she completed the first part of lesson 14. In R&S 3, she still working with nouns. This week focused on singular versus plural and using apostrophes to show possession. Violet's model for CW Aesop was King Midas, which I pulled from D'Aulaire's Greek Myths. Monday, we discussed myths using the core book. Tuesday, we used a dictionary to look up vocabulary words. Unfortunately words like Phrygian and satyr are not in our children's dictionary so we had to break out my college dictionary. Let's just say it took awhile but we survived. We also analyzing the capitalization and dictated a couple of the sentences. At long last, we finally picked up a copy of The Golden Goblet on Tuesday afternoon on the way back from apple picking. This is much more challenging than any of the other books this year. She's giving me less detail in her narration, but she still seems to be following the story well.

Benny has completed all of the exercises in the Pyramid book covering short vowel words with double consonant endings. I need to decide if we're going to start a new section in Phonics Pathways covering words that end in -y before vacation or if we'll just read some phonics readers for the next week and start fresh after our vacation. In handwriting, we made it through the letter X this week. One more week of letters, and he'll be ready to start copywork. YEAH!! Our main read aloud is Dolphin Adventure. It took a few chapters for Benny to get interested, but he's excited about reading it now.


This week in OT history, we covered the plagues, the exodus, and the Israelites journey toward Mt. Sinai. The girls had plenty of related drawing from our Draw and Write Through History book. For the plagues they drew a frog, and two different locusts. For the exodus, they drew Moses at the Red Sea. They also drew a quail from the story where the Israelites asked for food. We made a map of the difference locations mentioned in their reading. I showed them the different routes in our Bible atlas and explained why the routes didn't cross the Red Sea. (It's really sad when the Bible atlas doesn't even take the Bible at face value.) Then we took the Bible at face value and estimated what the actual route might have been based on the points of Goshen and Marah. We didn't actually draw the line, but at least our route crossed the Red Sea. As far as writing, they had a narration from last week covering Moses birth to his call at the burning bush. This week's narration covered the events from the Red Sea through the Israelites first battle. For the plagues we made charts. Violet just looked at what the plague was and Pharaoh's reaction. Jessie's chart included the reactions of other Egyptians and the effects (if any) on the Israelites. Together, we went over what the plagues would have meant to the Egyptians and how God proved himself stronger than the idols they worshipped.

For ancient history, we covered the First Intermediate Period and the Middle Kingdom. Jessie outlines the historical section in The Usborne Encyclopedia of the Ancient World. She used the information in The Pharaohs of Ancient Egyptto explain some the of the causes that led to the decline of Pharaoh's power leading into the First Intermediate Period. Violet narrated the events of the First Intermediate Period to me and wrote a narration of the story of "The Shipwrecked Sailor". Their timelines are so crammed, there wasn't room for either the First Intermediate Period or the Middle Kingdom. I think we'll take out the pages for 2000 and 1500, add in a 1750 page, and redo the figures on those pages next week so that things are in the right order. Violet doesn't really care, but it's irking both Jessie and I. Benny and I finally got a chance to starting reading Ancient Egypt by Cohen after waiting for it to be returned for three weeks. We covered the Old Kingdom and revisited pyramids. Friday, we worked together to build his lego pyramid. He decided to stick one of his figures inside for the mummy. My plan is to catch him up with his sisters next week.


The girls completed the notebook page for Syria this week. I'm hoping to start completing two pages a week starting next week.


In science this week, we completed lesson 6 on leaves. The girls learned about transpiration and how and why trees loss their leaves on Tuesday. For hands on, we went in our yard and my in-laws yard gathering leaves to make into nature books next week. I tied a numbered index card to the trees with some yarn so we could come back and gather more information. On Thursday, they learned about different ways to classify leaves: simple versus compound, the arrangement of the leaves on the branch, the pattern of the veins, and the shape. I had intended to revisit the trees we collected leaves from and record the new information, but Jessie wasn't feeling well Thursday and started running a fever Thursday night, so we'll work on it next week instead.


Jessie started the second Mind Benders B book this week. In LfC B, we (more correctly Jessie) learned the first person pronouns. (I think I'll have to take some Latin with me to the beach to get myself caught up the week after next.) Jessie and I did agree Thursday that next week we would try translating a couple of sentences a day from the history reader instead of doing the whole thing on Thursday, which takes us a long time.


Henry continues to keep us on our toes, but we've had fewer mishaps this week. He did manage to find the white out in my desk and smear is on the desk, the desk's chair, and his clothes. (If anyone has a suggestion for how I wash it out of his clothes, please let me know.) His newest game is to bang my metal pot lids together like cymbals. (I tried twice but haven't managed to grab the camera in time for a picture yet.) He has so much fun that even my DH doesn't complain about all the noise. (I am considering buying ear plugs if he is still at it in another week or two.) Friday, Benny got into the game. He held the pot lids while Henry banged on them with one of my metal measuring cups. Between the bangs and the laughter it was really loud, but somehow the girls managed to concentrate and accomplish some work anyway.


Kash said...

Sounds like a great week. We love our schedule here, too.

Julia said...

Dolphin Adventure! It's been years since we read that. It's a fun story.

Paige said...

Looks like another great week, thanks for sharing it.

cyn said...

Wow! What a fun, productive week you had. You seem to have achieved soooooo much!