Friday, October 1, 2010

Our Week in Review, 9/27-10/1

Our schedule and routine changes (and stronger consistency with discipline!) have paid off this week.  And lots of prayer, too, which I'm convinced is the biggest factor.  God is good!  We finished all of the planned work every day but one (and finished all of it by 1:30 or 2:00), and that one we didn't finish because we took a trip to the zoo in the afternoon.  School has been much more pleasant this week, and I've gotten more done with Brennan too.  I'm so thankful!

Math:  He worked this week on 9's addition facts.  I was a little worried that he'd struggle a bit since it took him a  little longer to "get" adding 10 to a number, but he picked up on it right away.  RS teaches the 9's facts by having them "complete the 10" (9+4, take one from the 4 to make the 9 a 10, then add the remaining 3 to get 13), and I'd modeled this for him a few times before, so he caught on right away.

Reading:  We're still working on The Family Under the Bridge.  Between our had-to-return-it-to-the-library hiatus and not getting it done a couple of days, this book is taking us a reeaaalllly long time!  It's good, though.  I think we have one chapter left.  Maybe we'll just sit down and read it tomorrow!

History:  We're learning about the Middle Kingdom of ancient Egypt this week in SOTW chapter 12.  He was rather captivated with the story of the Egyptians running of their Hyksos interlopers and reenacted it with Legos later on. *grin*
The Egyptian princes preparing for battle!

Narrations have been going much more smoothly this week, I think as a part of the general more peaceful atmosphere.  For our hands-on project, I'm planning to make sock monkeys with them (which will look nothing like traditional sock monkeys!),  one of the activities suggested in the SOTW activity guide.  (The first section in the chapter is about the Egyptians conquering Nubia, and the Nubians brought monkeys as part of their gifts/tributes to the Egyptians).

Science:  The boys saw live snails for the first time (I think!) last weekend and were fascinated, so guess what our current animal is to study for science?  Yup!  We read from our animal encyclopedia and he began a notebook page.

Grammar:  He started learning about verbs this week with FLL lesson 52.  He can just about recite the pronoun list from memory--I need to remember to review it with him!

Spelling:  (alternates daily with grammar) We finished step 1 in AAS level 2, which was almost all review.  He's got the rules down pat as far as reciting them, and he caught himself making a mistake while writing words from dictation (and it's one that I've noticed in his independent writing), so he seems to be applying them as well.  On to step 2!

Latin: He finished SSL chapter 16 this week, and Wednesday night he informed our pastor that he's a shepherd ("pastor" is Latin for "shepherd").  *grin*   He also drew a picture of a polar bear (using Learn to Draw: Animals from Walter Foster) that he wants me to copy and send to several people and labeled it "Ursa" and "Ursa means bear in Latin."

I LOVE how much he's enjoying Latin and I hope I can find a good follow-up program for when we finish this.

Copywork/handwriting:  (alternates daily with Latin)  He's been wanting to learn cursive for a while, so when I got Brennan's handwriting book, I picked up a cursive book for Connor.  He's using Handwriting without Tears as well.  I really wasn't set on sticking with HWT for cursive--I like the approach, but it's not very compatible with other workbooks/paper, and he'd do fine with another style.  But when I looked at the other cursive handwriting books available, the pages looked so *busy*.  It was hard for ME to figure out what he was supposed to do, and most of them didn't "talk" you through the steps like HWT does, at least as far as I could tell.  The white space on the HWT pages was like a breath of fresh air!  Anyway, after a little rebellion over mom's insistence that he do the work carefully and correctly (which I'd been getting rather lax on with copywork, I'm sad to say!), he's doing great.  And the emphasis on taking care with his writing has been easy to transfer and use to remind him to write neatly in other work.

Math: He focused on the concept of zero and continued with odd/even in RS A lessons 15 and 16.  Here he put the cards in number order (he caught his mistake a few minutes later!) and "labeled" them with the colored tiles according to odd or even.  I was supposed to guide him into seeing the alternating pattern, but he picked up on it on his own.

Phonics: He's still "officially" working on final consonant blends, but he can pretty much read them all, and his reading is starting to take off beyond what we're working on in the book.  He asks questions all the time about what words or letter combinations say, and much of it seems to be sticking.  I love this part of teaching them to read!

Reading/Literature:  We read one of the stories in Poppleton in Fall by Cynthia Rylant and he narrated it back to me; we also did a narration for his lapbook on Anansi and the Moss-Covered Rock by Eric Kimmel.

Handwriting:  I just about have to pry the book out of his hands to keep him to doing only two or three pages a day!  He LOVES it, and he's doing really well.  I've noticed a sudden change in his coloring and drawing too--much more attention to detail and working carefully.  He drew this just the other day:

I love the details--the windows, the smoke coming out of the chimneys, the flowers . . . it just makes me smile.

Science:  He's almost done with his spider lapbook!  Only one or two more mini books to go.  Thankfully.  I'm tired of looking for pictures of spiders on google and having to scroll past pictures of people's spider bites--ick!

Bible: This week we learned about Gideon and Samson.  They played a game pretending to knock down the idols in Israel (I got it from Little Hearts for His Glory), by knocking over blocks with sock balls, which was great fun, but I forgot to take pics!

Also this week, Connor discovered the idea of highlighting in his Bible.  So he just *had* to go through and highlight all his memory verses. *grin*  It was a great, totally independent/self-led way to review his verses and practice finding books and verses in his Bible.

It's been a good week--soccer games tomorrow!


  1. Sounds like a great week! I love the picture of all the buildings. What an artist!! :)

  2. Great week. I love the picture of the Legos doing battle. My son will like this picture too--inspiration you know.

  3. We also started AAS Level 2 this week! I always love reading your blog, especially the Bible summary. I love how your son chose to go through and highlight his memory verses. What a wonderful sight it will be in 20 years when the pages are littered with notes and highlights--a habit that began in your home!

  4. Oh my goodness I need to get moving with RightStart. I don't know why I drag my feet so much with it. We only do math one day a week and I really want to bump that to at least twice. It looks like it gets much more fun (we're only at lesson three).

    My little man has also had a recent improvement in his handwriting/coloring. It's feast or famine with him and handwriting. He either doesn't want any part of it or I have to pry the workbook out of his hands. I just follow his lead for now.