Saturday, January 8, 2011

Our Week in Review, 1/3 - 1/8

Well, we're finally back in the saddle after the holidays!  Between holidays and illness, I feel like we didn't get much accomplished last month, so it was good to actually get in a full five days of school this week!  Most weeks, my goal is to get in four days and then use day 5 for field trips, library, and/or projects, but we're really gunning to try to be ready to start Connor on second grade work in mid-February (when we started 1st grade last year).  Mostly that'll just mean a slight increase in some expectations and beginning RS Math level C.  We are definitely not going to finish SOTW volume 1, but I'm not too concerned about that as long as we're making steady progress.  I'm looking at what's coming next for science, writing, and a few other things as well.  Mostly we need to keep up the consistency and work on attitude and working hard!  Also, in the interest of keeping them on the same yearly schedule (and the fact that he's more than ready), Brennan will be officially starting Kindergarten.  I'm not sure what that's going to look like, since he's pretty much already doing K-level stuff anyway.  I had planned to use Heart of Dakota's Little Hearts for His Glory (which we used for Connor's K year), but I'm not sure now.  I really like the program, but I'm not sure that I want to start him on something that's completely separate from Connor, especially since we already do some things together (Bible, read alouds, and history when Brennan wants to tag along).  And since Bible is really the core of LHFHG, it just wouldn't make much sense to try to do the program without it.  So, decisions, decisions!

On to our week!


Math:  After spending Monday reviewing, he finished lessons 80, 81, and 82 in RS B this week.  I'm tickled at how proud he is at being able to do the 2-digit addition (although I was less than tickled at the resistance he put up to learning another way to do some problems in lesson 80.  Somebody doesn't like change . . . ).  He also made some logical thinking connections about evens and odds (i.e. even + even = even, odd + odd = odd, and even + odd = odd and WHY!) on his own in today's lesson, which was fun to watch.

History: We did chapter 15 in SOTW, covering the ancient Phoenicians and the founding of Carthage.  For our hands-on project this week, we made a "colored glass" project with wax paper and crayon shavings since the Phoenicians were known for their glass-making skills.

On another VERY positive note--I've discovered a tool that has made narrations FUN!  Instead of fighting me on them, he's eager to do it.  What is this magical tool?

Our digital voice recorder.

It kills two birds with one stone.  Or maybe three birds.  First, it's electronic and it has buttons, so it's "cool" and hits that technology spot that seems to come along with the Y chromosome.  Second, it eliminates me having to ask him to slow down or stop while I write his narrations down as he dictates (which he really hates)--he can talk without interruption and then I can play it back and write it down.  Third, he can play it back and hear himself, immediately evaluating how well he did.  I'm just thrilled that he's doing it without a fight now!!

Reading:  Reading has been my nemesis lately; specifically, finding things to have him read.  Connor's reading skills are fine, so I haven't been too worried, but part of what I like the most about the classical method is the focus on reading great works of literature and tying literature to history.  I've looked ahead a bit, and I think it'll get easier once we get to the Greeks.  There's just not always much to choose from (at least that they have at the library!) from this time period!  There are some good kids' versions of the Iliad and the Odyssey, so I'm looking forward to those when we get there.

Science:  He learned about ostriches this week.  Our library didn't have any books specifically about ostriches, so after we read about them in our animal encyclopedia, we checked out for more information.  We've gone there for information a couple of other times, and the site is very useful.  There's information to read about the animals, pictures, videos, and even a map to show habitat and range.  Here's his information sheet:

Grammar: This week he did a story narration (thankful for the digital voice recorder again here!), created a page for a booklet on seasons (Winter), we discussed capitalization and the correct usage of I, he, and she with "It is . . . " or "It was . . ." (FLL lessons 62 and 64).

Latin:  He completed lesson 23, which was a review lesson covering body parts, foods, and eating.

Spelling: He finished step 4 and moved on to step 5 in AAS level 2.  We're working on the first two rules for dividing words into syllables.  His only challenge is that he "gets" it intuitively right now, so he has a hard time verbalizing why he's dividing words where he does, even though we've gone over it 20 times.  Sigh.

Handwriting:  He's continuing to make steady progress with cursive.  He's usually very neat, and he still enjoys  it, which is nice.  He still hasn't learned enough to really use cursive to do any writing outside of handwriting time, but it won't be long!

Memory work:  Our memory work time has sort of evolved along the way.  Right now we're working on finishing up Psalm 23 (really just reviewing from before the break), our catechism question ("Can anyone go to heaven with this sinful nature?"  "No.  Our hearts must be changed before we can be fit for heaven."), history memory work (a sentence to go with a card about Sargon the great), the hymn, "Joyful, Joyful, We Adore Thee," syllable division rule #1, and the meaning of the Latin phrase "et cetera" ("and others.")  Oh, and we're also working on the books of the Old Testament--Connor's got them down through Proverbs at least.


Math:  This week we've been reviewing recognizing 10's, combining 10's and 1's, and beginning addition.  He impressed Daddy the other day by telling him what an equation was and what "consecutive" meant.  I've noticed that he's having a hard time distinguishing between quantities of 8 and 9, so that's on the agenda for next week!

Handwriting:  We've spent some time practicing and reviewing this week.  I've noticed a few times that he's beginning letters at the bottom or forming them incorrectly, so we've been working on that before we move on.  I think most of it is from lack of practice over the break and a bit of lack of supervision over his writing even before that.  Oops!  Overall he's still doing really well, though.

Phonics:  He's started on final digraphs, beginning with words ending in "-sh."  He already knows these, so it should just be a quick review!


Bible:  This week we learned about Elisha and Namaan, Elisha and the angel army, and King Joash.  My creative juices weren't flowing too much, so we pretty much just read the stories and discussed them.  Hoping to do better about that next week!

I'm subbing three days next week, so I'm not sure how much will get done.  I guess we'll see!  I'll leave plans with Daddy for two of the days, so hopefully we can at least keep up the forward momentum!