Friday, March 11, 2011

Our Week in Review, 2/28- 3/5 and 3/7- 3/11

We have been doing school--making excellent progress, actually.  I just haven't been blogging about it!  I'm trying to get back into the habit of doing the weekly reviews.  I love the perspective it gives me--it's encouraging to see how much we've actually gotten done.  So here goes!

Over the last two weeks . . .


Math: Connor has been working on making change and measuring (RS B, lessons 95-99).  He loves playing store with coins during the money lessons, and he had a lot of fun measuring things all over the house with the ruler he made.  I loved how easily he was able to mentally add the measurements of the sides of a rectangle thanks to the strong addition skills he has from this program.  I love RightStart!

History:  We've had fun with history over the last couple of weeks!  We're finally getting into the ancient Greeks, and he's enjoying the history and is fascinated with the stories and myths.  We learned about the Minoans, the story of Theseus and the Minotaur, and the decline of the Minoan civilization due to a nearby volcanic eruption--so we built our own volcano.  That was a hit, as you can imagine!  This week we've been working on the Mycenaeans.  We haven't gotten to the hands-on project yet, so I'll write that up next week.
Finding Greece and Crete on the map

History narration about the Mycenaeans with picture of a warrior in a chariot

Volcano Time!
Building the mountain

Adding the paper mache surface

Clean-up took a while . . . 

Painting the volcano

Adding "plant life"

Our volcano!

Mixing up the baking soda, water, soap, and food coloring


Reading: We've been reading Greek myths from D'Aulaire's Book of Greek Myths and The McElderry Book of Greek Myths, and he's really enjoying them.  He's read a few on his own, but most of them we're reading together. 

I like the thoroughness of the D'Aulaire book, and I love the illustrations in the McElderry book.  The stories from the McElderry book are a bit easier to narrate back as well.  It's been a good combination.

Drawing Pandora's Box

Science:  He's been learning about lizards as well as doing some science things for our never-ending apple lapbook.  He enjoyed checking out gila monsters at the National Geographic Kids website (a handy resource when we haven't been able to get to the library).  We cut open an apple and talked about the symmetry, and they tried their hands at making a symmetrical apple picture.

We also did an evaporation experiment.  In the book How to Make an Apple Pie and See the World (which we're using as the focus for our lapbook), the little girl scoops up sea water and lets the water evaporate to get salt.  So we made some salt water and let it evaporate and discovered that the salt stayed behind!

Boiling water to help the salt dissolve faster
Mixing in salt
Tasting the salt that was left after 3 days

Grammar: He did FLL lessons 74, 75, and 76, doing copywork, a poem narration, and reviewing nouns, action verbs, and pronouns.
Working on copywork

Latin: He finished SSL chapters 27 and 28.  I'm trying to streeeetch SSL out a bit so I can figure out what to use next!  I'm leaning towards Prima Latina.  I like what I've seen of Latin for Children, but I don't know that we're ready to jump into that next.  I need to take a good look at it.  Plus, PL is a lot less expensive, which would be good at the moment.  Decisions, decisions . . . 

Spelling:  He finished step 7 and step 8 in AAS level 2.  If there's anything that's going to get skipped due to lack of time (or because it's been a rough day and we just need to stop), it's spelling.  Working on that.  The last few lessons have been pretty easy for him, though.

Handwriting:  He continues to enjoy learning cursive, and since his cursive is much neater than his printing AND it's much easier for him to maintain consistent letter sizes and to consistently use lowercase letters (rather than sprinkling in random capital letters), I'm very glad about that!  He finished lowercase V this week, and he should be done with the book in a few more weeks.  He loves writing everything he can in cursive, and he's even peeked ahead to find out how to write some letters he didn't already know.

Memory work: We're currently working on Ephesians 6:13-18, Jesus' disciples, syllable division rules for spelling, a couple of Latin phrases, a history sentence, and we started a catechism question this week.

I've officially/unofficially started Brennan in Kindergarten.  He's really been doing K-level work for a while, so it doesn't make much of a difference!

Math: Lately it seems like I can only get either math OR phonics done with Brennan.  It's been better this week, so hopefully we can continue that trend.  Lately we've been working on RS A lessons 29 and 30, talking about pennies, dimes, and nickels as well as figuring out how many objects we have without counting individually (by grouping into 10's).  

Playing an addition game online

Phonics:  He's been reading to me every night before bed for a while, and over the last week we've been working on finishing up 6 hours of reading to get free Six Flags tickets.  The extra practice has helped his fluency quite a bit.  He has a really bad tendency to guess based on the context, picture, or the first letter of the word.  It drives me crazy, because he's more than capable of sounding out the words he's not familiar with!

Handwriting:  He finished his handwriting book!  He's pretty proud of the fact that he gets to go on to big-boy copywork.  I think I'm going to go ahead and get the next Handwriting Without Tears book as well in a few weeks, just to make sure we keep reviewing in a systematic way.

All done!

Reading (literature): We've started using the storytime suggestions/instructions from Little Hearts for His Glory, which I used in its entirety for Connor for Kindergarten.  I love the program, but I don't want to try to do a complete separate curriculum for Brennan--way too much!  I really like the way it prepares them to do narrations, though (as well as the Thornton Burgess books, which are lots of fun).  He's been enjoying listening to the exploits of Reddy Fox this week, and yesterday he dictated a short letter advising Reddy not to be so bold (an activity from the book).  We'll continue to read lots and lots of library books too!


Bible: We've read several stories over the past couple of weeks.  When we learned about Jesus and the woman at the well, we made origami cups and talked about how Jesus gives us living water and what that means.  It wasn't a super-easy concept to discuss at a kid's level!

They also had a lot of fun acting out the story of the men who bring their friend to Jesus to be healed and have to let him down through the roof.

The over-crowded house
Making a hole in the roof
Carrying the friend
Lowering him down to Jesus

He is healed!

We've had  a really good couple of weeks.  I feel like we've finally hit our stride after the holidays, weather, and everyone being sick!

1 comment:

  1. I was re-reviewing your blog and smiled (again) at the boy's acting out the Bible story of the man being let down through the roof by his friends to be healed by Jesus. This is one of my favorite stories! I love their rendition. :o)