Saturday, March 26, 2011

Our Week in Review, 3/21 - 3/36

We had another good, productive week this week.  It's amazing what we can get done when good attitudes, good health, and a lack of busyness coincide!

Math:  We are almost done with RightStart B!  We only have two more lessons and then the final test left.  We may spend more than one day on these last couple of lessons.  I'm planning to order level C in May at the homeschool book fair, so we'll spend the meantime doing "math lite:" playing the RightStart games, reviewing/practicing things he's learned, playing with the manipulatives, etc.  This week he worked on subtraction, reading scales, and telling time in lessons 102 - 104.  After working on subtraction a bit, I think we need to go back and cement some addition facts.  He knows them, but they're not quite automatic yet, and trying to figure it out as an extra step in subtraction takes long enough that he's getting frustrated.  If he stops and thinks about it, he knows that 8 + 5 = 13, but when he has to subtract 5 from 13, he's not automatically connecting it to 8 yet.  So I predict lots of addition war in our future!

History:  We've been working on SOTW chapter 20 ("The Early Greeks") this week.  We had fun connecting the story of Odysseus and the cyclops to a very similar (it's GOT to have the same origin!) story about Sinbad the Sailor from 1001 Arabian Nights by Geraldine McCaughrean.  He also enjoyed learning about the original Olympic games and was quick to point out anything he already knew from reading (several times!) The Hour of the Olympics (a Magic Treehouse book).  We're probably going to camp out here next week too so we can read some of the great library books we've got about ancient Greece and do a project or two, including finishing his Mycenaean war helmet, which is taking forever!  Here are a couple of pics of it in progress:

We WILL finish it this week!!

Reading: He read The Trojan Horse: How the Greeks Won the War by Emily Little.  I asked him to tell me about it, and he did without ever realizing he was doing a narration (which still causes the occasional foot dragging, although it's much better).  Sneaky mom. *grin*  We also started reading Black Ships Before Troy by Rosemary Sutcliff and are still reading and occasionally narrating Greek myths--this week was Orpheus and Eurydice (from the McElderry book).  

Science: We started learning about turtles and tortoises this week, but we haven't gotten too far yet--just read the animal encyclopedia entry and began a notebook page.

Grammar: He did FLL lesson 79 on writing abbreviations for titles of respect.  We missed getting spelling done one day, pushing it to the next day, which kept us from getting another grammar lesson in (we usually end up doing school 4 days/week).

Spelling: He finished AAS step 9 this week.  Trucking along!

Latin:  He did chapter 30 in SSL.  The last one with new content--only a review chapter left!

Handwriting:  He "officially" learned the letter "m" in cursive this week, although he'd looked ahead and has been writing it on his own for a couple of weeks now.  

Writing:  We started Writing with Ease this week!  I was already convinced that copywork/dictation/narration was the way to go, but reading Susan Wise Bauer's The Complete Writer: Writing with Ease (which goes with the student workbook) and this thread on the Well-Trained Mind forums really solidified it for me.  

We started with week 2.  It's super easy for him right now, but I think that starting out easy and working up (probably skipping some of the weeks) is the right approach for him.  He doesn't *need* the practice in what we're doing right now (we started with week 2), but I'm hoping that starting easy and gradually increasing the difficulty will work better than jumping into something more challenging just for the sake of being challenging.  He's loving the easy narrations, and the extra copywork certainly can't hurt!  

Memory Work: Ephesians 6:13-18 (continued), catechism question, Latin phrase ("terra firma"),  list of pronouns, list of the disciples, books of the Bible through Hosea, the hymn "O Worship the King," syllable division rules for spelling, and history chant.  We switched this week from reciting sentences for history (which  tended to get stalled) to a chant to go through our history cards.  He seems to enjoy the chant more, and I think the rhythm will help cement it easier than straight sentences.  I went through the cards we have so far and came up with a way to chant them.  Several people have asked me to share, so I've been working on finishing the chant to go with the rest of the cards for ancient history (found at Hannah's Homeschool Helps) and I'll share as soon as it's done.  Some of the cards for people/events we haven't gotten to yet are a little tough because I'm not sure what to emphasize.

Putting  the books of the Bible in order using popsicle sticks

Math: We didn't get much math done this week.  He likes to go IN ORDER, and math is in his #4 box (and he wouldn't be happy if I switched them), so there are times when we don't get to it.  Working on that . . . 

What he did do this week was good, though!  We worked on finding out how many tiles he had by setting aside groups of five and entering them by fives on the abacus.  He also chose on his own to figure out how many tiles he had using the grouping by tens that we've done before, which is what he's doing here (each long row is ten shown by 2 sets of 5):

Phonics:  We finished up -nk endings this week.  On to long vowels next week!  He's been having a blast reading the Mercy Watson books (by Kate DiCamillo, who also wrote Because of Winn Dixie and The Tale of Despereaux) out loud to me a few pages at a time.  They're such fun, silly books!  He still needs help with some of the words, but I'm amazed at how much his fluency and endurance have grown in the two weeks or so since he started them.  He is getting better at trying to sound out words rather than guessing, but I still have to make him stop and work it out every now and then.

Handwriting: Continuing copywork!  It's so tempting to go ahead and start him in WWE too--I have to keep reminding myself that he's not even 5 yet.  Besides, there's plenty of copywork he can be working on in the meantime.  This week he copied the days of the week (split up) and a sentence about his birthday.

Reading (literature): Reddy Fox, continued.  

Bible: This week we read about Jesus walking on water and the parable of the Good Samaritan.  We used an activity from Heart of Dakota's Little Hearts for His Glory (a full K/1st homeschool curriculum that I used with Connor): they each drew a picture of the injured man, then put bandages (band-aids) on the picture and dabbed oil on the "wounds."  

Not so many pictures this week (sorry, Mom!), but lots of good learning.  Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday in particular were fun, mostly due to an awesome attitude and cooperation from Connor.  I praised him a lot and pointed out how great it was several times.  He was having fun too, so hopefully the consistently good attitude will continue!

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