Sunday, May 8, 2011

Our Weeks in Review: 4/25 - 4/29 and 5/2 - 5/6

I didn't get a post done last week (we had a looong day Saturday--last soccer games of the season!), and then this week we had a short week since I worked one day and Aaron and I went to the homeschool book fair in Arlington on Friday.  So I figured I'd catch up with one post for both weeks!


Math:  We've been having fun playing math games and doing worksheets from fun workbooks.  I ordered RS level C on Friday at the homeschool book fair--10% discount AND free shipping.  Glad I waited for it!

History:  Over the past couple of weeks we've been back in ancient Greece, learning about Sparta and Athens (SOTW chapter 22).  I'm hoping to get to a couple of hands-on history projects this week.  It seems that I can manage to do hands-on history stuff OR hands-on science stuff, but not both!

Reading (literature):  We finished up Black Ships before Troy and started The Wanderings of Odysseus, also by Rosemary Sutcliff.
The illustrations by Alan Lee in this edition are incredible.

I'm thinking through how I want to handle reading with Connor.  He reads well (probably about a 6th grade level based on the assessments I've seen, at least as far as decoding skills), but I haven't been expecting much from him as far as reading on his own for school.  Most of the read-alouds I want to continue to do as read-alouds, but I know he needs to be doing more required reading as well.  He does read a good bit on his own, but it's not always high-quality stuff (which is fine--I don't want to micromanage his free reading.  At least not too much!).  So I'm mulling over how to work this into our day.

Grammar:  He finished lessons 86, 87, and 88, covering capitalization in poetry, writing dates, and a story narration.

Spelling: He's working on step 12--plural v-c-e words.  Spelling has been the first thing to go recently when we don't get to everything, so progress has been slow.  He's doing fine when we actually get to it, though!

Latin: We've continued playing games with the flashcards and then he had fun doing the end-of-the-book giant crossword puzzle with all his Latin words.

Handwriting:  He started working on cursive capital letters last week after finishing the lowercase letters the week before.  The capital letters move much faster than the lowercase, so he should finish the book in the next couple of weeks.

Memory Work:  Connor has the books of the OT and NT down!  Mrs. Mary at church (the children's church leader) offered prizes to kids who could recite each of them, so that was quite a motivation.  Brennan is very motivated to learn them now too, and he can get up to Proverbs almost all by himself!  Connor has Ephesians 6:13-18 down, but Brennan still needs a little work, so we'll stick with it for a couple more days.  We'll be starting a new song tomorrow ("God Is Good All the Time"--one they requested after I sang it to them a couple of weeks ago) as well as a new catechism question.  Connor has been working on the poem "Mr. Nobody."  He's doing well--he still needs a little help with the transitions between stanzas (there are three), but I think that's a GOOD thing.  He gets frustrated SO easily (and SO dramatically!) when he doesn't get something immediately--this is a good example that there are some things you just have to keep working at.  We've also been working on the definition of a plant and the parts of a plant.


Math:  We've done much better about getting Brennan's math done over the last  couple of weeks!  He finished lessons 37, 38, and 39 in RS A (usually doing 1/2 a lesson per day), and he actually fussed one day because there weren't enough problems on his worksheet. *grin*  Of course, he also fussed another day because he had to DO a worksheet, so I guess you just can never tell!  He's been working on addition, and it's been fun to see how the RS methods are working.  Several times when I've asked him about a  problem after he did it, he's talked about "moving one from this one to that one and that makes 5 and 2 which is 7," which is *exactly* the kind of thinking RS encourages.  He's going to be so excited to find out that he gets to play "Go to the Dump" (similar to "Go Fish," but you match cards that add up to 10) in just a couple of lessons (he's seen Connor play it)!

Phonics:  He's still working on -vce words.  We started long "U" -vce words last week.  He's doing well, he just still need a good bit of practice.  I printed some cards with -vce words to play games with, so I need to sit and cut them out tonight.  He can read any -vce word pretty easily, once he realizes it *is* a -vce word.  That seems to be the issue at the moment--noticing the silent "e" as he's reading.  I'm really glad we're hitting the phonics pretty heavily.  He is a born guesser, and I think if he'd been taught using sight words, he'd run into some serious trouble later on.  I'm constantly having to make him go back and read a word that he's fully capable of reading but he just guessed based on the first letter or the context.  He really is doing very well, though--he just read A Kiss for Little Bear to me tonight with almost no trouble and very few corrections.  Yay!

Handwriting:  For copywork over the last couple of weeks I've been having him copy the first stanza of "O Worship the King, " and he asked for "Joyful, Joyful, We Adore Thee" after that.  So we started that one last week, and we'll continue it this week.

Reading (literature): We're continuing to read The Adventures of Reddy Fox.  Some days his attention and discussion are good.  Some days, not so much.  Such is life with little boys, I think!


Bible: Over the last couple of weeks we've learned about Jesus' resurrection, the road to Emmaus, doubting Thomas, Jesus' ascension, Pentecost, and the stoning of Stephen.  Lots of reading, discussion, and coloring pages, as well as a few fun review games.

Science:  We've still been learning about roots!  A couple of our experiments haven't gone too well--the avocado pits are growing mold (grr . . .), and I think I had too much water in the lima bean jar.  So I restarted that one tonight, and I'm debating whether or not cleaning off the avocado pits will work.  We also started another experiment to measure how much water the roots of a plant will soak up.
Drawing a plant w/its roots for his notebook page about roots.

He had lots to say about roots--had to continue on the back!

Brennan just had to make a notebook page too.  *grin*

Uprooting a plant to use in our experiment

We measured the water so we can check in a few days to see how much water the roots have soaked up.

Aaron and I had a good time at the book fair last week.  It was fun to get away and spend the day together, just the two of us.  We found some good deals as well as some Hank the Cowdog t-shirts--the boys were thrilled. *grin*  And I faced some serious temptation at Jim Weiss' booth--he records audio books and his own versions of folk tales, fairy tales, tales from literature, etc.  I think the only thing that saved me in the end was not being able to decide right then what I wanted.  I need to sit down with the catalog and make a wish list!

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