Friday, July 22, 2011

Our Week in Review 7/18 - 7/22

It's been a crazy summer so far!  We've been taking advantage of lots of fun activities, spending time with family and friends, and going swimming.  We took a couple of weeks completely off of school and had a couple of weeks with 2 or 3 days worth of school, but then this week we jumped back into a full week.  So I thought I'd post a week in review!


Math:  He has started RS level C, and is thoroughly enjoying the review lessons.  It's tempting to skip the things he already knows (and we have skipped or just barely touched on a few things), but I think the review is probably good for him, and I'm of the firm opinion that the more successful experiences you have in math, the better!  Plus, I noticed with level B (and A, now, with Brennan) that the concepts are in a specific order for a specific reason, and even though something might seem unimportant now, in a few lessons you will probably see why it was where it was!  This week he completed lessons 14 - 17.  He's been enjoying learning about Roman numerals (lessons 13 - 16), which fit nicely with the way RS teaches students to "see" numbers.  It's also nice because we'll be getting to ancient Rome in history soon, too, so that'll be a nice tie-in.

Writing out Roman numerals for his notebook

History:  This week we've been doing SOTW chapter 25, about Alexander the Great.  We're reading Alexander the Great by Demi (beautifully illustrated, as all of hers are), and Connor read The Secret of Alexander's Horse by Tony Palazzo.  We're planning to make hobby horses tomorrow so each can hop along on his own, personal Bucephalus. *grin*

Reading The Secret of Alexander's Horse

Reading:  We're reading through Milo Winter's Aesop's Fables for Children.  Excellent for narration, since most of them are very short, and also good for some interesting discussions!

Grammar:  He finished lessons 98 and 99 this week.  One more and then we move to the 2nd grade part of the book!  Lesson 99 was a review of all the poems he memorized, and we made videos of him reciting them.    He did a great job!  Here's the video of the last one he memorized,  "Mr. Nobody."

Spelling:  He finished Step 15 in AAS level 2 this week, which covered words with "er."

Latin:  He did lesson 2 in Prima Latina this week, and he loves it!  I was a little worried because it's not as much "fun" as Song School Latin, but he just really likes Latin.  He's not too crazy about some of the exercises, but I have him making his own flashcards, and he really likes that.  He was actually in tears yesterday because I wouldn't let him go on to lesson 3 (we had other work to do too!).  Poor kid!

Making Latin flashcards
Handwriting:  I've noticed a big improvement in his handwriting in general lately, probably mostly because he's getting more practice with copywork and I'm making sure to point out and praise when he's doing well.  He's still finishing up his cursive workbook--just a couple more pages!

Writing:  This week he finished Writing with Ease (WWE) week 16 and began week 17.  Today he chose to write his narration himself (and did great), so I'm looking at  moving ahead even faster than we have been.

Writing his own narration (rather than dictating it to me, then copying it)

Memory Work:  We didn't get to memory work this week, mostly because I need to sit down and change pretty much everything--new song, new Bible verse, new catechism question, etc.  I didn't that done this week, so it's on my agenda for the weekend!


Math:  Brennan worked on lesson 51 and 52 in RS A this week.  We really stopped and focused on these lessons for a few days to make sure he was really getting the concepts of counting by twos, adding one to a 2-digit number, and adding two to a number.  He's still not quite getting the transition from 9's to 10's (i.e., 39 + 1 = 40) and 8's to 10's (i.e., counting by 2's or adding 2--18 to 20 or 48 to 50).  He can rattle off 2-4-6-8-10 with no trouble, and he can do it easily on the abacus where he can "see" the new 10, so we've gone back and done more practice using the abacus and counting objects by 2's and grouping them into 10's.  It's coming, though!
Counting by twos on the abacus

Counting by twos/grouping into tens

Writing equations for +1 problems

Phonics:  He's been working on some of the long vowel sounds other than "magic e" words.  I've noticed a fairly dramatic improvement in both his fluency and his willingness to sound out unfamiliar words without resorting to guessing, which thrills me!

Handwriting:  He's been memorizing a poem, "Giraffe," by Mary Ann Hoberman, and I've been giving him a line each day to copy for his copywork.  He can (and usually does) do an excellent job.  I need to go pick up new handwriting books for both of them.

Reading (literature):  We're reading The Adventures of Peter Cottontail by Thornton Burgess, another in the same series as The Adventures of Reddy Fox.  The chapters this week have been about Reddy's attempts to catch Peter and the ways Peter and friends fool Reddy, and both boys have loved listening to them.  Brennan's narration skills are definitely growing.


Bible:  We actually didn't do Bible this week (as far as a "class" for school time).  I've been at loose ends since we finished going through their story Bible a while ago and haven't settled into anything.  I do much better when I have a concrete plan that's easy to follow, so I've been checking out various Bible curricula/programs.  I really like Bible Study Guide for All Ages.  I like the way that you actually study the Bible rather than lessons from the Bible.  The curriculum is set up so that all ages can study the same text at the same time in a way that is age/level appropriate.  It also incorporates memory work (verses and other info, such as the 10 commandments), review, and a timeline and maps for historical and geographical context.  It seems to fall in nicely with the way we "do" school.  I'm getting ready to order it soon!

Science:  This week we learned about carnivorous plants, focusing mostly on the venus fly trap.  We watched this video at Dan the Gardener and Friends and this one from the Discovery Channel as well as a couple of YouTube vids of a slug and a frog getting caught.  Brennan also asked this week's tough-to-answer question: "Why do they call it a venus fly trap if it doesn't just catch flies?"  Mom's genius answer?  "Well, it does catch flies, so I guess they just decided to call it that."  Urgh.

Anyway, they both made good notebook pages:

I told Brennan after we finished today that he needed to go back and do some more school work because I hadn't taken enough pictures of him this week.  Strangely, he didn't go for the idea! *grin*  I need to remember to pull it out with him more next week!

Next week, Connor will have soccer camp in the evenings, so we'll see how much we can get done--he may be pretty wiped out!

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