Saturday, April 19, 2008

Weekly Report

Here's the blogger who started the concept of the Weekly Report. If you aren't already doing it in your school, check it out.

So, here's how the week actually played out (you really don't have to compare it to my original plans, do you?) I am going to work hard at keeping this real, rather than putting a pretty sheen on things. So please be forgiving!

Read Aloud: The Bronze Bow by Elizabeth George Speare. I read one chapter, during which they were not riveted. Kimball did ask lots of questions, but towards the end of the chapter they timed out. I had every intention of reading more, but as this gets tucked in between other things, and they weren't begging me to read more, I didn't. I think I'll try one more chapter with them tomorrow and see if I can draw them in more. It might be a bit too old for them, but I so want it to work, since the time in history would be great (it takes place at the time of Christ.) I'll let you know if this makes it past chapter two as our read aloud. We will do a separate post every week on books we have enjoyed this week, so I won't talk about all the shorter books we read aloud together here. We are also truly loving the Lemony Snicket books in our car CD player. We've checked them out at the library and are currently listening to Book the Eleventh: The Grim Grotto.

Math: Kimball--Saxon 2 lessons 90-93. I had hoped to get in a lesson on Friday, which is why I had five lessons planned, but by Friday I was wiped out and PMS-ing and Jared had various Chamber of Commerce events going on and so we went to the park and met some friends. It was the only way for any of us to have a good day!:) And it was a great choice. But we did not do a math lesson. Kimball is enjoying learning multiplication. So far, we've only introduced 10s, but he seems to grasp the concept and is already figuring out what multiplication means and what it will look like with the other numbers. I am finally using the flashcards, which I think is a good habit to get into. With Henry, we did his math homework that was assigned for kindergarten. He is subtracting numbers less than ten right now and writing numbers to 30. He feels pretty confident with that. I have to remind him to check his numbers to make sure they are facing the right direction--he likes to flip-flop them. Ian loves "doing his math," which involves making designs with tanagrams and covering tanagram pictures. He is doing great with those. So far, he is using the linking cubes to build Star Wars action figures. I guess I need to work with him if I expect him to make patterns!:)

Copywork: Kimball copied a paragraph from The Family: A Proclamation to the World every day, Monday-Thursday. He struggled with focusing and I wonder if it was too long for him. I think I will try to choose something slightly shorter this week and see if it can be a more positive experience. The good news? He has it memorized (which was what I wanted most, anyway!)

Henry copied part of the First Article of Faith. Ian copied his name. On the whiteboard. And I didn't take a picture of it. I worked with Ian on letter formation; he and Henry have both learned some bad writing habits in preschool, where their writing is more like drawing and they have their own way of drawing the letters. So we worked on his three favorite letters: I, X, and O; on starting at the top and moving down. I wish I'd taken a picture of it.

Science: Nature Walk Monday (see previous post). And, I actually ordered the Handbook of Nature Study. It should be here in a week. Yeah! That is progress! We worked in the garden every day, adding to our compost pile, watering, and observing plant growth. Our tomato plants are definitely growing. We haven't seen any blossoms yet. We also planted carrot seeds and a few sunflower seeds. Saturday, Daddy did a lesson on Food Chemisty. I should have taken a picture of the white board. I should have stayed for the lesson, since the notes on the white board where way over my head. They did an overview of macromolecules, and focused on amino acids, peptide bonds, proteins--and how they are changed or denatured through heat, whipping, and how they act as an emulsifier. (I had to have him dictate that to me. Did I mention it was over my head? I just have never been that interested in chemistry.) The kids loved it.

Physical Fitness: Martial Arts: Kimball, two hours a week. Check. Other than that, there was lots of bike riding but nothing formal. And we didn't do the jogging that I had planned. I do want to, though, since I am trying to become a runner and it would help Henry in soccer season if we were running year round.

Reading: We'll do a separate post on this. We read. LOTS. That's the easy part around here.

History: I finally ordered The Story of the World Part 1 (Ancient history) and the workbook that goes with it . When it comes, I'll choose a few lesson plans to do this spring and summer before we start with the Renaissance/Middle Ages next year.

Hymn of the Week: Did You Think To Pray, Hymn 140--Kimball & Henry each know if perfectly. Ian glosses over a few words but can sing along.

Family Principle: Respect. We introduced this at Family Home Evening on Monday. We talked about why respect was important in a family. The kids came up with some ways that we could show respect in our family: respect to God, to parents, to each other, and for our property. We came up with these things to work on this week:
  • Have personal prayers morning and night (respect for God)
  • Do what Mom & Dad ask (respect for parents)
  • Speak without sassing (respect for parents)
  • Listen to each other without interrupting (respect each other)
  • Not tease in a mean way (respect each other)
  • Treat our things well (respect our property)
Each member of the family signed the bottom of the paper and we put it on the fridge for the week. Most mornings at our family devotional we reviewed it, and then we reviewed it again if someone was struggling with one of the above items. Everyone really tried hard and we saw some improvements in the harmony in our home this week.

Scripture Study: We read Alma 12 and discussed it together (we only read a few verses each day and discuss, because of attention spans). It led to some discussions about Adam and the fall and about resurrection, big topics, which are crucial to understanding the plan of salvation. I am so grateful for the clarity with which the Book of Mormon teaches these principles.

Life Skills: Kimball and I worked together on this blog, which was exciting for him. Henry and Kimball have both made big strides in loading the dishwasher properly. They have been very helpful in the gardening, as mentioned in the Science section.

Cub Scouts: Kimball has fulfilled the requirements to receive his Bobcat at pack meeting this week.

Having Fun: We went to the park three times, which is more than usual. We played Connect Four many times, and I taught Kimball how to play Golf (the card game). As I mentioned, on Friday I wasn't having much fun, but it was my own bad attitude and a little burnout. I'm feeling much better now and ready to face a new week.

I also decided this week that we really need to stick to a schedule, at least for the mornings. We let a few things get in the way at the beginning of the week and when I was ready to sit down and do seatwork, the kids had a hard time focusing. This shouldn't be news to me, since I know that at least my two oldest kids thrive on a schedule. So instead of embracing the flexibility that homeschooling provides, we are going to embrace the opportunity to learn together without distractions until noon each day. I'll let you know how that works out.

I am grateful for this opportunity that I have to teach my children and to be with them so much. I am humbled by the influence that I can have in their lives and am really striving to make improvements in my areas of weakness. I love these sweet kiddos.


mindyluwho said... did a lot! I'm impressed! I love your Family Principle of the week and the list you made. Simple, yet impactful.

We read The Bronze Bow last year and loved it, but my kids are older. My younger two didn't stay to listen. You might try "The Ides of April" although it's close to the same level. Also, "The Pharoes of Egypt" is full of shorter stories that might hold attention more.

I understand burnout! Good for you for taking some park time!

Michal said...

thanks for the suggestions. we have a library day scheduled for later this week--we'll have to check them out.

thanks for your encouragement as well. it means a lot, especially from a seasoned homeschooler!:)

Anonymous said...

This is a fabulous weekly report! I learned not to post a plan ahead of time, so noone can hold me to what I intended to do :) The report at the end always looks better that way, especially when some weeks just fall apart.

You're doing great though. I'm way impressed at the memorizing of the Proclamation! We're seriously remiss in all the scripture memorization I had planned for this year.