Saturday, June 14, 2008

Weekly Report

We are schooling this summer, but not as intensely. This week was our first week with Henry home all the time (yeah!)

We relished in history, studying 2 SOTW chapters on The Old Kingdom of Egypt (mummies and pyramids, which we did over three days), and the Akkadian Empire. The boys had fun building a pyramid, although I was disappointed with the outcome. The only sugar cubes I had been able to find were "rough cut," which meant that they weren't perfect cubes. I guess more people use the little packets these days in their coffee.

We also did some map work, a coloring page on King Sargon, and a word search on Sumerian inventions.

We began eating more from our garden, although the tomatoes are not ready to harvest yet. We wonder if our cherry tomato plant is going to take over the entire yard. Here is Kimball reporting on the the monster tomato plant:

Henry has been reading books aloud to me every day. He and I discussed our goal to have him reading chapter books independently by the fall. He still prefers when I read to him, but he is doing so well. He especially enjoyed reading Frog and Toad to me this week. One day, he chose to read the chapter called, "Cookies." I think it was a ploy because I really really had to use my self control to not make cookies for the rest of the day. (We have been focusing on healthier eating habits, too!)

For read alouds, Daddy has started reading Call of the Wild to Kimball and Henry at night. I continue to read ASOUE, book the 13th (we are only averaging about four chapters a week, so it's not going very quickly.) We are also listening to The Giver in the car, which everyone is loving. I was excited when Henry noted a similarity between the community in The Giver and one of the communities in an ASOUE book--the Village of Fowl Devotees. Both communities have lots and lots of rules so that the members of the communities are always afraid of breaking a rule. They also have a committee that makes up the rules and reviews them.

Besides our daily family "devotional," which involves a hymn, family prayer, and reading together about 10 verses in the Book of Mormon before Daddy goes to work, we've added some new scripture study into our day. We are now reading about 2 chapters a day in the Old Testament Stories book. Kimball has been reading this on his own for years, but our other boys are getting so much out of it. We take turns reading each verse and discussing. I love that it tells a story in each chapter so it gives us something to talk about and take away each time we read. This week we covered the premortal existence, the creation, the fall, plus Joseph in Egypt (we skipped ahead on the first day we talked about Egypt.) I also found that this engages Ian much better than our other scripture study.

Another new element we incorporated this week was "circle time." We used that name because it was familiar to the boys, who called it that in preschool. We gather together and sit in a circle on the floor and sing preschool and primary songs. We are gearing this mostly towards Bronwen and Ian, but so far the big boys love it because they adore Bronwen and think it is fun to see her dance, clap, and sing with us. I love that it is giving Ian some of the attention he is so obviously craving.

We have been playing games together a lot as well. Boggle is a new favorite with Kimball and Henry and they don't seem to be discouraged that I can blow them out of the water. I have told them that it isn't really fair for us to compete against each other now, since we are at all different stages of learning, but that we should just do our best. Henry is allowed to spell words phonetically. We also learned Castle Keep today, which would be especially fun for a family to introduce when you are studying medieval times. Chomp is also a fun new game we found at Learning Express that uses the concept of a food chain.

We had swimming lessons this week. Kimball worked on side breathing in freestyle and breast stroke, Henry learned back stroke and practiced side breathing, and Ian learned scoops and kicks without having his floaties on. We all love to swim and take some time most days in the summer to get in a pool.

Henry and Kimball continue to enjoy their martial arts class as well. This is Henry's second week, and Kimball has been doing it for several months now.

Kimball passed off two new songs at his piano lesson. We also discovered my old sheet music and I've decided to start practicing the piano again. It's really sad how after 8 years of lessons I now only play the hymns (and those, not very well without practice.) I've gotten a bit rusty, but it's nothing that practice won't fix.

Saturday was flag day, so we had a little flag ceremony in the front yard and read a book about the Star Spangled Banner. Kimball wrote out the Pledge of Allegiance on a drawing of the flag that he made. We sang the Star Spangled Banner, which we learned last year.

Our song of the week was Fathers from the Children's Songbook. The boys are participating in a special music number at church tomorrow and they needed to learn the chorus.

We had lots of fun learning together this week. Maybe next week, we'll pull out some math facts worksheets. Maybe not. But we will keep on learning! We love homeschooling and are grateful for this opportunity.


Sea Star said...

I love the idea of doing a circle time with the little kids. I really need to do that. My Henry needs more attention.

We too love the Old Testament, Book of Mormon and New Testament Stories. They work well for my young kids. We try the actual scriptures but quickly loose their interest.

It sure sounds like you are enjoying your homeschooling. The boys sure don't seem to mind either.

Macy said...

I'm astounded by how much you get done in a week with the homeschooling. You have such great ideas that I plan to steal as G-Man gets older. This is really great stuff. Way to go.

Sea Star said...

We don't live in the Sacramento Area. We are in the South Bay. I would love to have other home schooling families to visit with but there aren't too many in our area.

Sonja said...

What a great week! Holy cow your tomato plant is gianormous! How'd you do that? We started swimming lessons this week too. It's so fun, and funny.

Love the circle time idea. I've really neglected my younger two that way.

Have you hear about the LDS homeschool conference here in August? It would be so great if you could come. Email me for me info. :)