Sunday, August 31, 2008

Weekly Report-- 1

Whew! We made it through our first week! It feels like we hit the ground running, but we still have a few more things we'd like to fit into our schedule . . . I'm not sure how that's going to work.

I never know for sure how to organize my thoughts for this, but I'm going to stick with the format I used last year and go by subject (except for Day 1).

Opening Ceremonies: We spent the first day establishing our routine, our reward system, and our Academy Code of Conduct (after reviewing what we learned this summer about Hammurabi's Code.) The boys came up with all of the rules in our code. (Surprisingly, Ian suggested most of them--and they were just what I would have come up with.)

We also did our first History lesson of the year that day, (Chapter 15 from SOTW, since we dabbled in history over the summer.) The boys love doing the map work and discovering where things are in relation to each other. I love that when we looked at the maps of the Phoenicians, they could look at and identify where the Egyptians, Assyrians, Babylonians, and Israelites were located on the map as well.

Math: Since Saxon Math K lessons are very tied into the month, we are waiting until next week to start them with Ian. For some reason they don't account for people starting in any month but September and I was too lazy (and too close to September) to bother adjusting the lesson. So he and I worked on number recognition and one-to-one correspondence this week.

Henry loves math and gets excited whenever I suggest that he might do another worksheet. In general he seems to be a kid who loves worksheets. Since he and I had started Saxon 1 this summer, we did lessons 21-23 this week. He would love to be doing two lessons a day, but I'm not ready for that yet. Maybe when things get going better I'll be able to fit that in.

Kimball started Saxon 3, and we did lessons 2, 4, and 5. They are mostly review, but since this seems to be his least favorite subject besides copywork, I thought that easy was a good way to start out.

Grammar/Art: We did FLL 1 & 2, which meant a lesson on common nouns and memorizing a poem, "The Caterpillar." I had planned for us to do these on Tuesdays and Thursdays, but Tuesday got away from us, between piano lessons, tae kwon do, and soccer. They loved the poem and after I'd read it to them several times, we talked about some of the lines they remembered. Then we all went over to the table and illustrated it. Ian found this frustrating because he knows what he wants it to look like but can't make his hands cooperate (I know the feeling.) Friday morning they showed their illustrations to Daddy and recited what they could remember of it. I was very impressed with how well they did--Kimball's recitation was flawless, Henry's almost flawless, and even Ian remembered big chunks of it. So that was a success.

Spelling: Henry is using an Integrated Spelling workbook that my mom gave me. It's designed for first grade and is good enough as far as I'm concerned. I guess I'm not that worried about my spelling curriculum. Maybe because I chalk my good spelling skills up to being an avid reader more than anything. Henry does two pages in his workbook every morning before our "Morning Meeting." As I said before, the kid loves a workbook.

Kimball is using a PC program that gives him a spelling drill each day. The list changes as he masters the words. So far, he is doing well, but I wish that the program gave him an opportunity to as least look at the words. It just says the word aloud once, then in a sentence, then the word again (much like a traditional spelling test.) The website said, "no other curriculum needed," but you'd think they'd at least be able to look at the list first. Since we started with 3rd grade words that aren't very challenging for him while we get used to the program, he hasn't gotten frustrated. It's only me who is frustrated with it!

Reading: We finished reading "Desperaux", a read aloud that we've been enjoying for the past few weeks. They all loved it and always begged for another chapter. Besides loving the story, it was a great read aloud for me because the chapters are quite short, thus allowing me to easily tailor the length of our reading to our needs. We went back to the library on Wednesday and then on Thursday started, "Babe, the Gallant Pig." (Which, by the way, refers to the female dog using a name no longer appropriate--but since it's a read aloud, it's easy to edit.)

For independent reading, Kimball read "Mr. Popper's Penguins" and then started "The Voyages of Doctor Dolittle (he read Dr. Dolittle this summer.) Henry read "Mercy Watson Fights Crime" aloud.
Letter of the Week: Ian and I worked on the letter A: we added six pictures and words that start with the "a" sound to his alphabet journal, we read several ABC books and looked for big As and little as throughout, and we enjoyed big A pancakes and A pie crust cookies (thanks to Nana, who saw how long my to-do list was that day and took over the cookies.)

History/Art: Besides our history lesson during Opening Ceremonies, we also did the lesson on the Founding of Carthage. We colored a page of a Phoenician ship, which Henry took his time to get just right. We also did the pretend colored glass art activity with a family picture. (It used wax paper, crayon shavings, and colorful threads.) Now that we've done it, we'd do it a little differently next time (I ended up with a beard.) Oh, well.

Copywork: This totally bombed. My kids do not like copywork. Any ideas out there? I love the concepts that they learn through copywork, but I hate the nagging (from me) and the whining (from them). Suggestions are welcome.

Piano: Henry started piano lessons this week and was very excited. Practicing the piano is another thing on their morning list that they do between breakfast and the morning meeting, and I don't have to remind him to do this one. Kimball had his first recital at the end of last week and I've promised him that I'll post the video of it when I get it uploaded. He's looking forward to starting a new book next week (they use Piano Adventures.)

Soccer and Tae Kwon Do: Soccer practice is happening twice a week right now, so we asked the TKD instructor if we could drop down to once a week. It's still too much but for now we are doing both. The first game of the season is next week.

Hymn of the Week
: This week we did something we've never done before--picked a hymn that I didn't know either. I really have about 90 percent of the hymns memorized, but this is one we rarely, if ever, sing. I thought it was so appropriate with all the attention we are paying to Proposition 8 here in California. We chose: From Homes of Saints Glad Songs Arise, (click on the title to listen to it), which is about strengthening our families through gospel principles.

Old Testament:
We are doing this study in addition to our family morning devotional with Daddy, where we read the Book of Mormon. The two older boys have also added personal scripture study to their morning routine. In Old Testament Stories we read about Joshua and the battle of Jericho, which we re-taught that night at Family Home Evening and simulated the walls of Jericho using Ian's large cardboard blocks. Ian was the trumpeter and we marched 7 times around the walls before shouting and making the walls come down. We also read about Naomi and Ruth. I love this story of loyalty, love, and the blessings that the Lord sends us for staying true. I love that Ruth became the matriarch of a bloodline that included King David and the Savior.

Science: For Science Friday, the boys learned about pressure. They learned that pressure is affected by volume and temperature, and did several experiments including one that involved putting a marshmallow in a glass jar and then sucking all the air out of the jar until the marshmallow expands. They also learned that pressure is higher at the bottom of the ocean and lower at high altitudes. I am so glad that Daddy teaches the science lessons. Afterwards, they went on a bike ride together while I sewed with my mom and sister.

Outings: I was really trying to establish our routine this week, so our only outing (besides the aforementioned bike ride with Dad) was to the library on Wednesday afternoon. We returned some books that were due and picked up lots of independent reading books as well as several books that deal with our next few history chapters.

Cub Scouts: This week was the fall kick-off Pack Meeting in the form of a barbeque and swim party. The boys had a great time. I? Melted and wished that I'd brought my suit even if the pool was full of wild boys. Kimball is glad that Cubs is starting up again and we have some goals to pass off some of his requirements for his Wolf and his Faith in God award in the coming weeks.


Anonymous said...

Hello Gang. You are revealing too much info (name) on your brown sheet of paper with rules on it :)
Love Tawny.

Hope all is well with you.

Sonja said...

What a great start to what I'm sure will be a fantastic year!
I'm glad you guys liked Desperaux, we did too. And Babe, yeah, Sam was reading out loud and read that word and though I was shocked, nobody even realized it was a bad word so I didn't say any thing. But I will, eventually. :)
Still wishing we lived closer.