Tuesday, October 7, 2008

Weekly Report #6

These past six weeks have gone by so quickly. I am really happy with what we've been able to accomplish and how we've been able to mostly keep to our lesson plans as scheduled. I am glad that I planned in pencil, though, as things have had to shift a little here and there. We are in a good routine and enjoying learning together. And we are looking forward to relaxing our schedule next week, taking the week "off", and preparing to jump back in the following week. I'm hoping that these one-week breaks that I've scheduled after six weeks of school will allow us to stay fresh and excited (and to get caught up on deep cleaning).

We studied the rise (again) of Babylon this week under Nebuchadnezzar. How is it that in all my life of reading and listening to Bible stories, I had never heard the story of Nebuchadnezzar's madness? The boys found it to be so fascinating. I was tempted to jump ahead in our Old Testament studies to Daniel, as he was king N's contemporary, but the boys already seemed to know that about him and I decided we'd just stick with our plan. They were so interested in the tale of the Hanging Gardens of Babylon, which King N built for his homesick Persian wife, and they were quite enthusiastic about drawing the gardens as they imagined them. We also looked in the Great Wonders book we got at the library, which spent a few pages speculating about what those gardens were like.

It's too bad they were completely destroyed. Looking at how powerful and beautiful Babylon was at that time, it caused me to reflect on the pattern of pride and destruction. Babylon wasn't just powerful and beautiful, the Bible also tells us that it was very wicked and that is the reason for it's eventual fall. As I look around the world we live in today, I see a few things that might be familiar to the ancient Babylonians and I wonder when our city walls will come crashing down. (I guess the stock market is an example of how they already are.)

Each of the boys did four math lessons this week. I only have 3 per week scheduled for Ian, but he loves doing it and feels slighted if he notices that we skip a day, so he did four this week as well. Kimball learned how to divide by 1 and 10, and continues to work on his 7s on the multiplication table. Does anyone know a good resource for memorizing those? A fun game or strategy to recommend?

We did two grammar lessons and then incorporated copywork. This was the first time we've done copywork since week 2. I just got tired of the boys fighting me on it. However, Kimball needs to be more proficient in cursive--it is still so much work for him. And Henry didn't learn how to form the letters properly and needs to be taught all over again. He draws his letters instead of writing, if that makes any sense. So in grammar, we talked about proper names and how each member of our family has three proper names. Their copywork for the week was to write out the names of everyone in our family in their best writing. They took great pains to do it and were interested in it. So maybe I just need to have them copy things that are interesting to them instead of things I want them to memorize.

Our letter of the week was E. We worked in our Letter of the Week Journal every day and read books about elephants, elves, and eels. Just when I was starting to think that none of this was really sinking in for Ian, this week he started pointing out when he recognized letters and telling me the sounds they make when I'm reading to him. Hurray!

For our read aloud, I read to them different stories from Tales of the Arabian Nights. We are all really enjoying them, although they are a bit brutal. We finished listening to A Little Princess in the car, and when we were making bread for some friends a few days later, Henry said, "This is something that Sarah would do." "In what way?" I asked. "She's always thinking about how she can make other people happy," he said. I was so glad that he was thinking about that.

Russian is coming along, albeit slowly. But they are interested in it and learning. I probably need to do more to use it beyond when we use the Rosetta Stone program. We've only done so inconsistently.

Henry's team actually won their first soccer game this week! Both he and Kimball did much better on the soccer field this week. We are still working with Kimball on being a good sport (he likes to trash talk the other team.) Tae Kwon Do is also going well--I think that I am the only one who is tired of it.

Kimball is reading Harriet the Spy, one of my favorite books as a kid. He doesn't seem to stick to one book, though. He reads a couple of chapters of one, then picks up another, then another all in the same day. I think he can't stand to have a book in his room that he hasn't read, so if there are library books there, no matter what the reading level, he feels compelled to read them.

Henry read library books aloud to me this week and is improving all the time. He still is not very content to read to himself for very long, so his comprehension probably needs more work.

For Science, Jared taught them about how televisions work (their request.) He said that he had to study and learn about it before he could teach it to them, since that's really not his area of expertise. But they all had fun and learned a lot. I'm still contemplating buying a real science curriculum instead of the grab-bag science lessons we've been doing. The good thing is that they are all engaged, interested, and learning about science with their dad. There's just not much order to it all.

We learned about King David this week. A big lesson that we can learn from David is that even the righteous can commit great sins if they start with small ones. David went from looking on a woman he shouldn't have, to lusting, to adultery, to murder. And then he spent the rest of his life repenting and sorrowing for what he had done, which could not be taken back. We talked about how the atonement is for all of us, even when we make such terrible choices as David did, but that those terrible choices still bring painful consequences. We can be made clean and worthy again through Christ, but he will not take away all the consequences of our actions.

Our Hymn of the Week was "Do What is Right". We were excited to hear it sung in General Conference this weekend. We also wrote in our journals and practiced the piano, but I dropped the ball on spelling.

All in all, it was a good week. And since I'm writing this days and days too late, it's hard to remember as many details as I'd like. I have got to start posting these sooner. Perhaps I need to start writing the post early in the week.


Sonja said...

Holy moly. It's been awhile since my last visit and you guys have been SO busy! It all looks so fantastic. Story of the World is definitely a favorite at our house. I, too, am learning so much! :)

One of my kids' favorite ways to learn math facts is with bingo. This is a good site to get free bingo cards:

I have been really struggling with posting weekly reports. It is so time consuming!! But I sure am glad you have done it, because I love learning from you! :)

Nana said...

I love reading about your week- and all the kids are doing and thinking about. Do try to remember that if they were in public school, there would be some tasks they didn't like as much as others - don't take it personally. I think you are doing great with science (I am sure it is more than they would be getting in P.S.) If you want some order, you can look at the state framework - maybe just note which area each lesson falls into, so when you look back you can see if there are any glaring holes.