Friday, January 25, 2008

Week in Review: 1/21-25

Today we wrapped up Week 11 of Year 3 of Ambleside Online. I had to make the decision this week: are we going to fly through the rest of Year 3 so we can begin Year 4 in the fall? Or are we just going to keep on keeping on, starting Year 4 when we finish Year 3? I went with the 2nd option! You'll probably see why as I continue this blog post.

It seems narration is really starting to come together for everyone, especially when I read aloud. We have always read-aloud in our family, even before homeschooling! My mom has a picture of me reading to Austin when he was about 2 weeks old! The audiologist who tested Austin for Auditory Processing Disorder when he was 10 puzzled over the results of his testing. She had never seen such results, she told me. She asked if we did much reading aloud in our home? LOL Then she asked if we were a musical family? Everyone except the mama! :) The results make more sense to her! Anyway, my next focus will be on narrations from their own reading. And I would like to video narrations from history and/or literature next week! It would be fun to do this at the end of every trimester.

I don't require narrations from Reece, as Charlotte Mason did not require it from anyone under the age of 6. However, after taking history narrations from the big kids, Reece said, "You forgot me, Mommy!" So I turned my attention to her and said, "I'd love to hear your narration!" And she gave me a great narration about Queen Elizabeth I from our chapter of An Island Story. I'm still not going to require it of her, but I'm certainly not going to squelch her enthusiasm!

I'm going to make a separate post of Austin's writing lesson this week, because there is much I want to share, so look for that later on. We continued our Copywork and Dictation as the main focus of our writing and spelling using Spelling Wisdom 1. Spelling was another area I was tempted to go back to a more traditional approach, but after reading the Language Arts Scope and Sequence at AO, I decided to stick it out. The S&S recommends that a 7th or 8th grader who is still struggling with spelling should tackle a more formal program at that time, so I will wait until we're at that place. Austin is a good speller in general, and Riley is learning as she does more incidental spelling that comes in letter writing and the copywork and dictation. Reece did copywork in her HWT workbook. She is coming along with her lowercase letters.

Austin got an 80 on his math test, which is fantastic! It covered long division, multi-digit multiplication, and converting measurements using those skills. Riley worked on the 8s times tables. Reece worked some more on place value into the hundreds.

We learned about bones this week in science and placed the leg bone model on our body outlines. Next week, we'll learn about the muscular system.

We finished listening to The Tale of Despereaux at lunch, and began listening to The Fairy-Tale Detectives, Book 1 in the Sisters Grimm series. We're only 2 chapters into the story, so I can't give much detail yet, but we're enjoying it so far!

Austin finished reading The Matchlock Gun, and will be ready for a new book next week. I am leaning towards Farmer Boy by Laura Ingalls Wilder, but I'm not sure. My other option is The Door in the Wall. Riley started reading The Dragon of Lonely Island this week. Reece read just one more of her Calvert phonics readers (She had a slightly abbreviated week... we attended a hockey game on Monday that had her pretty overwhelmed all of Tuesday and part of Wednesday. More about that in another post to come!).

It probably sounds like our days are busy and somewhat crazy. That couldn't be further from the truth! Switching from WTM to Ambleside has taken so much busywork out of our days! And what we are doing is so enjoyable and the children are connecting with everything in such incredible ways! It feels like there is learning and understanding and thinking going on that I couldn't MAKE happen with the WTM. I couldn't dream of rushing through the rest of Year 3 just to start a 'new year plan' to coincide with our new school year! It just doesn't make any sense!

I hope your week has gone well, too! :)


poohder said...

So proud of you!!! You are so different from the September mama!!LOL!! Rhonda

Prince Andrew and the Queen Mum said...

yea it does sound crazy LOL! so what types of things do you do for narration? since we are just beginning CM I am just starting narration and really just have him 'tell me what we read.' sometimes we 'play act' with some of his figures but I am curious what ya'll do....

lisaquing said...

"what we are doing is so enjoyable and the children are connecting with everything in such incredible ways! It feels like there is learning and understanding and thinking going on"

I am so VERY VERY happy to hear a report like this!!! Jen, that is AWESOME! You should print this blog entry out and stick it somewhere you'll see it if you begin to doubt yourself. :-)


The Glasers said...

CONGRATULATIONS!!!! I got goose bumps at reading about the improvements over narration. (Charlotte Mason definitely approved of listening to narrations offered freely by the under six crowd.)

I noticed the same thing with Pamela. Reading aloud to her helped improve her auditory processing. Did the audiologist explain how music helps? We are definitely a musical-wanna-be family!

Niffercoo said...

Thanks, everyone!

Queen Mum: for now they just tell me what they remember from what I have read. The only thing they wait for is to find out who goes first! Sometimes they will act out things we've read in their free play, or they will connect something we've read to something new we're reading or something we hear somewhere else. One day I'll probably ask Riley to draw for her narration, but I wouldn't ask that of Austin since he doesn't like to draw. Just telling back seems to work well for us now. There is a page of narration ideas on Simply Charlotte Let me know and I'll link it to you in an email.

Tammy: She asked about the music because he didn't miss a single part on the music subtest, and yet auditory memory is his weakest area. She said it made no sense at all. But knowing that we're a musical family made sense, because it ceases to become an auditory memory issue and becomes something else (that I can't remember). His scores for auditory comprehension were way high, while his auditory memory was way low, which also wouldn't make sense except that I have been reading aloud for his entire life. He was diagnosed with CAPD and we did therapy for the auditory memory for about 4 months, and I think it helped somewhat. But I think the best thing that helped was reading aloud all the time!