Friday, February 08, 2008

Weekly review: 2/4-2/8

There is so much I want to share about our schooling these days, I am having a hard time sorting through it all in my head. It really shows me how much brainwork is involved in the process of narration! :)

We had a busy day being gone a good chunk of it for RDA2 for Austin and Reece, so for today I will just give the basics of our week, plus one detail I am excited to share! We are working on Week 13 of Year 3 in the Ambleside Online curriculum. I chose not to switch our nature study or composer focus yet, because there were still a few things I wanted the children to read or experience.

Reading/Literature: Riley finished The Dragon of Lonely Island, and declared it one of her most favorite books ever! Of course, she usually declares this of every book she reads, but it's still neat to see the excitement in her eyes, and to watch her fuss when I try to put the book back on my school shelves. She has to take it to bed with her and re-read her favorite parts! She started Understood Betsy today, which Tammy has recommended several times. I will read it as well. Austin finished The Door in the Wall, and he said he liked it also. We talked a little bit about it today over lunch, while Reece had her RDA. He doesn't get as excited over stories as Riley does, but he never complains about reading. His next book was supposed to be Farmer Boy, but my Rainbow Resources order came today with The Princess and Curdie in it, which HE requested when he finished The Princess and the Goblin. So I think I'll make a quick substition! Reece read just one of the Calvert readers... this one was a bit tricky for her, and I want her to have positive episodic memories surrounding reading, so we read it 4 times this week. By yesterday, she was reading it smoothly! On Friday, I always let her choose a book from her basket of completed books, and she chooses the book "Jam" everytime! I think next week, I'll ask her to pick Jam PLUS another book... we are ALL quite tired of hearing this little 8 page story about cats getting into the jam. :)

Read-Aloud: Nearly finished with the Fairy-Tale Detectives and enjoying it very much! We'll have to see about reading/listening to the others in this series soon!

Math: Austin completed the math lesson involving dividing 4 digits by 2 digits, and wrapped it up with a 100% on the test! The next (AND LAST, Praise the Lord!) long division lesson is "Multi-digit division" which may include 5-6 digits divided by 3 digits. I'm going to plan to sit with him and scaffold it as much as possible to ensure that he doesn't let it overwhelm him. Riley finished the 9s times tables, and is now getting ready to tackle money. This is the last chapter in her Singapore math book, and the next one came today with the Rainbow Resources order. She'll continue to work on the computer math drill to get the multiplication facts down! Reece started adding with the MUS blocks this week, but she was learning multiplication and division on the Rainbow Rock CD-rom game from Singapore Math.

Writing: This is what I was excited to share! We are starting to see some real results from using copywork/studied dictation for our spelling! I mentioned before that I was getting close to dumping it, in favor of a more traditional spelling program. I'm very glad that I didn't! Both of the kids are learning how to study not only the spelling of the words for their dictation, but also the punctuation and anything else about the passage they are working on. I am breaking their passages down to 2 sentences or so at a time, but these are detailed sentences and sometimes end up taking 1/3 of a page. I will slowly build up the requirement as they become more experienced and comfortable. It does take more time from me, because I have to sit with them while they are doing the dictation to quickly help them correct a word if they get it wrong (so it doesn't imprint incorrectly in their visual memory). But that is happening so rarely now. And it's VERY cool to see Austin reference me nonverbally after he has written a word in dictation that he has identified during copywork as one he needs to study! Amazing progress! Riley makes up songs to help her study her words. :)

Grammar: Austin's still recognizing and diagramming prepositional phrases and finding it to be easier than the other things we have done. Riley is diagramming predicate nominatives.

Science: This week was the respiratory system and we added the lungs to our body diagrams. We are enjoying this study very much!

History: This week was all about Sir Walter Raleigh and early colonization in America. They really had it rough!

Spanish (Austin): Austin's going to review lessons and vocabulary from La Clase Divertida 1, a curriculum we went through when he was 6. There are 15 lessons total, which he will move through quickly. Then he will review the 15 lessons from La Clase Divertida 2, which he completed when he was 9. When that is done, I will purchase for him La Clase Divertida 3! When he is done with that, Austin will become Reece's spanish teacher and he will take her through the La Clase Divertida series! :) I expect that process to take him through until he is in high school and ready for Spanish for high school credit. ACK!

French (Riley): I ordered First Start French for Riley, but it hasn't arrived yet. While we wait, I printed out the worksheets from her French CD-rom and she has been using her French-English dictionary for anything she can't remember. So far, she's only needed to use it once.

I think that's about it! There is much more I want to blog about the connections I see between RDI and CM, including an article from ChildLightUSA which discusses the educational theories of Lev Vygotsky in the framework of a CM education. Vygotsky's work is what much of RDI is also based upon! It's so amazing to see how they all blend in together!

I will try to get my thoughts on that topic together and blog about it as soon as I can! Have a lovely week, friends!

1 comment:

The Glasers said...

I love Understood Betsy because, in many ways, it is like a living book about how a nervous, insecure child can blossom with the right balance between habits and masterly inactivity. "What Grade Is Betsy" is definitely commentary on zone of proximal development explained in a literary way!

Oh, George MacDonald is wonderful!!! At the Back of the North Wind always makes me cry!

I am so glad you are seeing the benefits of copywork and studied dictation. It will really pay off when the kids transition to written narration. In a way, it is like scaffolding writing. You teach the process of a making a story by seeing great models (living books) and by retelling what you got out of them. That is composition! You teach the mechanics of story telling by focusing on great models (copywork) and remembering how they are done (studied dictation). Then, when they are ready write stories on their own, they are already securing in the process of making a story and writing.