Sunday, August 24, 2008

Weekly Review 8/18-22

Everyone seems to have settled nicely into the routine of school. We added Spelling this week, so we're about 70% of a full schedule now.

Riley was delighted to have spelling back, and she is using Rod and Staff Spelling 4. She begged me this summer to let her do R&S Spelling, and to have spelling tests. Yeah, she's nuts! LOL She got a 100% on her first spelling test of the year. She also had her first math test in Horizons 4 and got a 100% on it as well. She is reading The Pharaohs of Ancient Egypt which is a Landmark History book.

Austin had a math test this week as well, and he scored a 95%. He started lesson 3 in MUS Epsilon, and seems to really be doing well. He has not needed the fraction overlays at all yet. He is reading The Golden Goblet.

For history, we are all listening to Story of the World Ancient Times on audio CD. I am stunned to remember how much they remember from the first time through it. We started it so many years ago, and then would stop and start back up, and stop. Austin struggled so much with comprehension when we first began homeschooling, and I put so much pressure on us. I can't believe Riley remembers anything at ALL since she was so little. This makes me feel much better about the quick pace we're going to be taking these first two volumes.

I purchased the Writing With Ease book by Susan Wise Bauer, and was very interested to see how much her suggestions for grammar stage writing resemble the CM method of teaching writing. This week, for instance, I read a short selection from classic literature and then asked for narration. This method does differ by asking questions in the beginning stages to help the child learn to distinguish important information from trivial matters (an area where Austin struggles). Then they take the first sentence of their own narrations back down as dictation. The next two days are spent in copywork and dictation, and then the last day is another day of narration/dictation. We're going to spend a couple of weeks working on those skills, and then work on expanding them to longer selections, leaving out the questions and skipping straight to the narration, and then having the children read their own selections.

Reece is almost done reading the Level 1 Read Kids Phonics Readers, and she is able to complete one per day! It used to take us an entire week to read one. She is also doing Horizons Math K, after completely freaking out about MUS and declaring poor Mr. Demme "the horrible math man"! I couldn't even get the book out without her flipping out! Riley reacted the same way back when she used MUS. How odd. Reece has also been working in Explode the Code Book 1. I finished reading B is for Betsy to her, and began The Boxcar Children. She loves to be read to, which makes me so happy! She didn't used to like it at all, nor did she have the patience for it. I'm also reading her Boy of the Pyramids for a more appropriate history for her, but she does join us during the audio of SOTW.

For science, the girls are reading through volumes of the Christian Liberty Nature Readers (well, I'm reading it to Reece LOL), and Austin is reading It Couldn't Just Happen. We'll also be doing the experiments only from the Sonlight Science program that I ordered, but we haven't begun those as there are only 30-40.

For fine arts, we concentrate on one individual or topic per term (3 terms per year). Those are as follows:
  • Composer: Vivaldi (and already he is very popular with our crew! I call everyone to the table for the beginning of our day with "Spring" from The Four Seasons.)
  • Poet: Alfred Lord Tennyson (not the best choice I now realize, when you have a mom who doesn't know much about poetry. But we'll muddle through!)
  • Artist: Jan Van Eyck (he was selected because his art prints were available through Ambleside)
  • Nature Study: Insects (very appropriate for this time of year in Georgia)
This coming week we'll be adding grammar. And the week after Labor Day we'll add Latin, Spanish, and Typing for Riley, and then we'll be at our full schedule. The days are going much smoother, but I am completely wiped out by the end. I'm hoping that my stamina will build up soon!

We will only have a 4 day school week this coming week, because of Austin's EEG being on Friday morning.


Lisa said...

Oooh, if you are doing Vivaldi, you must listen to the Classical Kids recording - Vivaldi's Ring of Mystery. My kids ADORE it.

Jan said...

Wow! You guys are busy! : )

I tagged ya!

The Glasers said...

Congratulations on a great start! I am so excited that they are doing will with Story of the World. I think it was a great idea to take a break from it to give Austin some space.

Pamela took last Friday off to see our RDI consultant expects Monday off for Labor. Whatever happened to the old saying, "Today is Labor Day therefore we will labor!" However, she has been diligent in getting back to full speed, so I cannot argue with her taking a day off.

I am just cracking up about Riley and Reece's reaction to the horrible math man. Having majored in math I have met far worse. . . let's see I've had professors nicknamed Lerch and Earthdog (he used an overhead projector and half of the time formulas shined on his bald head). Then there was Prof Schubert who was a GENIUS and was definitely in the spectrum IMHO. Welcome to the world of wacky math professors!

My kids loved the Christian Liberty Nature Readers, too.

Vivaldi--I just love his music. He and Mozart are my favorites. . . Of course, I love the intricacy of Bach's mind, too.

David is not an avid test taker, but he has been blowing away the Unit 1 Cambridge Latin Course tests. Now that his abstract thinking skills have kicked in test-taking is much less painful!