Friday, January 22, 2010

Week in review: 1/18-1/22

The second week of lessons in the New Year - overall I'd give us a B for effort! :)

Reece is thoroughly enjoying learning cursive, and she's pretty good at it! I am using Handwriting Without Tears, via the Start Write software, just like I did with Riley and Austin. I go in order of the letters in the teacher's guide, but I have found it easier for my kids to write on a single sheet of paper rather than in a workbook. I have been pleased with her ability to read the simple words in cursive that she is writing as she learns the different letters.

She finished another book this week: The Big Balloon Race. This time her narration was absolutely fantastic! She has been struggling with narration, so I'm not sure what the difference was this week! She is nearly finished with the Sonlight Beginner 2 reading list (or whatever it is called now... this is another thing that Austin and Riley both used so it's getting dated). I looked at the 2 Intermediate list and I'm afraid that's a big step up. I'm not sure if I will go ahead and try one out, or what I will do.

Math was not nearly so successful. It's really so much deja-vu when I'm teaching her. It feels like it did with Austin. At least I know what I'm dealing with now, so I don't make the same mistakes with her as I did with him! I just patiently go back and re-teach whatever she has forgotten, and we start again.

Riley is nearing the end of her math book, and the topics involve geometry and measurement which she loves! She's really ready to start the next book because it has "5A" on the cover, even though I have told her repeatedly that it doesn't mean "5th grade" (which is her current grade). She doesn't want to be behind! LOL I started her in Junior Analytical Grammar last week and I am absolutely amazed at how well she grasps it. It is a great program, and having used it with a special needs student and a typical student, I can recommend it wholeheartedly.

She is reading a Robinson Crusoe adaptation by James Baldwin (the 50 Famous Stories Retold guy). Amazingly enough, she seems to actually be enjoying it! Spelling is going well, with her workbook curriculum. She loves it - which I guess is a bonus! I am still having her do dictation once a week, though I'm picking from her favorite literature for now so she has one less reason to complain. Her written narration continues to be fantastic. She did poorly on her Latin quiz, due to a lack of preparation. I'm hoping she won't make that mistaken again.

Austin took the lesson 5 test for MUS Zeta today and did very well. He was struggling earlier in the week with trying to go fast to see how quickly he could get his lessons completed. He was upset to find that his accuracy diminished quickly when he went fast. His spelling workbook continues to be just "OK", and I have added studied dictation back into his week. I am hoping to see some results from either of those! :)

Written narration went a bit better this week, I guess. I'm just trying to be patient for now and see if improvement comes with practice. Grammar went pretty well. I should say, well for him! Have to remind myself to compare him only to himself! :) He is reading Johnny Tremain, and the vocabulary is quite difficult for him. But we're taking it very slowly, and discussing what he has trouble with. His low vocabulary, as well as his verbal difficulty with defining words, is a huge challenge as we get move forward academically.

He worked on his fine motor skills this week, per his neurologist. I started him with Legos, and the poor guy was miserable. He told me, "I can't stand how these feel in my hands." :( Felt horrible for him. But he's such a great guy, and wants to do what is the best and what the doctor says, so he keeps at it.

As a family, we did our Bible readings from the storybook and we did our memory box every day! We also got our hymn study, composer study, picture study, and nature study done! We listened to our history chapter, did oral narrations with no bickering, and did mapwork without meltdowns. I began reading The Mystery of the Periodic Table, and it is going over ALL of our heads, but I told the kids to be patient and maybe we'll understand it soon! I got us a Chemistry DVD from the library to watch soon, and maybe that will help! LOL

So this week, it wasn't always pretty... but we got it done! Next week, I think we're going to attempt a field trip to the natural history museum before our passes expire!


The Glasers said...

What an awesome week!!!

Too bad we don't live closer. It would give David an opportunity to rebond with Legos. He always loved them and built the coolest things. Once he made the Seven Wonders of the Ancient World. Of course, now he thinks he's too old for it. But, when I gave him the task last Monday of designing a simple car for his sister to build a la watch and do, I think he secretly loved it!

The Glasers said...

Oh, Jenn, here is a total MIND-BLOWER that a friend forwarded to me last week! Read the three articles in PDF. Premises: teach reasoning through grade 5 incidentally (math in the natural environment and reasoning math ideas found in books). Then spend two years teaching formal arithmetic!

Niffercoo said...

I've only got him building simple towers right now... taking apart and putting together. This week we'll use slightly smaller Legos. I'm hoping it will help desensitize him, and maybe we can try building something together soon. I didn't want to add that pressure while he is still getting used to manipulating them.

I'm anxious to read the articles. My grandfather is a mathematician. I wonder what he would think of that premise. It's a little hard to talk to him these days because of his age, and the fact that he's probably more than a little bit of an Aspie himself! ;)