Thursday, August 27, 2009

Week in Review- Week 8

We had a really great week, but it was a week of change. The main focus for this week was to figure out what kind of schedule works for us. We had it down during summertime, but Tx public schools started on Monday which is throwing us off a bit. The biggest reason it affects us is that I'm watching a friend's son, Big C, after school 3 days/week. We have to go pick him at 2:20 and we don't get home until 2:55. The school is just around the corner (less than a mile away from our house), but we have to wait in line. I've been told it gets better as the newness of the school year wears off. We may walk occasionally after it cools down. After we pick him up, Big C comes to our house until about 5:30.

The boys typically nap/rest between 2 and 4. That won't work with Big C here so we moved rest time to 12. That's a big adjustment in itself. That doesn't leave us much time to do school and go to the gym. We can do it, we just don't have a lot of time to waste. I also discovered that we can use the time we're sitting in line to finish school. D-Man did 6 pages of math last Wednesday while we were waiting.
With respect to academics, it was a great week! Here's a run-down by subject:
Math: We're finally getting to lessons that are a little bit harder. D-Man hasn't been enjoying math as much as I'd hoped because it was too easy. I really should have started in Horizons 1. This week, he was introduced to word problems. There were only 3 of them in the lesson on Tuesday and he begged for more. He was so excited that there were more on Friday. I don't own the Challenging Word Problems level 1 from Singapore Math yet, but I added it to my Sonlight cart. I'll have to order our new math program from them in the next couple of weeks anyway. We finished lesson 106 out of 160 on Friday. We should be finishing up in the next month or so. He doesn't really need to practice word problems at this point, but I won't deny him if he wants to do them for fun.
We also did a lot more with time and money. We learned about the half-hour which prompted D-Man to figure out how the rest of the minutes work. He's not a pro by any means, but I was surprised by how fast he got it. The funny thing is that he gets more confused with digital clocks even though we're learning both at the same time. I think the visual of the hands going around makes more sense to him.

Language Arts: D-Man loves marking silent e words. We learned all 5 rules for silent e's last week and the novelty hasn't worn off. We finished list D this week and he scored a 90% on his test. He forgot the m in jump. He told me that he'd like to retake the test next Thursday so he could get a 100. He promised to carefully sound out jump so that he wouldn't forget the m. I was having a hard time not laughing as he was telling me his plans. We don't retake tests and I'm not sure why he'd want to wait until next Thursday if we did. Maybe he wants to study.
Sonlight: This week, I tried to stick to the instructor's guide. Normally, we do about 7-9 IG days/week. I wanted to see how it would go if we did only 5. Well, it wasn't enough for D-Man. He complained that we didn't have enough "school stories." In fact, I let Shawn read them two school stories tonight at bedtime because D-Man really wanted to read from our Sonlight books. Next week, we'll go back to reading them in order, but at our own pace. I still won't start the next core before next April. We'll just re-read some of our favorites until it comes time to start Core K. I also think that I need to add in some other classic literature that Sonlight doesn't schedule. I'll keep you posted.
Science: Technically, this is part of Sonlight, but it warrants its own paragraph. This week we discussed matter. We were supposed to finish gases next week, but the suspense was killing us, so we went ahead and read it. To top it off, we did an experiment tonight where we melted ice cubes (solid) into water (liquid), and boiled it to make steam (gas). They loved our little experiment, so I'm declaring Saturday experiment day. We're starting energy next week, so I'll have to figure out a suitable experiment. I'm surprised by how much both boys retain just by reading our Berenstain Bear's science book. I'm sad that we only have 10 pages of that book left before we move on to the next book. Here we are watching ice melt. You can also see my new short haircut. Little J was also in on the action. He wasn't allowed to get too close.

Bible: We are WAY ahead in our Bible reading. We're supposed to read 1 chapter/day, but that's not enough for D-Man. He wants to know all of the stories NOW. I figure we'll get through it at least twice this year, maybe 3 times. I actually own another Kenneth Taylor children's Bible so we might switch it up when we finish this one. We are also still memorizing our verses. Today, the boys recited all 8 verses to Shawn in the living room. This is required for D-Man, but C-Monster voluntarily participates. They love performing. We've been doing all of the memorizing, but got out of the habit of reciting them each week. I'm going to make sure we do that every week. C-Monster continually amazes me with his ability to memorize. He doesn't ever seem to be paying attention, but he'll just spout off the verse when I ask D-Man. It makes D-Man laugh because it seems like C-Monster can't help but recite the memory verse even when he knows it isn't his turn. It's just an automatic reflex. Here are some pics of our Saturday night recital:

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