Sunday, October 4, 2009

Weekly Report-Weeks 12 and 13

Whew, what a crazy couple of weeks. Shawn and I got to go to CO last weekend for my 10 year reunion at USAFA sans children! It was amazing and exhausting. Despite everything (I felt) I needed to do to get ready for the trip and, more importantly, for the kids to be without me, we did some school.

Math: D-Man still loves his new Singapore math book. We did slow down a bit though. We covered finished subtraction and ordinal numbers. He's been solid on his ordinal numbers for a couple of years now so the info wasn't new, but he really liked the activities. We started the three reviews that are in the middle of the book last week. They are quite a bit longer than the regular lessons and packed with activities. It took us two days to finish 1 of the reviews last week. Then, we took a break from Singapore at the end of last week to work on Horizons K. Next week, I'm going to focus more on math facts. D-Man has a lot of them memorized already, but I want to make sure he has them all down cold before we start Singapore PM 1B.

LA: Week before last, we took a break from new words and did a review week. It turned out to be really helpful for both of us. I gave D-Man 2 spelling tests/day covering 20 words/list. He didn't have any trouble with it since they were all review words. I'm going to use the words he missed as review words in the coming weeks. I was pleasantly surprised by how much he's retained. Last week, we finished up List F. He didn't do as well on this test as he'd done on previous ones; however, he often just used the wrong phonogram for a common sound. For instance, he spelled bread, bred. He knows his phonograms very well, but just needs more practice with the week's words. We'll work on it. I'm also very happy with how well he's reading. This morning at church, he sat down and read one of the books in the 2 and 3 yo classroom while he was waiting to be checked into his class. He just sat down and read the whole book sounding out each word that he didn't recognize. It was pretty cool. He also really likes the new readers I bought him. They are called, I Can Read It, by John Holzmann. I got them from Sonlight. I don't require him to read, but I want to have material available in case he wants to. These stories are on the easy side for him (which encourages fluency) and have a pretty good storylines. The other day, he acted out one of the stories with M&Ms during rest time.

Sonlight: We finished Brer Rabbit way ahead of schedule. We finished week 20 this week and we weren't supposed to finish it until week 33. D-Man really liked that book, so I told him that we'd find more Brer Rabbit stories at the library. We're also going to find a book on tall tales. The boys really enjoy Jim Weiss' tall tale CD, but it only has 4 stories on it. At first, the SL IG seemed kind of choppy, but now I really like the format. Because we've been reading some of the books since the beginning, the characters have become endearing to us. Uncle Wiggily, for example, is like a part of the family. Reading more books at a time and stretching them out over weeks really cements them into our lives. That's really a new concept for me.

Science: Although, we've enjoyed What's Under the Sea?, I haven't organized any experiments for the last three Saturdays. This is just because I've been gone. However, I should be back on top of it by next Saturday.

Geography: That's right, we added geography to our plate last week. We're just going through three small workbooks that teach us 1. how to read a map, 2. land masses and bodies of water (generic terms), and 3. continents and oceans (specific places). I thought D-Man would like it and he does. In fact, he wanted to do 5 pages of the workbook on Tuesday because he's 5. I said no because the workbooks are only 16 pages apiece and I'd like them to last awhile. I will have to find some more geography activities to do, but that shouldn't be hard. We bought a globe on Friday and you'd think it was Christmas in our house. It was just a cheap $15 globe from Target, but the boys were pretty excited. When Shawn got home, Caleb showed him where California was on the globe (we'd previously only identified it on the map in the schoolroom) and told him that he (Caleb) was born there. He calls himself a "California-boy."

Library: We resumed our weekly library trip this week. The boys each picked out one book and I picked up Andrew Lang's Blue Fairy Book. We were able to have a mini-reading-marathon on Friday, so we read from both the Blue Fairy Book and Yellow Fairy Books. The stories are long, but interesting.

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