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Weekly Report 3

August 30, 2008

It was kind of a boring week, all the excitement and newness is starting to wear off I think.  But we did accomplish essentially everything on my schedule, so I’m not complaining.  And the boys are learning that there’s not as much time to read The Secret Garden aloud if they dawdle with everything else!  Some things (math) just seemed to take forever this week.  D had a great week though, and after being asked 50 times what his letter was, he now knows B and its sound.  Repetition, repetition, repetition!

D: He got a Kumon tracing book and tore through about the first 30 pages.  There’s no such thing as moderation with this child, but I am amazed at just how good he is with a pencil already.  His letter this week was B.  B is for. . . bear, blueberry, blackberry, box, bike, birds, and so many other things (Beowulf*.)  He traced a B and colored some birds.  We read lots of B books: The Big Balloon Race, Bear Wants More, The Bee Tree (our FIAR book as well), and Blueberries for Sal.  We then made lemon-blueberry muffins and put D in charge of the pouring and stirring.  He was so happy and declared cooking with Mom is “my favorite thing.” 


(and no, I don’t know how to take mouthwatering photos of food, but the muffins were delicious.)

C: Math: He’s getting a lot better at writing the numbers 1-10, but a lot of his workbook is writing the numbers smaller and smaller. . . We may skip through the book faster than a lesson a week and get to where he has to actually work with the numbers more. 
Language: 8 pages of Explode the Code, and 4 reading lessons–He’s really doing great with reading if he’ll just quit ignoring the vowels.  He reads the consonants and inserts a random vowel sound.  He also mixes up b and d, so “big” could come out as “dug” and “dog” could be “bag.”  I think next week we’re going to work with our letter magnets and practice sounding out one letter or one syllable at a time, so I don’t have to say preemptively, “What does (insert vowel) say?” before every other word.  If only the vowels were in neon lights, it might help.
FIAR: We finished up The Salamander Room and started The Bee Tree, which was a perfect choice as D is learning the letter B this week, and our Outdoor Hour challenge was on bees. 

A: Math: “If I can’t subtract 5 from 2, I can just turn it around and subtract 2 from 5.”  Well actually, no you can’t!  Remember borrowing?  We worked and worked on it last spring?  We need more review.  Luckily we’re a few pages away from finishing his 2A book and 2B starts right off with addition and subtraction.  And yes, I’m saying we because I feel like I’ve had to sit and do it with him all week long.  We also need to start drilling math facts again, especially now that we’re into multiplication and division.  We need speed!
Language: Spelling lesson 3, grammar lessons 24-Sentence Review 2, Latin lesson 3, cursive one page of Ds
Latin: Prima Latina lesson 3
Literature: Still working on Trumpet of the Swan and read two Sir Gawain stories for history

New Testament: We read through Luke 3 and 4 and John 1 and 2.  We spent a lot of time discussing Jesus’ baptism and why we need baptism.  We’re talking about this a lot lately as A will be baptized in December when he turns 8. 

Science: We talked about what makes day and night, and the seasons, and did an experiment with a flashlight to show day and night, and used a mirror to reflect the light onto A’s dark back to simulate moonlight.  And after much discussion, he finally understands how the Southern Hemisphere is having summer while we’re having winter, thereby letting people in Australia go to the beach for Christmas.  It was quite the conversation.  We also did our outdoor hour challenge at Red Butte Garden and looked for bees.

History: We read SOTW chapter 3 on “Christianity comes to Britain,” did some narrating, colored a map and a picture of a monk in the scriptorium, learned about illuminated manuscripts, read three picture books, watched a video on monks, and looked at several books of medieval and Celtic illuminations, including pages from the Book of Kells

Then we tried our hand at illuminating letters ourselves.  Rather than do the “R” that was provided in the activity guide, I copied off everyone’s initials from my Illuminated Alphabets coloring book.  It didn’t turn out quite how I had envisioned.  D scribbled his (in dark marker of course.)  C got bored quite early on, though he did a good job trying to copy the colors off the coloring book cover, and A got bored towards the end and scribbled the blue just to be finished.  In retrospect, these designs were a little too involved for them, but they have all been on a coloring streak lately so I had high hopes. 

Anyway, I enjoyed doing my “K.”   

I also finally started Beowulf this week, although most of my reading time went to finishing The Fellowship of the Ring and starting The Two Towers.  (I’d probably have more luck finishing my 888 reading list if I’d quit choosing books that are 400 pages long.)  I also listened to 8 lectures on the Early Middle Ages, only because the cds were due back at the library today and three other people have holds on them.  I’ll have to skip part 2 for now because they’re checked out and I’m on the end of the hold list there, so I got The High Middle Ages part 1 to start, although I’m tired of listening at the moment.  I can’t do anything but listen or it all goes over my head.  I have a hard time just sitting and listening though. 

Today the boys worked really hard helping Daddy get all our yard work debris shovelled out to the street for the city cleanup next week, then went to see Kung Fu Panda as a reward.  Then tomorrow we’re off to Grandma and Poppa’s for Labor Day, then next week gets really fun with Kindermusik classes starting, and my symphony starting back up.  Life just never slows down!

 *We’re thinking of making our very own alphabet book based on our studies:  B is for Beowulf, C is for Cuneiform, M is for Mummified Chicken. . .

8 Comments leave one →
  1. August 30, 2008 10:24 pm

    It looks like you are juggling three different boys studies pretty well. I am still struggling with just adding Ian’s few additional tasks into the mix.

    Sophie has been doing that same thing with her math. She did an entire page of problems of subraction forgetting about borrowing and just subtracting the smaller number from the larger. We spent the next day just doing problems on the white board. We are going to be doing more basic math drills along with our math lessons.

    We have really enjoyed that Middle Ages DVD series. We have watched the overview, the Monk and the Doctor. I have the Knight and the Merchant sitting here waiting to be watched. My kids actually pick them to watch again and again.

  2. August 31, 2008 7:36 am

    It does feel like long days and long weeks sometimes juggling 3 kids on completely different levels! Up until 1 1/2 years ago, I was juggling 4, and that was even harder. Makes me wonder how homeschooling families of 9 and 10 do it!

    Oh, and by the way, that first picture…..the one of D…..that’s got to be one of the CUTEST pictures I’ve ever seen. That smile is worth a million bucks!

  3. August 31, 2008 9:13 am

    LOL Your problem with C’s reading is similar to what Samuel is doing, except sometimes he doens’t even look beyond the first letter in a word. I call it “impatience”. If I make him slow down and say each letter sound, he can get it easily enough. For us, it works when I threaten taking away his reading time if he can’t be serious about reading the words on the page instead of made up words. I do also give him opportunities to make up his own stories.

    But those “d”s and “b” are harder to discern. Have you seen the “bed” drawing before? I’m not sure I can describe it well enough, but you write the word “bed” on a flash card with a little mattress and pillow over the circles of the “b” and “d” and over the “e”. The bed needs those circles to hold the mattress up. It’s supposed to help kids remember which is which.

    And I think your muffins do look yummy!

  4. August 31, 2008 4:04 pm

    ooooohhhhh, what a fabulous idea to make an alphabet book of the things you’re learning about. Do you mind if I use it?
    All of your activities look fabulous!

  5. Sheila permalink
    September 1, 2008 2:23 pm

    I have to comment on D’s smile, what a grin! He’s adorable.

    I’m sorry we haven’t gotten together, we’ve had kittens in our playroom (want one?!) all summer, and I always feel like I’m 2 steps behind. I keep thinking I want to “catch up” before I do things, and never do. Maybe I should just do what I want and stop worrying about the catching up! Looks like school is going good for you. We’re going to start tomorrow.

  6. September 2, 2008 8:21 am

    The Middle Ages look like alot of fun at your house 🙂 I love the illuminated letters alphabet book – I think I’ll have to get it. My husband’s grandparents are Irish, and he had me name our homeschool “something Irish”, but when we saw Celtic stuff at the museum recently and I made a joke about the Book of Kells, he didn’t know what it was! We need an “Ireland 101” class in this house 🙂

    Thanks again for great ideas!

  7. September 2, 2008 11:41 pm

    ok, first of all, those muffins look so yummy!! No wonder D loves cooking with you.

    I love you illuminated letters. We just colored the R and it was, eh. I also REALLY like the idea of doing your own homeschool alphabet.

    We’re going to have to check out that video.

  8. September 3, 2008 3:38 pm

    love the book of illuminated letters. and i have found myself enjoying some of the coloring pages lately, too!:)
    your b ideas look great, particularly since it is wednesday and i don’t feel like we’ve done enough on b this week for ian. i’m going to get cracking using some of yours.
    did you guys do the mummified chicken last year? i thought about it when we did egypt this summer, but the idea of having a chicken carcass around my house for six to eight weeks was more than i could handle. you are a great mom!

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