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Weekly Report 18/19

December 21, 2008

The most exciting thing about the last two weeks is C.  All of a sudden he can read!!!  I mean, he’s been reading for a while, we’re working faithfully through The Ordinary Parent’s Guide to Teaching Reading, but has shied away from “real books,” saying they were too hard and he can’t read them.  But last Monday, during quiet reading time, I noticed he had a Disney Dumbo book and was reading it.  Out loud.  Every single word!  So I exchanged that for some quality literature and had him read Frog and Toad are Friends to me.  (I love that book!) And he did it!  And he is so happy about it!  On Wednesday, he read Grandma’s My First Book of the First Christmas Story.  And he also read Mouse Tales by Arnold Lobel, which is a hilarious book that we all highly recommend! 

I’ve caught him reading books to D and I think D is getting jealous because he realizes everyone in the house can read their own books except him!  He has requested his own Explode the Code books now.  I don’t know if he connects those with C being able to read now, but he wants to be like his big brothers. 

As for the rest of the week (two weeks actually, although we did so little this week I’m not sure it counts for much) here’s what we did:

D: Letter:  No letter the past two weeks, but he has been working really hard on finishing his Uppercase Letter tracing book and has decided he likes to use scissors again, so has been working through his cutting book again as well.

C: ETC: 14 pages last week, 12 pages this week
Math:Subtraction is going well, but I need to break out the manipulatives more.
Reading: Lessons 86-91 and real books!!
Copywork: Letter Y, I think, it’s been a while!

A: Math: Lessons 37-39 and 4 reviews to finish the money section
Grammar: lessons 79-87 alphabetical order, synonyms, and antonyms
Writing: Weeks 7 and 8 assignments in Writing with Ease

Latin: none
Science: none
Cursive: none (I hope this isn’t a continuing trend.)

Music: It was a Fantasia week.  We have been listening to Vaughan Williams and his Fantasia on Greensleeves, Fantasia on a Theme by Thomas Tallis and Fantasia on Christmas Carols.   I played the Tallis in my orchestra concert last week that the boys all attended.  I also played the Fantasia on Christmas Carols tonight but the boys went to Great-grandma J’s Christmas party instead.  This morning though, we went to see the Utah Symphony children’s Christmas concert and enjoyed it except D was grumpy the entire time because he didn’t want to sit on the row where our tickets were.  He wanted to sit down in the front.  We tried to explain that unlike Mommy’s concerts where you can pick your seat, we had to sit where our tickets told us to.  He was not happy, but he got a train ride downtown out of it, and I was very happy that I didn’t leave my wallet at the TRAX station like last year. 

FIAR:We pulled out FIAR very briefly and did Clown of God last week and Wee Gillis this week.  We’ve done both of these units before and didn’t feel like studying them in depth again, but we enjoyed rereading them.  We looked at a beautiful book of Renaissance nativity scenes, Visions of Christmas, for art.  We talked about both Italy and Scotland and colored Scottish flags and had fun trying out the Italian words in Clown of God.  I’m sure there was more, but it was mainly discussion with not much to show for it, except for watching a hilarious video on You-Tube of a man reverse juggling on an electronic keyboard.

Art: We cracked open Artistic Pursuits for probably just the second time this year and did the art in cathedrals lesson on stained-glass windows.  They colored stained-glass pictures and then we went to the Cathedral of the Madeleine downtown and saw their stained-glass and other art for a fieldtrip.  We also watched and really enjoyed David Macaulay’s Cathedral video.

History: It was kind of a hodge-podge.  We read two biographies of Saint Francis of Assissi and also read about medieval cathedrals in two books. We finally got a chance to watch the medieval lives Merchant and Noble videos.  We then took a side trip from SOTW to study Scottish history by reading Scotland’s Story by H. E. Marshall.  It’s fascinating and we’ll keep using it as a read-aloud as we didn’t get nearly as far as I had intended, but Scotland is part of our heritage and we want to know much more about it.   


Other Literature: We listened to The Moffats by Eleanor Estes in the car and are now listening to Ginger Pye, also by Estes.  A is still working on Babe, the Gallant Pig and we’ve been reading lots of Christmas books.  I’ll post some of our favorites later. 

Other Activities: We’re busy!!  Homeschool aside, it’s the week before Christmas!  But for the weekly report, besides our cathedral trip and two concerts, we also saw the Christmas lights on Temple Square and got our Christmas tree set up and decorated.  (There’s a story!)  We watched a Schlessinger video on Christmas and The Big Christmas Tree video about the history of Christmas trees and how they select and display the giant tree in Rockefeller Center each winter.  And we’re definitely having a white Christmas.  It’s been snowing for most of this week, but it’s awfully cold as well so we’ve been staying indoors a lot and we’re starting to feel a little stir crazy.  I did let A shovel a lot yesterday so I wouldn’t have throbbing muscles for playing the cello like I did Tuesday night.  I love the snow though.

I can’t believe we’re up to week 19 but I checked my calendar and sure enough!  Our attendance chart says we’ve counted 86 official days of school this year so we’re almost half-way through the year!  Of course I don’t think we’re anywhere close to half-way through most of our curriculum, but still.  I’m encouraged, even though I am so ready for Christmas break!!  I feel like school has been kind of crazy since about. . .oh, Halloween probably.  There’s just something about holidays!  In the last week though, (since the arrival of the Christmas tree) it’s been especially fruitless to try for much.  Everyone is so excited and can’t settle down and concentrate for long.  Me included! 

This is our last weekly report for 2008 so I’ll leave you with pictures from the Cathedral outing.

A view of the gargoyles:


The vaulted interior (they were excited to point out that it really is built in the shape of a cross!):


Stained-glass on the west end of the transcept:


Choir loft, pipe organ, and rose window:


3 Comments leave one →
  1. December 21, 2008 8:25 am

    It does look like you have been busy. School and outing and concerts. December is such a busy month. I am happy to have 2 weeks off. Hopefully we can start again fresh in January.

    That is exciting about C reading real books. I can’t wait until Ian makes all the connections and starts to read real books. He can get one word here and there but nothing too difficult and not without some help. But there is progress.

    Have fun during your break and Happy Christmas!

  2. December 21, 2008 3:26 pm

    Oooh I didn’t realize there was so much I have missed in SLC- I need to get inside some of this cathedrals! We are snowing like crazy here – it just feels like Anartica, but we aren’t complaining- we love the four seasons. Today we are snowed in though and the kids are ready to kill themselves.

  3. Anonymous permalink
    December 29, 2008 9:41 am

    yeah for c reading! sounds like you have learned a lot in the past two weeks, if not in every subject.
    i, too, feel like we lost our groove after halloween. we have still been doing school every day, but we aren’t accomplishing as much. there are just so many distractions. i am ready to start the new year fresh again and get back in a good, consistent, disciplined routine.
    i want to order explode the code for henry, but i’m not sure where to start with him. he’s reading, but still not with a ton of confidence and i really want to help him get to the next level. i think he needs to learn more of the rules of decoding. it sounds like he is reading more than c (as he’s older, that’s not surprising), but he’s definitely not fluent. any suggestions?

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