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Weeks 16/17

December 12, 2009

I gave up on doing last week’s weekly report after dealing with computer problems half the weekend, so I’ll attempt to summarize the past two weeks of school, even though I have a hard enough time remembering what we did yesterday.  I’m starting to feel sluggish about formal schoolwork.  After all it is December and the holiday excitement and anticipation are starting to make all of us antsy, and we haven’t even put up the Christmas tree yet.  Not to mention we’ve had some really great snow to play in.  Plus there’s the fact that I am 8 months pregnant…past 8 months actually and really feeling it these days.  However I also feel like I should get as much done as possible before I actually have this baby because who knows what will happen after that!  In some ways we’re slowing down, but we’re also trying to keep going as we’ve already noticed that too much free and unstructured time makes people crabby. 

Some of the highlights of the past two weeks:

  • A turned 9!  He is finally into Legos and got his wish for bigger and better sets!  (Which actually means smaller and smaller pieces for Mommy to step on and vacuum up.)
  • He also finished Writing with Ease Level 2! 
  • D began blending sounds with lesson 27 and 28 in The Ordinary Parent’s Guide to Teaching Reading and we also tried reading the first two Bob books.  He kind of gets it, he kind of doesn’t, but he’s excited to try.
  • We went on a field trip on Pearl Harbor Day to see an exhibit on the USS Utah at our state capitol.
  • We finished A’s new puzzle of Boston that Grandma and Poppa brought him.
  • We made gingerbread men today and I didn’t take a single photo as I was too busy trying to keep D from eating all of the dough. 
  • I let the boys pick out flannel for new Christmas pajamas.  I’m not sure when I’m going to sew them, but now I don’t have to wait for them to go to bed first and it was fun to see what they picked.  Pictures to come…down the road sometime.
  • I finished a flannel blanket for the little one–solar system fabric, our science studies must be rubbing off on me.

I like to do something fun and Christmasy for a change of pace in December and so I downloaded the Discover Christmas unit from Discover the Scriptures.  We got to day three, then the printer went haywire (and still isn’t working right) and it’s no fun to cuddle up around the computer to do the readings so I have a great unit to do next December!  This year we’re back to our old standbys of Christmas books from the library and from our bookshelves, plenty of King’s College Choir and MoTab Christmas music, and two advent calendars.  And baking.  Of course.

As for our other subjects, it’s been tough getting going again after a week off for Thanksgiving and a week of sickness and reading only the week before that.  Things didn’t go too badly though.

Science: We skipped chemistry these two weeks and talked about Newton instead as we read about him in our history book.  We did an experiment last Friday that turned out to be really funny.  I stood on a chair and dropped three balls of varying weights and sizes to show that objects dropped from the same height fall at the same speed.  Then all the boys had to try it.  Then they had to try all their other toys and were saying things like, “Let’s see if gravity works on my tiger.”  “Let’s see if gravity works on my train car.”  Sure enough, gravity worked on every single toy they own.  We also demonstrated Newton’s First Law of Motion by rolling marbles on the carpet and incidentally learned about friction at the same time.  We watched a short video about forces as well.

History: In two weeks we read SOTW chapters 16 and 17, learning about John Locke, Isaac Newton, scientific farming and crop rotation, and Peter the Great and Russia.  Besides the mapwork, we worked out a logic problem about crop rotation (which crops to plant when), read several books about Russia, a biography of Peter the Great, and quite a few Russian folk tales. 

History is the one subject I could say we’re behind on.  I wanted to be up to the American Revolution by Christmas and we’re not quite there.  Next week may be just a reading week to get caught up, then we’ll spend all of January on the Revolution while we adjust to a baby in the house.

Literature: We finished listening to A Christmas Carol.  I’m not sure the boys really got it all, but it was a good introduction to Dickens and I really enjoyed it.  It’s been years since I’ve read it.  I think we’ll make it a tradition every Christmas.  A finished reading The Journal of Jasper Jonathan Pierce, a Pilgrim Boy and is now reading The Sign of the Beaver.  C has read so many books since Thanksgiving.  He’s become quite the bookworm.  He’s finished all of the Pippi Longstocking and Noisy Village books by Astrid Lindgren, The Water Horse, the complete fairy tales of Charles Perrault (which I checked out for myself and haven’t gotten to) and is now reading The Saturdays after doing narration from it in Writing with Ease.

Memory Work:  Has been dismal.  We’re still working at our scripture memory, but we’ve been lax at reviewing all the previous ones.  We have a great system, if only I follow through!  We have learned the first verses to “Silent Night” and “Oh Come, All Ye Faithful.”

Art: Nothing formal still, but C and D have both been drawing a good deal and painting.  I love that they’re both to the age where they can get their watercolors out by themselves, paint without a huge mess, and clean up all on their own.  I used to dread painting of any sort, but it’s just so nice now that they’re becoming so independent.

C is into long-necked dinosaurs and truck cranes.

D is into painting eels, and drawing diesel train engines.  This is the first time I’ve really seen him add a person to his drawings. 

D (Preschool)
Began blending
Writing: He’s fascinated with writing on his own lately and has been writing the alphabet and his name every chance he gets.  He really likes the whiteboard.

FIAR:  Supposedly we’re doing Clown of God by Tomie DePaola, but we haven’t done too much with it. 
Cutting and Pasting: He got a new Kumon puzzles workbook for his birthday and has already done half the book.  His coordination is really improving when he cuts and he likes to paste the puzzles back together.  I don’t know what I’ll do when he finishes this book!

C (1st grade)
All about wasps in his nature reader
Writing with Ease 1: 8 lessons from weeks 14 and 15
Grammar: lessons 37-42 on proper nouns and singular and plural nouns
Math: More Miquon addition and subtraction pages

A (3rd grade)
Began Singapore 3B and covered the first section on mental math and 2 reviews.  I’m actually trying to follow the schedule in the Home Instructor’s Guide and see how we do at keeping on track.  He still needs more drill on those pesky multiplication facts.
Grammar: 5 lessons on pronouns
Writing with Ease 2: Finished the book!!!  And we are definitely taking a break from this until after the new year begins.
Latin:  We did a few crosswords from Ludere Latine together and decided after two weeks off we needed review more than we needed to move on to lesson 7.  So we’re still reviewing and will go forward again in January.  We have almost memorized “Adeste Fideles” though and are doing well with the chants we know.

We plan to still be at it for another week.  I’m not sure how much work we’ll actually feel like doing but we really need to read about 3 history chapters, do one more science experiment and read about polonium to get to a stopping point in chemistry, and work on “Adeste Fideles” just a little bit more.  But I’m not making any promises at this point, we’ll just see what happens!

4 Comments leave one →
  1. December 13, 2009 5:06 pm

    I just started the Writing With Ease and I LOVE it!

    I noticed that you’re back in to the discovery scripture series–are you liking it more now??

  2. Julie permalink
    December 13, 2009 6:17 pm

    Wow, your 5yo ds has EXCELLENT handwriting!

    We’ve done many similar things this past week, it’s so exciting to “know” so many people doing nearly the same things we are in school.

    Thank you for sharing!

  3. December 14, 2009 8:51 am

    It is so hard to do school at this time of year, but you seem to get quite a bit in. I can’t say the same for us. I am finding it hard. I don’t know if it is the baby, the season, or what but I can’t seem to motivate myself or my kids to do a whole lot. I think the kids would be willing if I could just pull myself together and learn how to do this while handling a more and more active baby that doesn’t sleep as much during the day anymore. At least we get in some everyday.

    Good luck with the next few weeks.

  4. December 19, 2009 9:52 am

    we’ve averaged two subjects a day this week, but at least i haven’t given up entirely:) i’m ready for a little christmas break and then to make a fresh start in january. by the way, we chose writing with ease this year with your recommendation and i am loving it!

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