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Weekly Report 13, 14

December 12, 2010

Once again I’m attempting to sum up two weeks rather than one.  Last week was one of those “If we set our expectations low enough maybe we’ll meet them” kind of weeks and there wasn’t a whole lot to report on.  It was birthday week.  D turned 6 over Thanksgiving weekend and we took Friday the 3rd off for A’s 10th birthday.  Tuesday of that week was completely eaten up with a rehearsal for Christmas Eve, a recording session with a guitarist I’ve been working on Burgmueller and Vivaldi with, getting things ready for our Relief Society Christmas dinner, cub scout pack meeting where A received his Bear, and riding the train downtown to hear Poppa’s choir sing on Temple Square.  Daddy did homeschool that day, the basics only, while I was out and about.  I didn’t plan much for the rest of the week and we pretty much accomplished what I had planned!

This week went better and as we haven’t got our Christmas tree yet, we haven’t been too carried away with holiday excitement.  We’ve started a new read-aloud: Christmas Mystery by Jostein Gaarder about a magic Advent calendar with a separate story inside each door.  We read a chapter each day until Christmas Eve and so far we’re enjoying it.  We also started a Discover Christmas unit study and have enjoyed learning about different Christmas traditions and symbols each day.  The boys each made Christmas countdown chains on Dec. 1 and A said that was the most fun he’s had in weeks.  I guess that shows how exciting our homeschool has been lately!  I’ve been sadly underprepared for all the other craft projects, but no one has minded much.  We’re not too crafty around here anyway.  We did make some pretty poinsettias after I discovered glitter glue, which is pretty cool.  I hate dealing with regular glitter.

Other highlights were our outings this week.  Friday we went downtown to see some really gorgeous artwork on display by the new Inspirational Art Association.  I probably would have enjoyed it more if I hadn’t been shepherding four little boys, but it was a good experience and they actually did really well.  We had a long chat about not touching, running, or roughhousing beforehand which I think helped.  We got to meet Eric Dowdle and A told him how much he enjoyed his Boston puzzle and he actually gave us another puzzle all wrapped up!  A said we have to wait for Christmas to open it so we’ll have a new puzzle to do over Christmas break.

Then on Saturday we went to the Utah Symphony children’s “Polar Express” concert.  I was expecting music from the movie, but they projected images from the book instead on a screen behind the orchestra and played a suite of music for orchestra and baritone that told the story.  They had model trains set up in the lobby beforehand which of course my kids were glued to.

History: We were going to focus on American history for a while and talked about immigration and Ellis Island last week, and made another lapbook element on famous buildings immigrants would have seen in New York City.  We read two books about Ellis Island and several picture books about immigrants.  Then they were begging for Story of the World this week so we read about the carving up of Africa, the British Boer war and Robert Baden-Powell, and about Ned Kelly in Australia and did the mapwork, but nothing else.

Literature: We’ve been reading a few Christmas books lately and have a huge stack to get through in the next two weeks.  I wanted to listen to A Christmas Carol again, but the boys voted me down in favor of continuing Around the World in 80 Days. We’re all absolutely loving that book and if we finish it in time, maybe we can still read a little Dickens before Christmas.  We’ve also finished The Wright 3 by Blue Balliett and Fantastic Mr. Fox recently.

Math: A actually did a great job on his math test after the Thanksgiving break and has started fractions in Singapore now.  We’ve kind of forgotten about Life of Fred the past few months with all of our focus on multiplication facts, but we’re going to add it back in on Fridays from now on.  C and D are both still working through Math Mammoth Add and Subtract 2A and are really doing well.

Latin: C did lesson 7 in Prima Latina and A is up to lesson 13 in Latina Christiana. We were working on it together, but I’m seriously behind several lessons.  We’re all working on memorizing both verses of “Adeste Fideles” this year.  Now every time we hear “O Come, All Ye Faithful” even D points out that “It’s Adeste Fideles, Mom!”  Right now I’m listening to “Personent Hodie.”  Maybe we’ll memorize that one next year.  We’re really enjoying Latin songs.

Language Arts: We haven’t been as diligent about the rest of our language arts, although A analyzed eight more sentences in Practice Island. We finished chapter 1 in Sentence Island and will do a few of the corresponding writing assignments next week.

D is still reading really well as long as he can keep the vowel sounds straight.

A did week 14 in Writing with Ease and is doing copywork from our Time Travelers history study.

We attempted Writing with Ease 2, week 1 with C this week.  He does fine with the narrations and he remembers all the words for dictation, but it’s like he has no visual memory for writing them down even after writing the same exact sentence for copywork the previous day.  I had to help him spell practically every word over two letters long.  It was so frustrating for him.  And me.  He reads fabulously so I know he can decode, but he can’t turn that skill around and encode to save his life.  Any suggestions?  He did better on Friday with his own narration sentence dictated back to him.  And his handwriting sure looks nice:

One more week of schoolwork to go–D’s counting down the days until Christmas break.  You know, because he’s such an overworked kindergartner!

2 Comments leave one →
  1. December 13, 2010 7:55 am

    looks as if you all are having a good year. Great job mama!

  2. Grandma permalink
    December 13, 2010 8:39 am

    I’m glad you got to see some trains. Be sure and ask Poppa about our visit to Ellis Island and his ancestors who came through it.

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