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Week # something or other

December 9, 2011

Week 15, I think.  It’s been awhile since I wrote about school.  At 12 weeks I was going to sum up where we were at 1/3 of the way through the school year, but that weekend got away from me and I never got to the blog.  Then kids were sick, I almost broke my toe, Thanksgiving break was in there, two kids had birthdays, life got busy, and well…here we are!

Yes, we’re still homeschooling and doing school in December even.  We need some structure in our lives to keep us grounded through the holiday excitement.  It’s been a light week though and next week will probably be lighter still as we just need to get to a good stopping place in a couple of subjects.  So this report will just kind of sum up where we’re at in every subject at the moment.

History:  I think this is the first time ever that we’ve stayed right with my schedule for the year.  I’m amazed!  We’re right where my calendar says we’re supposed to be, although I guess you could say that perhaps we haven’t strayed down as many rabbit trails as other years.  But the boys do a lot of reading and seem to follow rabbit trails all on their own as long as I keep our book baskets well stocked, so it works out.

We finished our study of ancient Mesopotamia with the Babylonians, Medes, and Persians.  We read about the Hanging Gardens of Babylon and A has been using the Ancient Mesopotamia book for outlining practice.

We also read several fairy tales from the Middle East.

This month we’re learning about China (and I’ll share those details next week.)

Science: We got a week behind in science somewhere, but only one, and we should finish our human anatomy study next week.  We’ve learned about the respiratory, urinary, digestive, and endocrine systems. Only the immune system is left.  We’ve added the kidneys, bladder, gall bladder, pancreas, liver, spleen, stomach, and the small and large intestines to our body cutouts.  I should say C has added all of those.  The other two are a little behind.  Here are the bodies in various states of togetherness:

We did a great experiment showing how the intestines extract fluid.  We cooked oatmeal, added some water to it, and then spooned it into a pair of my nylons (which no, I will never be wearing again!) and squeezed it down.  We were supposed to measure the liquid that we extracted out, but we added the water before we let it cool down enough and it absorbed it a little too well.  All that came out was goo.  The boys thought it was a fabulous experiment though.

Some of the books we’ve read or looked at (the boys thought Seymour Simon’s Guts was a little too weird) and a video we watched:

Math: D began Singapore 2B and is up to lesson 17 on the 4s times tables.  C is up to lesson 49 in Singapore 2B after doing some extra work on the Math Mammoth Clock supplement.  A is finishing up the fractions section in 5A and also in the Challenging Word Problems book.  I must be really odd, because I think those problems are great fun!  A does too though.  He is so like me sometimes, it’s scary.  C, on the other hand, is completely unlike me…at least when it comes to learning.  I really struggle sometimes as I search for way to help him “get it.”  He is a challenge.  A delight, but still a challenge.

Grammar: A is up to sentence 13 in Practice Town, a book of 100 sentences for 4-step analysis.  C is on sentence 15 in Practice Island (same format) although he seems a bit lost sometimes.  He’ll continue with this book, but I’m also going to start him in First Language Lessons 3 after Christmas.  I just think he needs a different approach.  D loves First Language Lessons 1 and is up to lesson 38 (and I will love moving on to pronouns once we get to lesson 46!  I’m getting quite tired of asking “what is a noun?” every lesson, although he definitely knows what a noun is!)  He’s been learning the days of the week most recently.

Writing: D will finish up week 13 in Writing with Ease 1 next week.  C is on week 29 in WWE 2.  He does really well with this, although I can see we need to get a spelling program going again.  (And yes, that’s an admission that I haven’t done spelling once this year!)  C’s also learning cursive and really enjoys it.  On the to-do list soon is figuring out what letters he still doesn’t know, then he can start doing our copywork project in cursive.  He’s looking forward to that!

A, on the other hand, has been on a kind of writing roller coaster lately.  9That deserves its own post.)  I will just say that he’s up to week 9 in Writing with Skill and while some days are really good, some assignments are really…not good.  Like pulling teeth not good.  I’ve pulled out my IEW dvds and we’re going to add in a new approach to help this kid put things into words.  He’s also just started Paragraph Town as part of his grammar curriculum, so technically that would be writing approach #3.  Eventually something will help.  I hope…

Reading: D is up to lesson 109 in his reading book–vowel pairs that make the long-oo sound–and reading words like tooth, zoo, oops (his personal favorite), true, who, soup, blew, flute, and stew.  The other two don’t do “reading,” they just read.  Technically we have a literature program, but I haven’t looked at that syllabus in weeks!  And they’re not very good at telling me what they’ve read lately.  I need to be better at checking up on them.  We’re still reading In Search of a Homeland together (I’m terrible at read alouds!) but on audiobook we’ve finished The Penderwicks at Point Mouette, and are currently listening to The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn.

Geography: We haven’t touched geography in ages.  We should be finished with Seabird already, but we’re on chapter 3. Oops.

German: This is our completely for fun subject, but someone has misplaced our German book and I have yet to find it.  So we’ve just been working on Christmas carols in German.  So far the only one memorized is “Stille Nacht.”  We’ll see what next week brings.

Latin: We’ve mastered the second verse of “Adeste Fideles” to go with the first verse learned last year.  C and A are both finishing up lesson 9 in their respective books and doing quite well.  A is only missing one or two little things on every quiz.  D has even picked up quite a few chants from hearing them so often around the house.

Memory Work: Memory work has been so-so lately.  We’re working on memorizing the ten commandments scriptures at present.  D is doing quite well at the poems from his grammar book, but the rest of us have been terrible at memorizing poetry this fall.  We’ve also not been reviewing old memory work so that will be a new goal for the new year.  I’ll be getting their memory notebooks up to date over Christmas break so review will be easier.

I’m sure I’ve left something out, but I think that sums it up.  While I need to spend some time over Christmas break tweaking some of our routines, we’re off to a good start!

For fun, here are a few pictures from last week when we went to a local play place to do some miniature golfing and roller skating with the two birthday boys.

There were also bumper cars,

and a merry-go-round.

4 Comments leave one →
  1. December 10, 2011 8:15 am

    Great stuff. I can’t wait to cover the ancients. The carosuel looks so fun!

  2. December 10, 2011 9:02 am

    Love the science lessons. They look fun.

  3. Conner Academy permalink
    December 11, 2011 4:33 pm

    Your school looks like so much fun. I love the science lessons – my boys would definitely get into that lesson.

  4. December 19, 2011 9:12 am

    I can’t believe you are on schedule or even close to on schedule. Maybe I can’t believe it because I don’t even set a schedule. I know I won’t follow it so I just don’t even start with one.

    I don’t know if we will ever be done with anatomy for science. We are moving so slowly through our Apologia book. It is still one of those subjects I just never seem to get to each week. There is just so many other things I would rather do!

    I just got the IEW DVD’s and need to start watching them. There just isn’t a good time to do that.

    Life is just so busy…. perhaps after Christmas things will settle down.

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