Weeks 5 and 6
By the time I finally got around to writing last week’s weekly report, it was Wednesday, and I figured why not just wait a couple more days and sum up two weeks at once instead. That will probably be my theme for the year at the rate I’m going. I’m moving kind of slowly this week, mentally anyway. Hay fever is getting the best of me right now. Going hiking with the boys was probably not the greatest idea I had all week, but it was good timing for the fall foliage, and I did enjoy myself. (I just paid for it by sneezing through all my cello lessons that day!) (See previous post for pictures.) As for everything else:
Memory Work: A just about has all 13 Articles of Faith memorized. We’ve needed to review 5, 10, and 13. We also learned Matthew 25:40 And the King shall answer and say unto them, Verily I say unto you, Inasmuch as ye have done it unto one of the least of these my brethren, ye have done it unto me. I love that scripture.
Language Arts: A finished reading about parts of speech in Grammar Voyage and C has been working on dictionary skills. The two of them worked on prepositional phrases in Killgallon’s Sentence Composing book and actually had a fun time with their imitation sentences. D worked on memorizing the helping verbs and is steadily working through his reading lessons. I think he only has 26 or so left out of 231. There are still words he continually mispronounces. I need to make a master list for him to review every day. He’s able to spell most three letter words in spelling now. A and C are learning the different kinds of syllables in their respective workbooks.
Literature: A is still working through Beowulf with me, and C (the little speed reader) has read at least three of the books on A’s medieval lit fun reading list: Augustine Came to Kent, The Son of Charlemagne, and Robin Hood. We’re reading The Hobbit out loud for book club, and I’ve lost count of how many times we’ve watched the movie trailers. (69 days ’til the movie, but who’s counting . . .)
Math: A finally finished the two reviews he’s been working on the past two weeks. I can see we need to review fractions. D began multiplication this week (even though he memorized the facts with C last spring) and learned how to multiply by 10 and 100. C has improved so much with multi-digit multiplication and long division. Math has never been his strong suit, but it’s not optional at this house. I don’t want any child of mine to think that math is too hard and that he’s just not good at it. That is not acceptable thinking. C knows he just has to work harder at it than his brothers do, but he really is doing quite well. He rarely misses a problem.
Latin: C finished lessons 9 and 10 and did well on the quizzes, but I can see we need to spend more time with the flashcards for vocabulary and grammar chants. A took the quiz on lesson 25 and finally finished lesson 26 yesterday afternoon. That one seemed to take longer than usual to get through for some reason, and he still needs to take the quiz.
Science: Last week went really well in science. A and C both filled out a profile page on a constellation, telling its location, optimal viewing time, major stars, and the story behind the name. C needs some help with capitalization, but I was quite impressed that he completed the entire page all by himself.
This week I realized that they hadn’t finished filling out their vocabulary sheet last week and also needed to take the test on their first science unit. They did really well but both did miss a few questions. I don’t have them take too many tests around here, but I wanted to see what they’re retaining and I think it was a fair assessment. It threw off science for the week though and we never quite got around to this week’s assignments.
Last week D made some constellation cards for his shoebox planetarium (for which I still need to track down a shoebox) and then this week when we sat down to do science together, I realized we’d already done this week’s assignment on the sun previously. I’m not sure how or when that happened, but he was happy that I gave him the week off from science, although we did go to an astronomy presentation on the autumn night sky at the planetarium tonight. If we could get far enough away from the city lights, we might be able to go out and see if we can spot anything we learned about (mainly Pegasus.) We found the Big Dipper when we got home, but it was quite faint.
E’s learning time: E’s weekly themes tied into our science. Last week we read and talked about stars and this week the theme was the sun. We learned the number 5 this week, and he’s kind of getting the hang of counting things. Not that he says the numbers but he actually did hold up the correct number of fingers when I asked him something today.
Other than reading though, we’re not doing a whole lot with this kid.
Geography: We’re almost finished with Seabird and our maps. I think we have six chapters left. At three per week, we’ll be done before the month is up. This week we added the equator and the Tropics of Cancer and Capricorn.
History: We had history club last week and the theme was the Byzantine Empire. Here’s A making lentil soup from Story of the World to take. Wrong chapter, but somewhere I’m sure I read that lentils were eaten by the Byzantines. The kids all shared something they learned before we ate. Usually we have a craft or two, but we just did mosaics last spring in history club and I guess no one had any better ideas.
At home, we read about the Islamic empire, Clovis and the Franks, and the Islamic invasion of Spain. A didn’t have mapwork this week, but added dates to his timeline, and read a bio of Clovis and made a notebook page. C and D did the mapwork from Story of the World. We also talked about Islamic art and found a fabulous site online for patterns in Islamic art. A colored the pattern on the right, and C colored both mosques while I read aloud.
We had many books to read from the booklist I got at the museum a few weeks ago. My favorite was Silent Music about a boy in modern day Baghdad learning calligraphy. The illustrations were beautiful. Our other favorite was Umm El Madayan about an Islamic town through the ages. We always enjoy books that show the passage of time in a particular place, even if it’s imaginary.
We also watched the documentary When the Moors Ruled In Europe (if by Europe you mean Spain, and not all of it at that.) I’m not sure I agreed with all of the narrator’s views, but it was thought provoking and it was good for showing the boys all the beautiful Islamic-Spanish architecture such as the Alhambra and the mosque at Cordoba.
Yesterday we had the opportunity to see a modern-day illuminated manuscript. The Episcopal Cathedral downtown had six volumes of the Saint John’s Bible on display, “the first handwritten, illuminated Bible commissioned by a Benedictine Abbey in over 500 years.” Actually it was a printed copy. I don’t think the original handwritten volumes leave Minnesota as they are worth millions. It was really interesting to see even the copies though. The artwork, while nothing like medieval illuminations, was still spectacular. And it was interesting to see some of the nine places where mistakes were made, lines were left out, and creatively added back in. The docent was very good to explain things we were seeing to the boys as we explored the pages. It was nice to look at all the stained-glass windows in the church as well. I’ve never been inside St. Mark’s before and I know we’ll be studying stained-glass art later on this year.
So, I think that sums it up. The next two weeks will be lighter. Nana’s coming to visit from Ohio and we’re headed to Cedar City to see one more play at the Shakespeare Festival this year. And this weekend we’re in the middle of listening to our prophet and apostles speak during LDS General Conference. What a blessing it is!