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Weeks 2, 3, 4

September 15, 2013

Obviously, I will not be writing a weekly report once a week!  Maybe I should just plan on doing monthly reports.  🙂

Week 1 worked out very well, maybe a little too well.  We haven’t lived up to it since.  Of course that was the week we had nothing else going on and were able to follow our schedule to a T.  Now real life has kicked in once again, and we’ve had to work around scouts, orchestra rehearsals, Kindermusik class for E, book club (now on Tuesday mornings), C’s orthodontist appointment, a baby shower, a wedding shower, a NICU reunion for D at the hospital, a concert with the Mormon Tabernacle choir, Utah Symphony, and James Taylor, my OB appointment and ultrasounds, feeding the missionaries (which luckily someone remembered to tell me about the day before), and DH calling me one day at 11:50 to see if he could grab me for an hour since there was a luncheon he had forgotten to tell me about that everyone else was invited to bring their spouses to.  I let myself be grabbed and the boys were on their own for lunch.

Can I just say how much I love finally having children old enough to be built-in babysitters?  It’s fabulous!

And then there were the days after the nights I’d been up late throwing up. Still.  Those were not the greatest days, but luckily the boys have been very understanding when I just have to say, “Mommy’s not feeling very good today.”  And naturally, being September, some of us are suffering from hay fever pretty badly.

Oh, and week 3 was essentially the boys staying at Grandma’s house all week without me and doing math, reading, scriptures, piano, and logic problems.  So I realized we have a lot of curriculum that requires Mom.  This would probably have been a good year to pick non-Mom-intensive curriculum, but so it goes.

One really good thing about this year so far is the weekly checklist.  I always start with a list of subjects and how many times per week I want them to get done, then I assign them out by days so that by Friday (hopefully) we don’t have to catch up on all the undone assignments and still be working at 5 p.m. (which has been known to happen on occasion.)  I think this is the first year I’ve been realistic about expectations and time and have assigned things in such a way that Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday are big work days without being overwhelming.  We’re getting our work done!  Then Thursdays are short days (afternoons are for cello and piano lessons) and Fridays are short and relaxed, since by Friday afternoon, I’m so ready to be done!

So what did we do?

Well, E did a lot with the letter B.  You’d think in 3 weeks we could have gotten through C too, but between my sick days, trying to figure out when to fit his work in, and the fact that some days he’d rather play than learn about letters (and I’m not going to push him) there’s still more I want to do with the letter C.

He really enjoyed learning about Bears, Bunnies, Bugs, Butterflies, Books, Blueberries, and Bumblebees.  We made a Bumble B, a B collage, traced the letter B, and read a lot of Books.  He also matched the correct number of blueberries with some number cards I printed from Five in a Row.

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The other three worked hard, and I’ve been really pleased to see them step up to some increased expectations this year.

Math:  A completed the section on fractions and order of operations.  C finished his first section and reviews on whole numbers and has had to take some extra time remembering how to do long division.  D also finished his first section on whole numbers and has moved on to measuring lengths in cm, m, and km.

English: Grammar goes well.  A and C covered nouns, pronouns, and adjectives, while D had some lessons on nouns and pronouns.  They all did keyword outlines and presentations of “The Dog and the Bone” and outlined and rewrote “The Crow and the Pitcher.”  A started on the literary analysis section in Writing with Skill.

Latin: Everyone is ready for a Latin quiz tomorrow–A on lesson 2, D on lesson 3, and C on lesson 1.  Lesson 1 has taken forever!  But I knew it would as First Form is quite a step up from Latina Christiana and I wanted to make sure he understood how to do each workbook section.  Each lesson has the same kinds of workbook problems so I think it will start to go a little faster.  A did great on the lesson 1 quiz which was mostly review of First Form.  Now he’s on to new material and is now way past me.  Good thing he understands it!  D really likes doing Latin on his own.  He watches the dvd lesson and everyday I hear him reviewing his vocabulary cards.

Science has been neglected a little bit (let’s just say we completely forgot about our book club book one week and spent science time catching up) although we did read about Mendeleev and his first arrangement of the periodic table and played several games to help us learn the symbols of the elements.

Logic: C and D are enjoying their logic work which has mostly comprised describing shapes and patterns, and picking out either shapes that are different, or the two that match.  They’re also loving sudoku puzzles.  A has covered the first two ad hominem fallacies: ad hominem abusive and ad hominem circumstantial.

Memory:  Still no poetry, but we’ve memorized two more scripture verses:    Alma 32:21 “And now as I said concerning faith—faith is not to have a perfect knowledge of things; therefore if ye have faith ye hope for things which are not seen, which are true.”     and

2 Nephi 32:3 “Angels speak by the power of the Holy Ghost; wherefore, they speak the words of Christ. Wherefore, I said unto you, feast upon the words of Christ; for behold, the words of Christ will tell you all things what ye should do.”

Art/Music: We studied the Mona Lisa and The Last Supper and still need to get over to our church (besides on Sunday) to study The Last Supper that hangs in our chapel, which was a painting done in the early 1900s after da Vinci’s style.  In music we learned about the musical periods from the Young Person’s Guide to the Orchestra book and the different vocal parts.  We listened to the Queen of the Night aria from The Magic Flute and one of the arias from Messiah for both soprano and alto to compare the different vocal ranges.  I also taught them how to conduct the various patterns.  C was completely flummoxed by 6/8 time!  Of course, as DH reminded me later, C is left-handed and I was having him do it with his right hand.  We’ll have to practice that one again!  As well as conduct some actual music so they can practice staying with the beat.

History: We read chapters 2-4 in Story of the World, covering  William the Silent and Holland, Mary, Queen of Scots, Jamestown settlement, and Champlain’s and Henry Hudson’s explorations of North America, and read corresponding history encyclopedias and literature books.  A and C did mapwork for Jamestown and North America ca. 1600, while D completed all the SOTW maps.  All three boys added to their timelines, and A and C wrote about Queen Mary for their Great Men and Women section of their notebook.  A and C are also working on paper models of Jamestown fort for history club this week.  I’ll take pictures when they’re finished.

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Literature: In other literature, we read and discussed Wonderstruck for book club, which is messing with my life as it is on Tuesday mornings now instead of afternoons!  I’d much rather do written work in the morning than leave the house, but that’s how the schedule (with four other families) works out and the boys weren’t bothered by it one bit.  History club will be the same way this week, so twice a month I’ll just have to deal with doing written work after lunch and figuring out what most needs to be done that day.

We’re listening to Peter Pan in the car.  A finished Don Quixote and borrowed Man of La Mancha, the stage play, from Poppa to read and compare.  Now C is reading Don Quixote.  He’s also read Secret of the Andes, Blood on the River: Jamestown 1607 (A read this also), and The Royal Diaries book about Mary, Queen of Scots.  D has been rereading lots of easy readers like Frog and Toad, Mouse Tales, Danny and the Dinosaur, and Little Bear books we have sitting around.  I need to come up with a reading list now that will challenge him.

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And tomorrow we’re back at it again.  Anyone else feel like they need another weekend day, if only to catch their breath?

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