Saturday, October 13, 2007

Our Week

Another week has gone by. Wow!! It seems we just got started, and now we've finished week 6. How can that be?? I remember when I taught school, each "six weeks" was a marker... time to average grades, report cards, etc.I'm not sure who started this "weekly homeschool update" on the blogs, but I like it! As a homeschooler, the weeks and months flow together so fluidly. It's nice to stop, though, weekly or periodically (like on a blog or in a journal) and reflect on what we've done. I feel like I put all sorts of time into planning in the summer, and then once our school year gets going it sort of takes on a life of its own and takes off without me. Once we add in activities, ministries, and commitments, school can get rushed or pushed off to the side, and I forget that it is one of my primary callings right now. Seeing what others are up to sort of spurs me on.

This week I didn't have time to post anything on this blog, and only posted a couple of things on my other blog because sometimes you're too busy livin' it to post about it, you know what I mean? Now it's early Saturday morning, I'm the only one in the house who's up... My cute husband and son have headed out the door early to go hunting, (I typed it really small, in case it offends anyone, LOL) and my beautiful teenager is still snoozing away in my bed. She and I had a "sleepover" in our room last night, and my husband and son had a "camp out" in my son's room since they would be leaving so early. (They konked out early, and we stayed up watching "What Not To Wear." So fun! And, I need to go on that show desperately...) So now I have time for a bit of reflecting about our school week. I'll divide it up by grade. (Note, it turned into my Six Weeks report. Which means, it may take you six weeks to read it!)

Grade 8

Continued plugging away through Chosen By God. We are loving this book. Okay, I am loving this book. She is reading it, as assigned, and appreciating Dr. Sproul's insights. She says he gives too many illustrations and examples. She likes things very cut and dried... just tell her the point! In addition to the discussions and writing assignments in the Omnibus book, I've been having her do something very "elementary" and copy the chapter summaries in her notebook. It's been very helpful.

English is, well, English. We've delved into demonstrative, interrogative, reflexive and intensive pronouns. But wait, next week we'll hit indefinite and relative pronouns... and then it gets exciting! Actually, this week I was talking to my brother and (I'm not sure how it came up, because our conversations are usually not about English grammar, LOL) and he said he didn't learn most of this until his Greek classes in seminary. Well, that's all I needed to hear. I'm preparing her for seminary, LOL!

Math (algebra) was pretty negative this week. Okay, it was because she's in the chapter on "Negatives" but she's stayed pretty positive about it anyway...

She had a pretty massive 68-question Geography test this week . Whoa! She said, "Why can't you just take my word for it that I know it?" :) She did get to finish painting and labeling her landform salt map this week. I think it turned out great!

For science she finished her study of "the sun" and had a lovely test on that subject as well. And we ate lots of candy corn.

She's plugging her way through her chosen American History text. I get dry-mouth just looking at it, and I think now she understands why. History's never really been her "thing" anyway, but I think adding a dry textbook to it makes it really not her thing. This summer we read some of the Hakim "History of US" books together (which she liked) so I'd love for her to transition over to those or join her brother and I in the Story of the World book. Another week of textbook assignments and she just might be there... The point, for me, is how much she is retaining and actually learning, so next week I plan to sit down with her and see what she "knows" (probably a "narration" of sorts) and we'll go from there.

Chinese is going great for her. The combination of curriculum we've chosen seems to really be working, aided by her great enthusiasm for it. She has some Chinese music ("pop" music) in her iPod, and last week she came bounding out of her room exclaiming, "I know what she's saying!!!!" (By the way, she was saying "You don't love me, You don't love me, You don't love me..." which is kind of funny, since the music is really upbeat and danc-y. Apparently Chinese pop music is just as sad and desperate as American pop music, LOL. I told her if she ever figures out it's saying something inappropriate, it's leaving our iTunes! ;) She also found a website that translates the Bible into pin yin, so she's been memorizing scripture as well. Very, very fun.

Grade 6

What can you say about a very active 11-year-old boy with a locker full of school and beautiful fall weather outside? This week was a good school week, but he longed to be outside. Which we did, especially at the end of the week. He has hung in there for a good first six weeks. He's becoming more and more disciplined in his work, and that is an answer to prayer.

Math- He finished up chapter two of his Pre Algebra and took the test this week. He likes test days because it's not a lesson and practice problems... it's tell-all-you-know and then get on with things!

We got behind last week in Geography, so this week was a bit of catch up. He finished New York and New Jersey. He did an interesting report on Niagra Falls, and I learned some new things, too. There sure have been lots of folks brave enough to go over it! Including one guy who was trying to retrieve his cell phone. Hello???? And guess who owns Niagra Falls? I didn't know! (I'll let you discover it on your own... I don't want to ruin the surprise...)

Here is his finished landform salt map, which he painted and labeled this week:

For Science he finished up his chapter on weathering and erosion, and moved on to natural resources. He is really enjoying science, as he always has. Of course, he really likes doing the experiments and demonstrations:

Here he is analyzing soil samples. My little "pedologist."

This week we also studied the Civil War. Here is the beginning of his Civil War lapbook.

I downloaded the template from Knowledge Box Central, and we are adapting it. He is very process-oriented rather than product-oriented. (Which is a good thing, really!) But, the upshot is that the final product isn't always the most snazzy. I've seen some lapbooks out there that are UNbelievable! Ours will be very... believable. :) We're going to continue making the lapbook next week and perhaps the following week if we are enjoying it.

In Literature he finished reading Perilous Road and began Powder Keg, another Civil War book.

For Spanish, (since he had a brief foray into French last year) we have been reviewing the first two levels of La Clase Divertida, before we begin level 3. He is a third of the way through Level 2 right now, and really retaining more than I thought he would. (We did the first two levels when he was in 1st grade through about 4th grade). I'm very pleased, and he seems very motivated to learn Spanish. Level 3 teaches them how to share the gospel in Spanish, which he is very excited about (and I am too, as our family is looking at a possible mission trip to Mexico.)

He is enjoying Switched on Schoolhouse Language (which combines English grammar with Spelling). It's a change of pace for him, not book-workish, and just the right amount per lesson. Next year I'm sure we'll switch back to either Abeka or BJU, which I think are very strong grammar programs, but this year it's been nice to have something different.

Combined Subjects

Music- My mom came over for another wonderful music co-op this week with our friends. The kids are continuing to practice the Solfege scale and read music using the hand signs. Very, very cool. Their hymn for this month is "A Mighty Fortress," and we had a glorious time around the piano while my mom played it wonderfully and we all sang. Every word. Every stanza. Loved it! Perfect for the month of Reformation Day! She is also teaching them the sign language for the song "Shine on Us." SO beautiful. So worshipful.

I gave us a break in Latin this week. They rose up and called me blessed.

Our current mission study is Mary Slessor, a biography we have read before but are thoroughly enjoying again through the eyes of a different author. I just love, love, LOVE studying about great heroes of the faith. Slessor is such an inspiration to us, and since she worked in West Africa, and she and my son share the same hero (David Livingstone), we feel a "bond." It's a neat study. Besides, we've been to Nigeria. (Okay, for one hour. Sitting on the runway at the airport. But still. LOL.)

Bible- Besides their own Awana work, we have been reading through The Jesus Storybook Bible, which I highly recommend. It wasn't around when my kids were small, but it's so good I want them to hear it. Lloyd-Jones does a masterful job of weaving Jesus into every story in the Bible. Every story does "whisper His name!" Oh, it's so good. We've had some great discussions. We also listened to some John MacArthur this week and some PodTask podcasts (produced by the IMB.)

Thursday the weather was so pretty we couldn't stand it, so we loaded up our books and did school at the park, then we enjoyed a picnic and the kids fished. Some other friends joined us and it was a great afternoon!

(The fish is turned sideways, but he's there. Just skinny. And small.)

Friday after we finished our school, we played at another park with some other fun friends. I have found that even though my kids are older, they still enjoy play dates at the park. (We just don't call it that!) And they need the fresh air and sunshine just as much.

Well, that's our week! I hope you've had a great week, too (and I apologize if you spent it reading this post. I know it was long!)

Have a great weekend!


Melkhi said...

I enjoyed reading your report and seeing the slideshow in your sidebar. Thanks!

LisaWA said...

Yes! This month is Reformation Month! *Ü* October 31st to be right on spot...

You all had a wonderful week! I enjoyed reading your post very much! Great pictures!

Enjoy your day with your daughter.


Alex said...

I really enjoy reading your post also, and I am going to find out more about the landform salt maps. I think my 2 oldest would really like making them.
Thanks for sharing!
Alex in Canada

Life With My 3 Boybarians said...

Those landform salt maps are both amazing and intimidating. Wow. They turned out beautifully. Was it complex?

Sounds like this week was a prefect balance of books and beautiful weather!

Jenny in Ca said...

what a neat busy six weeks you've had. I loved your comment about your latin Salt maps look wonderful.


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