Sunday, January 26, 2014

Educational Report: Week of January 19, 2014

Last week seemed short, as we took Monday off from formal lessons. The weather here was warm & sunny and we soaked it in. Yeah for the South! I'm thankful & hopeful that we've finally nailed down a schedule (again, I remind you that it probably won't last long- big families & littles require a lot of flexibility!): set hours for each area of study with mini breaks in between. Everyone is working on the same are of study & stopping when the timer goes off, even if they are not done. If they finish early, they get free time or they can continue to work on something else; if they don't finish in time, they pick up there the next day. The children seem to enjoy the mini breaks better than one longer stretch. This routine helped me be more available for questions, which meant someone didn't get overlooked until the end of the day. It does make getting my own personal tasks done a bit tricker but lessons are the focus right now. Chores wait to their assigned times and/or days off from lessons.

We only got to memory time twice this week but I was pleased to see it happening informally on several of the other days. Elizabeth and Jonathan copied their history and science sentences through out the week, so that gave us opportunities to chant it several times. I'm trying to be remember to have the children share with Daddy at dinner one thing they learned- another opportunity to chant memory work. For our composer study about Bach throughout the week, we listened to a variety of music from a favorite cd I owned, read aloud once from our book & listened to The Story of Bach in Words and Music in the van on the way to piano lessons.

For the younger ones history, we read about some of the taxes, which were called acts, Britain required colonialists to pay. We never got around to doing the lapbook projects for this so that will be top priority this week. Patricia's two lectures covered chivalry & kingdoms and nobility in medieval times. We had Facetime with Arendse & she took 1 more opportunity. Patricia finished reading Beowulf and continued to read parts of History of Christianity, as well as beginning Sir Gawain and the Green Knight.

Patricia & Benjamin began module 2 for the science after taking (and acing) their first test. This module covers scientific inquiry. They completed several experiments- it's a highlight for everyone. The younger ones only completed one lesson for science this week about the painter Pierre-Joseph Redoute. I'm so thankful for the internet- we were able to look up several of his paintings.

Benjamin and Matthias studied chapter 7 of their Latin. We met with David Arendse via Facetime on Thursday for review & it was an encouragement to all so we're going to try to do that weekly! I didn't have the boys take their test yet- we're going to spend a week drilling & making sure all our various charts are memorized really well because that is KEY to translating, which their Latin is just beginning to cover. Patricia's Latin chapter was review. She's excited to begin Latin Alive in February. I'm hoping I can keep up studying with her like I have with the boys. She doesn't need me (yeah for studious firstborns!) but I need to study it for teaching the children that come after her.

We did several lessons of math this week, though it didn't get done daily which isn't good. The older three children were consistent with reviewing flashcards & doing Calculadder drill sheets.

Language Arts went very smoothly this week & I think our schedule of a committed time period each day was a key to success. I only covered one lesson of PAL reading & writing with Jonathan and Elizabeth but we spent time daily reading together. Benjamin was excited to do week one of Writing with Skill (I think we need to finish one more day) & Patricia enjoyed getting back to it. Matthias focused on dictation this week- it continues to be difficult which is exactly why we need to do it. Everyone worked on spelling & copywork, several younger children did Explode the Code, Benjamin did another chapter of vocabulary and the older two children did some typing.

Patricia and Benjamin completed their assigned reading for logic this week but our busy schedule prevented Eric from meeting with them. That's okay- they'll just do it this week, Lord-willing! I've decided to have Patricia and Benjamin take a break from MindBenders for a bit- I find that when those start being problematic on a regular occasion, it just means they need to step away for awhile. Matthias enjoyed doing Critical Thinking & MindBenders.

Piano went well & we had another lesson on Wednesday. No formal art lessons though art is always happening. I think we must go through forests of trees with the amount of paper we use! (I try to remember to recycle it!) Reading aloud was kind of hit & miss, which is always sad.


dawn said...

Those VOX CDs put me to sleep! I wish they didn't :(

Looks like a thorough week, glad your new schedule is working out. What science are you using?

Tully Family said...

I think all our primary reading & listening from the past few weeks about Bach helped to make the VOX cd interesting. Before, it had always made me sleepy but we enjoyed it this past week!

Patricia and Benjamin are using Apologia's General Science. The younger ones are finishing up AiG "World of Plants." Not sure which one we will do next. It's not awesome but it helps me be consistent. Using CC science sentences, books from library & hoping to do lots of experiments & nature walks to round everything out. I liked the suggestions in "The Core" for the experiment book. In my opionon, that's real science. Reading is narration. Good but not really science.

Anyway... What's what we are doing. One day I'll finally finish the home education tab for our blog!