Monday, September 28, 2009

Weekly Report

This is a bit late, but I have a good reason.. my beloved Mac is excruciatingly slow with our Internet connection when both other computers work fine. So here I am, on Husband's laptop, otherwise no blog.

Last week is recapped as follows:

MCP - subtractions, vertical sums. Son seems to understand what he's doing, and doing well. He rarely misses one.
Miquon - patterns. Son did well completing a pattern, but had difficulty creating a pattern.

I'm still plodding through Rudyard Kipling's Just So Stories, but I'm not enjoying reading it aloud. I don't mind quickly reading it but the language is not appealing to me. That said, Son likes the animal stories very much but not the human stories. He has difficulty with a few imperialism words and sayings, and British ramblings in the book. He needs help with his narrating. The latter do tend to drag a lot. Only one more story left, then I can pick up Little House in the Big Woods from the library and start reading that one aloud.

This week I had Son write his Thank You notes for his birthday gifts, which worked out well. The last day he wrote: It is right to obey your mother and father. Hmm.. I wonder why.

Son is moving nicely through Italic Handwriting. I like the font, and I have Son do it over if it's carelessly done. He seems to care more than most about his penmanship, so I use that as a good opportunity to teach him good habits. He still reverses his numbers and letters often.

Son does the one page in the workbook easily and painlessly for the most part, and this week was no exception. He did short "e" sounds and short "i" sounds. I was glad to see he was able to write a few sentences as part of his assignment. He needs help with spelling, of course, but I prefer he ask me how to write something than try to invent a new (and wrong) spelling.

Son is doing well reading, but I'm close to encouraging him to the next level. He read a section from the nonfiction Living Long Ago, and the following books this week: Uncle Elephant, In a Nutshell, Snipp Snapp Snurr and the Red Shoes, and the Please and Thank You book. We're going to try slightly more challenging books that capture his interest, and I'm going to observe him to see if he's ready for The Littles (chapter book) maybe next week.

I started very easily with him -- first I let him see one word, then take a picture of this word and store it in his mind. Then I remove the word and he has to copy it from his mind. This has been working well. This past week I wrote down two words: river and flood. He was able to write both with perfect spelling. Maybe he's ready for three words this week.

We looked at tree stumps and rings, read about how to calculate the age of trees, Son drew tree rings and wrote the age next to it, we went on another walk where Son picked up twigs and berries for his twig and berry project in Nature Smart. We also were able to tell how twigs grow by the marks on them. Yesterday Husband and Son worked on the Twig and Berries wreath, which looked pretty. I should post a picture of it. It hangs in our home library/school room.

We listened to the SOTW 1 audio, this week was Egyptians Lived on the Nile (chapter two). Son narrated the first section with some difficulty, colored a page about Osiris and Set, did mapwork illustrating King Narmer's unification of Upper and Lower Egypt, cut out and colored Homeschool in the Woods' figures and pasted them in his Book of Centuries, and Husband read to him from the Usborne's World History Encyclopedia and they visited the quicklinks online. Son was excited and did his best coloring the picture, which showed me he liked the story of Set and Osiris. We listened to the audio CD a few more times.

We checked our rain gauge, recorded the observations and put them into a graph, looked at the map of the USA and Egypt's place in the world and discussed oceans and cities.

This week Son memorized Rain, by Robert Louis Stevenson, a nice short poem. He has a tendency to stutter sometimes and I notice while he's reciting poems he doesn't stutter. He has memorized three short poems in three weeks. We're building up to longer ones as the weeks keep going by.

We read the poem Try, Try Again from The Children's Book of Virtues and discussed the virtue of perseverance. Son promised to work on that for the week, and I can say he did well all week.

We read two bible stories -- both about Abraham. Son seems to like the stories. He gets religious education at the Catholic church, so we read the Bible at home to familiarize him with the stories. He's already read and reread his Children's Bible a few times, but these stories are more mature, more vivid, and beautifully illustrated. They're from The Children's Bible in 365 Stories.

We discussed personal grooming such as brushing hair, washing face, having clean hands and fingernails and dressed neatly. Son liked that, but doesn't have the habit yet of either washing his face or brushing his hair. Still working on reminding him of those things.

We're working on The Easy Spanish where we did the Me Llamo activity sheet and Chichi's personality profile. Son seems to enjoy it, and I reinforce the learning by asking him, Como te llamas? And he answers, "Me llamo (his name)" and so forth.

Son studied Madonna on the Rocks by Leonardo Da Vinci for five minutes and had to tell me what he remembered when I took it away. For the first time he didn't do badly, but I imagine his powers of observation increased as we progress with his picture studies.

Son has been listening to Bach's music every morning he wakes up and to the organ works in the car. I got a video of Bach's organ works on Netflix, which he enjoys watching. Son really enjoys the music and recognizes Toccata in Fugue in D Minor. I read to him once a week from The World's Greatest Composers - Bach. The book is just right for this age, and just about at his reading level so he can follow along. He loves the cartoons (as does Husband!). Thank you, Mike Venezia, for making art engaging to children. We read a little bit at the time, so Son can absorb what is being said. I made a note of having him narrate next time as well.

Son takes piano lessons, but this is singing, dancing, etc. I have a background in both, and I'm having fun teaching him Silent Night in time for Christmas. We have fun with this one.

As for extracurricular activities, this week Son has done tennis, horseback riding, Boy Scouts and Religious Education. He has unstructured play outdoors twice (hot outside) this week and indoors daily.

And that's our week, folks!

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