Friday, April 30, 2010
Weekly Reporter - Week 30 - April 26-30
This is a week where I've been more relaxed in my approach. We do get the work done, but not exactly like clockwork right after the other. I find ds is learning a lot anyway (gasp).
In History, we're listening to Chapter 30 in SOTW 1, about Ancient India. Ds colored a page of the Buddha in the Activity Guide, did the mapwork, went over the review questions, and we talked at length about the caste system. We also went online using the Usborne Quicklinks from the Internet-Linked Encyclopedia. Ds knows the symbols of the Buddha now: feet, wheel, tree with empty throne, a stupa, and a column with a lion on it. Ds just reminded me right now that another Buddhist symbol was a tower of fire. Tonight we're watching IMAX India from Netflix. I'd like him to see a scenes from the river Ganges, names after the goddess Ganga. It's sure to be stunningly beautiful, as India tends to be.
I spent the whole week obsessing about Math. Ds doesn't know his math facts forwards and backwards. In fact, I think we have quite a way to go. This is the reason I'm starting to doubt the current program I'm using -- MCP Math. I know that our supplemental program, Miquon, I'm going to make a bigger effort to sit next to him and teach, rather than just hand him a worksheet and tell him to use the rods with it. I explain until my tongue falls off (figuratively, of course) with MCP and he doesn't quite get it yet. Worse yet, he doesn't like math. Maybe it's just a maturity issue. I don't know. I'm confused, but with more research and help from the forum I'm on, I hope to make a decision I'm satisfied with before his second year starts. we backtracked, and I helped him with a few Miquon sheets, and we did one MEP sheet. It went okay. Maybe that's all I can hope for: okay. He does so well in other lessons, that I think that math stands out here.
Poetry has been intermittent here, and I don't mind. We get it done every week, but instead of every day it's been more like 2-3 days a week. We're reading Emily Dickinson's, and ds enjoys them, and is learning new vocabulary.
I enjoyed Music this week. I'd like to think ds did too. I think he did. I read from Mike Venezia's fun Discovering the World's Greatest Composers, where Mozart's opera Magic Flute was explained in some detail. I promptly requested the opera from Netflix (so many versions!), and we watched this last night. I was surprised at how interested ds was. I think it's the fantasy aspect, and the fact that he'd already had an introduction. Score!
Copywork is getting much better. Ds can write nicely, it's a matter of whether he wants to or not. Note to self: motivation needs to be a tad more subtle. I use selections from across our lessons, but I like to shake things up a bit and had him write a letter to his aunt in California last night.
Geography blends a bit into Natural Science. Ds learned about caves a few weeks ago, then the ocean, and next week it's the desert. I give him his own books to read. It's so nice that he's reading at a third grade level. I like Tanglewood Geography, it just a simple collection of 36 weeks of lesson plans that tell me what to do next, but leaves a lot of room for me to stretch out and be flexible.
Art Appreciation (Picture Study). I've hit a dead-end, as I don't know what else to do with Mary Cassatt lol. However, I asked dh to show me her paintings in his book, and he can trace one again, and study a few others.
Natural Science is going well. Our topic is weather and I've been learning right along with him. I find tornadoes and hurricanes awe-inspiring and terrifying at the same time, and concur with ds that I wouldn't want to be caught in either. We finish the six weeks with the Eyewitness Explorer: Weather DVD from Netflix. We read books on the couch, and today we spent close to an hour looking at tornado and hurricane footage on YouTube. I want to show him parts of Twister as well! I own that movie, I think it's great.
Health & Safety blended with Natural Science this week, as one topic to discuss was tornado and hurricane safety. Check! :)
Spanish is silent this week, as I contemplate what else to do for next year -- Muzzy?
Gave ds a Spelling quiz today, just telling him the words and having him write them down in a column, and he did all of them right. I'm using Natural Speller and its ideas of copying five time, writing sentences with each word, then quiz. Note to self: try to incorporate Charlotte Mason's imaging system. Will definitely do this as I move to dictation next year.
Theology has fallen to the wayside. I was reading the Bible to him, but I'm not doing that lately. We focused on Easter with Sheila Carroll's fabulous and free Easter unit. Ms. Carroll is from Living Books Curriculum, and I receive her terrific newsletters. If I weren't so set on planning everything, I would be using this curriculum. During the Summer I'm going to recount the story of Moses from SOTW 1 (we skipped it as so far, at least for dh and me, there is no conclusive evidence of Israelites having been in Egypt), talk about the plagues, watch The Prince of Egypt.. it's going to be fun. Ds is in CCD as well, which is Catholic Catechism, and he enjoys it.
Literature is hanging for the last day or two. We just finished Aesop's Fables and now I'm moving into The Mouse and the Motorcycle. We're still reading Detectives in Togas, which is wonderful. I had to read ahead!
Reading is thankfully no problem in this house. Ds reads much of his science, and he enjoys reading the magazine Ask as well. For school he's reading Stories From India, which meshes nicely with our History lessons. They are utterly enjoyable to him, as he spontaneously narrates whole stories to me. His narration skills are improving very much, and I'm happy to see that.
We're plodding along with Phonics. Ds just completes a page from the workbook three days a week. Not glamorous, but I see he's benefiting spelling-wise as well.
Today we're headed to the bank with Cub Scouts to see where money comes from. Ds is going to ask how money grows while sitting there.