Monday, October 04, 2010

WEEKLY REPORT - WEEK 4 - September 27 - October 1, 2010

Another good week. We are a tad behind in History (one SOTW chapter section), but I know we will make it up in a week or two. We missed last Tuesday in Week 3, but we're none the worse for it.


Even though Tales of King Arthur (adapted by Felicity Brooks) is challenging for Son, the stories are so interesting that he perseveres. I'm right next to him as he reads aloud and learns the more elevated vocubulary. This is one of the books that Charlotte Mason would have said, "lifts you up by your boot straps". I'm glad to see Son working his way through a more difficult book without complaining. We finished the week with the chapter The Gathering of Knights, where the Round Table was introduced. I can't wait to read what happens next!


I'm satisfied to report Son has been caring a bit more about his penmanship, and it shows in his overall work. I've been pleased with how he has risen to the challenge of significantly more writing this year. I like that in Getty-Dubay he does self-checking; it makes him feel responsible for his work.


His penmanship is much improved, and he's faster than before. I made a mental note to have him double check his work after he's done, as sometimes he misses a letter here and there. He's been paying close attention to his punctuation, which I'm delighted with. It works much better when the copywork is either directly related to his work (e.g. the attributes of matter, to help him remember), his current poetry, or a chosen passage from literature or a line or two from one of our current poet's poems.

It was also a brilliant idea (thank you, Sue!) to get one of those composition books with primary lines and the top part of the page blank for the child to draw a picture. Son is proud of his copybook and almost always sketches a picture on the top too.


Math Mammoth, how do I love thee? Let me count the ways.. The week before we had taken a short detour to review money. This week we're back with MM 1B and Son is learning place values. We played quite a bit with the abacus, and it made math not such a chore for Son. He sees it really easily on the abacus, but needs practice on the worksheets. I just think it's a lack of confidence. He's certainly doing great, and I'm glad to see the variety of problems and not just row after row of the same, which was boring for him (MCP anyone?).


Dictation is going well, and I hope Son remembers the words after he's visualized them before I erased them on the board. We're doing the Charlotte Mason way of dictation, and I like the hidden gems in its simplicity.


Reviewing Tanglewood Phonics -- we covered Lessons 7 and 8 this week. Short and long vowels, ch, sh, th.


BFSU is another program I am enjoying to teach, and it jives well with the relational way in which Son learns best. This week we did C-4 Concepts of Energy III, and Son learned the attributes of energy, and the difference between matter and energy. We also learned that the whole universe is composed of either matter or energy. To help him cement the facts, I had him do copywork on the attributes of matter.


On Monday we finished the previous chapter, Chapter 3 of SOTW2, Christianity Comes to Britain. The last section was Writing Books by Hand. Unfortunately, the ILL book, Marguerite Makes a Book, hadn't come in (still hasn't!), but I believe it's fresh enough in his memory that it will be useful by the time it comes. It looks like a charming book. Can't wait to dig into it. The rest of the week we covered Chapter 4, which is The Byzantine Empire. Son took a real interest in the art and times of the Eastern Roman Empire, and got really excited about Empress Theodora and her courage in saving her husband Justinian's throne. History is his favorite subject, but I am delighted the little man is volunteering for narrations and is enthusiastic about me recording them on the computer!


We have Spelling Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Thursdays. On Tuesday I taught him what alphabetical order was, and we did a homemade excercise on that. Son is able to alphabetize with the first and second letters. Mental note: review once every 6 weeks. We also did Spectrum Spelling Lesson 4. It takes Son usually all three days to finish it, as there are four pages per lesson.


Ah, Pinocchio and his faulty reasoning. I read aloud chapters 15 through 19. We both find it enjoyable, if not a bit frustrating that the wooden puppet doesn't see the mistakes he's about to make (but we do!). I like the discussions that come up. We're going to have nice memories of this book.


After having discussed map scales and I showed Son how and why scaling is used, Husband also jumped on the bandwagon and explained his side of things and did the activity in Maps and Mapping, which was basically drawing a book on a smaller scale.


The whole week we read Edna St. Vincent Millay's bio to understand the person better. We read an excerpt of the poem Renascence (one of her most famous poems), and Ebb.


We continued reading about the life and times of Giotto. Son was very interested in "The Flight to Egypt", a painting about Joseph, Mary, and baby Jesus fleeing to Egypt with circles on their heads (proclaiming they are holy/saintly). Son liked this painting very much, but he was a bit sad that the fresco showed cracking and peeling. I informed him that painting was more than 700 years old! He spontaneously replied he wanted to copy it so everyone could see it. I arranged this with Husband.


We reviewed the Ten Commandments. He remembered 6 out of 10 and could explain what they meant. We're revisiting when covering Moses.


We're reading about Tchaikovsky. Son is able to name the three famous Tchaikovsky ballets: Swan Lake, Sleeping Beauty and The Nutcracker. He did see two of those - on TV and live.


We discussed good posture and how it affects your growth and could cause pain later on if our bodies are consistently not used correctly. I was able to use myself as an example, as I'm five months pregnant and visiting a chiropractor because of back pain related to carrying children in my arms on one side. My left foot was one inch longer than my right! Talk about being misaligned. He still doesn't like it, but makes an attempt at sitting up straighter on his chair and using the stool I provided him so his feet don't dangle when he writes at his desk.


We orally reviewed numbers in Spanish, and Son played Muzzy on the computer.


Husband continued with Drawing With Children. The children are both able to see the elements of drawing everywhere, and were able to draw some birds using their knowledge. I am impressed. I had never seen Son draw birds that way. He was really looking at their shapes/lines.

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