Sunday, October 24, 2010

WEEKLY REPORT - Week 7 - October 18-22, 2010

Another busy week. Son has tae kwon do three times a week, Cub Scouts once a week, piano once a week, and religious education once a week. He wants to do basketball, but frankly, I think that's too much. Daughter A (formerly just Daughter, but I'm expecting another one :)) is also in ballet and swimming right now, which keeps me driving all week long. School went smoothly, as it's been going.


Son did an oral reproduction of PLL's Lesson 7, which helped him internalize correct grammar and pauses and oral communication. In Lesson 8 he worked on his observation skills and communicating orally in a clear, correct way.


In Phonics we reviewed Lessons 16 and 17 of Tanglewood's Phonics Lessons.


This week Son read Muhammed by Demi on the first day and told me about it, then he continued reading King Arthur's Tales aloud until Friday, when he read aloud The Story of Saint Patrick, which he enjoyed very much. It was a review of our History, but also an elaboration.


The first day I read Pinocchio aloud, then the remaining days I read Marguerite Makes A Book aloud, which is a wonderful book about the art of illumination and paints a great picture of life in the Middle Ages. This topic also reviews and expands on our History lessons on monks and their painstaking art of creating books. I learned a lot too! I didn't know that beautiful medieval blue came from crushed lapis lazuli and that the green was from fresh parsley. We haven't done it yet, but we thought it would be cool to make green from egg white and fresh parsley for Daddy (aka the artist).


This week we continued into our Islamic studies and listened to Jim Weiss' rendition of SOTW: Volume 2, Chapter 7, telling us about Mohammed conquering Mecca. Son thought it was dishonest of Mohammed to rob the Mecca caravans just so Medina could have food. I agreed. Islam then becomes an empire after Mohammed dies, and Abu Bakr takes over, settling in the beautiful city of Baghdad. Baghdad becomes the capital of the Islamic Empire. We played the Mecca game, in which Son answered questions and Husband learnt a bit more than he already knew, Son did the map work and was thrilled when he heard Sinbad in the Valley of the Snakes. He also did some copywork on this chapter.


On Monday, I gave him the Chapter 1 Test. He passed, missing only two out of more sloppiness than comprehension. I can see he understands the material, and I'm pleased with Math Mammoth. We continued practicing Place Value in 1B, and he managed to finish two pages in one day on Friday.


We had a blast this week! We started our topical studies after 6 weeks of BFSU, and the new topic is Wildflowers. I read to him from North American Wildlife, we explored the definition of wildflowers in discussion, Usborne Science Encyclopedia and copywork, and reviewed the Kingfisher's Young Discoverers' Series Flowers, Fruits and Trees about pollination. I do like this series very much for its clear and concise presentation of topics. By far the best part was going out on a nature walk and enjoying the sights and sounds of the neighborhood. It's October so not quite as hot as in the Summer, but still very warm. We were in search of blue or purple wildflowers. We finally found some way back, and the kids were so happy to put the flowers in their backpack. I was exhausted afterwards, but it was worth it. We got home, identified the flowers in the book Florida Keys Wildflowers, and sketched the flowers in our sketchbooks. Son has gotten a lot better after his drawing lessons with Husband, and the best part is that he enjoys drawing more now too. Next week we're looking for other color flowers!


This week Son worked on short "u" words in Spectrum Spelling Grade 2. On Thursday I gave him a test, and he scored 100%. We also practice Spelling during English, while doing Primary Language Lessons, especially during dictation.


I read "Jacob Has a Dream" from the 365 Bible aloud to Son, as we continue to build up the history behind Joseph. We are listening to "Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat", and singing to it, so it's perfect to relate our studies to that.


We discussed contour lines and how they denote height of hills and mountains.


We continued reading about Tchaikovsky and how the Russian winters, with their cold but stark beauty, inspired him to compose Winter Dreams. We listened to it and Son did indeed visualize wintry scenes, including ice skaters. I felt cold :)


We continued reading about Giotto and how tough it was to be an apprentice in Florence, Italy. He not only had to wash the floors, but clean up all the mess after the masters painted. He was Cimabue's apprentice.


The kids practiced drawing parrots using their new-found skills in line drawing.


We discussed the benefits of fresh air and how your blood, heart and lungs need that fresh oxygen to have your body work at optimum levels.


Son worked all week memorizing "Afternoon on a Hill" by Edna St. Vincent Millay. It's a beautiful poem about the wonder of nature on lovely afternoon.


The kids watched more Muzzy and practiced some vocabulary and words I'd written down on the board.

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