Friday, February 8, 2008

Week in Review

We are classical in our homeschool...and are ardent followers of the Well Trained Mind. I plan out Katie's lessons every three weeks and she does her work rather independently. In the mornings she likes to get up early with her sister - and gets quite upset if we do not wake her up. Katie walks Madalyn to the bus stop (I do wonder what the bus driver makes of her being there every morning and then walking on home - or of her being there some afternoons to pick her up!), comes home and makes herself some breakfast and then she starts on her school work. It is a rare occassion that I have to remind her to get started on her lessons. I am sort of hands off - she does what is in her planner and we have a "check-in" time each day where I make sure that she has done her work and see if any corrections need to be made. Sometimes she needs help - and we do discuss what she is learning...but she is a very independent learner. I let her have charge of her own schedule - as long as it is completed by the end of the week, it's okay with me if she does double work somedays and other days skips subjects.

So...this is what we covered this week:

Math: We are covering addition, subtraction and multiplication of fractions and mixed numbers. Today we talked about using fractions in units of measurement: 1/6 of a year; 3/10 of a gallon, etc..Katie says it was “very easy.”

Grammar: paragraphs and the verb “do” – she is not a big fan of grammar - I think it is just because it is too easy for her. She is in her third year of maybe next year we will jump ahead in the Growing with Grammar plan. Something to think about.

Spelling: suffixes – er, or, and ist (which launches her into the conjugation of sum) Grammar and spelling are combined in our schedule - she does 3 days of grammar and 2 days of spelling each week. She is not a natural speller at all - but quite a proficient typist and a big fan of spell check!

Writing: We are using Writing and Reading strands this year - our first year of trying this plan. We work the program on a three week cycle. We do week one on writing strands which works on the mechanics of writing. The following week we work from Reading strands. For this, we learn about a literary technique - things like conflict, characterization, symbolism - and she either reads a book that is assigned for history or uses one of her choosing - and at the end of the week, she'll write a narrative for me focusing on the topic of the week. For example, she read "Little Women" and then did her narrative about one of the characters in the book. Then on the third week, she again either reads a book for history or one of her choice and writes a narrative on a topic of her choice. This week we were in writing strands with the topic being different types of description. She had to make a floor plan of our house. That was a really interesting lesson in perspective, estimation and description!

Science: We are using Noeo Physics I and have been studying about electricty. Katie finished reading about Michael Faraday - the pioneer of electricity. (Is anyone else a LOST fan? There was a new character last night named Dan Faraday, who is a physicist - is there a connection??) Yesterday, Katie moved on to reading about inventions – electricity and then today about the telephone. On the topic of electricty, Katie was amused to learn about early warning labels – the light bulb said “do not light with a match.” One of my favorite topics is warning labels - you know someone has done the thing they are warning about! Don't ride on the Roomba vacuum cleaner; dog chew toys are not for children under age 5; do not use hair dryer while sleeping; do not use lawn mower to trim hedges; and my personal favorite is on Christmas lights - for indoor or outdoor use only -- as opposed to??? Perhaps I have now saved one of you from certain death or dismemberment!

History: Finished chapter 20 in Story of the World Vol 4 (about World War I) – and studies the Learning through History magazine on the Great War. According to Katie, one of the more interesting articles was about Edith Carvell who was a nurse and part of the Belgian resistance. I love this magazine! I am somewhat frustrated with Story of the World. We typically follow the public school schedule - which has a 36 week year. SOTW has 42 chapters in each of their books. This makes it really difficult to finish a book in a school year - especially as this year we spent extra time on Westward expansion, the Civil War, and now World War I. I am thinking that we are just going to have to skip some sections - I mean, how important is it for her to know what was going on in Paraguay? And with that thought...I am trying to figure out what to do for next year. I am thinking that we'll use History Odyssey - but use it as a guide - and perhaps skipping sections again. Or we could use HO as a guide, but do history more as unit studies - spending a month or so on each topic (Ancient Egypt, Greece, Rome...). I like the idea of doing this so that I can set up a way to cover American history - linking it with civics and geography - for an entire year - and we'll have to find a way to work Georgia History in there too. Oh, how to do it all?!
Piano: Katie is in her fourth year of piano lessons. No one else in the house has any musical talent - she is completely on her own in doing this! She tells me that she is working on a piece to improve syncopation technique (ummm...okay...whatever that means!)

Latin: Every Thursday we go to our classes offered through our homeschool group. Katie takes Latin, Art, and Folk Dancing - and I teach 2 high school level Latin classes. This week, Katie learned about second conjugation verbs – and is preparing for the National Latin exam in March.
I like to look at Katie's folk dancing class as her PE. This is the one area where we are lacking. She doesn't lack for physical activity...just not organized activity. We have found homeschool PE classes in the past but they have just not appealed to her as they were structured more like drill work (push ups and such). I wanted to find a place where she could learn games and have fun while being active at the same time. Right now we have found our answer in folk dancing. And in our next session of classes she will do swimming and folk dancing.


Daisy said...

I'd love to know how you set up Katie's assignment book. My 8.5yo is in 3rd grade and up until recently has been an independent worker. This year I have her Kindergarten brother and now my DD acts like she cannot do one single thing on her own. AAARRGGH! How do foster/encourage the independence?

I really enjoyed reading about your week!

Kat said...

Well...the independence is just her. She was reading novels by age 4...did I do anything? Not's just her. She is just very self motivated. a kid...she wants to get finished so that she can watch tv, play on Club Penguin, call her friends or whatever else she has in mind to laze her day away :-) My youngest goes to they are not competing with each other for my attention during the day - so that makes it a little easier. How is that for a loooonggg answer of "I am not sure what to tell you!"

Thanks sooo much for reading. I love getting comments!

Anne said...

Looks like you had a great week! I love your cluster map showing your three readers. :-)

Michelle said...

Sounds like a good week! :) Thanks for sharing!

Anonymous said...

Sounds like a great week! We're doing SOTW 1 this year, and I've rearranged it so we're doing (or have done) 3 chunks-Egypt, Greece, and Rome, then I can do more than 1 chapter a week if need be. All the other miscellaneous chapters are squeezed in between the big chunks of study. Some may still get skipped and that's ok. Looking at volume 2 though, it will be a lot harder to do that, so I do feel for you :)

Tiffany said...

Wow, what an awesome week. Mine are still too young to work independently or at least to the point that yours is. My oldest has finally found her passion for reading which is awesome and has started working more independently at some subjects but we still have a lot of one-on-one. Your week sounds awesome though.