It’s been a while since I did a week in review. I have been stymied by the drama that is a 10 year old. And then lately, Katie has not been finishing her school work on Fridays until very late in the day. So, this time, I decided not wait for her to finish before I wrote my summary. Or else it would not happen. Again.
We have had some pretty uneventful weeks. Uneventful is good. Madalyn took the CRCT at school. Three days of testing is a lot for a first grader to deal with. Tonight we are finally celebrating Madalyn’s birthday with a slumber party. She has three friends coming over – with two spending the night (one has soccer on Saturday morning, so she cannot stay). We are going to order out pizza. And Madalyn has requested Dunkin Donuts for breakfast. With bacon. I can feel my arteries clogging already. And I am sure that the parents will be anxious to send their children over again for their yearly ration of sugar and fat. But wait. It’s a birthday. It doesn’t count.
Speaking of…we made Pioneer Woman’s Apple dumplings last night. Again. But I made them with low fat crescent rolls. Don’t laugh.
Math: We are swimming along with Singapore 5B. Katie has been learning about multiplying and dividing with decimals. We have also looked at how to convert measurements to fractions and then to decimals and back again.
Grammar: Katie is in chapter 7 (and looking at the light at the end of the tunnel with the advent of chapter 8 on the horizon) and studying prepositional phrases. I am contemplating not doing a formal grammar program next year. I am not sure what to do at this point. I don’t think I have ever had this much hesitation about curriculum before! I have already bought Growing with Grammar for 5th grade. But Katie just does not like the program. I think the problem is that she really does understand grammar. We had a great foundation with “First Language Lessons.” And she has had three years of Latin. And she has a mother who is a stickler for grammar. Which you would never guess from reading this blog. But I am. So, I am contemplating skipping it for next year. But it just seems wrong.
Writing: Waaayyy back when we were studying the Great Depression, I gave Katie a choice between two fictional books for our studies. She chose “Esperanza Rising.” And now, she is reading the other choice: “Bud, Not Buddy.” For her writing assignment this week, she could choose any book to read and write a book report…and this is what she picked. Katie finished her spelling book last week, so we have added in a report writing workbook. We are laying the foundation for another research paper – this one will be complete with research at the library, note cards, notes, bibliography, outline, and multiple drafts. We are going to be spending the last few weeks of school working on it.
History: Much to Gwyneth’s chagrin, we have continued on our path of skipping chapters in Story of the World vol. 4. We completed chapter 33 about communism in Asia and the Korean War. We skipped chapter 34. And then picked back up again with chapter 35, discussing the Cold War and Cuba (“Thirteen Days in October”). We are going to spend a bit of time on Chapter 36. Our first section was the “Death of JFK.”
As a side note, I have been encouraging Katie’s interest in Harvard. Telling her that she needs to study hard…and find things that truly interest her so that she can get accepted at this university. All for selfish, yet practical reasons. The federal government has determined that some universities – Harvard and Stanford in particular – are sitting on such huge endowments – and the interest that they are earning is putting their non-profit status in jeopardy. So…the universities are providing free tuition, room and board, and even books for all families with an income below $120,000 a year. The key of course is getting in the door.
So…today, Katie is doing her reading for history out of “Cobblestone” magazine (do any of you use this? It’s a FABULOUS resource! Cobblestone is a single topic magazine on subjects in American history. The publisher also does world history through it’s “Calliope” magazine. We get both of those as well as “Learning through History.” These are great magazine – interesting, colorful, and full of resources such as book lists, web sites, and movie recommendations.) and discovered that JFK went to Harvard. In her mind, it is now an acceptable university choice!
We are progressing through this same chapter and will begin studying the Civil Rights movement today. Next week, she’ll begin that research project I mentioned in the writing section. Her first job will be to pick her topic – one of the first ladies.
This weekend I am going to wrap up my planning for the rest of our school year – and I hope that I find that we can finish our history and grammar books without continuing past Madalyn’s last day of school.