Friday, May 2, 2008

Week in Review

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.

Homeschooling review:

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.

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Skeller said...

But I can't NOT laugh ... Pdub's apple dumplings with lowfat crescent rolls?!?!? That is funny on just too many levels :-D. Happy Friday and slumber party...

the striped rose said...

Congratulations on a great week. I will have to check out Cobblestones!

Michele B

Heather said...

Love this song. Have you heard that the Stone Temple Pilots are back together with a new cd????? They're coming here in concert and I really want to go.

Moving on...Uneventful? You are amazing and I'm always in awe of moms that homeschool. It sounds like a very busy week, but a good kind of busy.

Have a fun slumber party!

Keys to the Magic Travel said...

Susan--Yeah...I thought that someone would laugh. They should balance out the two sticks of butter, right? Really. Stop laughing.

Michele--Cobblestone is great...they publish a lot of cool magazines. They are a great supplement.

Heather--Do you go to concerts often? My husband is really the music person. I know what I like...but he is the one I have to say - hey "who is that?" or "what is the name of that song?" He is one of those type people that I can say part of a lyric and he'll know what the song is. That is so not my gift. really was an uneventful week. Not too much drama...and really back to our normal schedule.

Debbie said...

Ok..i haven't read the post yet, but wanted to answer one of the brain teasers you left in your comment...the first one about the four kids: the answer is Mary. I figured that one out. But I cannot figure out the other one???

Keys to the Magic Travel said...

Debbie--If all windows face south...then you must be at the north pole. And the only bears there are Polar the bear must be white.

I'll have to ask Katie for some more...she loves them...and seems to collect them!

Ruskin said...

We love the Cobblestone and Calliope magazine. All their magazines are amazing. The science ones are also really worth while. We used them as our science for the first couple of years of home schooling.
Go for Harvard!
Have you read 'Homeschooling For Excellence' by David and Micki Colfax. Their first three sons all went to Harvard. They said exactly the same, it worked out cheaper!

Keys to the Magic Travel said...

Lorna--I had not looked at their science magazines...I'll do that over the weekend (but, boy, some of those subscriptions are expensive!).

Three kids at Harvard? How amazing. I'll see if my library has that book. I was talking about Harvard to someone last night...and how it (or any of the Ivy leagues that are doing this) would be so much cheaper than a state school (even here in Georgia, where if you have good grades, our lottery funds pay tuition). I want her to dream big!

The Joye of Teaching said...

Actually, the song was the first thing i noticed too. I love STP! I went and saw Velvet Revolver. It was so killer!!! Ok, funny thing--I am also reading Bud Not Buddy (audio tape in the car) I love it. I may replace Watsons Go to Birmingham with it next year. What does your daughter think so far?

Rhea said...

Great wrap up of the week! The thing that really appeals to me about homeschooling (well, there are lots of things) but one of the big ones is that YOU the parent get to learn and re-learn right along with your child. It makes you appreciate learning even more, I would imagine. And, I know there's tons of stuff I learned in school I've forgotten by now.

Keys to the Magic Travel said...

Rhea--I completely agree. There is so much that I liked about school - but have still forgotten...but going over the stuff I disliked - I'm discovering it was the method rather than the materials...

Is homeschooling something you are even remotely considering?

Rhea said...

Kat, it is definitely something I would consider...but when I brought the idea up to the kids...they both laughed and thought I was crazy! They both adore school. Hubby might send me to the funny farm as well.

We are in a great school district, and my complaints aren't huge...but I do have complaints.

Keys to the Magic Travel said...

Rhea--Neither of my kids want what the other has. It's great because I can threaten to send Katie to school :-) Homeschooling is not something that I ever planned to just sort of happened. And what we are doing for the works for them.

Come on over and drink the kool-aid!

Rhea said...

Kat, I think it's so awesome you do what's right for each of your kids, even thought that means very different things. I really respect parents who do things like that. :o)

You're amazing!! I admire you!

Keys to the Magic Travel said...

Awww thanks are going to give me a big head :-)