Friday, July 27, 2012

Weekly Review, Week 1 2012-13

Yes, I had the guts to start our first week of school during VBS Soccer Camp week.  Egads!  We just did Math and Language Arts.  Here is our First Week in Review:

  • VBS Soccer Camp all week from 5:30 - 9pm.  A helped out this year as an assistant to the K-Gr2 age group.  Z was in the 5th-6th Gr age group.
  • Finished the Summer Reading Program at the library. The kids had to read 1,000 pages to meet the goal.  I had to read 30 books to G (pre-reader program)
  • Lots of swimming in the pool
  • Math, Grammar, Handwriting (Cursive), Writing, and an introductory Spelling lesson.
  • Playdate at a friend's house on Thursday
A:
For the library reading program, she read InkHeart, Fairest (same author as Ella Enchanted), amongst others.  In Math, she worked on Fractions: multiplying, cross simplifying, improper/mixed, reducing, and also taking discounts off of sales items.  We began Easy Grammar Plus, and she learned how to cross out prepositional phrases, finding subjects, verbs, and helping/linking verbs.  She also learned that not and n't are excluded (they are not verbs).  She has done the first 5 lessons of Handwriting Without Tears Can-Do Cursive.  She did Week 1 of Writing With Skill - see one of her summaries here.  We attempted Spelling (Sequential Spelling 2 DVD), but have decided that the DVD moves too slow and that she needs something faster.  I will purchase Sequential Spelling Adult for her and have her work through it over the next 2 years.  We talked about goals:  when she reaches 9th grade, I plan to be finished with Grammar and Spelling so that we can focus on more advanced things (literature and discussion).  She seems to be encouraged by this goal, seeing an end in sight, and something more interesting on the horizon.

She loved helping out in VBS this week.  She is very good with little (distracted) children.

Z:
For the library reading program, she finished reading Heidi, Fairest, The Egypt Game, and Hunger Games.  She loved the Hunger Games and wants to read the other books from this series.  In Math, she tackled long division problems, which began with 154 / 30, and moved into numbers like 98 / 57.  Next week, we'll take it a step further.  She is handling long division really well, and I've seen a huge growth in her ability to reason and think things through.  In Easy Grammar 5, she struggled through prepositions and prep phrases at first.  I did some crazy stunts with a book to show the idea.  I stood on the book, under the book, walked around the book, tried to go through the book...etc.  Yeah, just try to explain prepositions yourself! lol!  She eventually caught on and only needs occasional help.  She learned about helping verbs, subjects, and object of the prepositions, and also that not and n't are not part of the verb (cannot, won't, etc.).  She completed the first 5 lessons of HWoT Can-Do Cursive.  She also attempted Sequential Spelling 2 DVD and hated how slow the lesson moved.  I will continue her in SS 2, but I will give her the lessons myself.  We'll use the DVD on crazy days when I just can't seem to get to the lesson (then, at least she can just get it done without me).

She loved VBS, but didn't like getting hit by the ball as often as she did. 

G:
Preschool is just higgledy-piggledy.  For the Summer Reading Program, I read 30+ books to her.  She fell in love with a few:  Down on the Farm, Bridget Fidget, Oh My Baby Bear, Who Took the Cookies, Muncha Muncha Muncha, Room on the Broom, the Bridge is Up (goodness, she loved that book...), and My Truck is Stuck.  I've been talking about words that rhyme:) 

We began Before Five in a Row and read Jesse Bear, What Will You Wear?  We did the dressing activity. 

Just for kicks, I tried the first lesson of Teach Your Child to Read in 100 Easy Lessons.  I've always hated this book.  The market has been so flooded by this book however, that I cannot sell it.  I probably couldn't pay someone to take it, lol.  So I thought I'd try using it.  G has been watching alphabet/phonics videos and singing weird things like "A makes the /duh/ sound", so I thought I should start sorting some of that out.  I had originally planned to use Teach A Child to Read with Children's Books (entirely different book / different method) after she learns her letter sounds, but she's learning some wrong things with letter sounds.  I'll either let it slide, or try to straighten it out now. 

She has her own Math book that I printed off here (http://www.nurturedbylove.ca/resources/cuisenairebook.pdf
Her big sis, A, did the best job of working with her, as I didn't have the time I hoped I would have to spend with G. 

Reflections on our first week:
As for me, it's just survival, jumping between 3 kids all morning long.  The PLAN was to give the kids independent work so that I could amuse G and keep her out of trouble (i.e., preschool).  But independent work is never 100% independent work.  There is always 5 mins needed here, and an explanation given there, and crazy mom all over the place.  Maybe that is just what homeschool looks like and I need to make amends with that idea. Bummer.

Next week, we'll add in Science and Geography (MFW ECC).  However, I have such a heavy feeling every time I look at the schedule.  This feeling got even heavier once I experienced the realities (chaos) of this week. I'm tempted to give the kids a selection of books from the MFW list, and just give them the freedom to read and explore.  Does everything need to be scheduled and according to someone else's PLAN?  What would happen if they had several avenues they could pursue, and they could chose for themselves those things that are the most interesting to them?

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