Friday, August 3, 2012

Weekly Review Week 2, 2012-13

(Note: the first paragraph is ugly, and I say some strong words.  It resolves itself in paragraph 2, I think, so hang in there.  And then, by paragraph 4, there are all the great things we did this week. Keepin' it real...) 
I'm burning out...fast.  I had really thought we could accomplish more than what we are.  I had much higher hopes on what we could do in our school days.  This week brought full days of just math, language arts, and a little science.  Trying to bring in another subject was very difficult.  The kids are working hard, and I keep reminding them to do their best work and not worry about the time it takes to complete a task.  They are learning their handwriting, grammar, spelling, writing, math, and science.  But I feel all joy sucked out of our lives.  I hate homeschooling.

We tried something different today.  We finished up our 4-day Writing With Skill schedule, did our math lesson...and then I let the kids direct their own homeschool day.  They wanted to do science experiments and art.  So we did.  We worked from 11am until 3pm, but it was a much nicer day.  After that, I read some books to Georgie and we worked on 100 Easy Lessons.  And that was that.

Not sure what that means.  I think the learning that goes into our curriculum is great, but I don't think I can keep this pace.  I want to enjoy my kids and be a part of their learning (not the stressed out maniac that I was this week and last).  I don't want them to feel that they are ensnared in 5 hours of drudgery (with an angry mom, no less).  I want to love homeschooling! 

Accomplishments:

A: finished off the chapter on Fractions in 6th gr Horizons Book 2.  We started on Sequential Spelling Adult, which I keep as a pdf on my phone.  I let her test out of the first 120 lessons.  We reviewed any spelling patterns that she had trouble with, and moved into Day 121.  She is doing a fantastic job with cursive handwriting: once she finishes the book, we'll start transitioning our assignments over into cursive.  I'm hoping this eliminates her letter reversal / reversal-fix problems (she uses uppercase letters to fix her reversals, lol).  She completed Writing With Skill Week 2 and learned how to write a first level outline (I., II., III, etc.) by summarizing history and science articles.  She is nearing the end of the Preposition chapter in Easy Grammar Plus, and learned about words that seem to be prepositions, but are not followed by a phrase (therefore, are adverbs).  She did Week 1 of Elemental Science Astronomy, where she learned about the Universe and the Big Bang theory (although she does not agree with the Big Bang, I thought it was important for her to read from the secular point of view what it was).  She is learning the same song as me on the piano (we both think it is hard but she's tackling it well).  I think she could be quite good at piano, but she does not really like it, and just tolerates it because we make her.  I want to find that one thing in life that she loves - she is at that age when she is trying to figure that out, I think. 

Z: learned Long Division with Big Numbers, YAY!!! (example: 22706 / 57).  She handled it beautifully.  We didn't cry.  She laughed and said "is that all?" (I've been prepping her for this awhile now, lol!)  She finished through Day 7 in Seq Spelling 2, with -ew, -aw, -ilk, -alk, -ing/-ang/-ung.  Some of the trickier words were drawers, awkward, renewing, unlawful, and nephews.  She also completed a level-one outline in WWS, and did cursive handwriting.  She is nearing the end of the Preposition chapter in Easy Grammar 5.  She did Week 1 of Astronomy.  She loves piano and spends oodles of time there everyday - I think we have found her passion:)

Both: I also assigned the book Maps & Globes, and 4 pages from Window on the World (both MFW ECC books).  Still not sure how I will work MFW into our day; it doesn't seem real promising at this point.  We did the first lesson from the Usborne Treasury of Art, which showed a Van Gogh landscape.  We made our own by mixing paint with glue (to make it thick), and making it textured on the paper.  A made a Viking ship on water, and Z recreated the Van Gogh field landscape.

Extras:
The construction guys came over on Monday and tore apart the fireplace all day long (no wonder I'm stressed? lol).
On Tuesday evening, we met new friends, and the girls played in the pool until 10:30pm - they loved that!
On Wednesday, we did piano in the a.m., did school until 2pm, and then headed over to a friend's house.  The kids all played in the woods, climbed trees, played with playdo, sent a wagon down the hill, etc. 
On Thursday, we did a full, mostly uninterrupted day of school.
On Friday, we built a volcano from a science kit (we just wanted to get to the explosion part, so we opted to skip the building of a pretty exterior).  For Art, Z made a house out of boxes and construction paper (and lots of tape).  A painted a volcano.  G did watercolor painting and laced yarn through holes on a paper plate.

Preschool:
We worked on mmmm, sssss, and aaaa.  We play a game called "Say it fast" and also "say it slow" (she loves "say it fast").  We finished our week with Jesse Bear What Will You Wear, and started Yellow Ball for our B4FIAR.  I printed pages from my Scholastic preschool ebook collection of early tracing and cutting skills.  She calls it "math".  I had paper scraps all over my floor:)
Daddy and Georgie walking to the mailbox (G in her princess garb)

At a friends' house, playing with playdo

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