Friday, November 21, 2008

Castles, Sand and Stories - Weekly Report

This week has gone very well. Most everything I had planned to do was done. There is still more we could be doing but at this point I feel good about what we have accomplished.

Ian is starting to read! We checked out Jen the Hen and the others in the series from the library this week. We gave them a try and Ian actually did really well sounding out the words. I remember looking at Bob books with Sophie a long time ago but she was already reading beyond that level so she wasn't that interested. Maybe they would be good for Ian.

Ian did two letters this week in his Get Set for the Codebook. And he is almost done with his Early Bird 1B math book. I think I need to purchase the next two math books. Sophie also mentioned that she want to do Explode the Code too. So maybe i will see what level she would be on and see if that would be helpful for her.

Sophie has been doing well with her math. We went back to adding and subtracting and she just gets herself flustered and just starts to loose her cool while trying to finish her math. But she does do it eventually and she does it well. She just really doesn't enjoy doing problem after problem. Maybe I need to change things up a bit. She loves the feeling of accomplishment she gets when she finishes an exercise and especially when she finishes each book. So far so good, but I don't want her to start hating it just because it feels like busy work.

History has been great this week. We have read a whole slew of Castle and Knight books. We didn't do the next chapter of SOTW. I thought we would just finish reading all the different books we have gotten from the library recently and it has been lovely. We all pile into the reading chair and go through 3-4 picture books each day. Still no projects however, much to Sophie's shagrin. Sophie has been wanting to build a paper castle but I just can't bring myself to do a major project like that right now. Maybe next time we do the middle ages and I don't have 2 small boys to help along the way or keep out of trouble. We will just have to settle for playing with our play mobil knights and castle. They are always doing battle at our house. Usually with pirates.

Science has still been all about deserts. We watched another video about deserts and yet again they talked about the same cacti and animals found in the desert. I am glad we are moving on to another biome next week. We did do an art project this week somewhat related to deserts. We made pictures with colored sand. A few weeks ago we made these sand filled bottles.
We didn't use all the colored sand so I saved it for this project.
The kids enjoyed squirting on the glue and spreading it around with a paintbrush.
Dumping on the sand was fun but not as fun as shaking off the excess sand and seeing the image left behind on the paper.

I didn't tell them to, but they all decided to make a desert scene with a cactus. Ian and Henry got creative with the sky, while Sophie made sure her cactus had pink flowers on it.

Sophie is getting more cooperative with dictation. I try to do dictation on Monday and then use words from that for "spelling words" for the week. We don't have a test or anything. Sophie just uses those words in a story she writes. This week she only misspelled two words in dictation so she only had two words that she had to put into sentences of a story, Cloud and Float. She wrote and illustrated a story about a bouy floating in the sea getting rained on by a big cloud. It was very cute. The next day our Language lesson was a picture study. We looked closely at a picture and answered in complete sentences some questions listed in the book. After doing the assignment she requested to write another story. Since the picture was of some kittens in a basket she wrote a story about those kittens. She really enjoys writing stories and then does countless illustrations to go along with it. We are also making our way through the McGuffey Reader. Sophie usually reads the passage and then tells me about it, informal narration. These little stories are so good and they teach good principles. I have the primer as well. Maybe I should be using it with Ian?

We are making our way through the New Testament. The boys usually look at the reader which has the pictures and Sophie and I take turns reading the passage each day. We are moving very slowly but are enjoying it.

They boys can almost recite the pledge of allegiance. They never let me forget to start our day by standing at attention with our hands over our hearts looking at our tiny little Stars and Stripes.

What a fun way to spend our days. We learn a bit too.


Michal said...

what a great report. and a great little homeschool. you inspire me. i really need to do something more with science, spelling, and dictation.
i am thinking about getting explode the code for henry, too, but am not sure where to start, since he's already reading. let me know when you figure out where to find your level!
and by the way, i am tagging you for a meme if you want to play.

An Ordinary Mom said...

I just have to tell you that your homeschooling curriculum is very impressive. Your kids are very blessed to have you as their mother!

Anonymous said...

What a great week! I LOVE the sand art! I'll have to remember that idea too.

We haven't been doing any projects either. I even have a Dover book of 2 Scottish castles to punch out and glue together, but we don't really have space to keep it once assembled so I haven't even shown it to the boys. A lot of the projects I had in mind will be saved for the next go-around I think.