Friday, April 17, 2009

Weekly, or should I say monthly, report

It has been a number of weeks since I have gone through our studies to really look at what we accomplished that week. So I will try to do a quick sum up and update on our work. We have actually been doing school but somewhat haphazardly and somewhat reluctantly.

History: We have gone through a lot in the last few weeks. We covered Martin Luther and the Reformation, the invention of the printing press. We jumped into the early renaissance and spent a good amount of time reading lots of books about Leonardo de Vinci. This week we added in a bit about Galileo which overlaped in our Science lessons on space quite nicely.
A few things we have particularly enjoyed......Galileo and the Stargazers, Monday with a Mad Genius, Uh-oh, Leonardo

Along with our reading we have also watched a few movies about Leonardo. We watched the Animated Hero Classics film about de Vinci done by Nest Entertainment as well as the Schlessinger video on him from their Inventors of the World series. We even watched the film Ever After. Sophie loved this one. I put it on one Saturday morning and she couldn't figure out why I picked it until Leonardo showed up in it.

There is still a bunch of books on our shelf related to these topics but next week we are going to move on.... or maybe we should stay here a little longer and read some more about Galileo and Leonardo. At least my kids can now recognize the Last Supper, the Mona Lisa and the sky line of Florance Italy. No matter where any of those things pop up they point them out. I guess it has been drilled into their heads well enough maybe we will move on to Queen Elizabeth and Shakespeare. I already have a stack of books for this subject as well. I love our Library system!

Science: We have actually done a little science the last little bit. I think it is just a hang over from our history lessons but isn't it great when subjects overlap. We certainly know our astronomers now. I know about Copurnicus, Ptolomy, and Galileo.
We have mostly been reading the Magic Tree House guide to Space. The boys seem to stick around when I read this book as opposed to some of the other general space or planet books I have picked up. They really love Jack and Annie and the pictures in the guide keep their attention. We read a great book today called When is a planet not a planet?It explains the reasons why Pluto is no longer considered a planet but is now classified as a dwarf planet. It was rather lengthy but was very interesting for me. The kids paid attention to me reading it while they played with knex on the floor. They would jump up to see the pictures when I finally turned the pages. I kept asking them if they wanted me to stop but they insisted I read it all. So I feel good about our science studies. We know our planets well, and now even know the current definition of a planet.

Math: Sophie has made it through to the first review in her 3A book. She is doing great with her addition and even the subtraction. She doesn't like the subraction as much because it takes more effort for her and she can't do it as easily in her head but she is doing so much better than she had been. She still has me help her a lot with the story problems. She often has trouble figuring out which kind of problem she needs to perform. And they threw in some two step story problems the last few days and this really worked her. I had to talk her through most of them, mostly just to keep her on task. The boys just are so loud and distracting. She liked it today when I sent the boys to their room to play while she did math. I even turned on some very quiet Debussy for to listen to while she did her review. She loved having the music and it seemed to help down out the fighting and toy noises coming from the other room.

Ian too has been doing a page of math each day. He is doing so much better with his writing and as long as I write the numbers across the top of his page he seems to make the numbers correctly. He writes them backwards a lot of the time. But the math itself seems easy for him. One page a day and line of numbers is what I expect of him each day. He loves it so far.

Language Arts: As usual this is where I drop the ball.
Ian is doing great with Explode the code. He recently started the first ETC book and is learning the short a sound. He again mostly struggles with the writing part of these exercises but is catching on quite well.

Sophie on the other hand has not done much of anything the last few weeks. I can't get her to come back to the table for writing. We do math first and then have some sort of activity or craft to change things up. I can't seem to settle her back into table work like writing very often after that. I need to work on this because she really needs to do some grammar and writing. She did write me a very nice long story about robins this week, and on lined paper too. I am trying to have her write more on this lined paper because her penmanship needs a lot of improvement. Oh... and now that I think of it she did some copy work for me as well. I need to really buckle down and get more from her than this.

Nature Study: We have continued our focus on birds. This week we have seen some House finches visit our feeder so we read about them in our field guide. We compared them to the Purple finch and other finches. I am impressed that Sophie can even tell the difference between the female house sparrows and the female house finches. They are very similarly colored and they both visit our feeders regularly. Sophie says the finches aren't a fat as the sparrows. I think she is right. We read the chapter about finches in the Burgess bird book for children. This little book has really taught us a lot about the birds we see around us.
We have also been outside enjoying all the spring flowers in our neighborhood. Lots of California poppies, iris, tulips and lilies as well as countless other beautiful flowers everywhere we go. I love it that my kids notice everything. They point out all the butterflies and bees we see on our walks. They spot humming birds flitting in the trees all the time. They get so excited about finding a different colored iris or rose than what they usually see. They really are looking at all the nature around them and not just passing by. But all these walks sure leave my poor feet tired.

I can't we have done any music or art studies recently. I guess learning about Leonardo would count as art as well as science and History. But we haven't done any music study at all. We listen to music once in awhile between audio books. But that too isn't really a study. I think I will have to look up some renaissance music and see if the library has any. Finally there is music that goes along with our history time period. I just need to do a little research to find some.

That about sums up the formal stuff. We of course read tons, play a lot, cook and clean together all the time. We need to do more cleaning. I look forward to the day I can retire and my kids will take care of the cooking and cleaning for me. That day seems a long way off.

1 comment:

Alycia in Va. said...

Looks like a productive week. I love the little robin drawing above her story. The Uh Oh Leonardo books looks like a good one for little ones. Thanks for sharing.