Saturday, May 1, 2010

Weekly Reports

I haven't been posting Weekly reports in awhile. I guess I feel like we aren't accomplishing a whole lot academically or at least it is hard to quantify it. We are always learning things and my kids are reading and playing and I guess that is all the really matters.

I just thought it would be good to go through each subject and see where we stand and what we have recently been doing just so I have a record of it.

As we always seem to do at this time of year, we are speeding through the last chapters of Story of the World. We are listening to the CD's and reading a lot of other books that go along with the topics. We have read about Napoleon and the Louisiana purchase. They really liked reading the books we found about Lewis and Clark's expedition. I can't say we have actively done more than read and talk about history. We look at maps often but I haven't made copies from the activity book in a long time. They don't seem to mind that there is isn't any coloring pages or anything, so I won't worry about it.

I can tell even Henry is learning a lot as we make our way through History. We were reading Madeline and the Bad Hat the other day and Henry loved the part when Pepito makes a Guillotine. It was as if he hadn't ever noticed that part of the story before but since we have studied the French Revolution a few weeks ago he suddenly knows what a Guillotine is and how it was used.

Sophie and Ian are plugging away at their Singapore Math books. I haven't done enough fun math with them and Sophie threw a fit when I suggested we read about another mathematician in the Mathematicians Are People Too book so mostly math has been drudgery and something to get through rather than fun. I need to do better!

Nothing too formal in science either. We have finished the Chemistry program we started and have just been playing around since. We have read a number of books about rocks and minerals, plastics, and a few others about oil, coal and gasoline. These were supposed to go along with our history lessons when we studied about factories and inventions but they certainly fit with science. Also every night the kids read The New How things Work  book with their Dad. He loves reading it and they always surprise me by explaining about some new things they learned. Yesterday the boys were excited to tell me how a gun works. They new how the spark hits the gunpowder which then explodes and pushed the bullet which rotates in the barrel and..... anyway. I think I need to read the book too. I guess it is a jump start on a more formal study of Physics next year.

Nature Study
We haven't done any outdoor hour challenges. We do play outside a lot and do look at the flowers and plants as we go around the block. It is a good review of the trees, plants and flowers we studied more formally a year or so ago.

Sophie has been reading American girl books and  the Animal Ark series books lately. Not really challenging reading but she is reading and loves telling me about what is going on in them.
Ian stills prefers me to do the reading. So he and Henry pick lots of different books for me to read.
We started the audio book of The Secret Garden this week. I don't know how much the kids are enjoying it. We may have to try it again another time and go back to Laura and Mary. We recently finished On the banks of Plum Creak and need to go on to The Shores of Silver Lake but the library dosen't have it on audio so I will have to read it aloud.

Ian is working through the Explode the Code 3 book. He is reading pretty well and his spelling is better than Sophie's. I guess it pays to go through a phonics program. Sophie self taught herself to read but now has trouble spelling. She doesn't know the rules. Ian does great but doesn't like to read on his own yet. He will read to me when I ask him to but he isn't picking up books and reading them to himself. He still just looks at the pictures like he always has done.

Sophie is still working through the Literature based LA program. She seems to enjoy it or at least doesn't fight it. And even chooses to do it rather than math on most days.  I know I am going to have to come up with something different for her. But I am still trying to figure out how to encourage her to write. I did pick up Peggy Kaye's book Games for Writing and we have tried a few "games" out of it. So far the kids  have enjoyed them. I just need to plan ahead more.  I think that is the story of my life. I need to plan more! When do I have time to plan and read all the things I need to read and blog and cook and clean and .... well you get the picture. I am still trying to find balance!

Nothing formal but we do listen to the Classical Kids productions a lot and I have been playing a lot of Bach and Chopin while we fold clothes, do other chores or eat lunch.  We did specifically listen to Tchaikovsky's 1812 Overture since it went with the History lesson about Napoleon going into Russia. And we listened to Beethoven's Eroica Symphony which was also written about Napoleon originally.

Craft projects are always done at the YMCA while I go and exercise. I am so grateful they let Sophie do her cutting/ pasting and such there. I don't have the mess to clean up and she gets to play around with crafts.

We finished the Book of Mormon on Friday. And we have been singing the Books of the Book of Mormon song the last few days so the kids know the names of the books and the order they come.
My kids are requesting we read the Old Testament next. I guess that is a good choice since Sophie has been studying it in her Sunday School Class and it is what Sunday School is studying. I work in Primary so don't make it to Sunday School each week. Maybe I should get my hands on the primary manuel and follow that to help us as we go along.

Most of our learning is done through reading and discussing and most of it is rather informal.  I really need to plan ahead more to make a few subjects a little more fun. I just never seem to find the time or the energy.

My goal for the month of May is to finish off our History book. We have about 9 chapters left so we will be doing a few a week.  The other subjects don't really have a stopping place. When we finish we just move on. But I am planning to spend the Summer doing a study of our State. California History, Geography, and such. We have a number of things we can cover with that unit. It is still in the planning stages and, knowing me, it will evolve as I see what my kids get interested in.

So even if I lack weekly reports. We are doing something each day that can be counted as academic.

1 comment:

PragmaticMom said...

I love Explode the Code. I did it with my kids to supplement what they did in school. I blog on phonics at

I also used

Pragmatic Mom
Type A Parenting for the Modern World
I blog on education, children's lit, and education.