Saturday, May 28, 2011

Where did May go?

It is hard to believe that May might as well be done. Yes there are three days left but with tomorrow being Sunday and Monday a holiday that means June will be here before we can blink.  So what do we have to show for our May? I haven't been doing weekly reports regularly and I haven't been good about taking pictures so I can even look back to see what we did. I have been caught up in the day to day things and have forgotten to document our accomplishments. So let me see if I can remember back through all the fuzzy weeks that have just passed and see if I can recall any of it.

I know in History we studied and are finally finished with WWII. I can't say we have totally left it behind because I am still getting some of the WWII picture books that I placed on hold from the library. Evidently I went a little overboard on the picture books. But I hate to miss any of them. Each of them tells the story of the war from a different perspective.
Many of the books have taken longer to come in and we read them as they show up. I have 5 new one that I just picked up on Thursday. But that hasn't stopped us from moving ahead.

We read the book, Candy Bomber which of course, is about the Berlin Airlift which takes place shortly after the war. My boys sat right by my side while I read for over an hour. The book isn't really a picture book and I wasn't expecting to have them be interested enough for me to read all the text, especially in one sitting but they kept insisting on more and more. They loved all the pictures included and they remembered that we saw his picture at the Hill Airforce Museum in Utah when we were there last summer. I think they were told the story by one of the docents or perhaps my husband briefly told the story. But they remembered him which was a bit of a surprise. We also watch a few youtube videos I found on Gail Halvorson and the candy drop.
Along with the airlift we talked about Communism again (We briefly talked about it when we read the Anastasia book which covered the Russian Revolution) and how Germany was divided and why.  My kids pay more attention to things than I think because they remembered the piece of the Berlin Wall that we saw at the Ronald Reagen Presidential Library last summer. We had a number of great vacations/field trips last year, I guess.

We also briefly read and talked about Israel and how new a country it is.  For some reason I never knew, until recently, that Israel was formed because of or shortly after WWII. I guess I never put two and two together but it wasn't until I read some Chaim Potok books that I understood when and why Israel was created and why it is so hated in the Middle East. So I introduced the topic to my kids so they will have a clearer picture of history than I ever did.

I didn't know exactly what I really wanted to cover after this so I have been getting a lot of the President biographies by Mike Venezia and reading through them. My kids love these because of the cartoons but as I read them in the order they served as president they are filling in a lot of the history of the time period.  I guess we will see where they take us.

So that is History for all of us. Now for the less fun stuff.
Math - Always a chore to be done. Sophie and Ian gladly get out the notebooks each day. They just know they have to do their Math assignment but Henry does everything he can to avoid it. It takes hours of me reminding him to sit down on some days before it is finally completed. One day I told him he couldn't have lunch until his Math was done and he didn't have lunch until 2:30 that afternoon because he just refused to do the work, even with me sitting there offering to do the problems with him.
Sophie is finishing Math Mammoth Multiplication 2 after finishing Fractions 1. I think she is going to be ready for Singapore 5 soon.
Ian has just started the Multiplication 1 from Math Mammoth and is hoping to do the fractions one when he is finished. We will see since fractions were just barely introduced in his Singapore 2B book. Henry has finished Math Mammoth Addition 1 and is ever so slowly making his way through the Subtraction 1. I may have to find a different approach to math for Henry in the future. He just fights me now.

Writing with Ease is going well with Ian and Sophie. It has introduced a number of good books to the kids and they quickly feel like they need to read the rest of the book after having just a short passage to read in the assignment. Sophie has read the Nurse Mathilda and 5 Children and It recently because they were books she hadn't heard of yet seemed interesting.  Ian revisited The Trumpet and the Swan because he was determined to figure out what the female swan is called since his writing assignment only mentioned the cob.
Henry finished his Explode the Code 2 1/2 book this past week and I didn't have the next one so he has gotten a pass on writing the last few days. But I am going to try him on Beyond the Code as well as the next Explode the Code workbook. Beyond seems to be more about reading comprehension so we will see how that works. 

Memorization is going well. We review the things we have already put to memory and add new things all the time. The Living Christ is getting a little rusty in places but I am happy to say it is mostly still there. Psalms 100 and 23 are well ingrained now. Even Henry can recite 23 will little help. We also have all 13 articles of faith. Well.... Sophie does. Ian is still working on #13 and Henry recites them as long as I sing the Scripture Scout songs for them with him. If that is what it takes than that is what we will do. Those songs are so good for remembering the articles of faith.

We are starting to recite and draw a picture for one of the Gospel Standards from this poster each day. They love the picture drawing and have them posted on the wall. We then go through the ones we already have done to get to the next one.

Or memorization isn't just scripture and gospel related topics. We have a few poems going as well. Henry has memorized the A. A. Milne poem Now I am Six. He isn't six yet but he is so cute reciting it! He will be very ready to recite it for everyone once he does finally hit six.
Ian has the Jabberwocky by Lewis Carrol down well enough to recite. He actually performed it in front of our co-op group. This is a huge leap from the little boy who hid under the piano during his first sharing at co-op. I ended up having to talk about the item he brought because he was too shy. But he stood up there and recited. I was very proud of him.

Sophie loves Lewis Carrol so has several of his poems in her head. And she has discovered that Cristina Rosseti has written a number of poems that she also likes. She is usually the coach with the others on their poems. So all of them are in her head as well as a number of others.

One thing I have introduced recently is Music time. Each of the kids is required (I don't really like that word) to spend 15 min on music each day. None of my children have formal music lessons (To be honest they are super expensive and we just don't have the budget for them) but we have a number of beginning piano books and recorder books for the kids to play/practice and I know enough to get them through the basics.  Sophie usually takes her time on the recorder and is getting much better. Ian and Henry both head to the piano for their time. Each really wants to play the Harry Potter, Indiana Jones or Star Wars music that I got them. Henry is really good at Hedgewig's theme. Ian is working at Indiana Jones mainly. Each is working through the Teaching little fingers book as well. But the thrill isn't there with those songs!

We dabble in a lot of other things as well. I just can't recall everything. We read a lot, my kids draw a lot and we work a lot. There is also a whole lot of play, mostly legos, going on. We make it to the park a few times a week and ride bikes and climb trees and look at flowers as often as we can. I really should spend a little time on Science but somehow that just doesn't happen. Perhaps this summer when we have finally finished our Modern History we will do some science.  My kids don't seem to miss it. They get science in by reading a lot of books. The non fiction section of the library is well visited and checked out.  Sophie told me the other day that she thinks she has already read all the books in the young children's non fiction section of the library. I told her that there is a whole lot more in the older kid's section. (Our library has the non fiction children's section divided into elementary and junior high) She gave me a grin and her eyes got big with excitement. I guess that is what it is all about. She is excited about learning.

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