Saturday, August 17, 2013

First weeks' report

So School officially starts next week for most kids in our area. It is the start date for our Charter school too. We actually started two weeks ago. I still haven't added in everything I want to put in (Latin, Art, etc.) but I am waiting to see how much time we have after all our classes and such start. Sophie has online classes almost everyday and we have outside activities for one or all of the kids every day of the week. I didn't plan this very well since I don't have any day during the week where we just stay home. That could be a problem! We will just have to see how it all plays out.

We have been good about doing Scripture every day.We have been reading the 4 Gospels all Summer and will be starting the Book of Mormon when we finish Luke in a few days. We are also reviewing the Articles of Faith since the boys don't know them nearly as well as Sophie does.

We have been making our way through many of the explorers of the New World in our History reading. The books included in the Heritage History Early American collection have been great for this. I do have to edit them a little. They are rather politically incorrect. They are older books publishedin the early 1900's. One of the story we read refers to the Natives as Savages and isn't very complementary. I don't consider myself a totally pc type person but I cringed a little when we read parts and I had to stop and correct the language and discuss with my kids why we don't use terms like that anymore. But I think we are doing really well learning all about the Viking, Spanish, Portugese, and now we are moving into the English and Dutch explorers and their settlements in the US.

Henry actually really loves IEW Writing. We have only done Lesson 1 and a few reinforcement assignments but he actually prefers doing an outline and paragraph than a Language Lesson. I am happy with either. Sophie is currently doing IEW Level B but when her classes start up we may move a lot slower through those we will just have to see how much writing she is going to be doing for her classes. Ian does the assignments but his writing in so hard to read. I really need him to focus on penmanship. All those cursive lessons we did over the Summer haven't really helped. He is just a really messy writer and it gets in the way of me enjoying what he writes.  Something to continue to work on!

Math is going fine with all the kids. Sophie and Ian are doing alright with Saxon and Henry is still working through Singapore. Nothing new and exciting here. They just keep plugging away at their respective books.

Science has actually happened a few times. We are reading through the Mystery of the Periodic Table and What's smaller than a Pygmy Shrew

But the best thing for Science study has been having the period table of the elements hanging on the wall right by the dining table. The dining table is where all the action happens in our house pretty much. We eat, do our school work, draw, fold clothes, etc. on that little table so the kids are always asking me about different elements and what the different things there mean. We had a great discussion about electrons and the different shells the other day simply because Ian asked what some numbers down the side of each element. Our poster has the number of electrons in each shell listed down the side of each element. The kids really want to get to the experiment part of chemistry but I haven't gathered up the supplies yet so we will have to wait a little longer.

We have made it through several short audio books over the past two weeks. Either that means we are in the car a lot or the books have just been very short. We listened to Sign of the Beaver. Ian said this is one of his favorite stories. He remembered it from when we listened to it a few years ago. I found the paperback on the shelf and let him read through it again for himself. When we finished that one we listened to Call it Courage.  This is one Sophie has on her book list for one of her online classes. I figured it couldn't hurt to let her listen to it before she is supposed to read it for her class. We are finishing up The Black Pearl. I remember listening to my 5th grade teacher read this one aloud to the class after lunch many years ago.

Molly has been doing a little bit of school each day. I have explode the code for her. It doesn't take long for her to complete each letter. So she is flying through the book pretty quickly. I have printed out a few extra work sheets for the letter she is working on each day and she flies through those really quickly too.  I have tried to make sure she isn't just passed over and shuffled off to the side. She keeps asking to watch Super Why. I am not overly excited about her watching shows but she is rather relentless in her asking and whining so I give in and she gets to view an episode or two each day.  She also has been able to have the play dough and paints out a few times. Even though the clean up is not fun for me I let her have at it. I hate it when she tells me she is bored! She gets a few books read to her and sometimes a puzzle or game but mostly she just hangs out with the rest of us causing all sorts of mischief.

Ian loves his Lego League class. He spends all sorts of time building robots at home and learning the new EV3 programming language.
Oh and speaking of programming... Sophie started, loved, finished and is rereading Lauren Ipsum. It was on the list of books for the Williamsburg Intermediate STEM class. She isn't taking the STEM class with Williamsburg this semester but I figured she might want to read the books on the list. Lauren Ipsum was only $3.82 for the Kindle. I love that Sophie has a Kindle and she is starting to carry it around with her everywhere. Having all sorts of books at her fingertips is such a good thing! We will see if she wants to read any of the other books on their curriculum list for that class.

That about wraps up our academics. I hope the coming week goes smoothly. We are adding in piano, gymnastics and online classes. Then in September we add in  Choir and co-op. And of course there will be Cub scouts for both Ian and Henry, and Young Woman's for Sophie (no more activity days for her). Yikes! we are going to be busy!

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