Saturday, May 5, 2012

Weekly Wrap Up: 9 & 10

The last two weeks have flown by & boy have we been busy. Mostly with life & school & all that it entails, so it's been a good busy even if tiring.

The boys are both doing really well with our choice to go with Sonlight this year. In fact, Jayden is completely head over heals in love with the main subjects we're studying this year: The Second half of US History. Basically Civil War up to recent times. This will include topics like Civil War, World War I, World War II.. can you tell what his current passion is?

His passion for little toy soldiers & his desire to read through anything war related really amazes me. Morgan has never taken a huge interest in this subject. Not that he has no interest in these times in history, but he's not into the war side of it as much. I think he's always been more aware that war isn't just about the cool tanks & weapons, but I digress.. I truly love seeing how the boys each develop their own loves & personalities, & this is just one of those examples.

All our pictures this go around are from week 10, last week we had a holiday, ANZAC day & spent the morning at an ANZAC service. It was quite enjoyable, but as normal I bawled like a baby when we all recited the Psalm. I think this year's ANZAC was a little more close to home for them, as we'd gotten word a week or so earlier that my brother was finally back on US soil from his tour of duty. Unfortunately, this year we didn' make any poppies to drop off, but the boys were okay with that. Jayden quickly lined up to march with the soldiers back to RSL & so Morgan & I followed along as well. The boys also got up early enough to make some ANZAC biscuits to drop off at Mr S's work, one of the employees there is a former soldier. I told the boys they could not mail ANZAC biscuits to their Uncle D, so they settled for taking them into the office for another D instead.

We finished off a few more books this week & started a few others. This week we finished Freedom Trail, which was a Scholastic Biography on Harriet Tubman. It was a simplified & condensed retelling of Harriet Tubman's life. It hit on all the major points, & the boys really enjoyed it. I'm currently reading Harriet Tubman: Conductor Of The Underground Railroad which I think is a better telling & a bit more in depth. I've enjoyed sharing the information with the boys & might have Morgan read the book sometime down the road.

In fact, I learned from the later book that Harriet Tubman's mother was actually a free woman, but didn't know it. She was tricked into believing she was still a slave, basically lied to. All of her children should have been free, or at least the ones born after her 45th year. Harriet Tubman should have been born a free child! It was Harriet Tubman who paid a lawyer {it took her five years to save up the money} to find out the information, but even once finding it there was nothing she could do with it. The book is just fascinating & includes direct quotes from Harriet Tubman herself as well as a timeline at the end of each chapter to tell you what else was going on at the same time with people that would later either be effected by Harriet's story or would help her in some way.

Moccasin Trail also came to an end this week. We were suppose to finish it next week, but we decided to polish it off now instead. It was a harder book to read aloud due to the deep southern accents written right in the book, but it was worth the read. It's incredibly descriptive in regards to the life of a pioneer once they reached the land after they got off the Oregon Trail. I think, for my boys, it also hit a nerve with them on a more personal level. The main character is a white boy who was taken in by Indians after suffering a horrible set of injuries. He then grew up Crow. He spends the entirety of the book seeking his identity: Is he White or is he Indian? Delightful book, but we're eager to move on!

Thee Hannah! was started this week, it's a new addition to Core E with Sonlight. It's about a Quaker family living in New York during the years leading up to the Civil War. The boys found it funny that the Quaker's speak with thee's instead of yous, & at first thought I was being silly as I read it aloud to them.

Both boys wrote a report on Harriet Tubman after our reading of Freedom Train. They both did an excellent job, all though they did require a minimal amount of help. Jayden, of course, wanted to focus more on her part in the Civil War. I had no idea she was such an instrumental part in that war, did you? So I had to remind him that he needed to discuss her life before that point. Morgan's report ended up being three pages long! I did, however, have to break it to him that the term, "take her out" in reference to one of the mistresses beating Harriet was an inappropriate term. He was heavily disappointed, & valiantly defended his stance until I informed him that if he chose to leave the phrase in I'd be extremely disappointed because it would lead people to believe she'd died not just been treated poorly.

We started Sequential Spelling with Morgan instead of continuing with Spellwell for him. Sequential Spelling isn't grade specific & it's recommended you start with book one regardless of age, so we have. Of course Morgan was pretty put out with it at first, because the curriculum works on repetition. One day, for instance, a child may spell pin & pins, the next pinned, the following pinning. I really love the approach that this book uses, my student isn't quite sold on it yet, but that's okay. I think the approach this book takes will be really good for him as well as the constant repetition. Interestingly enough this curriculum was written by someone who struggles with dyslexia.

As we await the arrival of Morgan's Kindle I've had him reading smaller chapter books which have larger font in them. This week he's been reading The Littles & one day I heard an awful lot of giggling when he was suppose to be reading. I followed the noise to find the boys on my bed rolling with laughter as Morgan read aloud. Apparently one of the Littles dressed up as a mouse & fooled the family living in the house in an effort for them to take a real mouse infestation properly. Personally, the thought of a mouse infestation was more then I could handle so I left them to the book.

We started work on our Civil War Time Traveler's pack from HSITW. Jayden was really intent with his work of colouring in that map. They were suppose to be coloring in slave states & free states as well as the area that was still just considered a large territory.

We started our Battles Map, the boys love these! We had one for the Revolutionary War too. As they learn about a battle they color the location {numbered dot} on the map either Blue {union} or Grey {confederate} to remind them of which side won which battle.  The little blue flap book discuss three reasons why The Union broke apart thus leading to war. The booklet with the building & Flag is a picture of Fort Sumter on fire {Morgan really wanted his building to look like it was blazing away!}, inside they each wrote about the attack on Fort Sumter, thus marking the first battle of the Civil War. The little booklets will be an ongoing process, they'll be making several for various key individuals from both the Union & Confederate sides. The two they made this week are the two presidents during the time of the Civil War. Yes, two presidents. When the south decided to secede from the Union they then removed all their senators & congressman from the Union & then proceeded to elect their own president.

Last week they colored the 1860 Map. Jayden went with vivid colors on his map instead of Union & Confederate colors. They also made a copy of The Liberator, an abolitionist newspaper. That was actually very timely & fun for them to make because the name The Liberator has come up countless times in the various books we've been reading. The other papers in the above picture are speeches from both presidents. Abraham Lincoln's is 3+ pages long, Jefferson Davis' is only a page or two. It was actually very interesting to read Lincoln's speech, & how he addressed the situation he was walking into. He stated clearly that the issue of Slavery {despite being an abolitionist himself} was not up for debate, that each state had the right to decide for itself, but that his job was to protect the Union & keep it whole, thus he'd only take action if the South chose to follow through with pulling out. Apparently the south didn't agree that he wouldn't abolish slavery, because as soon as he was officially elected they pulled out. Interestingly enough, we also learned that Lincoln was not the people's choice. He was not even close to the people's choice, it was, once again, the electoral collage that put him into office.

Our stack of books for next week which we can't wait to dig into. We'll be in these books for a few weeks, all though if Jayden has anything to say about it I'm sure he'll request, "Just one more" chapter in Across Five Aprils & most likely in The Perilous Road, but that's okay. I have a few extra Civil War books on hand right now to read with him... you know, once he finishes his Magic Tree House Civil War book, or the other half dozen war books he checked out of the library.

This week's Bible continued with PictureSmart based on the book of Matthew. Normally we do an every other day thing with Picturesmart & Grapevine, but that didn't happen this week as we only did our Picturesmart. The boys really do enjoy this, but they equally enjoy the other & I like having a mix of both. We're nearly done with our Matthew paper. What you can't see, unless you click on the picture perhaps, is that the crown across the middle of the paper also has minute pictures on it. There's little dots on it that represents the crowds Jesus was speaking to. There's also the 12 disciples represented by dots on another point of the crown as well as Jesus, Elijah, & Moses inside a ring of light. Jayden is really eager to get to Jesus riding on the donkey, Morgan's more intent to get to the soldier inside the final triangular bit of the crown. Really enjoying the way this fits in so well with our daily Bible readings.

And that's us finished for another week! Math was very meagre this week, science was non existent in the form of book learning. We did however enjoy watching a pair of Currawong outside out patio door come up & steal dog food. They were hilarious! They are also very large birds. Standing on our patio they can easily see right into the seat of the chairs out there, and weren't at all timid about standing up on tiptoes to peek into the chair after I removed the food they were after. We had a grand time watching them though. The boys had learned about bird feet last week with Zoology 1, so it was fun for them to see the big feet up close & decide what kind of bird it was based on it's feet.

We still haven't hit on our art for the year, I tend to drag my feet the biggest on this subject & would love to be able to just provide the children with lessons, but I'm having a wicked time finding someone willing to teach children in our area. Seriously weird considering we live in a rather large artsy area, but I refuse to give up the quest. I am quite convinced that there is someone out there who will be happy to teach my children art lessons 1 day a week, & another someone out there who'd happily give my children swim lessons one morning a week as well. So, if you're in my area & up for the job drop me a line!

1 comment:

Our Side of the Mountain said...

I love how much reading you get in with the kiddos! How do you do it? I've tried and tried doing read alouds, but they always fizzle out after a couple of days! Am I choosing the wrong books? LOL

And I'm checking out Sequential Spelling for my girl. It seems like it might be a good approach for her as she STRUGGLES with Spelling and we've tried Spelling City, Spelling Power and All About Spelling.