Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Weekly Wrap Up Catch Up

Despite the business of our lives of late we've been steadily working away at our school. I haven't had much time to do lengthy posts, much less our weekly wrap up posts. I've still been taking pictures & taking notes of what we've accomplished each week so I can turn it into a bit of a yearbook for the boys at the end of the year, you know.. in all that spare time I have.

Our school year is three-quarters over, where on earth did the time go?! We've got 16 weeks left in our main core for the year which will be a small squeeze to fit into the weeks ahead, but that's okay.

The boys have really enjoyed the school year thus far despite the bumps & bruises we've experienced along the way. We've changed up a few of our original curriculum choices to better fit our needs which can always be a bit of a hassle mid year, but once those kinks are worked out it makes for a smoother school year for everyone.

We've plowed through another stack of books, some of what aren't even pictured. The boys really enjoyed Caddie Woodlawn but were a little unimpressed with the ending of Old Yeller. Even still, Jayden is eager to see the film by the same name. We all loved The Seven Wonders of Sassafras Springs, but we've loved all of Betty G. Birney's books. The boys have decided they need to hunt down their own Seven Wonders this summer. The Terrible Wave was a good read, but the story left us with a few unanswered questions which is always maddening. We've also finished a book about Helen Keller & are halfway finished with a book about George Washington Carver.

Jayden has moved back into Teaching Textbook {4}. Math is not his strong suit, which is okay, but he was really not enjoying any aspect of using the Saxon Curriculum. Rather then turn him off with math all together we slipped him right back into TT to finish out the year. Truthfully, he probably could have used one more year of our total curriculum free Living Math lessons. I won't say he's jumping up & down for math right now, but he enjoys his lessons well enough & averages a 98% so he's doing well.

Morgan, our math lover, is in love with the Saxon curriculum. He's finally mastered division. We'd taken a month off from math curriculum to give him the time to become comfortable with the new concept & really grasp it before moving him forward. He's now onto percentages, angles, & all sorts of other goodies. He loves being able to use his protractors, & any complex equations. Meaning, anything that takes more then one step to figure out. It's not abnormal to find him making math problems up to solve on his own. All though our discussion about angles at the local park where we used our arms to describe the varying degrees sure got us some funny looks. Hey, what can I say..

We're still working our way through the Word Spy. We've learned some really fun & interesting things about our English language & how it came to be. We had a terrible time trying to think up a panogram that actually made sense, in fact I'm still not sure we've conquered that one. The boys really love the book which is very well written considering it's typically dry & non-fiction topic.

We read through several more books of the Bible & wrapped up the accompanying PictureSmart pages to go with them. The boys asked if we could take a break from using those to go back to using Grapevine for a while, & I agreed. We're steadily reading through the Old Testament & are up to Ruth now. With Grapevine OT we are more reading key points that happened in the OT vs reading each book. The boys really love the drawing through the Bible this way.

Both boys are plucking away at their copywork & spelling. Morgan has made outstanding progress with his spelling & now averages a nifty 95%. Such a huge achievement for him & we are so proud of his efforts! More impressively it's really carried over into his everyday work & I know that really pleases him too. Jayden's making slow, but steady, progress with his handwriting. It's still his hardest subject by far, but mostly because he detests having to be that still. I suspect if he could rely on typing instead of handwriting he'd have it made.

He's also been using the BugALoo Jr app to practice his spelling, he's rocking the score with 2884 up there. Mr S loves that we're using something he's created himself & loves the feedback he gets from us on it. It's a win-win situation across the boards for us. The guys all seem to have a big deal going for the high score there so it keeps them busy.

The boys have tackled a lot in the history department & have made many lapbook & notebook pieces to go along with them. We had a grand chuckle over the price differences in cars way back when they first came out compared to now.

 The boys colored in states from the expansion of the US. Those states in the air are actually glued on to clear plastic which is taped {hinge like} to the notebooking page base. Makes it fun to look at & play with.

We learned about various things that happened to the Native Americans in the early 1800's. We typed onto our notebooking pages before printing them out this time. The boys each collaborating together to tell us what they wanted written down.

This is a really fun little booklet. You can lift the top of the box up {hinged} & then pull out the amendments that were added to the constitution, or you can just slip them in & out of the slit in the top of the box.

We learned about many of the woman suffragettes which really riled Morgan up. He was utterly appalled that there was a time when woman couldn't do things simply because they were woman. It was even funnier when he asked who I'd vote for in the upcoming Aussie election. I told him I wasn't allowed to vote so I wouldn't be voting for anyone. He went on a 3 minute rant about how clearly they didn't know the law had changed before I could get a word in edgewise to explain that because I'm not an Australian citizen I'm not legally allowed to vote here.

We've learned about many famous people who helped shape America. Some we'd all ready met before in our other various studies & some were new to the boys so we spent more time reading about them. Morgan has really taken a liking to Helen Keller, but I think it has more to do with the conversation we often have, "If you could only choose to be one would you rather be blind or deaf?" Of course the next time this boy has a fever he might hit panic mode. Yikes!

We've also switched science curriculum {I mentioned this before} & have dug right into that. We took far too many photos of our science experiments so I'll save those for another post. Needless to say I suspect if Mr S stays in charge of science experiments the guys will be needing more then safety glasses before the year is over!

And that pretty much wraps up our past few school weeks. We've had several outings to parks with our local homeschool group, far too many trips to the local library, & a few visits to the local ER where the boys entertained many people while we waited on Nana to see Drs.


Multi-tasking Mama said...

Morgans 3 minute rant on women and your right to vote has absolutely cracked me up. You go Morgan!

Sheryll said...

Love how you've bound the Grapevine book for them. I'll have to try that instead of loose pages. I'm glad you post these wrap-ups, it's fun to see what you are doing.