Sunday, July 28, 2013

2013 Week In Review: Week 21

Despite a sick child at the start of the week this has been one of our calmest weeks all year. In fact, on Friday when we were heading out to meet up with friends Morgan stated that he didn't feel frazzled & couldn't believe it was the weekend all ready. Apparently he knows it's the weekend, normally, because he feels like he really needs that break.

Now mind you, we didn't include writing for him this week because he was out with a pretty sore throat & rough ears for half the week, but he kept up with the rest of his studies.

Needless to say we had a really good week & our final changes for the year were put in place this week which allowed us a more relaxed, but still very full week. Our last change was nothing major, just choosing to meet up with friends a few Fridays a month instead of Thursdays. This just lets our whole week run so much more smoothly.

Both boys resumed math where they left off last term & didn't miss a beat. I was a little worried about that so offered up a smidge of screen time in exchange for specific sets of math fact review being done in advance. Morgan's swimming along with long division & quite confident with it, all though he was baffled how he knew the answers without having done the work first. I told him that hard work pays off when it came to those math fact review sessions. As for Jayden, I might need to hide the only digital clock in our home I found: 40:80 written as a time in his math book this week. Say what?! Ha, turned out he'd means to write 8:40, but because he all ready had 40 in for the hour he presumed he needed to write 08 for the minute.

Jayden is still studying Wetlands & animals that are native to those areas with his Animal Habitats theme. We've struggled a bit filling in his Animal Journal as we've not been able to actually get to a wetlands to record things. It hasn't dampened {excuse the pun} his spirits for the science though. He's enjoyed reading about the animals & filling out what he can for now. We're also using the "Take a walk" books which add quite a bit to the studies.

We visited Romania this week in our studies with Children Around The World. It was a bit heartbreaking to read through their history & then follow that up with reading about a family from Bosnia in the 1990's from Material World. I think Material World is such a lovely book to add to these studies, as it's one thing to read about these things, but when the boys see the pictures it just drives everything home for them. We've also been spending a good deal of time reading about the plight of children around the world who are forced to work for one reason or another. Jayden was horrified to know that it's still a problem today & did not die out with the Industrial Revolution. When a local commercial came on touting the joys of rugs for sale from Pakistan I pointed out that those very rugs could be made by children.

Morgan really loved science this week & I had absolutely no complaints from him. He was content to just take his book & listen to the lesson, do the assigned notebooking pages, & experiments as called for. I did have him narrate to me before we put anything in the empty narration pages, it allowed me to know what he comprehended from the lesson. So did having him do the Crossword Puzzle at the end of the week. Ignore the frumpy look in the photo above, that was taken on Monday when his ears & throat were really bugging him & he had a Dr's appointment for it looming over him.

This particular experiment was used a lot this week. The font was minuscule & you drop a dot of water on it to enlarge it. I had him use a plastic sheet protector over the book before dropping the water on it. He did it over & over on a variety of different sized fonts, which of course inspired his brother to have a go of it too. I was beginning to fear for the life of the book!

Jayden has finally accepted that writing is a daily part of his schedule four days a week. I'm not going to say he's in love with it, but he's also aware if it's not done he doesn't get to go swimming & swimming is something he does love. Let's call it a compromise. In either case he's doing quite well with it & I'm really loving the improvement in handwriting from both of them since starting with the lovely HWOT paper. Both of them are finally remembering not to throw capital letters into the middle of their words, & Morgan must find it a bit of a comfort factor because he grabbed a sheet of it to use for science copywork vs the provided space.

George paid us a visit every day this week, the pesky bird. Like how he comes up & peers in at us? When he's feeling especially cheeky he just comes up & lets his beak glide into view, then an eye, then a head.. He amuses us, what can I say. He had Jayden in absolute stitches during a writing lesson this week with his crazy antics, it really was quite amusing.

In order to come to a fair, & yet appropriate, compromise Jayden only does handwriting from his book 2 days a week. The other 2-3 days he does writing from his writing book. It leaves him less overwhelmed which means he doesn't complain about it. I'm also noticing better care in his handwriting since cutting back on it which makes this a win-win.

Morgan is nearly done with All About Spelling's Level 1. We found a few rules he was unaware of, but now that he knows I told him I was holding him to spelling those types of words correctly. The boys prefer to write with dry erase marker on the sliding glass door then use the tiles. Maybe because I desperately need to meet a giant who is 10' or so high who can change lightbulbs in my kitchen, where as our school area is beautifully sunny. Plus, who doesn't like getting to write on something you're normally not allowed to?! Jayden's a bit farther behind compared to Morgan, but most of that is semi-intentional on my behalf. He won't be long before finishing up with Level 1 either, &, like Morgan, I told him I plan to be much tougher on expecting good spelling based on rules they all ready know.

We've started reading through the Bible in 180 days. This is something I was offered in exchange for a review so I'll be more forthcoming with the details about the curriculum later. However, it was great timing for us in order for us to explore our new Bibles. I dunno about you, but I kinda hate getting a new Bible because it's never like the one you've used for years & years & can open in an instant to exactly where you want to be. Yep, I was given a lovely purple Bible which is actually very beautiful, in fact inside of it there are lovely pictures of places we read about, maps on the pages of scripture as we read, & more. It's really lovely. As for our reading, we've made it through Genesis 32 or the return of Jacob!

We've finally crossed the halfway mark with this lovely book. I really do love this story & remember having it read to me as a child, but I had no idea how long the chapters were & our plates were considerably full with many other books which meant this one didn't get read in the way it was planned. The story has finally hit some of the most exciting part & the boys are all a twitter with it. We're also reading The Journal Of Watkin Stench for our Australian History book. The chapters are incredibly short & I really think to get the most of the book we should read several at one time, but I refuse to pick up the pace with it until we've finished the lovely The Wheel On The School.

I had Jayden use his MUS blocks & clock template to make the clock for this weeks lesson to be sure he comprehended the whole hour issue after he wrote 40:08. He only used it for the duration of the video lesson & then we packed it up & put it away. The template is in my notebook which he's free to get out if he needs, but truthfully It was more a funny mistake then an issue of knowledge.

Thursday the boys had their first swim lesson of the term & they were super eager to get in & do their thing. We'd gone to great efforts to locate Jayden some new swim shorts & tops. Mind you, both boys went in dressed in black tops where as one normally has blue & the other red. Their poor coach was struggling again to tell them apart which was slightly amusing to me because Morgan wears a swim cap & Jayden doesn't. They were also delighted to make it to both swim practices this week as due to a fever last week we'd skipped out.

Friday we met up with friends for a nature walk at our local Arboretum. We walked around the water while enjoying a lovely scavenger hunt & then the kids worked on a group collage. The boys chatted about how much fun they had the entire way home, & probably would have continued if I hadn't told them go shower. They both smelled horrible after playing footy where the Native Hens do their business. Now there's one thing I don't miss about having Native Hens in my yard, the mess they make in the winter!


Mel said...

Love how you have personalised the front of your folder. I do the same <3

Nita said...

Nice to know someone else is schooling in the summer. Sounds like you all are getting into a good rythm this year.