Sunday, August 4, 2013

2013 Week In Review: Week 22

Another week seems to have flown by here on us, which became more obvious when Mr S announced one morning this week that we only had 32 days of winter left. Really? Where did those other days go this year? Maybe we've been more busy then normal, or maybe the rain was balanced more with sun this year, either way it seems to have passed us by much more quickly this year.

This week we finished adding everything back into our normal schedule which made us a little crazy a few times this week, but we survived it & there was a lot of raving about accomplishments this week too. I always consider it a great success when the kids gush with information on Friday evening to share about their week.

And no, Morgan doesn't use all those coloured pens to do his writing with, I use all those pens to update calendars & planners. See, I wasn't kidding when I said colour coding makes me happy. Even that black ben on the far left of the box has 8 different colours in it, but I actually use that for highlighting in my Bible.

Monday morning was the most beautiful day we've had in a while, & it screamed of spring being near. After we dropped Mr S off at work the boys & I took the dog over to our old stomping grounds & walked the beach for a lovely morning walk. The beach was in it's winter phase, which means it was covered with lots of smooth rocks from the ocean & was heavily littered with seaweed. Closer inspection showed a lot of dead sharks in the seaweed too. It's not uncommon to find one or two there in the winter months, but generally they are ones someone has caught & used portions of for one thing or another, but we found all most an even dozen of them laying unharmed on the beach. We wondered if perhaps they got tangled in the seaweed & were unable to get back into the water before the tide receded. We decided to look for shark eggs, as we've found a few opened cases on that beach before, but no such luck. We did bring home a lovely piece of sea glass to add to our collection though.

Back home we hit the books, & our Mondays generally start with math so the kids can each watch their video lecture before starting their workbooks fro the week. Morgan is up to triple digit division with the curriculum we're using & he was really struggling with the why behind it. I like to keep working with things until they feel confident so when he lamented that he hadn't quite understood the lecture I had him tell me what the lecture had been about. He was able to tell me, step by step, which brought us back to the whole why. So we sat down, outside since it was so lovely, & worked through more pages then I meant to until he was confident with what he was doing. By the end of the week he was knocking off the last of his work in the book without batting an eye! {And yes those cookies are egg free, milk free, & wheat free. A rare item to find on the grocery shelves, but oh so exciting when we do!}

Both boys are still working in AAS Level 1, Morgan should wrap that level up this week. Learning the rules behind how & why we spell has really helped him to be a bit more consistent with how he's spelling certain words. I'm eager for him to progress to the next level to see if there's a way to help him tackle the biggest vowel combo he constantly slips with. In the mean time I'm still telling both boys I plan to hold them to higher spelling standards when I see miss spelled words. We'll see how that unfolds.

We're in a happy rhythm with Jayden's writing curriculum & I really need to write up a review for both his & Morgan's. Between the copywork, dictation, & narration method we're using & the HWOT papers I've got him using his handwriting has made a huge turnaround from where he was at the start of the year. He informed his swim coach that writing was his favourite subject this week, & I'm not sure if he was just copying Morgan's response or if he was scared to say anything else for fear the coach might ask a question about that subject. I might hold him to his statement if I hear complaints about the subject though! {Ignore the drawing on his hand. Archery was in session this week & he decided he needed a picture of a knight being shot with an arrow upon his hand. I suggested soap & water would be a better option.}

Morgan is also in a good routine with his writing & I like that he's learning to take notes in such a simplistic & gentle way building on that skill each week. He's also writing an essay, all most weekly, of 150-300 words. While I'm not normally fussy about how many words they write I think it's a good discipline for him to get into because it will be a requirement when he's at University level. Yes, that is completely his own handwriting. He does all the writing for this curriculum except the 150-300 word narrations/essays. I let him organise all his notes & ideas & then he tells me what he wants to write & I type it up for him. We rearrange or add to it as needed until it's done, then he generally requests an image that matches the writing to be slipped in, & then we print it out for his notebook. Easy peasy.

This week the boys learned about Spain, & we enjoyed portions from the stack of books above. Ferdinand was not one of the books scheduled with Children Around The World, but he's such a favourite around here I pulled the story off the shelf & we had a lovely read of it. We also read a little bit about Portugal one day this week, but the majority of our time was spent learning about Spain. Of course both boys now want to visit in time for the Tomato Festival, I just hope they remember their goggles when they go!

The boys worked on their World Travel Diary's all week. Above they are working on their mapping page. Each week they have a map of the country we are studying & they fill in major cities, water ways, & mountains. We generally just use our lovely older DK Atlas which is really beautiful, like most of DK's books. Every now & again we have to use Google Earth to find something, but not very often. Morgan especially loves the mapping exercises, & while Jayden doesn't mind them he's not keen on the labelling part. I suggested that this coming week he number each city & waterway. Then instead of rewriting the entire name he can just stick a number down. Now, I know that might sound like cheating or simply not teaching him to be disciplined, but some of those countries have a lot of cities to record & sometimes, when you write as large as he does, they can start running into each other. So we'll see what happens.

Morgan is still happily, & independently, working though the Apologia science. Yes, we're working at an accelerated pace with the book compared to how it's suggested to be used, but that works for us at this time. And yes, he's eating a popsicle. Leftover smoothie went into the Zoku for midmorning snack time & everyone was happy. Morgan did half the chapter on Bones last week & will finish the other half this week before moving into muscles. So far he has no complaint, except on days when he doesn't find an experiment to do. He really is a very hands on learner.

Our World Travel Diary pages had some lovely sculptures from Spain included this week & we spent a long time oogling over the ones of Columbus. Then when we were done & read that the building he pleaded his case to Queen Isabella was still standing I told the boys I'd go with them to their lovely Tomato Festival if I could go stand in the building first. I guess I'd better make sure my own goggles are up to speck now!

We finished, at long last, The Wheel On The School. It's not that we didn't enjoy the book, but rather that it took us a very long time to finish it. So it was with great delight I wrapped up the final two chapters on Wednesday despite a sore throat! Morgan was quite annoyed at the end & wanted a sequel to know if the dreams of Shora came true in the end, or rather, I think, to know if it all worked out as he thought it would. It took a while for Jayden to get into the book, but he did eventually! I need to update our book list in the sidebar now as most of those books have been finished & replaced by something else.

Jayden is oh so close to finishing this book as well. He's been reading it aloud to me instead of on his own, it's been very enjoyable to hear him reading it. This was one he spotted in Koorong a while back & asked if we could get. Someone once compared them to Magic Treehouse books, & while I can see why I do enjoy this series more to be honest. Either way, Jayden has really enjoyed this particular book, but then again it was about WW II. He should, hopefully, wrap it up next week!

Morgan is also still plucking away at a book I had hoped he'd finish last term. He should have, but as he's reading it aloud to me, we didn't. He's delighted to be nearly done with it & is planning to read some this weekend so he can move into other books. He's got a small stack laid out to read that he's desperate to dig into. We've had some minor issues on the glasses front, like he's struggling with the concept he needs to wear them when he's doing any reading at all. 

We made all three swimming sessions this week, much to the boys delight. Jayden has really gone back to being a fish in water & is miserable if he misses even one of his sessions. I managed to get a shot of just him in the pool at lessons this week. They practiced each stroke & then did laps up one side of the pool, had to climb out without the aid of a ladder, go to the other side, dive in, & swim back up. Repeat x6. I really like that their coach is more about survival & ability then speed. Considering we live on an island & frequent the beach as often as we do it's pretty important that our kids can survive if they are in the water.

We had another Friday meet-up with friends this week. One of the Mum's gets things started with a fun challenge for the kids. This week they broke down into teams & were given like supplies. The idea was to build a cup holder. There were a few more rules about it, such as distance between the cups & things like that as well, but the basic idea was to build a cup holder. Morgan & Jayden's group managed to finish first with a successful cup holder, all though I think they forgot the part about distance between the cups. Morgan raved about this challenge all night Friday & most of Saturday as well. It really appeals to his sort of thinking. The kids enjoyed a few other lovely activities too & can't wait to meet up again. {Yes I have more photos, but no I'm not sharing them because other people's children are in them & I haven't spoken to the Mum's about sharing those.}

All in all, a really lovely week. Jayden worked in his Animal Worlds science, all though I didn't take any photos. He's not been able to use his journal as much as many of the lovely things involved aren't able to be done in our area. We've enjoyed reading the books & doing the animal notebooking pages & other bits we can though.

1 comment:

Dawn said...

What an awesome week. We are working our way up to a full schedule right now. I think it will be a shock on the kids when we get there, but fun too. How wonderful to be able to take a walk on the beach when you want. I love all of your activities.
Blessings, Dawn