Sunday, March 2, 2014

2014 Weekly Wrap Up: Week 4

Another busy week behind us with week 4 our first term being completed. I can't believe we've wrapped up yet another month of the new year as well, where on earth is the time slipping away to?!

This week many of the boys studies, once again, crossed each other & there were a few lightbulb type moments as they realised they'd heard the names & some of the information before. At one point Jayden wondered if I was reading the wrong book to him, but he stopped caring as soon as I uttered the words Alexander The Great. In fact he said, "Never mind, keep reading I need to know more about Alex!" He's read one of the only books the library has on Alexander The Great more times then I can count, so being excited was a bit of an understatement to find this fellow mentioned in his history lessons this week.

Morgan wrapped up the "beginning time" in his studies this week & is read to move into Ancient Egypt for the remainder of the term. Mind you, he's all ready been dabbling with it a bit considering he was reading The Golden Goblet & began a new book on this time frame this week: Pharaohs & Foot Soldiers. Next week we start learning the history of this ancient civilisation a bit more though as we officially reach this time in our history lessons.

Monday remains our shorter day for focused studies as we have swim lessons early in the day. There was a lot of evaluating this week for lessons as well as a bit of new information. Jayden remains awfully strong with the crazy breast stroke, but needs to work a bit more on climbing out of the pool without aid. He struggled with this last year & mastered it during practices, but in the new pool, which is incredibly deep he's not practicing it as much. Both are still working on diving which we had a minor hold up on last week, but have since gained permission to resume practicing at the local pool as we've been granted the use of a certified coach for 15 minutes each time we show up to practice.

We still see Morgan like this a lot, sometimes taking notes or working on notebooking pages, other times building lego while he listens.  He's listening to Mystery Of History & Story Of The World lectures in the picture above. He's not really keen on the audio version of SOTW, & I agree with him. Don't hate us too deeply, but after all the raving we've heard about the amazing talents of Jim Weiss we expected so much more. I'm afraid we're incredibly spoiled by the exceptional talents of Jim Dale.

We've been integrating Grammar Ace & Schoolhouse Rock Grammar into our Language Arts lessons. Most of the topics in this book are mentioned in the boys Grammar lessons with their Winter Promise Grammar. So we start the week with a lesson on Monday from this book. Basically I jus tread out the pertinent information, we watch the video, & if they don't know or need more practice we do one of the ideas in the workbook. Otherwise we call it a day & they move forward with their WP lessons on Tuesday.

Wednesday I gave the boys a lego challenge while I read our read alouds to them. They worked away at it & the finished product is the photo at the top of this post. They had a grand time working on it while listening, but they always enjoy a lego challenge being thrown at them. Jayden has used his Pirate Captain all week since making it & it comes out to join us for his Sea & Sky lessons. Sometimes Pirate Captain is very naughty & I'm left taking away his peg leg so we can settle down for lessons..

Jayde is still working on multi digit multiplication, mostly because he's not keeping his place as well as he should with it. So we draw graphs over the problems which helps immensely. He's not keen to try the carrying Mr Demme's way, but I think he'd benefit from it more. Having said that he completely understands the concept so we're still moving forward because it's a lot of practice of the skill to finish off these last 5 lessons.

The boys watched a video on Atoms Monday to go along with a lesson in Morgan's science book. They enjoyed the movie, & after watching it Morgan held up his notes & said, "That's pretty much what this says!" Which I'm glad he knew, because I still can't sort out his notes to save my life!!

Wednesday on our way to swim practice we packed up school early & stopped along the way for juice & science lectures. Our home was full of a lot of distractions & we decided to take school on the road. There's a shopping plaza along the way which we stopped at to do our work. Morgan moved on with his science lecture where he took heaps of notes on the back of that receipt because he forgot notebook paper. He was immune to the door behind us that kept squeaking each time it opened. Morgan is much better at keeping pace with his science if I just hand him the book & the schedule & let him report back to me what he learned. I tend to slow him down if he waits for me to listen to the lectures with him. It's great to see him keeping pace on his own, but it means I don't see him lots for school this year.

Both boys were chasing down clues this week in their Language Arts. They absolutely love the Winter Promise Grammar that they are using this year. Jayden declared it unfair that it's not scheduled for every day of the week. I love his enthusiasm for it. Our year is pretty heavy with LA this year, but no one's balked at it yet. They both had a writing assignment with this LA, but it was only the note taking, or rather then planning side of it. Jayden had these neatly written sentences for his notes & Morgan.. well he had his normal notes that confuse everyone but himself. It was really very amusing to me.

Both boys are using WWE, differing levels, this year. Jayden still needs the handwriting work as well as narration & dictation practice. It's also the only writing curriculum he's never complained about which is a huge win for us. Morgan needs the spelling practice & using the dictation in a higher level of WWE permits him that practice.

Morgan is still working in Epsilon, he's finally conquered the lesson that kept catching him up, all though I assign him one practice problem from that each day so we don't slip. He's still hoping to be finished with the book by the end of Term 2, but we'll see as he's only just over the halfway mark with wrapping up lesson 17 this week.

Thursday we met up with one of the local home ed groups at a local beach. The boys weren't keen to swim despite the sun being lovely & warm, the wind however was pretty chilly. They'd taken their bikes & really wanted to ride at the bike park not far from the beach. So after a play with some of the boys at the beach we made our way to the bike park. We had a few of the boys join us & some of the Mum's. The shade was lovely after the heat of the beach.

Jayden covered the Greeks in Sea & Sky this week. Oh was he excited & delighted. Battles, boats that attack each other with special devices, & Alexander the Great all in one week. School simply couldn't have been any more interesting for him! Except that we topped it with endless listening to Treasure Island while in the car this week.

Friday, before heading to swim lessons we had a mess all over our school table as we caught up on some science notebooking, which is more like lapbooking. I finally found an answer to our notebooking dilemma which thrilled us all, until a huntsman was spotted crawling up the curtain above Jayde's head. At which point school was momentarily adjourned while I sent a hurried text off to Mr S to tell him of my problem. The entire ordeal is quite humorous now & worthy of story telling, but at the time I was shaking so badly from removing the 8-legged beast that I wasn't sure I'd make it.

We did make it though, & survived well enough that we made it to swim practice too. The boys coach was on duty & dragged inside to help clean up a disaster in the kiddie pool, so upon seeing them he came over to be the person responsible for watching them practice diving.

Morgan had some notebooking to do this week as well & covered Stone Henge again as well. I say again because we learned about it last year as well, all though he was amazed to learn that there's a couple in France so he was off looking them up on Google maps. He also tackled much more programming this week, fell into a small problem but upon being encouraged to keep looking for the error did just that. Then decided to redo the entire lesson & test before moving on.  Maybe this coming week we'll finally get to foreign language, but considering our home ed group has their annual camp out planned, it might not actually happen!

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