Thursday, May 22, 2014

2014 Week In Review: Week 12

Another week has flown by here on us & we're still trying to settle into a routine with school for our new term. We've had so much happening it's been a bit difficult, so we're still only going at half speed. With all that's going on for us we've decided to slip back into a 6-1-1 schedule meaning six weeks on & 1 catch up week, 1 off week or very slow week.

We're hoping to use our off weeks, especially when we get on the other side of winter, for more camping adventures & such, but we'll see what comes of it. We use to use a 3-1 & 6-2 schedule when the boys were younger, but a few years ago we switched to a 10-2 schedule which worked well for us quite some time. 

I love that we can adapt our schedules so easily as needed for in our little homeschool. It can sure make things a lot more pleasant when/if something you're doing isn't working quite as well as you'd hoped.

As for this past week we've been having a few laughs over seeing all our American friends wrapping up school years & talking about summer holidays while we're just hitting the doldrums of winter weather around here!

Monday started off with swim lessons, we changed our lesson times to give us a wee bit more time before having to be at the pool from now on. The boys had their final week with the sub-teacher, in fact they were wondering when on earth their normal teacher would be back when we ran into him on our way out to the car.

Morgan wrote a lovely essay on The Trojan War as we finally wrapped up Black Ships Before Troy last week. He still needs to illustrate it, but I wanted him to get things on paper before he forgot the book. I actually had some review questions for him as we used the Writing With Skill method to guide him through his essay, not that he really needed the guides as he does an amazing job with what he's asked to write about. However, I chose to use the guided question to keep the flow moving forward as he loves giving detail & this restricts him a little bit. Considering we've put Writing With Skill on hold for a little while I was impressed with how much of it he not only remembers but eagerly puts to use. {In case you're wondering we learned that there's an upcoming online class that will be using the WWS book, & I'm waiting for more details as I consider enrolling him in it.}

We're still moving along with our poetry book for the year. It really has some lovely poems in it, some familiar some not. The boys thought I was joking around when I started reading the passage we memorised a few years ago from Luke about the birth of Christ. We've also had a few giggles about April bringing in spring as it brings in autumn here!

Nearly finished with our "30 Days with Jesus". Yes, I know it's taken us far more then 30 days, but there's something to be said for our persistence in sticking with it. Excuse the incredibly blurry photo, won't you? Morgan received the Get-A-Clue devotional over the holidays & we've been reading it ever since. It's well done in that over 7 days you have to read the devotional each day in order to figure out the mystery. 

Jayden is continuing with his lessons in Delta. I need to fast tract him quite a bit which is what I discovered with Morgan with Delta as well. As long as they know their multiplication facts, & know them well, they tend to fly through the first portion of this book. I'm pretty sure if I required him to sit for 10-20 minutes to do math he'd finish an entire weeks worth of pages if not two weeks. I have no problems with that, but I also don't see the point in having him dawdle when he could move forward. And yes, that's a Christmas hat & a Christmas table runner still up. The hat, actually came out for a movie the boys recorded recently, the runner never came down as it looks so nice up there. My sister-in-law gave it to me for Christmas two years ago & it was one of the only decorations to go up this year. I told her I need another for year round, a bit greedy of me wasn't it!

Morgan is still humming along with Epsilon, he's very eager to finish the book up. He's reached multi-step {as in 5-6 step} problems & by the end of the week he declared that, "My head is so full of numbers I can't tell which ones I need!" We'll pause on Lesson 23 next week as well to get him a bit more comfortable with all those steps before advancing forward again. I prefer for them to not only know the material but be extremely confident in what & why they are doing it. I find it causes less stress & set-backs in the long run.

We're reading A Child's History Of The World aloud as one of our many spines this year. I wouldn't say it's a strong spine for Morgan, but he enjoys it & it's very simplistic to read. I love that it's written directly to the child which makes it more engaging for them. This is why we also have him listening to the Mystery Of History volumes this year, to help balance it out with something a bit more at grade level. God King was our read aloud for the past couple of weeks & at along last we wrapped it up & returned it to the shelf. It was a really lovely read & Morgan really enjoyed listening to this one. We've been mixing in books from Winter Promise's Quest for Ancients & Kings & Carpenters is one such book. We're reading a couple pages a day & finding a whole lot of jobs we really wouldn't want to have! 

Morgan is reading The Children Of Noisy Village aloud to me this week. We'd hoped to wrap it up, but an unexpected call from Mr S in the middle of the day on Friday had us running around town like crazy & the book simply didn't get happen. It's a really sweet story & I'm enjoying listening to him. It's been a long road for him, & it's really amazing to see the progress he's made in the past 12 months. Not only is he capable of finally focusing on the smaller font in these books, but he's able to keep the pace set by the curriculum. While we've always adjusted for him, now that his eyes can cope with the smaller font, we're working on endurance. 

While I have no photos of it, Jayden wrapped up the book he was reading to me too. He was so proud of himself to finally be able to sit wherever he wants while I'm busy & read to me. He's been known to do a "Peter" in the past & skip difficult words. You know who Peter is, right? From Heidi. Remember how Grandmother preferred for Heidi to read because it always sounded better, not because Peter was a poor reader, but because something was always missing? Yep, I use to say to him, "Be a Heidi not a Peter." 

Morgan is flying along with his programming. He does hit brick walls now & again, but has quickly learned that when he does he simply needs to pack it up for the day & return to it the next day. Generally when he does that he can find his mistake{s} within a matter of seconds & is off rolling again. Jayden enjoys watching, & has hinted that he might like to have a go at it, we've told him maybe next year. He'd have to be willing to put the work into it & not just be in it for the testing portion that you do in MindCraft considering the price of the class.

We tried out or new science last week as well, all though we only touched briefly with it. I had hoped that perhaps I could combine them in the Level 3 Physics I'd purchased after the ordering conundrum I had with the Level 2 which was intended for Jayden. Unfortunately most of what we learned in Day 1 went sailing over Jayden's head which was evident by the slightly glazed look in his eyes & confirmed when he said, "So can you just sum that all up for me in words I actually might possibly really know instead of all this nonsense please?" Ahh, gotta love that kid!

I spent some of the weekend fleshing our plans that will work to combine them both without going over or under either person's head. While science is probably my weakest point it's one of Mr S' strongest so I tend to flesh things out & have him overlook it all to be sure I'm not missing anything. 

Aside from all of that we also had a day out with friends, which the boys absolutely loved. The crazy stories they've come back sharing still have us cracking up. We met up with our local home ed group for their annual swap meet, all though I'm delighted we didn't bring much home.

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