Friday, September 25, 2009

Weekly Report: Week 6

We've had another busy week with us going somewhere every day. Monday, Mika attended The Computer Clubhouse for the first time (details under "technology" below). Tuesday, we enjoyed warm, sunny weather at the park. Wednesday, Thursday, and Friday each had medical appointments scheduled. It will be nice to have a week in which we aren't gone somewhere every day; I need to do some serious catching up around the house!

Here's what we accomplished:


Language Arts: I'm still adding in bits and pieces of our curriculum each week. Spelling got added in this week. We're using Spelling Power; Mika is starting at level F this year. I input them into SpellQuizzer (see spelling ad at the top left) and let the kids use that to work through the lists. If they don't miss any, they can move on to the next list. If they miss even one word, they get to redo that list on subsequent days until they get to a day where they get 100% the first time through. She did the first two lists, for a total of 49 words, and didn't miss any. I also added grammar back into Mika's schedule. We are reviewing Grammar Town, which she read last year, before moving onto Practice Town. We reviewed types of phrases, including prepositional phrases, participial phrases, appositives, gerunds, and infinitives. We'll continue on these next week as she still forgets their names.

Math: Mika completed lesson 6 in Math-U-See Episilon which covered using the "Rule of Four" for adding and subtracting fractions. Most of us know it as cross-multiplying. This week's logic puzzles were the math perplexors; a couple of them were quite challenging. We also completed three problem solving problems this week.

Life Skills: This was Mika's week for cooking. She made us a couple of loaves of zucchini bread. I really wanted her to make some pumpkin bread but our stores aren't carrying canned pumpkin. : ( Tomorrow, I'll have her make some banana bread. With our hectic schedule, there wasn't any time for cleaning lessons, but Mika still completed her chores which included putting away dishes and washing a load of her own laundry.

Health and Fitness: Again, play time met most of our PE needs this week. We spent a few hours at a new park on Tuesday, where the kids played in the water, on the playground equipment, and tried to climb a tree. Since I posted 21 pictures of this park on my previous post, I won't repost them here.

Technology: Mika attended The Computer Clubhouse in Lakewood on Monday for her first time. I've heard of it before this year but became interested when I saw that Adobe Premier was one of the programs they work with (this is the program we bought Mika for editing videos). During her two hour class, she learned about Scratch, a program on the MIT website. She made an animation of an octopus swimming across the screen with bubble sounds and a game where a cartoon cat chases your mouse arrow. At the end of the class, all of the students participated in a capture the flag type video game in teams. She declared the class, "Awesome!"


Language Arts: Sam also started spelling this week using Spelling Power. We tried Spelling Power with him last year but it frustrated him to no end, sending us back to workbook mode for him. However, using the lists in SpellQuizzer has made all the difference. He loves SpellQuizzer and it doesn't frustrate him. He's working on Level C (20 words) in Spelling Power. He missed two words the first day but got them all right the next day. In Grammar Island, he read about adverbs and did a review activity where he identified the parts of speech for each word in four simple sentences.

Math: Sam completed a unit test for lessons 1-23, and did the tests for lessons 24 through 26. The new topics covered included using both additive inverse and multiplicative inverse to solve for an unknown and multiplying three fractions (ie. 2/3 x 3/4 x 2/7). He gets anywhere from 85% through 100% on these tests, showing that he really does know the material. Most of his errors are caused by either carelessness or messiness. He'll be done with the entire year after next week. We'll then take some time to review missed questions before beginning the next level. We also worked on math perplexors this week and three problem solving problems. Sam figured out one of the problem solving problems completely on his own.

Health and Fitness: Besides playing and the park day, Sam has been attending taekwondo. He had the opportunity to test for his next belt, but opted to delay testing until after the next tournament. Doing this, gives him extra time to practice his current form rather than having to learn a new form in time for the tournament.

Life Skills: This was Sam's off week for cooking. His only life skills were his chores this week.


Language Arts: We analyzed The Tale of Peter Rabbit using a blank plot map. We discussed various conflicts that would be discussed in the story. Then we chose the most obvious/easy one and completed the rest of the discussion based on that conflict. We identified the characters and setting. Then we discussed and identified the introduction, rising action, climax, denouement, conclusion, and theme of the story. We are also still listening to Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix on CD.

History: History was light this week. We read Chapter 7 of Story of the World Volume 2 which covered the fight for Mecca, the spread of Islam, the city of Baghdad, and Sinbad. The kids completed the map activity that went with the chapter.

Science: With the last half of chapter 14, we finished Exploring Creations with Zoology 3 this week. We read about land planarians, roundworms, ascaris and whipworms, hookworms, guinea worms, filarial worms, trichinella, pinworm, toxocara, and annelids. There were lots of icky things to learn about! We did an experiment to find out if earthworms prefer hot or cold. We also made a wormery, which we will be tending to for the next couple of months.

Social Studies: Discovering Harry Todd Park fits in the exploring resources in our community section of social studies. We also practiced more communication skills, specifically keeping a conversation going by commenting and asking a related question of another person in the group. The kids love this activity.

Fine Arts: We practiced more foreshortening activities which included drawing a simple table, a witch's hat, a top hat, and a gift box.

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