Friday, September 4, 2009

Weely Report: Week 3

UPDATE: Anything that I mentioned that we were doing today is being put off. We're taking a field trip the Pacific Science Center.

It will be interesting when we are finally up to speed and getting all of our subjects done. I'm not sure how we'll accomplish everything as our days (or at least mine) seem full already. But, I'll figure that out a little bit at a time. I'm not too worried about any of them except language arts since that is a core subject.

There were a couple of things I didn't get to last week so we finished up over the weekend. One of them was a science activity where the kids attempted to walk dinosaur-style (on all fours with legs and arms under their body) and lizard-style (on all fours with legs sprawling as far out to the side as possible). The other was Mika's cooking assignment. Rather than repeat everything Sam had done during his egg week, I opted to show the kids what meringue is by having Mika make a lemon meringue pie. Unfortunately, no one but Scott liked it.

Now for this week...


Language arts: Nada. We are waiting for the arrival of some computer software so Mika can continue with her current assignment.

Math: Mika completed her third lesson for Math-U-See, which covered adding and subtracting fractions with the same denominator. So far, her math has been super easy for her. Based on what I've seen with Sam's math (he's several lessons ahead), I think math is going to be easy for her this year. She's actually liking it.

PE: Mika did some bike riding around the block. We also spent a couple of hours at the park where the kids swung, climbed, and explored.

Home Ec: This week marked the beginning of our other focus of home ec: cleaning. This week, we just talked about the whys of homemaking from a Christian woman point of view.


Language Arts: We covered adjectives for Sam's grammar.

Math: Sam completed five more lesson tests for Epsilon. They covered dividing fractions, finding greatest common factor, reducing fractions using the greatest common factor, finding prime factors, reducing fractions using prime factorization, and finding length that's less than an inch. Math for Sam has been interesting. He already learned most of what is normally taught for working with fractions, which is why he's going through the lesson tests rather than the entire workbook. However, I've been giving him a lesson for each day, mostly so he knows what is expected on the test for the day. (Sometimes it is hard to know exactly what is expected since it is taught incremental steps or he knows a different way to do it.) He's definitely getting it without any issues.

PE: Besides bike riding and our trip to the park, Sam participate in 7 hours of taekwondo instruction this week. Each belt level has three strips, representing the belt's cooresponding hand technique, kicking technique, form, and one-step sparring. Sam earned his third stripe for his high red belt this week. That means, it was determined that he knows three of those form items. When he gets all four stripes, he'll continue to practice them until he is eligible to test and the instructor or master deems him ready.

Home Ec: This was Sam's week to do cooking lessons. The lesson focused on baking muffins using Bisquick. I explained that what Bisquick is and that we use a homemade version. Then, rather than baking the blueberry muffins in the lesson, I had him make a muffin that had a bit of strawberry jelly in the center off the Betty Crocker website. Sam doesn't like blueberry muffins so I thought he'd enjoy trying something different instead. He also made some brownies from a box mix.


Problem Solving: I decided to slow down on the problem solving and do just one problem a day. The primary reason for this is that I noticed some of the problems require knowledge of math that the kids, especially Mika, hadn't covered yet. I'd have to explain the basic math (ie. fractions) in the process of explaining the whole problem. This would take more time than I want to devote to this subject. In slowing down, we'll complete one olympiad per week and the book will last a little more than two years. One exciting development is that both kids were able to figure out the answer to Thursday's problem with a couple of hints. We're getting there!

Logic: Our perplexors this week were the "math perplexor" variety. In this variety, all of the answers involve numbers and the clues typically include comparisons. They were a bit harder for the kids and slowed them down a bit. We've been working them together, and I'm happy to say that the kids were getting better at them by the end of the week.

Science: We read the first half of our arachnid chapter. Mika doesn't like spiders at all, but she definitely has more interest in them after reading the spider section of the chapter. In fact, the "Try This" activity for spiders was one of her favorite activities. We used yarn and build our own orb web following the typical steps a spider would take. Mika then added a paper spider and egg sac. Then the kids took great pleasure in ripping the web down. We also enjoyed looking at pictures and videos of the goliath tarantula. That's one big spider!

BTW...the kids are pretending to be stuck flies on the web in the photo. LOL

History: We completed chapter 3 of Story of the World Volume 2 which covered monks and writing books by hand, including illumination. We listened to the three stories on CD, answered the narrations questions verbally, and did the math work. We also read Life in a Medieval Monastery, The Holy Twins, and Marguerite Makes a Book. We had a monk's supper of lentils, crusty wheat bread, cheddar cheese (I had to pass on the cheese), apples, pears, and apple cider. The kids colored a picture of an illuminated letter. We also made quills from some craft feathers we had and tried writing with them using grape juice concentrate for ink.

The kids really got a kick writing with their quills. Sam actually wrote an entire imaginary letter.

Literature: We began using what I've learned from Teaching the Classics to analyze literature using the Socratic method. Mr. Andrews recommends beginning with picture books because their elements are very easy to pick out. As I was reading Josh one of his picture books from last week, I realized it would be a perfect book to begin with. We read Hilda Must be Dancing, which is a very simple and fun little book about a hippo that likes to dance much to her fellow jungle animals dismay. We started by discussing the poetic elements used by the author. This book has some great examples of onomatopeia and rhyme. There's also some alliteration in there. Then we discussed the setting, characters, plot, and theme of the book. Today, we'll be covering the exposition, rising action, climax, denouement, and conclusion.

Reading: We are still listening to Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire on CD. We've really been enjoying this series; the reader on the CD does an excellent job. Both kids finished reading Beowulf independently. Mika finished Starlight, a book in the Warrior series. Sam is working on it now. While she is waiting for the next Warrior book to become available, she decided to read Favorite Medieval Tales.


Preschool Prep: I didn't do as well with Josh this week. We did however read a few kitten themed picture books and do some counting to 3 with him. He took part in the dino/lizard activity I spoke about and enjoyed watching, and trying to wreck, the web we made.

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The Four Week Vegan said...

Sounds likes lots was accomplished and a fun fieldtrip is a great idea to end the week. Have fun!

Anonymous said...

LOL! Great week and loved the pics. :-)

Paige said...

Looks like a good week, love the spider web!