Thursday, October 1, 2009

Weekly Report - Week 7

In addition to our regular work, we tried something different this week. I need to make more of an effort to find time for Josh and his needs. So, on Thursday, we went to the Tacoma Children's Museum for a trial run of an idea I have. My goal was to give Josh some fun activities away from home (and the computer, Wii, TV) while still having time for the big kids to get their school work done. So, we took our work with us. Mika and Sam spent the first part of our time there working independently on school at the art tables while I supervised Josh playing with the museum's exhibits. When one of the big kids had a question, they had to come find me but overall it worked ok. After a while, they were rewarded for getting some school done with free time in the museum. They would have gotten more done at home but then Josh would have spent his time alone on a screen somewhere. It looks like taking our work with us to do while Josh gets play time might be a decent compromise as long as we make an effort to make up for the lost time on days we're at home.


Language Arts: Mika passed another two spelling lists (40+ words) this week, though she missed two words on her initial practice run through Spellquizzer. She had it after that though. In grammar, I have her rereading the section on phrases, one phrase at a time. Then she writes three sentences demonstrating each phrase type: prepositional, appositive, gerund, participle, and infinitive. One of her sentences with an appositive phrase was "Mikaela, a beautiful girl, slept in." LOL Yes, she's beautiful, and she does sleep in often.

Math: Mika's math was comparing fractions using the "rule of four" to find equivalent fractions with the same denominator.

Technology: Mika's computer class focused on RPG maker this week. They made a game of simplistic stick figures who walked around fighting premade cartoon figures.


Language Arts: Sam passed his spelling test of 15 words. I think he only have one of them that he needed to practice during the week: except. In grammar, he read about conjunctions and prepositions.

Math: Sam's math lessons included using additive and multiplicative inverse to solve for the unknown when it has a fractional coefficient and changing a fraction to a decimal to a percent. That latter lesson only included fractions that converted nicely into a fraction with 100 as a denominator, like 4/5 or 3/4. The next Math-U-See level focuses on decimals and will cover turning any fraction into a percent. He finished Episilon and only has the final exam to complete. Before I have him take that, we'll spend next week reviewing any problems he got wrong on the previous lessons.

Health and Fitness: As always, Sam continues to go to taekwondo an hour a day.

Life Skills: Sam learned how to start bread using our bread machine. We'll be continuing this lesson over the weekend so I can show him how to shape, proof, and bake the bread.


Language Arts: Some of our language arts lessons are combined. We read Where the Wild Things Are discussed it via the story chart. The picture below is what our white board looks like during one of these discussions.

You can click for an enlarged photo in which you can sort of read what's on the board.

We also began our writing curriculum this week. Last year, I had Mika use the Student Writing Intensive by Excellence in Writing. This year, I decided to work with both kids using the Teaching Writing: Structure and Style, which is also by Excellence in Writing. For our first lesson on units 1 and 2, I found a paragraph about the Grand Canal in China in our Kingfisher History Encyclopedia for our source text. We used that paragraph to make a keyword outline and turn that outline into their own paragraphs about the Grand Canal.

History: We started our history studies with a review of Chapters 6 and 7 by playing a game. We used a game board provided in the student pages of Story of the World. It said to enlarge it but we just used it as is. Our markers were different colored pony beads, we borrowed a die from another game, and we used a Dannon drinkable yogurt container as a die shaker. The kids actually enjoyed the game, and we were reminded of what we had learned about the beginnings of Islam.

We also read through Chapters 9 which covered the Sui and Tang dynasties in China and the Yamato dynasty in Japan. Of course, the Grand Canal was discussed in our reading, which is why I chose it for our writing assignment. We'll be having a Japanese meal of Osumashi (Clear Soup), Gohan (Rice), Goma-ae (Sesame Seed Dressing) on broccoli and cauliflower, and Beef Teriyaki.

Science: We began our new science text, which focuses on flying creatures. We read about the classification system and came up with our own mnemonic devices for remembering it. Mika came up with the most clever one: Kittens Pounce Carefully On Fancy Glass Slippers. We read about aspects of flight: lift, drag, airfoil, and air pressure. We did a simple activity demonstrating how air pressure works. We also read about habitats and instinct.

Social Studies: We read and discussed the next lesson in our social skills book. This lesson talks about not always making the conversation about you. The book also had a section about "out ouching" the other person. This is where they share something unpleasant and you relate to them by sharing your similar, but worse, unpleasant experience. I know in both cases, the person making the social error is probably just trying to related to the other person but it comes across as them wanting to talk about themselves. I know I do this a lot (and that Sam shares a lot of my social difficulties) so we'll spend some time on this lesson.

Fine Arts: We finished the lesson on foreshortening, which had quite a few different items to draw utilizing the technique. The funny thing about our fine arts is that I bought (through our virtual academy) a sketch books, drawing pencils, and erasers for the teacher (me). I figured I would need a set so I could demonstrated the lessons. Well, I've been using the white board instead.

Can you tell I like my white board? I use it constantly and it isn't nearly big enough.

Here's a gift box that Mika used using a foreshortened square. The lesson also added some very basic shading and cast shadow.

This is a "simple table" that Sam drew. He drew really tall tables. The circle on the side is an "extra". The curriculum was written for children with lots of cartoony add ons and encourages the kids to add in funny extras like holes in tables with characters hanging out or tables with hands holding funny signs. Sam added a hole and draw a candle from an earlier practice session on top. His table also has a basic shadow and undershadow added to it.

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Audrey said...

Wow! You had a great week! I'll be posting ours very soon.

Unknown said...

I recognize those pictures. Are you doing Draw Squad too? My son was really into it for a while, but um..then he got Guitar Hero. This is a good reminder to me that we need to pull that book back out.

Also, I love your creative thinking in bringing school to the museum.

Christie said...

Great week!! We sometimes (during nicer weather) take school to the park. One day last week I had Nathan bring some of his work to the preschool story time at the library, and of course our school travels with us when we follow Daddy around as he works out of town sometimes. LOVE that about homeschooling, so flexible!!