Friday, September 2, 2011

Week 1

We started school this week.  It was a crazy week, but I think it went well considering all that wasn't ready and the fact that I was trying to do a little bit of preschool with my younger two.

I'm hoping to do weekly reports on my blog again.  I always start the year with these and then, eventually, quit having the time.  Hopefully, we'll get to the end of the year this year.  This reports will focus on the older kids; I'll do a separate "Tot School" report for the little kids.

The older kids worked mostly independently.  There are a few things I still have a hand in: some discussion areas in language arts, writing lessons (initial lesson with them working independently on the assignment), science labs, art, Mika's math lessons, and Sam's math.  The latter has me doing every problem, too, because it is a topic I've never learned before in a curriculum that is extra challenging.  There's no way I could help him without doing the work as well; even the solutions are confusing if I don't have a basic knowledge of the work.  Even then, I ran into a problem that I had trouble understand with the solution provided.  Here's what they did:

Language Arts

Mika read the first 28 pages of her grammar book which covered nouns, pronouns, and adjectives.  This boook goes into much more detail, talking about different types of each basic part of speech.  Rather than just nouns, it covers things like common nouns, proper nouns, singular nouns, plural nouns, and concrete nouns.  There are more but I can't think of them without referring to the book.  She started her first chapter of vocabulary.  This book is so rigorous that I decided to take two years to go through the book.  Each of the first twenty chapters covers 25 stems from Latin, Greek, or Old English, and each chapter test is cumulative.   She also read the first 22 pages of her poetry book covering sounds in poetry and rhyme (masculine, feminine, half-double, elided, amphisbaenic, reverse, apophany).  No, I don't know what all of those are!

Mika reading her poetry textbook.

Sam read the first 41 pages of his grammar book which covered nouns, pronouns, adjectives, and verbs.  He learned about antecedents this year as part of his pronoun readings.  He completed his first chapter of vocabulary, which covered 5 stems.  In poetry, sounds in poetry and rhyme (end, internal, eye, masculine, feminine, near), rhyme scheme and end-stopped and enjambed rhyme.


Mika is working on finishing up MUS Zeta from last year.  Because we had to review fractions at the beginning of the year, she didn't finish her 6th grade book.  She learned about mean, median, and mode this week.

Sam is working in a brand new curriculum.  We're using Art of Problem Solving Introduction to Counting and Probability.  This stuff is HARD!  I've been working along with him, and it is really making us study and think.  Together we learned about counting lists of numbers (ie. how many numbers are there in the following list: 9, 12,...90, 93), Venn diagrams, counting combinations (ie. how many ways can you stack 6 books on a shelf if two books are math books and you want both the top and bottom books to be math), manipulating factorials, and counting permutations. 


Mika and Sam read a chapter on Captain Cook and the early history of Australia being a penal colony.  They read the textbook, read a couple of picture books* on Captain Cook and Australia, did a map page, completed the Story of the World test as a worksheet, and completed a test I wrote using the review questions in the Activity Guide.
Sam completing his history worksheet.


For astronomy, Mika read the introductory chapter of Apologia Astronomy.  Sam worked through the first chapter of his astronomy book.  I'm not following along with his so I'm not sure what it covered.  He has two weeks to work through each chapter and complete the self-test in the book.  We're using TOPScience modules for our astronomy labs and completed the first activity which involved making a compass with a baby jar, a steel pin, a cut out of the compass degrees, tape, water, and a magnet.

Cutting out the compass degrees.

Creating a tape fringe the compass circle will sit on.

For weather, the kids read an introduction about the atmosphere and about the layers of the atmosphere at the Jetstream website.

For geology, they learned which eight elements are most common in rocks and made a graph showing their percentages.
Mika's graph

Sam's graph

That's it for the week.  We didn't start the other subjects this week.

See what the littles did here.

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Emily said...

It sounds like you got off to a good start for the year. Our first week went well, too. :)

Mandy in TN said...

All that science looks fabulous!