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I love the Lord as much as a broken person can; love and loved by my husband; blessed by 5 amazing little people who have helped me to learn much about me; grateful to serve even more as God gives them to me; blessed every day to be a home school teacher; college student; I hope to change the world by loving as many people as possible, because there is nothing greater than loving another.

Saturday, August 28, 2010

Week in Review Aug. 23-27, 2010 History heavy version

I'll start with our big change. I rearranged the order I teach and enlisted the Elder boys in a timelier Gilbert Academy. In other words, instead of, "Here's your list of things to do, get it done," we went to 45-60 min. "periods" for each subject. It worked much better. It means an added responsibility for me, but hey, it's worth it b/c by the end of the day, they are finished with school and I don't have to be the nagging home school police. MUCH happier people and a much cleaner house, as we have time for chores b/c there's less homework. Diva is happier b/c she gets her teaching block over with earlier and since she does a lot of her work while in her bed at night (she's a night owl), she's finished by late morning...for the day! She continues Family Math with AtG mid-morning. Go, Diva!  Lil' Mother is left to her own devices b/c she ALWAYS gets her work done. The Little Leaguers practice independence via their checklist first thing during the day, which seems to have them better prepared for our lesson time; and I get to enjoy K with AtG, instead of trying to cram in his lessons wherever they'll fit. It worked out much better! Here's our M, T, Th. Friday; with independent work italicized:

Mom: Bible/Hymns , K phonics, UG Teaching Block (all LA, math); Grammar teaching block (all LA, math, memory work in 5 min. spurts between subject areas); Family History; Family Science                          

Little League: Bible/ Hymns, Reading; Computer drills; Math, Math, memorization, Language Arts, memorization, Bible video (Diva leads this and comes up with her own questions), History, Science

Elder Brothers: Math, Vocab., Latin, computer drill; science; writing; history; electives/FLVS (switched order so they can share one computer) with Gov't in the middle so they get a break from the computer.

I've also decided to do more of a rotating schedule with History and Science. We love both areas, so we tend to do a lot in both subjects, but too much is killing me on time and will eventually exasperate my sweet dc; so I decided we'll rotate daily b/t science and history so we can do our 20 min. of reading and some sort of concrete writing with what we've learned. I've found over the years, if I wait until the next day to write about what we're doing, we lose too much and we're at a place where they are learning to pull important information and either outline or generate their own sentences. I like reinforcing this across the board, so rotating will help us on time and also save any exasperation that comes from writing in LA, History and Science in one day. I will take a narration from their independent work if they have a writing portion from the other subject. If not, they will write from their reading. I have a goal: to produce solid writers. and I'm going to develop a reading list for their independent time that will cover each subject on our "off" days. In other words, if we have family History, they're independent reading will be science. If we do Science, the independent reading will be history. I'm blessed that all that time in Phonics Road has paid off and I have two solid readers who aren't afraid to ask for help if they don't know a word and PR has really improved writing skills in my younger children. My other dc didn't do this well, this early, at least not with independent writing.

Here's the jist of the week:

History, geography, church history:

Family Read Aloud, Across Five Aprils by Irene hunt
Family Projects: Cumulative Map Project of when states joined; President cards or mini-books; Memorizing the Gettysburg Address; D and R doing a Civil War battles project board.

Lower and Upper Grammar
We have begun our studies on the Civil War using, If You lived at the Time of the Civil War, by Kay Moore We made cards (copied from the book) of important persons during the Civil War.
We'll be making matching description cards to play memory and other matching games to help them put faces to names and to get to know the "famous people." Notice the red and blue matting to show Union and Confederate folks.

We colored a map to show secession and wrote a collaborated summary (I wrote their sentences, then they did copy work) of the Civil War thusfar: The Civil War started in 1861. South Carolina was the first state to secede from the Union and so the first shot was fired at Fort Sumter, South Carolina. The South wanted to secede because they thought Northerners would end slavery and the farms would lose a lot of money. They thought they had the right to leave and make their own governments.
They started their first list of daily independent reading using the following books w/ a certain number of pages assigned daily. They are responsible for 3-5 sentences daily summarizing The Story of Harriet Tubman, Conductor of the Underground Railroad by Kate McMullan.
In the Beginning one topic area daily, about 1 paragraph
The Big Book of US Presidents or DK Presidents = T, Th one or two pages on one president
The Big Book of America - W, F only one state = 1 page
Civil War (A Libraryof Congress Book) 5 pages daily (at least 2.5 of those are great illustrations)
Upper Grammar:
Same map and cards as above, reading:
The Civil War for Kids is Dialectic selection and I couldn't go through this time period without introducing Great Expectations. She LOVES Little Women, so she's reading it for the zillionth time. The Civil War! book will be gravy for the next 7.5 weeks, so she's reading 19 pages per week. There are some great illustrations in this one, too. She's also reading SOTW 4 as assigned in TOG. The Lincoln biographies in the picture will be used to complete a 4-week Writing Aids assignment on how to write a biography.
Lil' Mother is also reading Civil War!, The Civil War for Kids, Little Women and Great Expectations. In addition, she's using Abraham Lincoln's World, Streams of Civilizations 2 and The Gift of Music. There's a lot of books to read for the next 3 weeks, but many of the books are only a few pages each week. It looks worse than it is :)
She's writing a letter to someone special with ink made from berries; cooking Civil War era food; and the same map work as LG and UG. She turned in her Core Reading Outline. She almost finished with her Constitution Workbook.

Rhetoric: In addition to their Civil War adventure, the Elder boys continue to learn about Europe's progress as well and completed a map on Italy's reunification and expansion.They turned in their core outlines. They're making progress on their Constitution Workbooks.

RoGD asked me to include this b/c he says all the highlighting and note taking make him look smarter than he is :)
Eyewitness to the Civil War is AWESOME! Great illustrations, captions and so well written. It's one to buy for sure! Great Expectations and The Age of Nationalism and Reform.  They're also referring to: Music: An Appreciation.
Lower Grammar: none history related; still finishing Farmer Boy as they read aloud to me
Uppe Grammar, Dialectic and Rhetoric: 2nd Worksheet on Tom Sawyer, Great Expectations, Little Women
One worksheet on Little Women

Physics: All grammar and Dialectic: We studied motion, acceleration, more on speed and velocity. Newton's 3 Laws of Motion.The girls continued with outlining, summarizing, and defining per their lesson plan. The Little League focused in on the 3 Laws via dictation and illustrations from DK Science Encyclopedia. We're very serious about science, as you'll see from our pictures.
Superstar science
Ninja science works too.

High School Honors Biology:
The boys finished up Module 2 and took their tests. They did well. RoGD got 38/39 and did a super job on his study guide. BBD is learning to actually complete his assignments in order to prosper fully on the test...lazy bones is getting a grip. After a 75% on Test 1, he came back with a 100% on Test 2.

Phonics Road - a complete Language Arts Program
Pre-level 1 added g to the mix this week via green gum, gamecube, and gun (boys will be boys). He blended well this week and read the words god, gad, cod, cad. You should have seen his smile when I told him he was reading. Brought real joy to my heart. 
To see more on how to facilitate an OG phonics program, check out these pages. I'll be adding how to blend soon!

Level 2: This week we carried on in Grammar with adverbs and verb tenses. In spelling, I slowed down and practice missed words in weeks 26 & 27. Now that the words are getting longer, I can see the ill effects of The Ants "whole language" training in public school K. I posted about it here.  You can read an entire thread on whole language versus phonics here.

Level 3: In grammar we continued with adverbs and added conjunctions. Using PR3, each time you add a part of speech, you dictate and mark sentences, preparing the way for diagramming. This program is so complete and so easy once you get the hang of it. Now that we're where I want to be, we're only doing one lesson per day and taking a total of 15-20 min. of teaching time, with maybe 10-15 more minutes of independent work. Retention is outstanding.
Our literature study in Robert Fulton, Boy Craftsman was fun this week! Again, if you're wondering about writing, here's a sample of the exercises completed in weeks 12 and partial 13:

Venn Diagram
Specific details

Story Mapping and understanding parts of a story.
Using the book, we pulled each of these examples and saw how one might dully write as opposed to description. It was a great week. Diva's writing will bloom from this study, I am sure of it!

AtG practiced writing numbers, dot to dot, shapes, and made cookies to talk about a dozen.   Diva is the best math teacher ever :)

The Ant worked on number families some more and completed 5 lessons per day of Singapore 1A. Yup. Five lessons per day. He needs practice in this area and I want to familiarize him with Singapore. MUS is outta here. I liked it for fraction boot camp and for a nice and gentle intro. to Algebra, but I do not like it for anything else.
Ax Man had lots and lots of word problems as he learned to draw his own bar graphs and work through all the parts, wholes, differences and key words in word problems. He has a great mind for math.
DyD more decimals this week -- holding a 100% average.
Lil' Mother worked on exponents, order of operations, properties of real numbers.
Bard worked on square roots of square roots
ROGD did more with functions, graphs, calculating graphs

Write Shop we ended up getting behind in WriteShop, so we started over with lesson 9. No real reason, just busy doing other things, so we took the week off. The topic this week: describe an animal of your choice. Looking good so far!

The Latin Road to English Grammar- half way through week 12.

Logic and Editor in Chief...moving along as scheduled.

FLVS - HOPE - Bard is finally in the grade book; while RoGD is flying through both HOPE and Dr. Ed. He should be finished with Dr. Ed by the end of next week.

RoGD played I So Hate Consequences by Reliant K for the YPD of several churches at a breakfast fellowship. I'm a proud Momma. The link is not him, I wasn't there to video tape it :)

Well, if you're still reading this, I thank you for indulging me, you may be a saint :) Next 2 weeks will be slimmer, as our history will be less info. and more "working through" what is here now. Hope you had a successful week!



Dee said...

Wow! I'm so impressed with how much you actually get done in a week. I feel lazy when I read what you get done. LOL!

I really like what you wrote about writing down things right away before they are forgotten. It also gave me some ideas.

Since I lightened up our load, and like you, my goal is to have very good writers, I am thinking of having Josh read in the mornings (a book of my choosing) and either write two or three sentences from the chapter he read, or do copywork from two or three sentences that he thinks exhibit quality writing. (lively adjectives, etc.)

This is why I love to read what others are doing, because it gives me great ideas for my own! And ideas are free! ;)

Have a great weekend!

Dee said...

ps Love the super star and ninja science...(giggle)

Sydni said...

What a great week. I enjoyed reading about your schedule and how and why you changed it up.

Daisy said...

You've inspired me! I love your history and writing. A truly wonderful week.

Carrie said...

I read every word here!! I plan on starting TOG in a couple of years, and I love to see how others use it!!

Thanks for sharing!


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