What we are using

23 March 2012

Week 26

My school enrichment this week has included some wonderful recordings from the Society for Classical Learning's conference last year.  I spent a couple hours in the mornings listing to conference lectures to help re-inspire my homeschool.

Book Highlights This Week:
LB's favorite book this week was The Sailor and the Sea Witch.
CC's fiction read this week is A Drowned Maiden's Hair which is full of Gothic mystery.

Here's how our week went:
Monday -
CC worked on her application essay for a summer volunteer position.  It is a very different type of writing than she's done before, but it is coming along nicely.  She also worked on math, cello, history and memory.

LB is making great progress with her writing.  We've started WWE1 which she is loving.  I'm glad we didn't start at the first of the year.  She is also doing longer sentences in cursive and doing all of the writing in ETC5.  She's reading CLP1 and Little Bear daily.  I've been reading The Wonderful Wizard of Oz to her,  she's working on her CC memory work, and she's still making slow and steady progress in Saxon 2. She finished the day with tap dancing class.

Tuesday focus on  Fifth Grade-
CC and I had a great discussion about John Locke thanks to Jefferson's Truths from MCT.  CC had always thought that the ideals from the  Declaration of Independence where nascent (her words  :)  ).  She appreciates how the founding fathers turned the ideas into a rebellion and a revolution, but now understands that the ideas were much older.  We went on from our discussion of equality and the Divine Right of Kings to contrast it with the Mandate of Heaven and Locke's ideas of the legitimacy of government.  These discussions are my favorite part of homeschooling. 

She's  been working on research and writing using the Crusades as her topic.  She'd originally thought to base today's paper in Cairo and began researching "the history of Cairo."  After she'd been reading for a half hour I asked her how it was going to which she replied, "I've learned that Cairo has a VERY long history and this will take a while."  We pulled out Spielvogel's Western Civilization and read the chapter covering the crusades to help her refocus her research.  Learning to pick a topic is an important part of learning to write.

Other than our philosophy discussion, her history research and writing, math and cello, she spent the rest of her day reading more Horrible Histories.

Wednesday -
I'm so glad we now take Wednesday's off.  It is a relief to us all.  The girls made cookies, cake and jello for a spring party while I focused on my busy day at work.

Thursday - Focus on First Grade -
 The version of Rapunzel we have ends with  "they lived happy and content."  LB asked why they lived content instead of happily ever after which is a wonderful question.  We discussed what content means then went back through the story to find references to people who were not content and what the consequences were.  It was a great discussion.  We then read over the historical notes about the story and noted that the illustrations show scenes of an Italian countryside and are set during the Renaissance so we talked about the time and place of the story.  I think that every time we read one of these beautiful tales, we are enriched by the reading and inspired by our discussions.  Even in first grade, it is the discussions that I love most about homeschooling.

LB's phonics is ahead of her reading, but that is okay.  We had put the reading on hold because of her visual perception problems.  The reading is improving every week.  Her handwriting is wonderful - both print and cursive.  When we do handwriting, she and I will both practice the same sentence which encourages her to try to make hers prettier than mine.  My handwriting is improving too.

I waited until she was able to copy a complete sentence before we started WWE1 which seems to be perfect timing for her.  For math, we're still going slow and steady.  I'm much more focused on reading and writing at this time so the slow progress in math is exactly what I want.

Outside of school today, LB spent some time looking up information about horses on the internet and making  a presentation about an Arabian horse which she named Candy.  She also colored in a horse coloring book while listening to her Classical Conversations memory work. She watched part of Growing Up Wild, made meatballs for dinner, and went to judo.

Friday  and MATH-
Instead of our usual science with friends  today, we took a nature walk with our friends.  We also did our normal work - reading, writing and math.

CC and I had a discussion this week about math word problems because she'd found the ones in her test prep book boring.  She spent a good portion of her math time this week making word problems to see what kind of work went into making a good problem.  Here is her first try:

The Football Fiasco
84 people want plain hotdogs, 96 people want catsup on their hotdogs and 24 people want mustard on their hotdogs.  If 2/3 of the people buying hotdogs go to a football game and there are 1005 seats in the stadium, then 56 more people come, how many empty seats are in the stadium?  If there are 102 women in the stadium, how many men are there?

I started LB with the Life of Fred Elementary series this week as a supplement to our normal work.  We finished three chapters the first day and three the second day.   So far she is enjoying it and feeling very successful.  I can't yet judge how it would be as a main math program since Apples starts well below where we were but moves through different topics.

Overall,  today was a lovely end to a busy, but lovely week.  We're looking forward to some more beautiful weather this weekend and spring break next week.

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