Weekly Report: Week 1 – August 29, 2011

We’ve (almost – science today) finished our second week back. Overall I’m pleased with how much we’ve gotten done, despite some very hectic weeks (this week it was the sewer backing up – what fun).

Accomplishments: 

  • Jonathan’s Latin review is going well. We’ve dropped back several lessons in Getting Started with Latin and are reviewing 2 (or 3) a day, orally. After wrapping up GSWL, we’ll start Nutting’s Latin Primer. Jonathan is also reviewing / cementing some math concepts with Math Mammoth. I love that it’s independent, but I prefer the length of MEP’s worksheets.
  • David is enjoying Minimus. He also made a fabulous leap forward with his handwriting. He went from s-u-p-e-r slow and complaining, with poorly formed letters, to a more normal pace and nice, legible writing. He finished cursive for the first 26 phonograms (also known as the alphabet) this week. Friday I gave him a short sentence from his geography to copy, and he did great.
  • Andrew is still working on number association. He counts well (in Spanish too) but doesn’t yet now the written number. He loves doing school however. We are doing FIAR together (and the older boys usually listen too) and he loves it. We just finished Ping this week. (We use each book two weeks, three days a week, including the Christian Character Supplement.)
  • I’m having David & Andrew wash pots and pans in the morning while I work with Jonathan. That is my best idea this year – works great, the pots get clean, and my youngest sons learn how to buckle down and work without big brother’s help.
  • BFSU (Building Foundations in Scientific Understanding) is loved too. We are doing a fast pace for Jonathan & David, we’ll finish the first book this year; and a normal pace for Andrew, finishing about 1/3 of the book.

Vintage Finds:

  • Home Geography for the Primary Grades – nice, short lessons that show rather than tell. It included a little paragraph to copy, which is what I abbreviated from for David. (I wrote every other line on a sheet of wide-lined paper, and he wrote below my handwriting.) I had Jonathan copy directly from the printed page, which was a challenge for him. He did the first full sentence. 
  • Hurlbut’s Story of the Bible – elegant and true to the Bible, but really connects the story together. I only wish the chapters where more consistent in length. You can read it free at Main Lesson, and if you buy it go with Yesterday’s Classics (owner of Main Lesson). She has retyped the books, kept the illustrations, and for ebooks, put in a proper Table of Contents.

Changes (You all new this was coming…)

  • Writing Road to Reading is being replaced by Spell To Write and Read again. I’m going to make my own charts on the computer to cut down on the kids’ writing, and I’ll use some ideas from WRTR, but I’m going back to SWR because it’s easier to structure. I found the word list in WRTR hard to follow (some words are repeated, some are examples only and not for the spelling book, etc.). WRTR has fewer charts / reference pages, which is one idea a may adapt; it also only repeats some words, not all of them. (SWR does each word twice.) So I’m going to be a SWR heretic. Jonathan will be doing 40 words a week, David 20. Andrew will be doing the phonograms (which are the same). I have the two books coming, but will be looking for some phonogram cards. (Or making some…)
  • My MOTH (Managers of Their Homes) schedule has changed almost daily. REALLY frustrating. Splitting myself between two school age, a kindergarten, and a toddler is difficult. I’ll try to post it later. Next week I’m going to plan 1-on-1 with the eldest for spelling (dictation) and Latin. For their other boxes I’ll be available, and I have a list of activities they can do while waiting for me.

I want to note I’m not trying to spam the Amazon links. When I post products anywhere, I try to include some type of website for more information. And I love Amazon, their prime / student membership, and all the reviews. Plus I have the Amazon Associates wizard, so links are super easy. So I hope they are helpful to anyone who needs them.

I also want to thank the poster on The Well Trained Mind Forums who recommended XrtaMath. It has video instructions and runs the kids through a nice review of basic facts. It’s on my list of very helpful websites, along with Spelling City and Dance Mat Typing.

We’re still searching for our groove this year, but it was a good week overall.

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