Saturday, January 11, 2014

Homeschool week 4

After an extended Christmas vacation thanks to snow and ice, we are finally back to school!  We started week 4 this week.

Before we started this week, I had to sit down and map out the schedule from now until the end of the year.  Of course, this is something that should probably done before we start, but since our "start" came on rather quickly, I didn't have the chance to really sit down really plan it out.

Of course, the curriculum is all planned out for me, but because we started late I had to figure out if it was possible to get through the entire curriculum with the time we have left.  Because Luke went to public school for the first 2 months I don't really "have" to finish the entire curriculum but I really hate to waste it!  With that said, we are doubling up on a lot of things each week to try to accomplish this task.

His handwriting, spelling and math will be easy to get ahead on.  In fact, he's already far enough ahead with math that we can actually slow down at this point and still finish early in May.  This will be helpful as we start doubling on other things.  Science will be a bit more of a challenge to get through, but we are going about it by having science each day rather than only two days a week (like the guide suggests).

The hardest thing to double up on is the Sonlight Core...History, reading and language arts.  There is a lot of reading and writing here and it just takes time.  But, I think we can do it!  He has been getting up and getting started right at 7am so he gets his Bible, handwriting, spelling and math out of the way before we even start breakfast, so then we can spend the rest of the time working on the Core stuff.

We'll see.  I don't want to stress him out, or stress myself out.  But, if we do this, it will make next year seem like a piece of cake when we start at the right time with no doubling of anything!

This week an article was shared with me that I enjoyed.  I have to preface it by saying that I really have no idea what the background is on the "TED talks" or even what that is and that I also don't know anything about this boy and his overall "world view".  But, in this article is a video of a 13 year old who was pulled from school and he shares his insight on this.  I really like the way he explains home schooling and it's benefits...and my favorite is that he renamed it "hack schooling"....I kinda like it:)  If you have 15 minutes or so, I would recommend watching the video.

Of course, it seems that a lot of these articles seem to "bash" public schools and teachers...and while I do think that there are frustrations there, I don't think that it is the school staffs fault.  They do their best and I do think that they try to implement some of the "TLC's" that are talked about here, but that having to do it for 20 kids in one classroom is hard and they can only do so much!  I really don't want to be that type of home school mom who bashes public school...because for many (most), it's the only option and I'm glad that the school staff is there to provide that option!  I think most of the educators out there have the same frustrations with the government as we do, and I just want to be sure that it's clear that I don't blame our teachers:)  

Here is the article and the video:

So as far as week 4 looks a whole lot like the previous weeks:)

Bible:  Luke has continued to read through his Adventure Bible.  He read about Joseph and has started learning about Moses.  Over the week I read to him Luke 7-8:39.

He learned about the Aztecs this week in his American Indian Prayer guide.

He finished up learning Psalm 8 and can recite it..for the most part, with a one word reminder here and there:)  We will move on to a verse in Romans for next week, but I will continue to have him recite Psalm 8.

History/Geography:  He read from the Childrens Encyclopedia of American history and the book "The Very First Americans".  It's a continuation of learning about the different tribes and how they are similar but very different according to where they live and their environments.  He got a globe for Christmas and he really enjoys looking at it and getting a great visual of all of the places he is learning about.

Reading:  He started the book "The Sign of the Beaver" this week and is really enjoying it...I'm really enjoying it too:)  We also finished up "Lawn Boy".  For some reason this was not his favorite, but really it is a great book.  I think maybe in a few years he will be able to relate more to this story.  He is continuing the book "Pocahontas and the Strangers".  He enjoys this one as well.
(For now, and probably for a few years, all of the reading he does is out loud to me, or me reading to him.  I can tell that he needs this so that we can stop every now and then and discuss it.  He is great at reading the words, but needs practice and really understanding what he is reading.  It's ok though, because I love spending the time with him and so far the books are great!)

Spelling:  He worked through lesson 4 in his workbook this week.  At the end of the week he got 2 wrong on the test.  I let him work through that more independently this week, but I think next week will spend slightly more time really making sure he is getting it right.  Not that he has to get 100% every time, but I think it was just a matter of focus this week and we can remedy that!

Handwriting:  He worked on a new letter each day this week and will be finishing up the alphabet next week so he can working on the lessons that are writing words.  He still doesn't love writing in cursive:)

Science:  We finished up the lesson on the sun and learned some great things!  We had some interesting discussion on where color comes from and how color is really different waves of light from the sun, bouncing off objects into our eyes.  It is our eyes/brain that translates the color waves into an actual color.  This brings up the question, if you are not looking at something, does it have color?  We've gone around and around with this concept.  He learned what a solar eclipse is and made a box that will allow him to be able to look at the sun and not hurt his eyes...although, we haven't tried it yet because we haven't seen the sun for a few days!  This week we also watched the Louie Giglio video's called "Indescribable" about how BIG our universe is and how much BIGGER our God is who created it all.  Luke enjoyed this video.  He has a science journal that he works through along with the lessons.

Language Arts:  He worked on dictation passages and also learned about synonyms.  He had to use a picture (that was provided) and write a story about it remembering to use some of the concepts that he has been learning.  He also worked on a letter that he sent out on Friday to Mark and Kirsten.

Vocabulary:  We made a list of words that he didn't understand throughout all of the reading that we did.

Math:  (I almost forgot about math again!).  He worked through two lessons this week.  We are now at the point where we can slow down as I think we've caught up enough in that book.  He is doing very well with his multiplication.  It's funny because he says he hates math...but it totally comes naturally to him.

Typing:  This really isn't a class for him, but he loves to play Typeracer on the computer.  At school they started learning using the correct keys and fingers for typing.  I was surprised with how well he types and encourage him to play Typeracer whenever he wants:)

I think that pretty much summarizes our week here.  Next week I would like to work on a different system for keeping and organizing his work.   As I go along, I realize how I can do things differently.  I just took a guess at how it might all work at the beginning and am totally learning as I go along!  If I manage to get the new organizing system down next week, maybe I will share what it looks like.

I don't have a lot of pics from this week...