Friday, January 31, 2014

Homeschool Week 8

Ahhhh....what a GREAT week!  Not only did we not pressure ourselves to get more done, but it was a regular week with the normal routine Monday through Friday.  Luke does MUCH better just knowing that he doesn't have to do more work.  Of course, we are both getting quite efficient at the way we work our day so that he has been done by noon each day this week.  Of course he loves this, but I'm feeling like that is a bit too early:)

~He read from his children's Bible several chapters mostly about Moses.
~I read to him from the ESV Luke 14:25-Luke 16:31 (throughout the week).  We had lots of great discussion about the things that we read.
~He is working on memorizing a passage from Romans.  He has Romans 12:14 and 15 down.  Memorizing this scripture has lead us to great discussion on how to put this into practice as well as how hard it is to actually do!  "Bless those who persecute you, bless and do not curse them.  Rejoice with those who rejoice, weep with those who weep".  Such great practical application in here!!
~He learned and prayed for the Delaware tribe in his American Indian Prayer Guide each day.

A cool thing for Luke.  He has started reading through the book of John in the NSV each night before bed.  He had started reading this in the past, but got frustrated with his lack of understanding.  He went ahead and gave it a try and I encouraged him to just read a chapter each night (or less if he wants) and to just read it...even if it's not making sense.  He was so happy to realize that he is understanding much more than he thought he would.  Each night he has great questions or just points of interest that he wants to share with me.  He really thought a lot about the first few verses in the book..and especially John 1:14 "And the word became flesh and dwelt among us..".  I love that he is reading and asking questions...and adding his own reading to his daily Bible work on his own!

~We finished up the Incans, Aztecs and Mayans book.  A very informative book!
~He read a few pages of the Childrens Encyclopedia of American History and were able to spend a bunch of time looking at maps and the globe as well as adding quite a few things to his timeline book.  He enjoys both of these things very much.

~We are continuing in the book "The Witch of Blackbird Pond" which, for him, started slow...but he is starting to get into it now.  We read chapters 5-9 this week.  The chapters in this book are a bit long.  This is a book that I read to him, while he does some doodling.  He focuses much better this way!
~We also read 4 chapters in "The Tree in the Trail".
~He continued his reading to me from "Squanto, Friend of the Pilgrims".  This is from the same author as the Pocahontas book.  He reads this level of book quite easily at this point, and he enjoys the stories.

~He has been much less frustrated now that he isn't just writing one letter over and over again.  He is now working on words, phrases and eventually an entire verse from the Bible that he completes using his best work on Friday.  He has started to find himself writing in cursive by accident and asking to do his work in cursive...which I highly encourage:)

~He did great with spelling this week.  After reading an article on spelling (I posted in on facebook), I was happy to see that the curriculum he uses for spelling really does seem to focus more on the understanding of the words rather than just the spelling.  He aced his spelling test today.

~He worked on skip counting by 7 this week.  I think he only has to learn skip counting by 8's (next week) to finish up his skip counting the numbers 1-10.  He has found this to be a great way to learn his multiplication tables.  He breezed through his math this week and aced the math test at the end as well.

He did come to the conclusion that some days he's just "on" as far as math is concerned and other days he has more struggle.  There are days when he wakes up and reads the word problems and can just answer them without much thought at all, and then other days when just reading the problem gets his mind in a tangled mess:)  Fortunately, he only had one day today when his mind was tangled...the rest went smoothly.

Language Arts:
~He learned about "hook" sentences and had fun coming up with some of his own.  "Once there was a zombie apocalypse..." was one of them.  He learned a little bit about how to properly use numbers in something that he writes.  As in, how to correctly write the date and when to use the actual number as apposed to the word for the number, etc.  He had to chose a main point that he found interesting from his science work, and write three supporting sentences as well as a "hook".  He put all of this work together to formulate a nice informative few paragraphs.  I learned this week that I have to tell him that he is going to work on his writing projects for a specified amount of time.  He was having a tendency to rush through, in hopes to just get it done.  His writing was slopping and his thinking was as well.  I finally figured out that all I have to do is tell him "you are spending 30 minutes on this project no matter what" and it has changed his thinking completely!  He knows he's going to be sitting there for that amount of time looking at it, so he might as well work hard and enjoy it.  I am MUCH happier with the results from this week's work!

~He wrote his dictation passage at the end of the week and is doing well with this.
~He wrote a letter to my aunt Peggy this week as well.

~We finished up the lesson on Venus.  Luke has seemed to enjoy each lesson from his Astronomy book.  We are both learning things from here for sure!  I particularly liked learning that Venus rotates the opposite way of all the other planets in our solar system.  It's interesting to me and proves Creation to me even that much more!

As far as the organizing part goes.  What I'm doing is not some special, crazy cool system...but it is just different than what I had started doing.  I have a binder with the entire Core D Instructors Guide from Sonlight.  I have full intentions to use this again, but for the first few weeks was just initialing (Luke's initials) in the boxes to check off what we have done.  We have a different notebook for each subject for writing projects and spelling words etc.

I finally came to my senses and decided that I would photocopy the schedule at the beginning of each week so that I can scribble in it all I want..and keep the original in the binder for future use.  I ended up using a separate binder to put his completed work week by week in.  Each week has the schedule, followed by the work that he did during that week.  (This does not include his math book, spelling book or handwriting book....which, for future kids I will likely photocopy as well, but we were already too far into those books to salvage for another kids so we are just gonna keep filling them!).  At the end of each week I compile his week worth of work and put it in the completed notebook with a paper clip holding each separate week together.  This way each week is easy to reference if necessary and is well documented.  This also gives a great sense of accomplishment!

I'm so glad that I am having this chance to homeschool just one child.  It will make adding Owen (next year) MUCH easier!