Saturday, September 3, 2011

Weekly Wrap-Up

This is my first attempt to document one week of Promise schooling.... all in one post.  The idea came from recently reading other homeschool blogs.  I have enjoyed seeing what other schools are accomplishing, and have been truly inspired.  I am hoping a weekly wrap-up will be a good way to document our doings and for me to see and remember what we have accomplished.. as well as where we have missed the mark! 

 This past week was our second week of the 2011-2012 official school year.  For readers who know us in real life.. you know we never really stop schooling.. or learning! We continue as much as possible through the summers.. especially in history, literature, math and science.  There have been many real-life interuptions that resulted in the math cirriculum not being completed by end of year testing... plus, with math I find 'if you don't use it, you loose it'.  It is easier for the children to continue onto higher math with out a several week break.  However, we do have an official start date.. if never an official end date.. for each school year.  A day when we implement a well thought out and planned schedule of our days.  A day when we purposely study, discover, practice, listen and experience learning.  A day when we begin adding to our days more nature study, art appreciation, music appreciation, more language arts, planned electives and much much more!

With no further introduction... here is our first Weekly Wrap-Up.

While composing this post, I realized early on that I should post our weekly schedule somewhere on this blog.  And subsequent weekly wrap-ups will not be as lengthy.  This one will link to books and cirriculum we will use for several weeks, and give a general idea of our scheduled week.
We had a little late start... we were all tired from the excitement of Hurricane Irene visiting us through the weekend.  However, we did start!  Currently, our family devotions are reading through The Child's Story Bible.. we read one part of a story each day. 
Next we (very excitedly and nervously) made our first attempt at using watercolors.. copying a favorite artist's work.  After spending much more than the alloted time with our watercolors (which is fine.. our schedule is flexible!) 
We moved to Language Arts.. Monday is the day set aside for composition, so we tied in our Art Study by having the boys write a picture description.  They had already given an oral description from memory last week, so I encouraged them to just take it from their brain to their paper!  They did quite well, and I only asked for three good sentences from Alex, and at least five from Daniel.  Amelia completes her Spanish lesson during this time using Rosetta Stone.

Now, Millie and Daniel completed Math and Science with Teaching Textbooks and Apologia.  Daniel has decided to begin his math over.. repeating any lessons where he misses the initial practice questions.. which is great!  Math was a struggle for him in the younger years. His is a visual and auditory learner.  I am not a math whiz.  I could not find a way to explain basic concepts where he would understand them.. addition, subtraction, measuring.. yes! But not multiplication or division.  Teaching Textbooks was the answer!  He began with 4th grade.. then jumped to 7th!   Before he moves to Algebra I want him to be sure of all the basic math concepts.  Amelia began Algebra II.  The lesson plans and labbook print outs found at Donna Young's website have been an invaluable asset to our Apologia Science studies. 

While the older children are independently learning Math and Science... Alex and I have time for Five in a Row.. This week we continued on with Ping... finding a duck that lives in every continent (ecept Antartica).  We printed and laminated nice pictures of duck and added them to his lapbook as well as our huge world wall map.
Amelia continued her Civics lessons, Daniel with Typing.. Daniel never got much time with his Health lessons, needing more time for Science and Math.. so that is an area to work on next week! 

For independent History reading... Amelia is reading Life on an English Manor (don't freak at the price, this was a 49 cent Salvation Army find!) , Daniel is reading Arabian Knights (we have a hardcover Barnes and Noble edition..again, thrift store) , and Alex is reading The Whipping Boy, and he began another biographical history that links to our Geography study,  Marcus and Narcissa Whitman, A Discovery Book.

Family Read Aloud followed lunchtime... The children continued working on their watercolor project while I read Canterburry Tales and Adam of the Road. I want to read another version of Canterburry Tales.. this is just a fun, silly introduction.. it's actually sort of weird.

Well, classroom time ended here on Monday.. it was nearing 4:00, time for Daniel's weightlifing.. and we added a little fun with searching for animal tracks....

We had a better start, as far as time... then were distracted by the silliest things.  Oh well! We had a few giggles, but paid for it later with feeling like we needed to rush... until we just said, "Okay, we've accomplished much, we can save it for another time".. then we relaxed and enjoyed the rest of the day.

They finished Bible and Devotion... Amelia and Daniel are reading the ESV One Year Bible, and Alex is almost finished with the Picture Bible (which he loves!)  Amelia's devotional book is currently Unveiling Islam which ties in with our history, Daniel is re-reading Tiger and Tom,  and Alex uses My Faith Journal.
The boys have Story Starter Cards for prompts, the simple pictures take the pressure off and make the task seem more doable. We have more challenging prompts to use as the year progresses that we have enjoyed before: Story Starters and some Charlotte Mason writing prompt cardsBoth sets of cards I found at our nearest Homeschool Store in the used section... I can not find them on line to link! Wish I could, they are a GREAT resource for Charlotte Mason style education.

Tuesday art and literature subject is poetry.  We continued reading the poetry of Carlos C. Williams.

We completed our Language Arts, Math and Science with out a hitch.. Daniel was finally able to complete his Science experiment that needed modeling clay.  With all our planning, somehow modeling clay escaped the 'list'!  It happens sometimes.
Amelia completed her first lesson in Artisitc Pursuits... I think she is really going to enjoy this!  And what is so great... it will earn her two high school art credits.  Perfect!  We scheduled that only two days a week, an hour alotted for each lesson.

Amelia also had her first lesson in Elegant Essay.  I am really nervous about teaching this, not remembering much of my high school education on writing! But, we are going through it together.. and so far.. after four 'sessions' are enjoying the journey. 

After school we had some more fun with Ping.  Alex and I searched on-line for Chinese food recipes that might tempt his picky palate.  We decided on Sweet and Sour Meatballs.  Again, Daniel was the chef in charge.. working on an elective credit in Culinary Arts.  (Right now, that elective mostly a figment of our imagination! we are documenting time spent and recipes made.. but haven't developed our syllabus and credit requirements.  The same is true for a Foods and Nutrition elective for Amelia.)

We started on time! woo hoo!  Wednesday is supposed to be our scheduled non-scheduled day.. but we postponed it to Thursday so we could watch Kaylee for Jessica, who had her wisdom teeth cut out.. ouch! More real-life happening....

So, Thursday's school plans were conquered on Wednesday.  We did basically the same as Monday and Tuesday... with a few changes.
Our art and literature subject for Thursdays is Shakespeare or Fairy Tales, so we continued reading Midsummer Night's Dream.  We finished the version from Beautiful Stories from Shakespeare and began the Shakespeare's Stories version... for comparison. 
For Language Arts, Thursday is written narration day.. so the boys continued narrating Midsummer Night's Dream.  Alex focused only on the fairy side of the story to make it easier.
Thursday is our day to focus on Geography.  We are reading Tree in the Trail and using the Beautiful Feet guide.  The children are doing the map work, and some of the extra activities.  They read about Jedediah Strong Smith and narrated.... and need to get him in our timeline..

Science for Alex right now we are going through a book called Detective Science.. it's very interesting to him! and very easy for me! win-win!  We wanted to start the science year out really fun.

 we already posted about!  Plus, we found out late in the afternoon that there was room in the next Driver's Ed. class held at the local public school for Daniel... and the parent student meeting was that night!  Daniel squeezed in a weightlifting work out.. showered and we headed to the school.  This class will interrupt Daniel's weightlifting routine for the next three weeks, so he has planned to exercise in the mornings to keep in shape.

So... in rolls Friday.  Millie is feeling a little sick to the stomach.  We are all tired from our awesome nature walk and the excitement and rush getting ready for Driver's Ed... and real-life popped in... a funeral is never convenient, but oh so very important in life!  So, Dad stayed with the children (he is off Fridays) with a list of assignments...Bible, Devotion, Math, Science and finish up nature journals.. and Mom went to a funeral and to visit family. 

This week was just another of many... loving, learning and living together here in this old house.


cam said...

Thanks for your comment on my blog- I tried to reply via email but it kept getting returned. So I just stalked you here. ;-P
I like your first wrap-up! I love doing them because it helps me to see that we really are getting things done, even when I feel like we aren't.
Have a good week coming up.

Nicole said...

Thank you for stopping by Journey to Excellence and for your recommendations to use Donna Young. I was actually using her suggested schedule for completion and lab pages. The problem was just with the textbook format. I appreciate you taking the time to make a suggestion that might help.