Sunday, March 21, 2010

Weekly Report-Week 29

I'm a bit late getting our weekly report up due to the fact that hubby is out of town and I haven't had time or energy to write it before this! We did manage to get in an almost full week of school. Sorry about the lack of pictures, hubby took the camera with him. Here's the run down...

Language Arts: Princess read and Magic Schoolbus Chapter book on rocks. She loves these books. They are easy for her, but I figure she had earned a break. We read the Apprentice together this week, which we both thoroughly enjoyed. We also completed another week of Spelling Workout and Writing with Ease.

Math: We spent some time on x6 facts and some time on x7 facts. Princess doesn't have them memorized yet, but she does understand how to do the problems. I allow her to use her fact chart when she does her workbook exercises which is working quite well. We are still working on daily drill without the chart.

Science: We talked about sedimentary rock this week and we tested our seashells for the presence of limestone. Princess also got the DK Rocks and Minerals book this week which she has really enjoyed looking at. She can't read it yet, but the pictures in the book are beautiful and she's been fascinated. She now wants to be a geologist :).

History: We read about the Reformation and the Renaissance.

Others: Princess worked on typing and went to her clay class this week.

Education of Me: Didn't happen this week...

That was our week, I look forward to catching up on all of yours.

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Tapestry of Grace Giveaway

I have a love affair from a distance with Tapestry of Grace. I love their curriculum and think it would be perfect for us to use, but I just have one teeny, tiny problem. I can't afford it. Oh I could buy a DE year plan, but then I wouldn't have any money left over for books and since we live overseas and have no access to a library, having no books would be pointless. So I have drooled over the plans and then walked away realizing reality. Well today someone posted over at the WTM forums that TOG is giving away all four years of their DE plans!!! So of course I entered! I seriously considered not posting something here as I would like to be the only one who enters, thus guarunteeing my success, but that's not really fair. I'm sure that there are others out there just like me. So go check it out and enter to win!

Friday, March 12, 2010

Weekly Report-Week 28

School went well this week for the most part. I’m a bit cranky as I’m getting to the “I’m always uncomfortable” stage of my pregnancy. Thankfully, princess have given me quite a bit of grace :). Here’s what we accomplished this week…

Language Arts: Princess read The Whipping Boy this week. On the second day of her reading she threw the book down and said “I’m not reading anymore because it’s not fair what’s happening”, then she promptly picked it up and read several more pages. I had to laugh, but I’m also so proud of her because she’s gotten to the point where she gets engrossed in the story instead of in the act of reading the book. Yeah, progress!! We also completed another week of Writing with Ease, First Language Lessons and Spelling Workout.

Math: We spent the week multiplying by 6. Princess has caught onto this quickly, but we still need to keep working on her facts. Thankfully we have a game on her DS to help with that!

Science: We spent the week studying rocks, specifically what rock is and how it can be formed. We did a fun, but simple experiment about lava involving a toothpaste tube! We squeezed the tube to have the pressure build up and then opened the cap a bit and wah lah!

Princess can’t stop talking about this one. Here a look at the experiment page we did for her notebook…
History: We talked about Martin Luther and Henry the VIII this week. Princess was enthralled with Henry the VIII, so much so that when we went to meet her dad for lunch the first thing out of her mouth was the poem about his wives (Divorced, beheaded, died, divorced beheaded survived). My hubby turned very quickly to me and said, what are you teaching her? I had a good laugh and then explained that we had read the poem in Story of the World that day. We all had a good laugh about it after that! I’m amazed at all the “informational pegs” that princess is picking up along the way.

Extras: We managed to get our artist composer study done this week. Princess also went to clay class this week and brought home this project…
I’m really amazed at what they are teaching her to do, it’s far beyond my ability!

Education of Me: I started Gulliver’s Travels this week and frankly, I’m bored. I’m going to keep plugging on and try to finish it, but I’ve taken it off our read-aloud list for next year. Maybe we’ll read it during the logic stage, but I’m guessing it’s going to get saved for high school.

Hope you had a wonderful week! Be sure to check out what others are doing over at the Weekly Wrap-up.

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

Spelling Workout

Lately, there has been a lot of buzz on one of the forums I visit about spelling programs. So I thought I’d post what a little more about what we use for spelling and how we use it. In the past we have used All About Spelling, which I liked, but ultimately decided that it wasn’t for us. Then, we tried Word Attack and Spelling City for a few weeks. Next we used Dictation Day by Day, which is free from Google Books. This worked well for us until I got pregnant and had surgery. It was too much work to prepare and I just didn’t have the time or the drive to continue using it, so I ordered Spelling Workout. I have to say that I wish we would have started with Spelling Workout. It’s so much easier on me and princess really enjoys the workbook style approach to spelling. That said, we add a bit to the schedule to ensure that princess is really learning the words.

Here’s how our week goes…

  • Day 1: I give princess a pretest, we do this orally or we use bananagram tiles so it’s not too much writing. She then copies all the words she missed on her sheet.Next she reads the introductory story for the lesson to me. Then we read the rule and the list together.
  • Day 2: Princess copies the rule on her sheet and copies the words she misspelled on the pretest. Then she completes the first activity for the lesson.
  • Day 3: Princess copies the words she misspelled on the pretest one more time. Then she completes the second activity page for the lesson.
  • Day 4: Princess completes the proofreading activity for the lesson. Then we alphabetize the list together. That night she goes over her spelling list on her own or with her Dad.
  • Day 5: I give princess her spelling test. We add any spelling words she missed on her trouble words sheet (more on this in a minute) and file her spelling sheet for the week in her notebook. Then we play a game of bananagrams using our own rules. Basically it’s Scrabble, but you get double points when you use one of the weeks spelling words.

Trouble Words: I got this idea from The Well-Trained Mind. Basically we take any words that princess has missed on her spelling test and write it on her trouble words sheet. We write the rule that goes along with it and then she copies it every day for the next week. I then give it to her as a bonus word on her next spelling test. If she gets it right, we put the date on her sheet, if not we carry it over to the next week.

So far, this method has been working beautifully. For the first time I’m noticing that princess is applying what she has learned in her own writing, which for me is a huge success! Plus it takes very little prep work on my part, all I have to do is print out her sheets for the week :).

ETA: I have posted templates for each of these sheets under the Free Stuff tab and over at the Elemental Science Yahoo Group, under the Other Homeschooling Helps file. There's a link to the yahoo group on the side bar.

Friday, March 5, 2010

Weekly Report-Week 27

Only 8 more weeks to go, less than 60 days and I'll be holding our new little one! Seems hard to believe. I have to say that as the date loom closer I feel more pressure to finish school, but less motivation to do so. Even so, we did complete the week, except for our read-aloud which we should finish this weekend. Here's the rundown...

Language Arts: We completed another week of Spelling Workout and Writing with Ease. Plus we talked about interjections and conjunctions with First Language Lessons. Princess finished Shadrach, which she has declared to be the best book ever. We read three chapters in Secret of the Andes together, but we still need to read 3 more sometime this weekend.

Math: Princess did well this week with division in the hundreds and remainders. She showed alot more confidence about it this week than she did last week. I also discovered that one of her DS games drills math facts, so we have been much better about doing drill everyday this week.

Science: We talked about caves this week. We also started a really cool experiment that I hope will turn out. We are basically making our own stalactites and stalagmites. The only problem is that I couldn't find Epsom salts, so we used regular salt and I'm not sure it's going to turn out.

History: We studied that Mayans, Aztecs and Incas this week. All of which princess enjoyed because she likes to claim Peru as home :). (We lived there when she was three).
We also played the Battle for the Gold Game and I was really suprised that princess was able to answer each and every question correctly. Maybe she really is learning something...

Extras: I got princess to her clay class this week, but that was about all. She did a really neat project this week and I'm impressed with what she's learning. It's drying at the studio right now, so I'll try to post a picture of it next week.

Education of Me: I read 4 pages of MacBeth this week, that's all.

That was our week, how was yours?? Be sure to check out the Weekly Wrap-up.