May 21, 2010

Week Two Review

This is an old post, but I'm trying to keep track of our work this term, so I am going to post it anyway... I'm still working on Week Three and Four...
This was a more, ummm, interesting week. I was sick on Tuesday, and we had a Frog Party to go to on Friday morning, so we had to squeeze all of our schoolwork into the other three and a half days that were left. But we did it and the kids still had plenty of free time to run around outside with their friends. We have quite the crowd in our yard these days: at least two sometimes three or four extra little boys and a girl or two, plus our own four, all under nine years old! They have such a great time that I willingly overlook the dirt and the bruises and the tremendous amount of noise they are able to create.
In math this week, we revisited place value. Every time that we go over it, they grasp a little more of the concept, so I am hoping that they will get it soon. I've also been trying to give them various ways of working on their math facts so that they can memorize them without drilling, but I'm close to the conclusion that drilling is going to be necessary to get them to stop counting in their heads.
Science was fun and easy this week. The kids learned six different ways that insects have to defend themselves, and then they drew pictures to illustrate them. I enjoyed the many different ways they managed to massacre the words "crypsis" and "advertisement". On his own, Nate caught several insects and killed a couple that were menacing his little sister. He considered and discussed the idea that the insect's exoskeleton really did make it hard for him to squash it.
In History, we read about nomads and the kids built a hut in the backyard. I told them they had to use only the materials they found in the yard, expecting, you know, dirt, rocks, leaves, maybe even a brick or two...

well, they DID only use what they found in the yard!
This was also our first week for map work, and I liked it. It was all circling, tracing, and coloring so their limited handwriting skills were not a deterrent and I think it gave my visual kids a good solid peg to hang their knowledge on.
We "visited" Norway this week, reading books, making trolls, coloring maps and looking at pictures of fjords on the Internet. It was not as exciting as Russia, and we are all ready to move on.
We moved ahead several steps in spelling. We only spend a few minutes a day on it, so the kids are not ready to give an opinion on it, yet. We are still in the easy, review part of the book, but hopefully we will start really spelling something next week.
In Grammar, we did a bunch of review, learned a bit more about adjectives, and dealt with some attitude problems because there are those among us who hate First Language Lessons.
Bible, handwriting and art were pretty much more of the same (or not as the case may be) as last week. I wrote out each verse on an index card and they read it aloud every day three times in a row. And by the end of the week, they can say it without looking. This is our most successful Bible memory method to date.

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