Weekly Report: Week Twenty

Fabulous Boy is getting tickets.

I should explain. The more I looked into various phonics programs, it seemed like many of them cost more because they implemented rewards. He needed both a change of pace and possibly a reward system. So, now he is getting tickets for his phonics lessons, and we're using the McGuffey's Primer we already had, at least for a little while. He can do this if he will just focus on it. I read early, Eclectic Girl read early... FB is approaching five and though I know I shouldn't, it is freaking me out, just a bit. He's been at the same stage of readiness for over a year, though, and he recognizes some words. He is clearly capable. I just have to convince him to DO IT. We're continuing to do everything else informally, but starting next week we're going to be more formal about handwriting again, and then the week or two after that, more formal math again. He has discovered our Equilibrio blocks & books recently and has done a lot of playing with those. The kids' Valentines Day presents from us for all three is (finally!) our own soma cube and towers of hanoi. My dad has these and I passed many a fun hour with them growing up. I think FB will enjoy them.

Purple Child is trying to learn her alphabet. No, really. We have the LeapFrog Fridge Phonics, and she carries it with her around the house, pressing the button for the alphabet song and trying to sing along. We keep the "B" in it (her first initial). I need to buy a replacement "E," as she sent it down the register a few months ago when we were painting. Oops.

Eclectic Girl had a decent week. Doing Latin for just fifteen minutes a day has been a good change so far. We'll still finish up Lively Latin with weeks to spare, as she's already starting Lesson Fifteen out of sixteen. Then we'll have to decide whether to start Latin Prep 1 this year or just review what she already knows over the summer, starting fresh in the autumn.

Another good change has been the Michael Clay Thompson language arts materials. She finished the parts of speech section of Grammar Island and has started on Building Language as well. Yes, I did back her up to the beginning, though I probably could have put her in the Town level. She's zooming through, and while I suspect she'll be ready for Magic Lens 1 at the beginning of sixth grade, it's not the end of the world if she's *gasp* doing Magic Lens 3 and related materials in ninth grade. The important thing is that she's enjoying it and seems to be grasping the concepts well - in a way that lets her apply them elsewhere. That is pure gold!

Elsewhere in the language arts category, spelling is going decently. She completed steps 18, 19, and most of 20 this week, which puts us on track to finish up All About Spelling Level 5 during the first half of February. I don't think Level 6 is projected to be released before then, so we'll likely take two to three weeks off and then do some extensive review.

For various reasons, EG has been doing both CW: Homer A and CW: Poetry for Beginners A. I'm sort of frustrated with Homer. There is a lot of work but I feel like we're still rehashing Writing Tales 2. I have a sneaking suspicion that since she's ahead (though not as much in language skills as math, obviously), and since WT2 did such a great job preparing her for Homer, I could have gone with Older Beginners. Grr, argh, gnash teeth, et cetera. I am going to do some digging this weekend and I may order the OB workbook and instructor's guide (I already have the core text for Homer). I added poetry thinking it would at least add something different. I can't believe people say poetry is a lighter workload than Homer! I'm not finding that to be the case at all. There's more physical writing with Home, but EG and I both have to think quite a bit more with poetry!

On the math front, this was not a good week for drill. Let's just leave it there. :) EG did lessons twenty-six through thirty in Life of Fred Beginning Algebra. She continues to impress me with regards to math. There's very little else to say there. We're looking at possibly enrolling her in one of the Art of Problem Solving courses soon.

In physics this week, the heat unit was concluded, and EG read about heat in the Usborne Illustrated Dictionary of Science. There isn't much to do with thermodynamics at age nine, regardless of how well you may understand the concept.

History this week covered the Great Depression and Hitler's rise to power. EG read Six Days in October as well as a COFA biography of Walt Disney, in addition to her spine reading. She also started a new memory project: an excerpt of Dr. Martin Luther King's "I Have a Dream" speech. When we arrive at the 1950s and 1960s in history, we'll spend a day downtown at the historic site. (Speaking of civil rights, everyone should read the back story of General Larry Platt - so cool!)

Miscellaneous... I discovered that FB had memorized six poems just from listening to EG recite them, so clearly, I can require more memory work out of him. EG finished poem #15 of level one. She also worked on several pages in Orbiting with Logic.

Piano lessons resumed this week, as did Master's Academy and homeschool band. FB's tumbling class restarted and I got the "official" permission to enroll him in the last session this spring (technically he'll age out of it three weeks before the start of the last session). I need to start researching gymnastics options for him... I think he would get a kick out of some of the apparatus (I guess that should be apparati or apparata) and the like.

For me, I was excited to see the sessions from the 2009 WTM Conference are now available on mp3! I bought those this morning. I've also been re-reading WTM (which I try to do at least once a year), but this year, I'm reading it by subject, rather than as written. So I've followed the language arts strand all the way through, K-12, and now I'm poring over math, K-12. It's been a good way to notice the "threads" going through it.


Carrie said...

I got your comment about th Ancient poems books ... That's so funny! I paid $2 for them each USED! ;)

Daisy said...

Sounds like another great week! My kids were early readers also. I found it really only took me about 10 minutes of solid daily Mom/kid time to teach them to read. I actually taught Ryan to read in the car while waiting for his sister to come out of her class. LOL.

I wish all ya'll would stop talking about MCT. I'm happy with R&S. I'm happy with R&S...

Memorizing the, "I have a Dream" speech sounds wonderful! I need to spend more time memorizing passages like that (instead of endless Awana verses).

Mandy in TN said...

I need to plug my ears (or cover my eyes and click away) when MCT is mentioned. maybe next year!

Are y'all listening to MLK give the speech? I love listening to his southern preacher voice.

Our Westmoreland School said...

This sounds like a good week :)

It's good to know I'm not the only one with a child who is capable, but stubborn.

Anonymous said...

TY for the kind post on my blog.

It sounds like a great week! I can totally believe that your youngest is already learning her letters. My youngest knew all of her letter sounds by 2 yo from the LF fridge magnets!

I quickly scanned your About Me section & I, too am passionate about bf. I was a LLL Leader in VA for almost two years with Pam (Pamela) Wiggins (bf author) - which was an amazing experience for me!

Hope you have a good week - and ty again for your kind words.

Liza Q said...

You have such a wonderful balance of work for your children!

Anonymous said...

Sounds like you had a very productive week. I've heard a lot about MCT lately on the boards. It's tempting to lookk. ;-)

Karen said...

Your week sounds wonderful and productive.

I give that LeapFrog thing to every kid I know for their first birthday - I love it.

Kash said...

Yep, I've had dd listen to Dr. King giving the speech. She was amazed at how often he had to stop to let the audience quiet back down. :)

And yes, MCT is going to draw you all in. ;) I was initially skeptical (it was so popular, how could it be good?), but once it was compared to Life of Fred, I knew we had to try it.

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