Weekly Report: Week Nine (days 041-045) - Quarter Done!

I admit it, I love writing these weekly reports. Day by day, it's so easy to get lost in the minutiae, not to mention I have a tendency to focus on what I haven't done. I hold myself to a (too) high standard many times; the weekly report is a refreshing anecdote to that.

Purple Child (aka The Carnivore; no budding vegetarian here) is mostly peeing in the potty. If I can get her pooping in the potty (she seems to think potty = pee only), I think we'll have the potty training done. She's stayed dry at night for months already. She may or may not know yellow, red, blue, and green. Like any good future Slytherin, she's playing her cards close to her chest. And may I just say I'm overjoyed to have another Slytherin in the house? :D

Fabulous Boy covered time and measurement this week in RS A. The measurement lessons felt way too simplistic (which is longer?), so we winged it a bit there. I'll make sure to treat the similar lessons in RS B with a bit more respect, when it comes around again. We also read Beanstalk: The Measure of a Giant, which sort of ties in with the measurement theme.

FB covered more digraphs and a few three-consonant blends in OPGTR. I decided I'm going to break out the AAS phonogram cards to help with digraphs. Once it clicks with him that it's a different sound, he has it; otherwise, he tries to sound out the digraph. He completed a lesson in ETC and started another; I think I need to order the next book soon. He also read four Bob books to me. We continued to learn about proper and common nouns in FLL, and talked about Davy Crockett and Sacagawea via WWE. In HWT, he learned about 't' and 'd.'

Books this week included The Adventures of Spider, Henri Matisse: Drawing with Scissors, People, Rhinos for Lunch and Elephants for Supper!, Why Mosquitoes Buzz in People's Ears, What's Under the Sea?, Where Does the Garbage Go?, stories from African Folk Tales, and one of our favorites, Bringing the Rain to Kapiti Plain. Our copy is almost falling apart; I may need to invest in a hardcover copy.

In history, as you may have guessed, FB learned about ancient Africa. He and EG watched an episode of Lost Civilizations (from Netflix) about ancient Africa, as well. In theory, we may do an African Feast on Sunday.

FB enjoyed Master's Academy on Monday and homeschool soccer on Thursday; no oceanography class this week.

Together, we listened to the Classics for Kids episodes for Mozart and Haydn.

Eclectic Girl had another busy week. She finished the chapter on graphing in LoF Adv Algebra, and did drill each day. There was no math olympiad this week, but she worked in Introduction to Number Theory each day.

EG's literature selection this week was Tales from China. While we were at the beach last weekend and on the way home, she read Chasing Vermeer and The Wright 3; now she's working her way through Outliers. She completed sentences 13-16 in Practice Voyage, lesson three in Caesar's English II, and the non-writing assignment portions of chapter 2 in Essay Voyage. Have I mentioned how much I love Caesar's English II? It is superlative.

In science, EG read Eyewitness Horse, and finished the next unit in PLATO Life Science. Just two more units left! She already read a portion of chapter seven in Science Matters and watched lecture five from The Joy of Science lectures from The Teaching Company. No history of science class this week.

History this week covered ancient China, and she wrote a nice summary about Confucius. Latin was the tail end of chapter four, preparing for the final assignments in the workbook, which I will be grading... tomorrow. ;) I am pleased - this is right on target for the number of chapters she needs to cover to complete the book this year.

Music appreciation this week was to read Story of the Incredible Orchestra and complete two outlines. For art appreciation, she read the pages in Art about "Civilizations of the East." She also read in Drawing on the Right Side of the Brain.

EG's logic class seems to be going well; since it's conducted online, it's really our first experience with her taking control of a course in this way. I do still list it in her planner, but just as "complete one half of logic assignments" twice, and "webinar, noon."

Public speaking was a bit of a surprise this week. The teacher's syllabus, passed out on the first day of class, stated that there would be expository speeches presented on September 27. Excellent, we had thought, because we'd be out of town the weekend preceding September 20, for which there was no homework listed. When we got home Sunday evening, EG told me she thought there was one page in her workbook, and maybe a speech? We looked at the syllabus again, were reassured, and EG merely did the brainstorming page in her workbook. You can guess where this is going, right? Her teacher had redone the syllabus, but not passed it out to the students nor emailed it to the parents. So EG had to wing her expository speech on Monday morning. Ugh! Why pass out a syllabus if you don't follow it? I suppose it's a good lesson for her to learn, but I was really looking forward to her having an opportunity to learn to use a syllabus before she got this particular lesson.

The rest of her Monday classes & lessons went well, as did trumpet lesson, homeschool soccer, and band, all later in the week.

I can't believe we're a quarter of the way through the year! Yes, I am definitely doing a happy dance. :)


Weekly Report: Week Eight (days 036 to 040)

I knew this week would be busy; all of our possible regular activities, plus the monthly homeschool ice skating day on Tuesday. We worked a little ahead on Sunday afternoon as well as Monday evening after Master's Academy, with the end result that we're almost finished with the week on Thursday. Oops?

This week, FB worked on more digraphs in Ordinary Parent's Guide to Teaching Reading, completed a lesson in Explode the Code, and read four Bob books to me. He also read a review lesson out of McGuffey's Primer. Elsewhere in the language arts arena, he did week nine of Writing With Ease Level One, which was based on Charlotte's Web. I think that may be his next read-aloud, because he was very interested in the story. He also did four lessons in First Language Lessons, including beginning to memorize the "Days of the Week" poem, and he continues to progress through his handwriting book. I'm really happy with our language arts line-up, and I figured out a different way to explain digraphs to him that seems to be making a big difference. He's asking about adding spelling, so it may be about time to pull out Spelling Workout A.

Amongst the books that we read to FB this week were: Once A Mouse..., The Story About Ping, One Grain of Rice, North America, Degas and the Little Dancer, and Koko's Kitten.

Most of FB's math work this week was about the clock and naming the o'clocks. He did really well with it. We still have to do one lesson tomorrow, about halves. I don't anticipate any problems there; he's had at least one sibling his entire life, so he's had a lot of practice in making anything split into halves!

This week was history-heavy, as we covered both ancient India and ancient China. EG read D is for Doufu to him, and he also listened to the chapter about China in Ancient Agriculture.

FB had another great week at Master's Academy, and we listened to the Classics for Kids podcasts about Tchaikovsky 's Romeo & Juliet Fantasy Overture. One of the podcasts was about various stage and screen adaptations of the play, and I was gratified that they began with the Baz Luhrman version. The kids looked at me strangely – oh well.

Spousal Unit finished reading The Golden Goblet to all of the children.

EG had a good week as well. She finished her assignment from chapter one of Essay Voyage with a paragraph about the platypus that she then joyfully rearranged into an unorganized version of itself; successfully completed sentences nine through thirteen in Practice Voyage; and had a lot of fun with lesson two of Caesar's English II, including when we talked about the awesome oxymoron that is "vivacious hatred." What's not to love about a phrase like that? She read Tales from India for her assigned reading, and finished Summerland during her free reading time.

In math, EG covered graphing and slope, and beat both levels of drill, one of which was new this week. The other level had been new last week. I'm really seeing a difference in her computational speed this year and I have to attribute at least part of it to her daily use of the Flashmaster. I love that little machine!

EG finished up the unit of PLATO Life Science that covered genetics and heredity, including the worksheets, and moved on to the unit "Organisms and Their Environment." She also read Eyewitness Whale and started reading through Ocean.

In history, EG covered ancient India and, more generally, ancient south asia. She wrote her summary on the Vedas; I learned things I didn't know! She read part of The Ancient South Asian World and all of Eyewitness India.

EG seems to be enjoying her logic class. It's a good mix of activities to learn the material, at least so far. The weekly webinar is tomorrow. She also continues to progress through chapter four of Latin Prep 1. I've noticed she seems to enjoy working with various verb tenses and conjugations much more than she like declining nouns. I'm not sure that I blame her.

Music appreciation this week included finishing up The Young Person's Guide to the Orchestra, listening to the accompanying CD again, and also listening to Music from Ancient Rome. For art appreciation, she read about Egyptian art in Art and then read Art in Ancient Egypt. No art skills lesson this week, but EG did have both piano and trumpet lessons. It's her last week in her current piano books, and tomorrow is her first testing day for band; her trumpet instructor thinks she'll be able to pass off a decent number of songs right away. Yay! The fewer weeks we have to go early for testing, the happier I will be!

Purple Child is, for some reason, still awake at 10 pm. I've also been told by EG & FB that I need to change her blog moniker to The Carnivore.



We went to the water park this morning; the last day of the season for 2010, the air was a brilliant clear blue, the sun was shining, and there were yellow, orange, and red leaves beginning to fall, swirling in the water along with the inner tubes.

Yesterday, we drove into the mountains of north Georgia to pick apples, and as we finished filling our bags, the skies opened up in a perfect example of a pop-up summer thunderstorm. Today, I cooked some of those apples for lunch, and tonight, I'll prepare fried okra for dinner.

Juxtaposition. Contradiction. Shift.

Two weeks after the vernal equinox, our weather changed abruptly from cold temperatures to hot. By mid-April, the daily high was averaging above 80°F. By the end of May, highs were in the 90s, and this summer (encompassing the months of June, July, and August) was the hottest recorded here in Georgia.

Now, at last, as we dip towards the autumn equinox, there are hopeful signs, however small, that a change is coming. Cooler nights with bright warm (but no longer hot) days, apples and sweet potatoes instead of squash and okra. Soon. I love the summer's warmth, but I need the autumn. I need its clear skies, its harvest, its careful end of growth. And, at last, it is whispering.



Weekly Report: Week Seven (through day 035!)

Purple Child
PC has managed to pee in the potty reliably about 60% of the time. She has yet to poop in the potty – she clearly has the idea but seems unwilling to sit for the necessary length of time. We'll keep working on it. Her verbal skills are improving rapidly lately, too; her pronunciation of FB's (actual) name has gotten so much clearer just in the last two days. If she knew I was writing this, she'd want me to mention that she doesn't really like being dragged hither and yon with her siblings, but she does put up with it.

Here's the $20,000 question in my mind: do we go for a house that is move-in ready, but more expensive, or buy a house that's cheaper where I could literally construct my dream kitchen (but, you know, be without a kitchen until it was done) and landscaping (ditto)? It's an academic question at this point, since we're still 4-5 weeks away from our house being on the market, but I think the answer to that question will necessarily eliminate some possibilities when we are looking, especially if we decide definitively against anywhere that needs more than paint.

Starbuck nearly had a feast on Labor Day. She and I came around the corner of the house to find a couple of rodent bodies. I initially thought they were mice (albeit with slightly fuzzy tails, but really, I didn't have time to run in and get Animal to check the species), and so we thought they had been poisoned. So then Spousal Unit and I had to work together to get her prey out of her mouth. I did the jaw-squeezing part, not the grasping the body part. Then SU did some research online (thank you, youtube?) and we realized they were young squirrels who had likely fallen (hence the strange slow movements), and we also realized there was an additional dead body nearby. Poor dog couldn't figure out why we took her prey away. For the record, it was all I could do to keep hold of the leash until my screams brought the cavalry, especially since I thought they were mice.

Fabulous Boy
I've decided to add a few things to FB's line-up, which I'll detail in a bit. In phonics this week, we covered three lessons in OPGTR, did some review, did a lesson in the McGuffey's Primer (at his request), and he read a Bob book to me daily. I think I'm going to add in the cards from AAS for the vowels (he's started the short-e/short-i switching just like EG did) and digraphs. I'm also looking at Memoria Press's Classical Phonics and the Victory Drill Book to hopefully come at it from a slightly different angle. He's also doing Explode the Code, but just finished Lesson 6 in Book 1, so it's serving more as a review than covering new material.
We also covered four lessons in FLL and a week in WWE 1, plus two pages in HWT (and lots of practice). I think it's so interesting that 'everyone' says reading and writing skills shouldn't be linked, with the implication that it would be holding reading skills hostage to writing skills that are lagging. In FB's case, it would be the opposite. Besides, he's getting quite good at figuring out words in context, which isn't a horrible skill to have alongside phonics.
Among the books he read or had read to him this week: A Fish Out of Water, Miss Rumphius, The Snowy Day, Looking at Maps and Globes, several Bob books, Gilgamesh the King, The Revenge of Ishtar, The Last Quest of Gilgamesh, Oopsie Otter, and The Life and Work of Michelangelo Buanorotti.
FB finished through lesson sixty in Right Start A, which means he'll finish it the first full week of October. We'll probably take a week or two and do Miquon alone, and then continue with Right Start B. My goal is to be doing both daily (or, at minimum, each four days per week) by mid-November. I just love Miquon too much to give it up. :)
In history this week, FB read about the Assyrians. He seems to retaining history as well as I could expect from a five year old, so I'm pleased with that. In addition to the sections of SOTW, we read You Wouldn't Want to Be An Assyrian Soldier and in UBWH. He did one or two more experiments in the Colors lab (Spousal Unit helped with that), and the goal is to finish that kit (for now, anyway) over the weekend. FB continues to love his Oceanography class on Wednesday afternoons. This week they talked about fish anatomy.
We listened to the Classics for Kids episodes about Beethoven this week, and there was no Master's Academy. We also didn't explicitly add any new memory work, although FB did progress in poetry to the next poem, "The Swing," and in FLL, he worked on "Hearts Are Like Doors."

Eclectic Girl
EG seems to be thriving on her coursework this year. The big news is that she's officially on an every-six-week 'check-up' schedule for vision therapy, instead of hour-long sessions weekly. Hooray!
EG finished chapter three in LoF this week, and did some problems from Real World Algebra. She also went to a Math Circle meeting on Saturday morning, and continues to do, yes, more math in the evenings.
EG continued to work on her assignment for Essay Voyage, even though technically she has an additional week, since I staggered the starting weeks for it and Caesar's English II (they loosely correlate). She completed Lesson I in Caesar's English II, sentences five through eight in Practice Voyage, and together we read chapter five in World of Poetry. She attempted to craft some oxymorons and metaphors as instructed. It's actually pretty difficult to come up with new and unique ones, as the assignments directed! Once or twice, she'd come up with one that was, in fact, new to her, and I'd have to inform her that it was actually not, in fact, new and unique. She also read The Children's Homer and we discussed it.
EG continued reading about ancient mesopotamia this week, and wrote her summary on the gods and goddesses thereof. We had another issue with her injecting judgment into the summary, so we had to have two important clarifying conversations. The first, of course, is that just because people in the past (or in another part of the world) believe differently, it doesn't really state anything specific about their relative intelligence or sanity. The second was the difference between summarizing or reporting versus analyzing versus judging, at least as far as writing goes. I suspect the second one will require more repetition over the years than the first will. We also started working at refining her outlines. I'm glad she grasped the concept so quickly, so now it's time to make her outlines the best one-point outlines possible. ;)
EG wrapped up the fourth unit of PLATO life science and completed the remaining worksheets for the third unit. She also did three projects (she refuses to call them experiments; I don't entirely blame her) about various systems in the human body. In her history of science class, discussion centered around Eratosthenes.
She continues to work through chapter four of Latin Prep. There's not really much else to say.
Her online class for Critical Thinking 1 started this week. Last Friday afternoon was the orientation webinar, and she received her first assignments (read three sections, answer a poll online, post to the discussion board) to be completed before the first webinar today. She told me at dinner last night that she should "get back to doing Mind Benders, too" to "improve [her] logic skills." "You could even assign them to me, if you want," she added generously. In other words, she likes doing them, and wants an excuse to find time to do them. I won't tell her I figured that out, though.
She read a bit more in Young Person's Guide to the Orchestra and of course listened to the Classics for Kids episodes about Beethoven along with FB. No Master's Academy also meant no piano lesson, but trumpet went well, and band begins for the school year today. She also read about "Ancient Near Eastern Art" in Art and read chapter one in Drawing on the Right Side of the Brain.
In her spare time, she finished My Side of the Mountain and The Yearling, read more in the young readers' edition of The Omnivore's Dilemma, and started making lists and plans for our winter Disney trip. I think she also worked on a Girl Scout badge or two?


Weekly Report: Week Six (days 024-028)

Fabulous Boy
Language Arts – FB did five lessons of FLL, including beginning to memorize another poem. He also completed Week Six of WWE 1, many pages in ETC, three lessons from OPGTR, and worked on 'o' and 's' from HWT. He read several Bob books, and listened to Chicken Little, The Mommy Book, van Gogh and the Sunflowers, Pet Show, The Winged Cat, Music, Music for Everyone, Oh Say Can You Say, Doctor DeSoto, Doctor DeSoto Goes to Africa, and Stellaluna. We also read some stories from McCaughrean's God's People, to tie in with his chapters in SOTW this week.

Arithmetic – FB worked through five lessons in Right Start A, and we read Pepper's Journal from the MathStart book series.

History – This week, FB covered chapters six and seven from SOTW 1. We read the stories of Abraham and Joseph, and learned about Hammurabi's Code. He did mapwork from each chapter, listened to the chapter about Hammurabi in Ten Kings and the World They Ruled, and read a few pages in UBWH.

Science – EG & the Spousal Unit helped FB complete an experiment from the Colors lab, we re-read What Makes A Shadow?, and played with the prism more. I think we'll try to finish up the Colors Little Lab in the next couple of weeks.

Fine Arts – FB continues to love Master's Academy. We all listened to the Classics for Kids shows on Bach & the Brandenburg Concertos during dinner. :)

Memory Work – FB is doing well with his memory work. This week, he added poem 14, level one from IEW's poetry program, as well as "Four Seasons of the Year."

Homeschool soccer started this week! EG has wanted to try soccer for a long time, but due to the general way soccer is set up around here, I had shied away from it since she was over, oh, age five. This is perfect – she gets a chance to play without so much competitiveness. FB is thrilled to run around outside for two hours with other kids. He also knew one of his teammates from Master's Academy.

Eclectic Girl
Language Arts – EG did the first four sentences in Practice Voyage this week, and we continued through World of Poetry with chapter four and its suggested activities. She also began Essay Voyage! I already loved the MCT curricula in general, but this book – oh, it's just wonderful. We read chapter one together, and EG started on one of the options at the end of the chapter.

Memory Work – EG added the Pythagorean Theorem, parts of a cell, her father's cell phone number, and poem 2.16 to her memory work this week.

Mathematics – EG worked through four lessons of Life of Fred and beat both levels of drill. She's started chapter four in Number Theory, but we did miss Math Olympiad this week in order to watch the agricultural commissioner debate. Oh, yes. We're that family, the one that had to make the hard decision between math geekery and scientific/political geekery.

Science – EG finished the third unit of PLATO Life Science, and half of the worksheets for it! Yay! She also read Eyewitness Seashore and Visual Dictionary of the Human Body, and is looking through Animal (which, by the way, ties in nicely with option one in chapter one of Essay Voyage).

History – EG has been steaming through her history work, so since she's ready for "week 8" and this is only "week 6," I had her concentrate on her assigned reading and a few more pages in her outlining workbook.

Latin – EG made good progress into chapter four of Latin Prep 1.

Fine Arts – More Master's Academy, of course. EG read about prehistoric art in Art and also read Susie Hodge's Prehistoric Art. She read a few pages in The Young Person's Guide to the Orchestra, then read and listened to all of The Young Person's Guide to Opera. She also read the Preface and the Introduction to Drawing on the Right Side of the Brain.

Other Stuff – EG's trumpet lessons continue to go well. She seems to be really enjoying her History of Science course, and I mentioned homeschool soccer above. The exciting thing this week was the aforementioned debate for state agricultural commissioner. We had intended to attend in person, then found out that the event was expected to go into overflow rooms! Luckily, there was a simultaneous webcast, so after a few initial hiccups, we were good to go. I'm always a fan of the political process, and this debate was focused specifically on issues of sustainable agriculture. EG was enthralled, and at one point, she turned to me and said she wanted to go to the library and learn "everything there was" about it.

Purple Child
Time to use the toilet. She shows interest, she understands the concept, and most importantly, continuing to have her in diapers is detrimental to her skin. She has ugly red welts and blisters. It's clearly something digestive, but since she eats practically everything in existence, narrowing it down seems unlikely. In this case, it's going to be far easier to have her use the toilet, and then see if any other manifestations occur.

The dog's reprieve is over; she's getting clickered. Bwahahaha.
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