Friday, November 19, 2010
Weekly Report: November and Academic Year End
We haven't done much in the way of official lessons in November. We've all been pretty sick at one point or another, and I didn't have much of a voice for two weeks, which makes instruction difficult. We have been playing a lot of Qwirkle and other games, done some reading, and done a lot of cooking together. Also, this week was the final week in our "Academic Year." Hooray! We're looking forward to next week off, cleaning, laundering, preparing for Thanksgiving, and then preparing for Advent and the Christmas season. Since we haven't done much in the way of formal lessons, this report will be our end of year report.
I learned a lot this year. I don't have to have perfect plans, just a skeleton plan. I learned to start back up where we were, even if we've missed a few weeks. I learned I can do lessons even if we miss a day. I learned, I do have some organizational work to do to make things smoother and to keep our school room usable. I learned I need to not take weeks off at a time, but that we can do this. I've learned that sometimes a break is just the thing little brains need.
Bible: We did not accomplish the goal of learning Genesis 1:1-2:3. but we got really close. I think we should be able to review/finish in January and February.
Catechism/Creed: The children are rocking the catechism. M-girl has started the 10 Commandments questions. N-boy is hot on her tail. R-girl is further ahead than either her brother or sister at this age, simply from being with us in Circle Time and regular work. I'm pleased.
Hymn: We learned many hymns this year: the Doxology; Holy, Holy, Holy; A Mighty Fortress; All Glory, Laud, and Honor; Christ, the Lord, is Risen Today; How Great Thou Art; Eternal Father, Strong to Save; Be Thou My Vision; Come Thou Fount of Every Blessing; For All the Saints; and started We Gather Together. I'm thrilled that we learned so much. I'm thrilled to hear my children singing Hymns and singing to the Lord regularly.
Poetry: The older children have worked hard on poetry this year and have memorized the first 12.5 poems in IEW's Poetry Memorization program. R-girl is working on this, and going forward. More consistency would have behooved us, but generally we've done really well with this program.
Counting: We worked on counting to 100, N-boy and M-girl can both do this. We worked on skip counting evens, odds, 5s, 10s, and 3s. We'll keep reviewing the skip counting.
Other Memory Work: The children all know their full names, their parents' names, their mommy's phone number, their address. We learned The Pledge of Allegiance and The Star Spangled Banner. We enjoyed learning The Buckeye Battle Cry and Carmen Ohio.
M-girl: M-girl completed The Ordinary Parents' Guide to Teaching Reading! She's also been reading Little House in the Big Woods as a school assignment. She has, unfortunately, learned her mothers' habit of starting 4-5 books at a time.
N-boy: N-boy is rocking the house. He has just started the long vowel section in OPGTR, but has been reading things beyond his ken. Like the title to The Grouchy Ladybug. This is my favorite time, when they just start figuring out things on their own. Yay!
R-girl: I think R-girl will be ready to start in on OPGTR soon. She is loving looking at books and making up her own stories right now.
M-girl: I've been very pleased with MEP. M-girl is solidly moving forward. There's enough review in the oral lesson plans and in the work pages, that she's getting a solid foundation in her addition facts. And she loves MEP.
N-boy: N-boy was starting to get confused with symbols and terminology and how to read math statements and understand what they mean. I think this break will be at a great time for him to mature a little and do some kitchen math and using the language that is confusing in real situations.
R-girl: I'm looking forward to doing MEP Reception with her. I think she'll really enjoy it.
M-girl: Finished Mindbenders Warm-up this year. She has started working on some other logic problems this month and enjoying them as well. Qwirkle and Blokus have been really good logic games for her.
N-boy: Started Mindbenders Warm-up and seems to enjoy it. Will play with Wedgits whenever I let him.
R-girl: Loves Wedgits, and Mighty Mind Puzzles, and Qwirkle (playing on Daddy's team) and puzzles.
M-girl: We got through Lesson 80-something in FLL1. She has learned a lot.
Penmanship: This has been one of our greater failures. We really need to get on the stick with Penmanship for N-boy and M-girl.
Geography: We studied about three continents this year: North America, South America, and Europe. I had hoped to do all seven, but am content with this. We can do some more as we learn about them in history. What I really wanted to accomplish was an understanding that the world is big and that people and cultures are different. I think they understand this from the little study we did.
Spanish: This is another "great failure" I really, really wanted to do Spanish, I just never really got prepared for it as I should have.
Science: We did very little science this year. I didn't entirely expect to do better, but wish I had.
Art: Formal art also wasn't a strength. The children color, draw, do other projects all the time, but formal instruction would have behooved us.
Read Alouds: I'm very pleased with our read alouds. We read The Boxcar Children; The Princess and the Goblin; The Borrowers; Just So Stories; almost finished The Burgess Bird Book; part-way through the Jungle Book; and started The Mouse and the Motorcycle. We'll be reading Thanksgiving and/or Christmas read alouds through Epiphany when we'll pick The Jungle Book back up.
Bible: We're through the story of Gideon in the Catherine Vos story Bible. This won't stop during the holidays, we'll be doing Jesse Tree activities in the morning.
Overall, a good year. Much to improve on, but much accomplished. I've enjoyed the discipline of writing out our weekly reviews and hope to continue in the coming year(s). Weekly Reports will return here at ladydusk January 7, 2011 with our introduction to the new academic year and January 14 with our first week of lessons.