Saturday, March 2, 2013

Weekly Highlights: Let's Get Back in the Swing of Things!...We are getting there!

February 25- March1

Thinking ahead: 

This is the time of year when I start thinking about next year's curriculum. I will have a fourth grader, a second grader and kindergartner.  ~My babies are growing up way too quickly...
We might pick up MFW: Exploring Countries and Cultures again. We started it a couple of years a go. Caraline completed MFW Adventures in first grade, a year earlier than suggested and so we just naturally began Countries and Cultures in second. She wasn't enjoying it. It is actually designed for third grade and up, so after a month, we stopped. I think she'd enjoy it now, and I believe I know how to tweak it for Ryan to get more out of it as a second grader, too! I am torn about using it with Ryan though, because MFW:Adventures is such a wonderful program. We both loved it.

What's New? 

Caraline and Ryan began a Journey Through Learning's lapbook and study guide for Earth.  I can already tell this is going to be great! The flu was still kicking our rear ends this week, and each lesson we've completed thus far was packed with great information, yet short and extremely FUN. This is an activity that didn't zap all of our energy. It was perfect! I'll be posting more about this curriculum in the coming weeks.
We followed the lesson on the layers of the earth with  The Magic School Bus: The Complete Series episode on Volcanoes. At Christmas, Amazon had a great sale on the complete DVD series and right now the price is still great at $38. It's normally close to $80.

Ryan and I worked some more on Math-U-See's updated curriculum, Alpha level (what we are reviewing right now) and Saxon Math 1 (our regular math curriculum). Math-U-See teaches in a slightly different way from Saxon. It's been a bit of a challenge for me to adjust to the "new" way of teaching. Because it is a little different, I felt I should begin with Lesson 1. I might be boring him a little because it is stuff he already knows pretty well, but we are approaching it from a slightly different angle. These are the foundational years, I don't think too much repetition of basic facts is a bad thing at all! We are just now getting into the basic facts that he doesn't have completely memorized yet, so next week will prove to be a turning point in our study-- good or bad, we shall see...

This week Jonathan started his first formal phonics lesson. My friend, Kristi, told me about Frontline Phonics years ago. I used it with Caraline when she was 3 and asked to learn to read. She was reading CVC words within a few weeks. Jonathan hasn't shown any interest in learning to read on his own, but as his fifth birthday approaches, it's time to batten down the hatches - just kidding/not really
 =) But, it is time to see if he's ready. We had a wonderful first lesson- broken into two sittings. We learned about the letter M and Ryan read My "m" Book to us- we got the complete set of Sound Box books used from our public library's book sale a couple of years ago for fifty cents each!

Thursdays are always a fun day to join with 92 other homeschooling families and over 200 little ones for class. Before classes begin, we have a thirty minute assembly where lots of fun things happen. Our theme this semester for guest speakers is "How We Show Jesus." We had a puppet show one week, Mr. Sharp from Operation Moblization spoke to us twice, we had a world touring (for Jesus) guitarist - who by the way will begin teaching Ryan in the coming weeks- and this week a professional dancer. I loved how she explained how she shows Jesus, and how dancing in public places has been a wonderful missions opportunity she's been apart of  overseas and here in the US. It was beautiful. I wish I had a transcript of her talk. Near the end she invited those who wanted to to join her and dance for Jesus. Caraline was one of the first to jump on stage and dance from her heart. I cried. It was so touching and not a space on stage was left by the end. You can certainly see Jesus through dance.

We also had a guest speaker in our Growing Up Wild, missions class. One of my students went to Cambodia a couple of weeks ago with her family. Her dad is a dentist, and they participated in a medical missions trip there for four days. Her mom shared with us background information on Cambodia and showed us lots of pictures and shared many stories from their trip. It was so interesting!

Caraline's Art Class:

ARTistic Pursuits has us all a little more art minded lately. Caraline decided she'd like to try a formal beginning watercolor workshop (the major lines are already drawn in pencil so that watercolor technique can be the focus) at a local art studio. The brochure listed the class as two hours, but it lasted three! That's a long time for a nine year old, but she did so good! We learned about frisquet, a liquid masking technique. The picture below shows Caraline peeling off the rubbery frisquet near the end of her painting. It's used to keep areas white while water painting.

So, we've had a good week. A week of trying new things and trying to get back into a normal groove. We did miss gymnastics class, (all three) piano class, (Caraline) and Awana (all three) this week because of fever, but the end of the week was activity filled. Hopefully, we will be able to rejoin our normal, weekly out of the home classes next week.

I am linking up with:

Homegrown Learners

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