Saturday, January 19, 2008

Week 15

This week was rather uneventful for us as far as school lessons go but definitely successful. I am sooooo glad that we were able to persevere and get through it. Dh was gone 3 days (which always makes things harder) so I had to give up sleep and give the baby his midnight feeding each night. This week makes me think of the word intentional - a word my friend at Smooth Stones Academy used to describe her plan for this year. Since I tend to get overwhelmed easily, I remembered to think back to Jeremiah and determined to step through each part of the day deliberately.

'For I know the plans that I have for you,' declares the Lord, 'plans for welfare and not for calamity to give you a future and hope.' Jeremiah 29:11

When I remember that God has a defined purpose for me, I can get things done with more than just a 'survival' mentality!

Our spelling lessons are so simple that I wonder if they are making a difference. I'm thinking of going through half of SWA again since we have the time and they are more interesting than my copywork list. Hmmmm...
We covered 5 different types of suffixes this week. It's the 2nd time we've gone over some of the rules so I could tell he seemed to remember as he was spelling them.

His reading was great this week as I have started requiring that he choose the books that he wants to read first thing in the morning. This way seems to motivate him to get them 'out of the way' so he doesn't wonder when in the day Mommy will say that he's read enough. These books occupy that large amount of time that it's still taking me to get everyone fed and dressed in the mornings now (post baby) and keep him in the learning mode. I was having trouble getting him to focus on lessons the last 2 weeks since he would waste that morning time playing and fuss when asked to concentrate on learning. Now he seems to feel like he's accomplishing something, I'm not having to hold his hand so much, and he's dragging his feet less when it's time for 'tablework.' This has been one of our biggest adjustments since Lincoln arrived - thus teaching me (and Jefferson) how to be more flexible and still get things done! Yippee! :-)

Jefferson still dislikes this book and I'm not sure what to do about it. The trouble is that since he's reading now, he can much better deal with larger or more difficult or unusual words when they are in the context of a story. So he doesn't enjoy exercising his brain on 'left to right', 'brake it into syllable' practice in the form of word lists. I know that it's building his ability however and so we will continue intentionally! We've finally settled into doing this while I nurse - it's seems to be just the right amount of time.
This week we covered (sorry -can't type in the diacritical marks):
oo, ood (i.e. good, look)
3 consonant beginnings (str, chr, etc.)
short e=ea ai
short i=y (in the middle of a word), ui
short o=a
short u=o, ou, oo, a

Our penmanship work was only in the form of spelling copywork and grammar copywork (from FLL). Nothing from SOTW or History Scribe this week.

More work on gathering proper and common nouns this week. I know these lessons are easy but have decided not to worry about what he's learning here since I know that he's gaining a good base from the reading and other subjects that he has.
Jefferson started working on a new memory piece called "Hearts Are Like Doors." It's fairly simple so I'm sure he'll have it finished soon.
We addressed an envelop to ourselves, and copied names of family members this week.
This was a cool week for math comprehension, not just for me but for Jefferson too! We worked on using our base-10 cards (ALRightStart) to visibly 'trade' units (i.e. if you have ten ones switch them for one ten).

This week we continued our journey through SOTW by learning about the Middle Kingdom of Egypt (when Egypt invaded Nubia and when the Hkysos invaded Egypt). I did not have time to get supplemental books from the library this week as I am still barely getting the lessons in. I feel like Jefferson is getting jipped here but I know that we will cover this subject again and we have done a few projects b4 the baby came along. He is happy to do the mapwork and the coloring pages though.
What I really want to get started is his timeline book! I've got a blank spiral bound timeline book but haven't had time to sit down and plan it's start. Once we get it started it will just be a matter of adding info from each SOTW chapter. I'll let you know when this happens - I just need to be intentional with this and put a plan date on my calender!
This week we learned about loads of different frogs and toads. Jefferson can't get enough of this stuff! I'm using a great animal encyclopedia (The Enclyclopedia of Animals by Amber Books) that I found at a discount store which has lots of extra info about many different species. Each page has vital statistics, key features, comparisons to animals in the same family, and (Jefferson's favorite) a map showing where the animal can be found on the planet. He was too hard on himself and didn't want to draw the toad sloppily on his page, so he had me draw th outline for him to color.
My goal for next week is to be satisfied with taking intentional steps rather than beating myself up for not reaching my unattainable, high and lofty goals for Jason's education at this difficult period of adjustment in our lives. God is good and has plans for us better than I could plan myself, so I need to let Him guide us!


Jennifer@DoingTheNextThing said...

I'd say that's a very productive week for a first grader! I love the animal facts page - I may use that idea w/ my 3rd grader, if you don't mind...
Having taught spelling a combined 15+ years, I've found that I dislike most traditional spelling curricula. The typical "list-per-week" model just didn't help my kids retain the rules. They would do fine on our little speling tests each week, but continue to misspell words in their every day work. My 3rd grade dd is so much better than my sons... instead of spelling for 1st and 2nd (even part of 3rd,) we used Christian Liberty Press' "Adventures in Phonics" workbooks (just the wb, not the whole curriculum.) It builds spelling skills from the ground up with lots and lots of practice. The boys (now 5th and 7th grades) have improved a lot using a book of spelling drills called "Apples." I've used Spelling Workout, Bob Jones, Christian Liberty Press for spelling, and I like "Apples" better than all of them!