Friday, January 11, 2013

Week 18 in Review

This is our first week back.  Re-entry is always painful, but all in all this week went really, really well.

I changed our schedule up over Christmas break.  Last semester, I had time with Luke & Ezekiel scheduled first thing, followed by Jacob, and then Micah and Nicholas in the afternoon.  This didn't work for a couple of reasons, most notably:  Micah & Nicholas wouldn't be very focused by the afternoon, especially if they'd spent the morning playing and Luke & Ezekiel wouldn't make progress if for some reason I wasn't available to teach them or if we had an interruption, which seems to happen mostly in the mornings.

This semester, I basically flipped the schedule.  I work with Micah first, and while I work with him Nicholas works on hands on logic puzzles (like Color Code or Q-Bitz, Master Reader, and Miquon).  Then I work with Nicholas while Micah reads, does his independent work, and finishes up anything from our teaching time.  After I finish with Nicholas, I move along to Jacob.  He's got enough independent work to keep him busy while I work with Micah & Nicholas, and then he's got work to finish from our teaching time in the afternoon.

I teach Luke & Ezekiel in the afternoon.  The big change, though, is that I teach the next day's lesson.  On Monday, I'm teaching the material for Tuesday, on Tuesday, I'm teaching the material for Wednesday, and so on.  This way they have a full day's work to do before we have our teaching time.  Our days are feeling shorter, it seems like the boys are working faster, and I feel more engaged and on top of things.  It's funny how a little switch can make such a large impact.  Of course, I've been at this long enough to know that in a couple of weeks something will change, and I'll have to adjust what we do, but for now I'm going to be happy.

As far as what we accomplished:

Luke and Ezekiel:

  • Finished The Ancient Near Eastern World and started on The Ancient Egyptian World
  • Finished Chosen by God and started on The Codes of Hammurabi and Moses
  • Discussed ad hominem circumstantial and tu quoque fallacies
  • Learned about predicate nouns and the 3rd declension in Latin
  • Started lesson 6 in Elementary Greek 2
  • Took the chapter 2 test in Rod & Staff's English 7, and started chapter 3 (on nouns)
  • Finished lesson 10 in spelling
  • Learned about magnetism, nuclear force, and how atoms can be different
  • Read through chapter 8 of Prince Caspian
  • Began the annotating lesson in Windows to the World
  • They both made progress in math
  • Finally started his Spanish program
  • Started lesson 7 in spelling
  • Began The Creative Writer and worked a few more lessons in Sentence Composing for Elementary Students
  • Finished chapter 1 in Rod & Staff's English 5
  • Started reading Super Grammar
  • Read through chapter 8 in Prince Caspian
  • Started chapter 6 (masculine 2nd declension nouns) in Latin for Children A
  • Learned about the Old Kingdom in Egypt (with Micah and Nicholas)
  • Worked through a bit more of Soaring into Flight with Micah & Nicholas (he's teaching this)
  • Read The Nature of Magnetism (Prentice Hall's Science Explorer Electricity and Magnetism)
  • Made progress in math (fractions, place value, and Roman numerals, among other things)
  • Started week 8 in Writing With Ease 2
  • Learned about "the lines that hang in the air", otherwise known as apostrophes, in Rod & Staff English 3
  • Finished lesson 8 in spelling
  • Read through chapter 8 in Prince Caspian
  • Started reading Super Grammar
  • Learned about the Old Kingdom in Egypt
  • Worked through a bit more of Soaring into Flight
  • Read through chapter 3 in Henry and Ribsy
  • Completed chapters 5-8 in Life of Fred Butterflies
  • Made progress in math (including learning about perfect squares)
  • Finished week 5 in Writing with Ease 1
  • Read Owl at Home
  • Started Rod & Staff Spelling 2
  • Nearly completed Plaid Phonics A
  • Worked on Master Reader, logic puzzles, and Miquon
  • Learned about the Old Kingdom in Egypt
  • Worked through a bit more of Soaring into Flight
  • Made progress in math

Over the weekend I'm going to figure out where to go with teaching Luke & Ezekiel writing; I need to firm up a plan and get it entered in Homeschool Tracker.  I'm kind of lost with my plans for Classical Writing Aesop and Homer for Older Beginners--they've gotten out of whack over the last semester.  Since fixing it will mean rewriting the plans, I might as well evaluate whether or not it's still suiting our needs or if I should switch them to something else.

I also need to get our New American Cursive worksheets printed and ready, and get Jacob's Snap Circuit science plans entered in.

All in all, I was pleased with how this week went.  Hopefully it's a harbinger of things to come.

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