Wednesday, November 16, 2011

The goings on

Here is what we have been up to in the last week and a half.  We are continuing with Mammoth Math, finishing up Multiplication 2 and Division 2. We've been doing many word problems that included many topics like fractions, beginning equations, working with decimals, as well as different problem solving strategies. I am glad the boys are getting a lot of practice with these.  Ds9 has once again requested we do some geometry once we are done, I've been planning on doing just that, so that will probably be the next topic.  The boys are enjoying Grammar Land and have no difficulty in doing the exercises that go with the text.  I am happy they like it because the language and the vocabulary is by no means simple.  I do think that they would need some additional something to reinforce all the concepts covered. We started doing some history of Ancient Greece last week.  Ds8 really likes the Great Wonders of the World by Russel Asch so he has been getting a lot of informal history but ds9 needs some encouragement in the history department.  I am hoping once we start the Guerber book he'll be more interested.  In copy work we have moved on into cursive in our Italics Beautiful Handwriting for Children and the boys are doing better than I expected, it really is an easier transition after using Italics print.  We didn't get to do science last week, at least not formally.  We didn't get to bake together or do any projects, we were just too busy with other things.  But I am hoping to get to some of it this week and as I wrote before, I am trying to add a thing or two every week as we get more settled into the routine.  There was a lot of free- form arts and crafts by all the interested parties, mostly by the younger set. Dd5 wanted to do some worksheets like her older brothers, so I printed out some math for her to try out.  She had no difficulty with counting but did have a hard time copying actual numbers and she did enjoy coloring her pages afterwards.  Over all I don't think it was a great success, so I am thinking of trying something else with her.  What did work, as I saw suggested on a CM blog, was tracing over letters. She didn't have any trouble with that and in fact requested we do that again.  We did get to read out loud, especially with the little ones.  I really hope we get to do more of that with everyone. Ds9 does plenty of independent reading on his own.  We went back to geography this week.  We started out with some review - continents, hemispheres, longitude, latitude and other geographical terms.  I am hoping to cover various landforms and their defintions this week.  I found some good worksheets and some montessori materials on the subject.  So that's on the agenda. The boys have been doing their mazes as well and had a good time constructing with plasticine and straws and old pencils. We listened to music and some story tapes, there was still plenty of outdoor time for playing and swinging, etc, some of the kids made it to the library some of the time. Lots of good discussions on many subjects.  Dh is particularly good at that and so it happens quite naturally and regularly.   Ds1.5 loves to be outside, whether to watch birds,think or play.  I really love this age.  He also learned to drink with a straw and is quite a pro now with drinking from a cup, building towers with big Leggoes and simple ball playing, so sweet.  The boys are making really nice progress with their Tae Qwan Do and are very excited about it. Ds9 has been pushing for music lessons, we really need to find something local at some near point in the future.  I've been reading many CM blogs and such to reinspire myself but also to get some new ideas to try with the younger set.  So I've been looking into CM way of teaching reading for example.  I've been also looking into ways to add picture study into our schedule in the coming weeks and some more geography ideas.  I've found some more suggestions for living history books which might come in handy.  And as always, collecting ideas for future craft projects.  So we've been busy:)  I am still trying to find a perfect balance for all these activities but most of the time we follow a flexible schedule for some of the time and play it by ear for the rest, which seems to work out just fine.  Over all I think we have succeeded in keeping thing relatively positive, various kids have been having various disciplinary issues, but for the time being we are doing the best we can and as I said, for most part things do fall into place.  I've been looking for some ideas as to how to add vocabulary and drawing into our studies.  I've found some interesting possibilities, to be posted later.  And so it goes, thank G-d.


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