Saturday, September 15, 2007

Week 4 Report

This has been a long week, and I'm too tired collect pictures of the boys' work for this week, so -- I'm sorry to say -- it will just be my narrative of our week .
First off: Levi's' EEG came back perfectly normal, praise God!
I came to realize something this week: just because I'm not turned on by a book doesn't mean the boys' don't like it (I know, I'm a little slow sometimes). We sat down to do some read-alouds at some point this week, and Ben said, "Can't we read the Wheel on the School?" So, we'll keep on keepin' on with this selection. It does seem to be getting better -- let me rephrase that: my attitude has improved and I'm enjoying the book more, too.
I think I've stumbled upon a way to make Flashmaster work for us. We've gone ahead and are compiling a baseline of Ben's math skills. At every level, I've had him do the test feature, and we've written down how many problems he completed in 90 seconds and his percent accuracy. He's completed the addition, subtraction and multiplication operations. He has a nice accuracy record for his addition and subtraction (I'm using 90% or better at this stage), but his speed with these facts needs improvement. So, I've decided that I'll begin by figuring out his average speed at each level and use the flashcard function to help him increase his speed. The flashcard function allows you to set the speed in which the student must respond, from 9 seconds to 1 second (or less, I can't recall). For multiplication, we'll use the random tables function to improve his knowledge of these facts (and I suspect that is where we'll start with division as well). Flashmaster will become an everyday activity that Ben completes, and then at the end of every 6 week term we'll do another test to see how he's improved.
This week, Ben is working on memorizing True Nobility by Edgar Guest (thanks to Jessica at Trivium Academy for drawing my attention to this great poem!) instead of R.L. Stevenson's The Land of Nod in FLL3.
We'll be extending our study of the Mayan, Aztec and Incan civilizations into early next week because we just ran out of time. So, we'll do our Aztec History Pocket on Monday and on Tuesday read about the Incans. I had Ben work on the Mayan math activity from the SOTW-2 Activity Guide, and he really enjoyed that. I asked him to summarize what he thought of Mayan math, and he said, "Mayan math is really hard" because it is a base 20 system rather than a base 10 system.
Then we had our first Community Bible Study on Friday, and I am so thankful that we can participate in such a great program. Luke was not wanting to go into his class, but I sat with him a while and he did fine. "Mom!" he yelled, "I LOVE Bible Study." I am hoping he remembers that next Friday, too. Ben came home, dropped his notebook on the floor, grabbed his Bible and did his first lesson. Cool.
We're on step 2 of All About Spelling this week. It is alphabetizing. He knows how to do this at a basic level, but I'm trying to give him strategies to make it more efficient. I suspect we'll stay at step 2 until Tuesday then move on to the next level.
Next week we'll be adding in Latin, and at that point we'll have all our subjects scheduled in. On a good day, we can easily finish school before 1 pm. But, those days are few. Ben still needs reminders from me to move from one independent activity to the next, but he is getting better on some days. In the next week, I need to be more purposeful in my routines and help get a routine going for Luke and Levi.