Saturday, February 2, 2008

Weeks 20 and 21 Reports

I have honestly been too cold (we turn the heat down in the evenings to save on heating oil) and too frazzled lately to post an update, so for those two people out there reading (Hi Mom and Dad), I apologize. We've been making steady progress in our studies.

Bible: This past week, we didn't attend our CBS because Nana came to visit -- yeah!!! The week before, we almost attended CBS...then I had this niggling thought in the back of my mind that I'd left the toaster oven on. I knew I just couldn't drive the 20 miles down there and not know for sure if my house was going to burn down, so we turned around to come home -- where I received peace of mind to know that, indeed, the toaster oven was off. Despite our poor attendance, Ben has been very good at keeping up with his lesson (better than his mom, that is for sure).

History: We're reading Pedro's Journal right now, which is an historical fiction book about a boy on Christopher Columbus' Santa Maria. We're enjoying it and combining it with an activity book I bought this summer at a Tall Ship regata here. He's learning about signal flags, will make a model tall ship boat, and made hardtack this past week. Daddy actually liked it, and would like us to experiment by adding various spices to it to make it taste more cracker-y.

Ben is also reading Vostaas, a book about Plains' indian life. This week I asked him to narrate about tipis, which he then copied in cursive and illustrated. We're also reading Walk the World's Rim about the explorer Esteban (great link to Enchanted Learning's pages about him) and the Spanish explorers of the southwest. I have timeline figures for Core 3 that were passed down to me, and I can't find them right now -- erggg! So we haven't been faithful with that component of our history studies.

Language Arts: We haven't started AAS evel 3 yet, but are reviewing in anticipation of starting this coming week. We finished our 7 lessons about dictionary use and have returned to our grammar lessons without forgetting too much.

Math: I'm really pleased with Ben's progress as we begin SM 3A. He is doing well, aside from careless copying mistakes, learning about two-step word problems. He's also finally mastered his x3 tables!! We've been drilling and drilling and drilling with Flashmaster and the Math U See website, and he's done well but not with mastery recall...until this week after completing some copywork of these facts. Now, he knows them down cold. Guess what we'll be including on a regular basis from now on?

Other stuff: Because of ski lessons, science has been slow and mostly steady for the past three weeks. We've been learning about carbon and have a little bit left next week, then we'll move on to oxygen. Ben completed our carbon experiment all by himself, and did a great job writing out his lab sheet by himself. It is wonderful to see him take some responsibility with more of the writing projects, and I think I am seeing glimmers of how the writing recommendations made by Susan Wise Bauer and her mom in TWTM will bear fruit for Ben.

Luke's been progressing slow and steady with his kindergarten, despite having his glasses broken by Levi. They should be in next week, so until then, we're just doing read alouds and crafts. His vision is so poor (20/70 uncorrected) that I will not do any math, handwriting or phonics with him until we get his "army" glasses (I told him that the green Flexon glasses were army glasses so we wouldn't have to argue about not getting his batman glasses replaced with Superman or Spiderman glasses).

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