Sunday, October 14, 2012

Weekly Report: Week 9 (part 1)

I cannot believe we have finished our first unit (quarter) of the school year already!  It is sosososo true that the older you get, the faster the years go by.  Despite some hiccups and bumps along the way, everyone is really making great progress.

Over the summer, Luke and I tested a product for The Old Schoolhouse Crew Review
to help him learn all his multiplication facts fast. It is called Math Made Easy. Well, last week we finished it (I forgot to journal about that achievement), and this week we returned to Math U See's Gamma program.  I promised Luke that as he works through Gamma (which teaches multiplication)and gets 95% or better, we can move faster through the worksheets.  He was rewarded this week with finishing a complete lesson with 100% test score!  I am truly proud of his hard work.

The boys also finished up their lapbooks for Tapestry of Grace's history program.  My only regret with our history program so far is that I keep forgetting to do the geography maps on weeks we have them.  I'd also like to get back into memorizing Classical Conversation's history songs that go with what we are learning.  I might purchase their Cycle 3 app to help make using the history sentences more accessible.  We all like using the iPad!

We sort of took the week off from writing and science because we had a four day week of school.  I surprised the boys and told them on Monday morning at 8:30 that we were taking the day off.  We never take secondary holiday off so this was, indeed, a big surprise.   Actually, we did end up doing some science -- on Friday we started using some science experiments that I'll be writing a review on in a few weeks!

Finally, since our first quarter is over, I decided to re-evaluate what organizational systems are and are not working.  I had created a teacher's planner page for me to use primarily with Luke and Levi.  It ended up getting very complex, because I needed three sections:  A combined section and separate sections for their independent math and grammar and the like. 

Additionally, I was having trouble with Luke progressing from one subject to another with an increased level of self-reliance.  It was my own fault -- Luke never looked at my planner.  I mean, how's the poor kid going to know what to do when he doesn't know what comes next?

I really loved the Mead planner I purchased for Ben this summer -- but the style was so unique I could not even find it on Mead.com! So I decided to adapt it for Luke....and Levi wanted one, too, of course!  His reading is progressing well enough that I decided to go ahead and make one for him, too.  Here's a picture:


I went ahead and had it bound across the top.  This was created using Excel.  Can I get an "amen!" in appreciation for all Excel can do?! 

I know that the newness will wear off over time, but Luke is really liking his planner so far.  I am teaching him how to use it to move from one subject to the next.  I'm teaching him how to voice his needs for his education (Mom, we need to do our spelling now.").  For as disorganized and distracted as he can be, he also wanted to have a planned day, so his book has several copies of a daily planner so we can decide when to work on his subjects. 

Speaking of planners and accountability and scheduling your day....Ben's progress to date will be in a different weekly report.  Oh vey.

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