Friday, February 19, 2010

Week 22: First Big Test and Auto Show!

In an effort to be more consistent with blogging about our efforts, I'll try to be more succinct this week! Our Adventures/MFW-related topics of the week were:
  • Jesus the Head of the Body
  • History/Geography: Going West by Wagon Train; Illinois, Alabama
  • Science: The Human Body
(MFW again nicely tying together its Bible and Science topics!)

I don't actually have much to share about the above, and unfortunately, I didn't take too many photos last week. It felt as though our week went by very fast, and we weren't able to finish some of the activities planned for the week, so we'll save them for this week and hope we can get through them all. I've noticed that our homeschooling day is creeping to a later starting time, which sometimes results in our not getting everything done in time, so I think I have to start being a little more diligent on my end to get downstairs and have breakfast ready earlier. Of course this means I need to go to bed earlier, too! Easier said than done when I enjoy the quiet of the nighttimes, with all the kiddos sound asleep.

In other subjects....

Math: This week we did our Singapore Math 1B evaluation. Harry had 90+ questions to answer based on his work over the past many months on this book, and he achieved our goal of at least 80% correct, although I was hoping to see something higher, truth be told. But, the test showed me several areas in which we have to go back and focus attention (namely double-digit subtraction!), so we'll go ahead and do that this coming week, making sure we shore up any area that seems shaky, before we proceed. I do love Singapore Math overall, but this shows me that we could use some more practice time on the concepts, which I'll start to try building in. Although it is sobering to recognize that I bear most of the responsibility for how he is doing academically, at the same time I'm glad to be aware of the areas of both Harry's strengths and weaknesses so that I can spend time focusing on those areas that need it. Ron continues cruising through Singapore Earlybird A, which is now doing a unit on shapes; after he's done with the day's assignment he keeps asking me, "when do I do math?" I both find it funny that he only thinks of math as numbers and algorithms and also relate; that's how I often think of math when it is actually much, much more!

Latin and Chinese: I discovered last week when listening to Harry doing his Prima Latina lesson that he had been forgetting more than I realized. So, this past week we did a lot of Latin review instead of forging ahead. We also met with a new Chinese tutor to help Harry with his pronunciation and conversational speaking; our progress in Mandarin has slowed this year as a result of not being a part of the Chinese school we were in last year, but on the other hand our stress level has decreased significantly and we're still making forward progress overall, so I'm still happy with our decision to do Chinese on our own. It's difficult but so long as we have regular time with a native speaker, I think we will be okay.

Handwriting: Harry's cursive is really coming along nicely. I gave him some "Fruits of the Spirit" stickers to play with last week, and he did this on his own initiative:

We still have a way to go, of course, but I'm pleased with how things are going thus far with our New American cursive program. As for brother Ron, I switched him to the more traditional Zaner-Bloser font this past week, per last week's post about the downsides of italicized fonts and pencil tracing. Some people I know actually start right off with teaching cursive but I'm not sure I'm that brave! It feels challenging enough to help my 7 year old with it!

Lastly, we took a day off from our weekly homeschool co-op so that my husband could take Harry and Ron to the annual Chicago Auto Show. Thought I'd share a couple of photos from their outing. There weren't too many kids there on a school day so they had the run of the place in the morning! Ah, the fringe benefits of homeschooling. =)

Back to reality now with a new week. Hopefully I'll get the next report up sooner! Have a great week.

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