December 2, 2012

Week Twelve Wrap-Up

Bible: Last week we read through the end bit of Ephesians, started and finished Colossians, and this week we are at the beginning in Genesis which fits really well with our reading of Grandpa's Box.

Stories of Faith: Grandpa's Box is a delightful story written as an ongoing conversation between Grandpa and his grand kids, Marc and Amy. Everyday after school as the children help him in his junk to treasure shop He tells them the story of the Bible. Behind each story is the backdrop of the war between God and Satan and how we play a part in it. Marc is especially interested in battles so although he knows the bible stories he is fascinated by Grandpa's war analogies. The boys are loving this book and like Marc though they know the bible stories Grandpa's analogies and unique point of view brings up for them a new take on God and what He has done for us.

Last week we completed The Stories of the Pilgrims right on Thanksgiving day!

Math: We have completed our lessons which took us through the multiplication table, table by table and learning some patterns in each number table, and through out the table. We learned skip count songs for each of the numbers and we did all of the multiplication story problems in Ray's Primary Arithmetic several times over. So last week and this week we have been doing a new lesson rota. I began with introducing the boys to The Matrix, a tool I found over at Don Potter's website for getting the math table facts down quickly. Then we work a page or two in The Usborne Math Skills book called Multiplying and Dividing Puzzles.

The Matrix is a set up so the child works all of the math facts from 2X2 up to 12X12 as is done on the multiplication table however all the duplicate problems have been removed. So, 3X4 in the 3's table is not re introduced again as 4X3 in the 4's table. There are then 67 problems to complete. The table is filled in and timed. Once the boys have completed the table I mark down how long it took them to do it and how many out of 67 they did correctly. I post their best times and they try to beat themselves. Thus far the best time is 8.5 minutes with 2 mistakes (65/67). The goal is to do the problems until they come so easily that you simply are racing to write them down. This could get old day-in and day-out so in between doing the Matrix challenge I give them some fun math problems to play around with from the Usborne puzzle book.

Our rota is three days a week The Matrix, two day Usborne, then the next week it would change to three days a week Usborne two days a week The Matrix.

The mathematicians we read about on project day are Neils Henrik Abel and Ada Bryron Lovelace.

Ancient Greek History: We are still reading The Children's Plutarch by F. J. Gould and working on our paper mache' armor.

And we put a few things in or History notebook...

Armor of God pages. The one on the left was drawn by Nadene from Practical Pages.
Zak and TJ completing a map drill
Aesop's Copy work: I used to have to give out treats to get them to aim for making no cross outs or mistakes, however now that I have stopped doing that they still aim for it themselves and do their best in the coloring because it is good to do it even without the treat. TJ especially hates to make any mistakes and works very hard to get it right. Zak is wonderful at the handwriting but this year he has lost all interest in coloring or drawing etc. But my shinning example really is Max my oldest. Last year he was such a dawdler and I wondered just how I was going to deal with it and for how long because it really bugged me. However this year he is such a different student. It is plain he does not like some of the work I assign but he willingly makes himself get it done. In addition he has become my advocate as he encourages the other two to stop their whining and get with it. Those are his words not mine. :) "It takes less time if you just obey and do what she says," he tells Zak, "She'll make you do it later on your free time if you don't." They both shudder and get to work. I think their understanding and value of time has been the incentive to work it through. As they have grown older and have more ideas of their own they want to work on then their time is more valuable to them. Natural consequences have paid off no nagging needed!

Science/Birds: After reading all the way through The Tale of Jolly Robin by Arthur Scott Bailey we are reading Blacky the Crow by Thornton Burgess.

Nature Notebooks: 

After reading from A Pocket full of pinecones the boys headed outside to find something to draw. Max and TJ both found a lizard and TJ was so excited! "Mom it had yellow on its back see I drew that in!" I was so pleased. For the last few weeks when he looks for something to draw he comes back with the same leaf...but not this week.

On project day we made some bird feeders from old paper towel rolls, peanut butter and birdseed for the winter birds.

Language Arts: Our lesson in Primary Language Lessons was to memorize The Swing by Robert Louis Stevenson. We took four days to do this. Day one, orally go through the poem reciting the first stanza then the first and second etc until we are saying the whole poem altogether. Day two, the boys copied 1/2 of the poem and drew a picture. Day three, they copied the second 1/2 of the poem and drew a picture. The fourth and last day the boys orally recited separately the entire poem, then they recited it al together. It is so amazing how they memorize these verses so easily. And how adorable they sound as they do it.

Max's copy work.
Last week they wrote about what they would do on vacation. Here is Zak's composition and drawing.

Read-aloud before bed: Gentle Ben, On the Banks of Plum Creek.

Latin: Minimus dialogue and verbs and adjectives.

Art/Music: Drawing Lessons # 3-#8 in I Can Do all Things

TJ's Wally the worm in the garden, a lesson on forshortening
Max's drawing.
Zak's drawing
We began reading Chopin the Early Years by Opal Wheeler last week. I read from the book one day and then on the other day we listened to his music ( 99 most essential Chopin Masterpieces) and began to color a page from Opal Wheeler's book.

TJ's work in progress

1 comment:

  1. I just want to say a big thank you for sharing your past 12 weeks/Term 1 on blogger. I have been lurking and following along and have been encouraged and inspired. You have no idea how meaningful this is in the midst of my particularly rough stretch of life. So thank you so very much for sharing!
    We are now using Aesop's copywork because you shared and we all love it!
    You might like to check out Times Tales by Jennie Von Eggers-MJ Flanagan - Dena Wood
    This is something we just got our hands on and LOVE and I thought I would pass on the idea because I know you are in the midst of Multiplication Internalization.
    Many blessings and thanks!