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13 August 2011

Weekly Wrap-up: Starting Fresh

We'd planned to do school throughout the summer, but with all the excitement in our house, it didn't happen. Almost all the reconstruction is finished; we have a closet that needs to be painted, as well as some touch-up painting in the kitchen. The carpets are being cleaned next week, and then it's "just" a matter of getting all the stuff sorted back into its proper places. We picked school back up this week.

We started out with a birthday cake (Green Lantern), and the little guy had a run-in with hand, foot, and mouth disease. But he's much better now. By the time we did the shaduf on Thursday he was back to toddling around. I like that. After the high fevers and the painful blisters in his mouth, his little smile was a most welcome sight!

Easily the most exciting thing we did this week was building a shaduf, after we read about it in History. I have tons of cute pictures that I'm working on turning into a post of their own, so I'll just give you this one. It turned out awesome. Monkey also did a narration on what we did for the project.

What did we do?
We built a shaduf. We also used it.

How did it work?
It worked by us using tape and a string on a bo staff. Both ends got used. We attached one of my buckets to one end. Then we did the cans and put them on the back end.

What did the shaduf do?
It carried water. But ours was different from a real shaduf. What made it different is that the middle part wasn't the same. Our counterweight wasn't a rock; it was made out of cans.

Since we talked about levers, counterweights and the fulcrum, the shaduf included more than a passing nod at Science as well as History. But who's counting, right? Our official Science for the week was looking at dolphins and black-capped chickadees. I love the bird clips on YouTube. We see chickadees on our feeders all the time, and I've pointed out their call often enough that Monkey commented that it's familiar when he watched the clip. But there's something cool about the close-ups, and there are some really nice clips on there. This one calls itself a "mini-documentary."

Phonics is going well. Monkey is very comfortable with short vowel sounds now, and we're starting to introduce some of the other vowel sounds. It's going to take some practice, but he's getting there. We also added a few more review games from our Happy Phonics kit, which has been a nice change of pace. The "Build a Sentence" game has been a particular hit with Monkey, and I like it as well because it forces him to pay attention. The words in the game are pretty basic, so I may expand this game a little to make it reflect the rules we've learned recently.

I decided that our Math was not really challenging Monkey, and so we'd picked up the pace a while back, but still he didn't seem to be challenged. After making it a matter of prayer, I've decided to skip him ahead in the book a little. But this means we need some new manipulatives: cuisenaire rods and base 10 blocks. And, I need to re-plan what we're doing when. So, other than a few tanagrams one day, we didn't do math this week, and likely won't next week either.

We practiced Writing the letters N, R, and W this week, as well as doing the copywork, "Jesus made the world." He's doing well. Much more comfortable with capital letters still, but making progress.

We have several postcards that have come in since last we learned about the countries our cards come from for Geography. When I grabbed one, it was from Poland, so that's the country we learned about this time.

In Grammar, we're discussing pronouns, and I put the list of pronouns in Monkey's Memory work book. He's doing well on memorizing the list, and we're about halfway through the set of pronoun lessons in First Language Lessons. It's not very exciting, but it's building a good grammar foundation which will be useful later when we start doing foreign languages and more compositions.


Mrs Random said...

We did pronouns this week too! We did a quick and easy game in our driveway to help my boy separate and distinguish subject and object pronouns. It sounds like you had a great week :)

Ritsumei said...

Did you blog your driveway game? We haven't done subjects/objects yet, but anything to make grammar more enjoyable is worth making note of for later!


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