Saturday, March 27, 2010

Two Weeks in Review:

WE'RE # 1

I has been so hectic here, well with Spring finally trying to arrive...and sunshine, warm winds, flowers beginning to pop...and tons of YARDWORK!!! Spring always melts the snow away to reveal beneath all the toys and stuff we never got to stash before the first early blizzard. In other words, it looked like a war zone out there!!!

We have all been so totally cabin crazy after this very LONNNNGG Winter.
Ok, Now for the 2 weeks in review:
SWIMMING: Swim season came to a Vitorious end for us this year. Elvis and Dr. Kazam both did best times and medaled in their events. The lovely Dr. swam a beautiful 50 yd butterfly in 32:40 putting her in 6th place overall at ESSL championships. Elvis swam his 100 free in 52:89 breaking his best time by over a second and giving him 6th place overall. Not bad seeing that he is at the very bottom of his age group. The team took FIRST PLACE OVERALL beating out 16 other teams.
LIFE SKILLS: Cubby Learned to ride a 2 wheeler. That is always a big deal around here! Hammy is learning to be the garbage man around here. The job of taking the garbage and taking care of recyclables always goes to our youngest when they turn 6. Our youngest youngest is now 6, so he better get good at his job!

Dr. Kazam is now getting more adept at kitchen chores and i am almost ready to put her in charge of making sure we have a clean kitchen at night. She is also the official pet feeder.

Elvis learned to tune up the truck this week. He has also been assissting Daddy with some plumbing and heating. He has been working one day a week with Dad.

Ding has decided to change majors as of next semester. She is not enjoying herself at all....she feels a lot of relief finally making a decision. I think she will be studying photographic journalism....Journalism? This is the girl who would not write even a paragraph until I forced her to in 11 th grade! She could not wrie a full page essay until the end of 11th. This same child, when in Community College, stayed up with me all night writing and editing and learning to write a fantastic paper in Eng. 101. I was pulled aside by her History Professor during an awards ceremony to be told that she was the one student in 20 years who wrote papers that were poignant, interesting and kept him riveted to his chair...HUH????? LOL! You just never know.

Yuggie found a JOB!!!! He has been working with his dad since he was 14 doing heating, plumbing etc. He is certified all over the place! He hates working with his dad....sigh....So, I really wanted him to have the experience of working for a job which he got on his own...pound the pavement etc. It is really important to be able to present yourself , ask for a job, fill out an application, interview etc. Well, at first, he went to different plumbing outfits...HUH? I asked him why would he want to do that and he answered "It is all I know how to do." HUH??? I asked him to take chances, to think what he WANTED to do. To go outside his comfort zone a bit. Really, I didn';t care if he ended up driving a delivery van or working at the grocery. But he went even better than that. He found out they needed swim instructors at the Y...and he applied...and he GOT THE JOB!!! he will be teaching swim lessons and the course they have on Swim Team prep...which is a 4 stroke and start and turn clinic! He is so excited! I am excited! The head of the swim program is excited!!!! WHOOOPPPPEEEE!!!! He is still in school full time, but this job is perfect for him, plus working for the Y is still considered a community service...looks great on scholarship applications. YAY YUGGIE!!!!

Ok: On the academic front:
Family School: Not by might, nor by power, but by My Spirit sayeth the Lord of Hosts. This was our verse for this week.

Dr. Kazam, Elvis, Yuggie and I have all finished The Lightening Thief series...That was SO MUCH FUN!!!! We are now working on The Looking Glass Wars.
We have finished reading the Old Testament, which we began in September. We used the Vos Story Bible and we all loved it. We will read through the NT stories over the Spring and Summer. Over this week we will re-read the stories of Passover, The Last Supper and the Crucifixion, Resurrection as we prepare for our Sedar. Of course being as Non-traditional as I am, we will be having ours 2 days after Passover...LOL. The Lord commands us to tell our children of the Passover every year...and we do. But this year, i really wanted to do it on the Thursday before Good Friday and then bring us into Easter. i want this holiday to impact my children.

SOTW3. We covered the sections on Cathering the Great and the beginning of the Industrial Revolution. We read about Eli Whitney and James Watt.

I am determined to finish this up this year. 3 years in SOTW3 will never do!

We also are enjoying a book aout John Adams written and illustrated by Cheryl Harness. It is a beautiful book!

Hammy: Well, We have been "doing school" or at least I have been at battle with Mr. Ham all year to sit down and get busy. Well, it seems I may have underestimated this little bugger. I gave him the tests fromCLE Learn to read and it seems that he has "Learned to Read!" He got a 100% on the test...rolled his eyes...told me it was boring and he didn't want to do it anymore. OY VEY!!!!!, Mr. Smarty Pants, what shall we do with baby? He is certainly NOT a workbook kid. Neither is Cubby, so back to the old drawing board...LOL. I should have know it was just too easy...sigh.....So, I am going back to the old CM path....LOL. I will be s\posting plans etc in the near future. My year of "doing school" instead of "homeschooling" has brought me a little break in planning and helped me to rekindle my love for teaching my kids and allowing my kids to teach themselves while I provide materials and feedback. I ahve put all of his workbooks away until Fall. Spring and summer are for nature study, out door play and reading in the tree house.

Cubby: See Hammy!!!! LOL! Dh tells me to school them together. OK....LOL. Workbooks have driven the love of learning out of this kid. HOW can I cover the same material and skip the drudgery? Use the CLE books as a guide. Limit the amount of writing in the workbooks, bring in living books and hands on games for math. I think I can do this.

Dr. Kazam: She is finishing up CLE level 500 Math. WOW!!! We are a level behind and I am not sure I am ok with that, but it is what it is. This girlie is just not mathy yet. She is now using Life of Fred to review fractions and solidify what she has learned. She loves LoF.

Elvis: Working on author project ala A Beka World Literature. He chose to write about Tolstoy. So far, that seems to be all he has. I asked for a thesis or statement of pupose to no once lesson is: Kids need you to show them HOW! So, I will show him how and report on his progress next week.

He has finished Module 7&8 of Apologia Chem. I allow him to do the tests open book. He is really enjoying this book. I also borrowed the Teaching Company DVD's from the library. Yuggie is finding these really helpful with his CC Chem class and Elvis is enjoying them too.

Philosophy: Studied Spinoza using Smarr Phil and Sophies World with Intro to Philosophy :DK

We pretty much dropped grammar again...sigh. Still enjoying online Intro to Music through Memoria Press, although I have not seen a single assignment , quiz or anything with this class. (???)

Well, we are on a break from swim practice for the next 3 weeks....and I feel a bit rested up now, so...we are off onto another week...TALLY HO!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Saturday, March 6, 2010

Week in Review 3/1/10- 3/5/10

Journeys of Captain James Cook

We had some fun this week. Not anything big and exciting...but little funs that make those childhood memories. We played with cousins, we went ice skating, lots of swim practices for Elvis and Dr. Kazam.

We did some school work too!

This week we studied Captain James Cook. We learned about the early discoveries and explorations of Australia. We followed Captain Cook's journeys on our maps. Cubby and MMM learned their compass points. We also learned to 7 continents and 4 oceans.
We added Cook to our timeline to see that his explorations took place at the same time as the American revolution. We looked at portraits of Cook and saw that his clothes were very similar George Washington's clothes.

The kids thought it was so hysterical that explorers needed to bring artists with them on their travels because no one had a camera! LOL! Talk about being replaced by technology!

We looked up some Australian and looked at pictures of the flora and fauna.

Elvis finished Module 6 in his chemistry. Stoichiometry was a hard learn for him buthe got it!! He took his exam and got a 94%!!! YAY!!!
He also finished Chapter 9 in Teaching Textbooks Algebra 2. After struggling with Chalkdust in the begin ning of the year, we decided to go back to TT. That was a wonderful decision for us. He is back on track...and he is using the Larson book as back-up and review. We will also use Life of Fred as a review for Geometry over the summer before he takes the PSAT.

Elvis finished another unit in World Lit and continues reading in Dante's Inferno. he also read the Book Theif this week. He is plugging along in his Grammar. he is studying Spinoza in Philosophy.

This weekend we will be swimming in Silver Championships, so he is all tapered and shaved and ready to go!

Dr. Kazam finished CLE Reading 6. She loved the book! She learned so much from this program including literary devices and how to edit and correct her own work.

We added Life of Fred Fractions to her Maths. She is finishing up CLE level 500. Instead of rushing into 600, I want to use LOF to solidify wat she learned in 500. She is loving Fred!

Dr. Kazam is also all tapered and ready to swim at Silvers. I wish I had my replacement Camera!

The little boys did their lessons ok. As long as I sit there with them, they will get it done...otherwise OY VEY! The sun has finally appeared and the thermometer is above freezing, so my littlies spent so much time out doors. I gave them some chores this week and they took to them like ducks to water. They like bein to teach them to clean up their toys. Their room is a lego explosion!

The little boys have learned to sit through and ENJOY read alouds! YAY!!! We have read so many books this week.

Now off to watch the new Phineas and Ferb!!!! Brand new episode!

Book Challenge: Week 9 Book 10

Ok...I admit it. I read Harry Potter this week. After years of hearing the Christian Controversy surrounding this book....and not banning it from my kids...but NOT adding it to their reading lists, I decided to read it. My opinion...ummmmm...well it seemed to be a little like a watered down Roald Dahl, mixed with a bit of Lemony Snickett and not so well written. I still won't add it to my kids reading lists, but I really DO NOT GET why all the uproar. After reading some of the Ancient Great Books that are totally encouraged in any classical studies...including Christian Classical studies, this book is just so tame. It was cute. You like Harry. You like his little band of friends. It definitely had a good verses evil theme with good winning. Maybe if they were hobbits instead of wizards that would be ok? I think my 7 year old would probably really like this book...but my 11 year old would probably roll her eyes. She would rather read Grimms at this point. So, after years of avoiding Haryy, I find him harmless and somewhat cute.