Friday, October 10, 2014

Learning Notes~Week 11 {2014-2015}

I'm hoping to start journaling our weekly learning notes here on the blog. Since we are 11 weeks into the school year and this is the first time I did a post of this kind, ask questions if you need more information about anything.

All the pictures were taken on Wednesday when we spent half the day out at the family farm. We did school and the boys picked up walnuts (they were $6 short in buying a new video game and they made $24 on the walnuts). 

We set up school by the lake. We normally take books to read but we had some book work to do and decided to take a table with us.

Week 11 is the last week in term 1 before our end of term 1 examination. Next week will be exams, continue in math, and catch up in any subject that I feel we should be farther ahead in. 

Caleb (13 yo-8th grade)
We are still working to fit it all into the day with Caleb. This is partly my fault for not having a schedule written in stone (or printed out and in front of him) and encouraging him to use a timer. This boys will enjoy a subject and then instead of spending thirty minutes as schedule, I find him still working on it an hour later (Not really doing the assignment but making up stuff to do in addition to the assignment. Which I can see as a good thing but we are trying to keep him on task and save extra stuff for his free time). We are working on this! Caleb used Friday as a make-up day since he was sick the previous week and had fallen behind in a few subjects.

History is moving steadily along and Caleb continued reading Hittite Warrior and American Gun this week (ancient history and American history). In geography he started on states which should be review for him. I'm hoping he learns the postal abbreviations this time through. He used Visits to North America (Simply Charlotte Mason) and Sheppard's Software.

Caleb thought this was the perfect place to read Hittite Warrior.

In religion, Caleb finished Ablaze: Stories of Daring Teen Saints last week. I didn't get much in narrations out of him from this book and I'm looking forward to the exam next week to see what I can get out of him. ; ) Since he finished it earlier than expected, he didn't have any saint readings this week and instead read in Saint Joseph Baltimore Catechism #2.

Caleb continued reading Exploring the World of Physics and watching related video on The Happy Scientist. He learned about wave motion and light. The physic book is challenging for Caleb and his narrations are so-so or nonexistent. We cut his readings in half but he is still struggling. This is on my to-do list to fix. Any ideas? Maybe a different topic in science? Perhaps this is too hard? Do we need to do some work to get him ready for high school level science? I have a lot of questions!

Caleb is progressing nicely in his new math book. We switched to Saxon 8/7 (from Math-U-See Zeta) almost a month ago. He is liking this math program much better and our lessons are much smoother. He completed lessons 12-15 this week and test 2. There is a lot of review in these early lessons but they are a must for Caleb since we have some gaps due to the different scope and sequence of MUS. Caleb has also been using ALEKS and it looks like that didn't do that this week as assigned. ??? I need to see what happened!

I'm still struggling to get our language rich year up and running smoothly. This will be on my to-do list for the second term. 

Caleb finished his keyboarding book that we started last year. I'm glad this goal is checked off the list and that Tyler can start the book now. I will be encouraging Caleb to type written narrations and other writing assignments to improve his typing. He did this book completely on his own so I really don't know how he has done. I plan to add this to exams next week. 

Caleb completed Writing With Skill Level 1 week 4 this week. He was struggling just a little and I didn't give in and had him continue doing this on his own and he did just fine. Just being near him with the manual in my hand (to answer any questions) was key. I noticed he also does better to read the assignment out loud (no matter if I'm listening or not). This was a subject that he got side tracked and took way too much time.

Caleb also worked in his Fix It program, All About Spelling, and continued in The Lord of the Rings.

The boys went across the lake to pick up walnuts while I sat by the lake and read. Perfect! Can you see them? I'm zoomed in perfect good but still not close enough. I didn't see any reason to leave my spot.  ; )

Tyler (10 yo-5th grade)
Tyler is a fast worker which is good and bad. Sometimes he doesn't pay attention because he is more about speed. I also catch him reading only five minutes when he is suppose to read fifteen minutes. I need to work on these with him. 

Tyler is reading about ancient history and has been reading the Usborne Ancient History Encyclopedia on his own (I don't ask for narration from this book since it's not a living book). We moved The Story of the World 1 out of Morning Basket and Tyler reads this alone now. That went well this week (first week). We had to return The Cat of Bubastes CDs back to the library so I started to read this out loud. I had planned to take all year to read it but we are well over halfway through the book since we found it on CDs at the library. I will probably only read it once a week to Tyler. It's a difficult book for reading aloud!

I believe this is a Michaelmas Daisy (Aster as they are called here). I was wanting to find some of these for St. Michael's feast day and I found these on the path to the lake. I took a zoomed out picture so I would remember where to look next year!

In science, Tyler is continuing his weather study, reading The kid's Book of Weather Forecasting. Tyler is liking this book but it has "experiments" which are build your own weather devices which are not working out so well. I think he will have this finished in the next month. I added in watching some weather videos at The Happy Scientist. I also read to him a section in the Health 5 book from Seton. We have completed Chapter two which was all about teeth.

Tyler was the first to switch to Saxon math and I put him in 5/4 which has been easy for him. I used the test to see where we needed to start and I started him around lesson 20. He completed lesson 38-40, test 7, and did half of Investigation 4 this week. Tyler does well in math and it took this program to show that. He is happier with this program too and doesn't mind doing math.

Tyler started The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe about two weeks ago and he is enjoying it. Also, in language arts, Tyler is working steadily in All About Spelling, Fix It, and copywork. He wasn't getting anywhere with his handwriting with copywork so I slowed him down and I overlook it too. This has helped in his writing and I even noticed while doing dictation today that I'm seeing an improvement there too. Better handwriting is a big goal for us this year!

The boys were too tired to do some nature study on a path I've been waiting all summer to explore. I did have to go check out the dead tree that fell over in last week's storm.
 Next week is exam week and I have to get that all ready this weekend! I may be up late!

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