Sunday, November 2, 2014

Learning Notes~Week 13 {2014-2015}

(My purpose with the weekly Learning Notes is really for me to think out loud how our week went. I'm pretty much talking to myself! ;) I'm not bragging about or complaining about student's ability but trying to find the good and the bad and keep records.)   

This week was the start of our Term 2! It went great but we did have some unexpected interruptions (two trips to the doctor). I also had to schedule one day of only independent work since I had a project for that day.

I had hoped to make it out to the family farm for some nature study and planned on Thursday or Friday. It ended up raining on Thursday and I also ended up at the doctor. And Friday turned out too chilly for me!

Week 13 finally brought a schedule! I told the boys this week it was written in stone. Tyler didn't like that at all! I did give into switching spelling and math as no one wanted to do math first when it was their turn to work with me. Because of the interruptions, we weren't able to give it a week long run that I had hoped before ironing out any wrinkles, but it went smoothly. I think Tyler had the hang of it after the first day and he noticed he had some planned breaks which changed his attitude. The spelling/math switch may be our only change.

Caleb (13 years-8th grade)

Caleb is loving his new history book and read the first chapter and wrote a written narration. Also in history, he read in Hittie Warrior and American Gun. He completed a lesson in Visits to North America.

Caleb was impressed with his test from Saxon this week. He actually has confidence in his math ability now. He tells us how much he likes math after he has a successful lesson in math. Everyday wasn't successful this week, but that was more my fault for not finding a protractor and losing our compass and therefore he couldn't complete on of the investigations. One lesson on prime and composite numbers and factorization was a challenge for him. He was taught this last year in Math-U-See and he didn't understand it then or now. Honestly, I know I wasn't taught this in school because I'm struggling to wrap my head around it to. My questions is why and what will this do for my math study? I plan to figure that out.

He is moving along in Fix It, All About Spelling, Writing With Skill, and Lord of the Rings. I'm most surprised at Writing With Skill! He is capable of reading the lesson and completing it own his own and then turns it into me to "grade". I just have to read the rubric in the instructors text to make sure he did everything they told him to do. We are loving this and he is writing every day!

Religion was completed this week with a lesson from the catechism, two chapters in The How-To Mass Book, and a reading in the Virtue Tree program. Caleb was suppose to discuss the Virtue Tree lesson with me and that didn't happen and it was checked off as completed. (Other homeschoolers-how do you deal with this? This has been a big problem this year and I don't catch it until the weekend when I go over their planners. My reminders aren't working.)

We didn't get as far along as I had hoped in the new science program (Life Science). Which was my fault, again since I didn't have some of the supplies bought for the experiment. At this point I would skip it, but Scott did pick them up for me. I guess we will save it for next week. (It's too cold in the house for seeds to grow right now anyway. Warmer next week!) Caleb was eager to start this problem.

Tyler (10 years-5th grade)

Tyler had a successful week and I can only find one thing uncompleted in his planner (which again was my fault from having to go the doctor on Thursday). I do see he missed giving me a few narrations though. I may have to go to looking at their planners during Afternoon Basket every day to prevent this!

Tyler completed 4 lessons and a test in his Saxon book. Square roots are still giving him trouble but otherwise he isn't struggling much with this book and I'm pleased with the switch! He also read in Life of Fred (Ice Cream) and played Times Attack.

I doubled up Tyler's weather readings to finish the book sooner and because he was getting the reading done in 5 minutes. He still can't narrate from this book and I think I will stop asking. We also read a section in his health book about the eyes.

He completed everything I assigned in Language Arts for the week (Fix It, AAS, copywork, keyboarding, Literature, writing). I think he is enjoying keyboarding. I look forward to him learning to type since he needs to be doing written narrations and his poor handwriting is the stumbling block there. Copywork is a struggle as usual. He said on Friday that I didn't need to look over his shoulder because he was going to do his best work without me this time . . . . his copywork sheet was lost! We looked everywhere for it! I forgot to make a new one up so he didn't get to complete that challenge. We did work on written narration during writing time on Friday. After I transcribed a half page of writing we had a little lesson on how he only needed to narrate on the part he had just read and how to cut the unimportant parts. I don't think he would have this problem if he was doing the writing himself!

In religion, Tyler read about 10 pages in Life of our Lord and gave one oral narration. He read a lesson on penance in the catechism and he forgot to give his narration on that.

In history, Tyler read in The Story of the World, Stories of America, and Usborne Ancient World. I read The Cat of Bubastes to him.

For geography, he did a lesson in Visits to North America and played on Sheppards Software.


  1. Interruptions seem to be our life at present!! Most interested to hear more of your thoughts on Writing with Skill. We struggled with it and my daughter found it not always clear

    1. If I was the main person teaching Writing With Skill I would be struggling. There are times that I am confused. When Caleb gets confused I usually read the text out loud to him. If that doesn't help then I read what the teacher's instruction book to him. If we are both still confused we just stop and pick up at the next lesson the next day. Sometimes the next day helps. There was at least one lesson that we never got it but it hasn't seemed to be an issue that we missed the point of that lesson. Even though I'm a little confused about the lessons, it seems that they build so if you struggle one day it can be picked up later. The last few weeks he hasn't asked for any help, so we are on a good run. I'm just loving it because it seems he is liking it and it's not very often that he actually likes something!


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