Friday, April 04, 2008

Weekly Report

Spring fever has hit our home and it has been a challenge getting lessons done. Thankfully, we are in the home stretch in both our Language Arts and Math books. The end of our Official Year is in sight! Our last unit of Sonlight 5, South Africa, has been pretty light because we spent too much time on our Africa unit and it is dragging. We watched a couple of United Streaming videos, discussed apartheid and Nelson Mandla. We made a South Africa vocabulary book and are calling it good. I feel a bit guilty because so much more could be done with this topic! Sigh.

Earlier in the unit, dh read a book aloud related to South Africa called "Journey to Jo'burg." He says that if he reads one more Sonlight book about a child separated from her parents and trying to find the way back, he will resign his read-aloud job. : ) I DO have to admit that SL 5 has too many of that same story line over and over in different settings. There must have been about 10 of these at least. You know what they say about "too much of a good thing."

We branched out quite a bit from SL in the read-aloud department. We branched out in the independent reading. We branched out in the geography and craft areas. We branched out in the spine reading. Ok, WE JUST PLAIN BRANCHED OUT! : ) I think that without heavy modification, SL 5 could get a bit dull. WE added lots of hands-on projects, substituted geography from Trail Guide, edited the reading list, used Enchantment of the World series (love this series!) instead of World Book encyclopedia, used Netflix videos weekly for family movie night, and read lots of library books.

It is very important to dh that family read-aloud time is fun and not overly 'schoolish." Instead of reading all of the SL 5, we read some of the Ambleside selections, and others of our choosing. This week,
Iron Chef (dh) is reading The Penderwicks by Jeanne Birdsall aloud. (If you like The Saturdays by Enright, you'll also love Penderwicks). For independent reading, Miss M is reading The Secret of Nimh by Robert O'Brian.

I didn't get a report up last week, and dd made a really cool "Indigenous Animals" 3-D mobile. It is hanging in our dining room where we can watch it spin. Each animal has several interesting facts listed. I've learned quite a bit just by reading over it every day!

For reading last week, dd finished
BFG by Ronald Dahl and a book from the Winnie the Horse Gentler series. I think she has read 5 or 6 of the Winnie books and loved them since she is a total horse fanatic. As of last week, we are going to move toward more fun books of dd's choice from now through summer. Dh finished reading Plain Girl aloud, and it was a thought-provoking, interesting book. Spanish is going fine. We also visited the Homeschool Open Gym time with a couple of friends.

In science, our co-op class studied light reflection. We did experiments and made a flip-up book of what we learned. At home, Miss M learned about The Periodic Table, Mass, and Matter. She is using Plato's Cyber Ed science from Homeschool Buyer's Co-op. She enjoys working on the computer and says she gets more out of the lessons on computer than reading a book straight. In art class, dd learned graph (grid?) drawings. This is where you copy a picture by making a grid and drawing each grid separately. She admits she didn't really like it, as she prefers creative art projects. I pointed out that it is important to develop new skills as a budding artist. : )

I don't know if I consider this Official Health Curriculum, but I taught Miss M about skin care this week. We went out and bought her some skin care products. Her facial skin is just getting to the point she has to watch for break-outs. It is important that girls keep their skin clean without over-drying with harsh products. My picks for girls just starting skin care routines are a mild soap, such as Neutrogena or castille soap, witch hazel for toner, and a mild acne lotion to dab on break-outs. I like the mild acne lotions with salicylic acid only. Yes, this is the same ingredient that is in aspirin, so it's non-toxic. It is also nice to add some essential oil to the witch hazel -- such as mint, tea tree, sweet orange or rosemary. The essential oil smells heavenly and it's good for the skin! I choose sweet orange and peppermint for Miss M's witch hazel. It smells so good, and motivates her to tone!

That's a rap for our week at Ambleside Classical. I am still praying about our summer plans and discussing our summer goals with Iron Chef. When we decide what our summer focuses will be, I'll post. Right now, we are thinking we will do lots of composer study, nature study and science, but nothing is set in stone.

We will close with some pics by Miss M, this week's photographer.


Stacy said...

Oh boy...I just typed a msg to you and then lost it somehow. (Sigh) Long story short I enjoyed your weekly report and slide show. Just today I was rethinking weekly reports for my blog and might put one up soon. Have a nice weekend!
Stacy :-)

Tina said...

I have been missing your posts and was about to email you to see how you are doing. :o) Tell Ms. M wonderful job taking pictures. :o)

What a wonderful weekly report. You all did so much! I love the mobile. I will have to check out the Winnie books. Looks like something my Holly would like.

My husband reads aloud a LOT to the kids too. Not necessarily ones on my school books to read list, but that is ok. :o) I am always getting books from the library and these are one he loves to read to the kids. He likes them to read to him as well. I really appreciate his help in this area.

Have a blessed weekend.


Tina said...

PS: Forgot to comment on I know how you feel about a study taking longer than planned. Can you believe we are still on Russia?? We have side track a wee bit, but loving what we are doing. The kids made Mongol hats this week. They are cute. :o) We should finish this up next week. Then I think it is off to China, or Vietnam... Not sure yet.:o)

Rhonda said...

Good week! Spring fever has hit here, too. :)

We'll start SL Core 5 in August and I was recently looking over the schedule. I wish they didn't have such a long unit at the very end of the year. It will be very tempting to cut it short. I think I may move it around so that we can end with something shorter.

We read The Penderwicks last year and loved it. It is such a fun book. We are excited that a new Penderwick book is coming out this month.

Anonymous said...

I do like your site so much, it encourages me for this core before I start. Could you share some relevant movies you have watched? i have a child who responds much better to that than read alouds etc. only