Friday, July 26, 2013

July 26, 2013

This was our first week back at school work since we took off sometime in May.  I think we were out around two months.  We are approximately one-half through 2nd grade so we are picking back up where we left off, starting with some light weeks and a bit of review also.  We school 4 days per week.  This week we took off Wednesday and schooled Mon, Tues, Thurs and Fri.  didn't do much of anything on Wednesday.  We had a very bad, long and loud thunderstorm Tuesday night (it even scared me a little) so Nick and I lost a lot of sleep that night.  Ben was also up for a short time but he went back to sleep next to the husband.  Nick and I were both awake from midnight to around 3:00 or later so that is why we ended up picking Wednesday for our day off.  I had planned to take off on  Thursday because the husband was off that day but it didn't work out that way.

Monday was probably our best day overall, because everything was new.  It wasn't really new but it had been a while so it seemed new to them.

This week we covered one chapter in History, continuing to use Story of The World II, the Middle Ages.  We read a chapter in the SOTW book about the Diaspora.  The boys answered the review questions in the Activity Guide and each one narrated one section of the chapter.  I am still writing down their narrations for them, although I will be working towards transitioning them to writing part of them sometime soon.  (This may be delayed due to Nick's fine motor skill delays.  He is in OT now so I am hoping to see improvement over the next 6 months or so.  We'll get there eventually.)  They also did the map work included in the Activity Guide and I printed out a blank world map and had them work together to identify all of the continents and oceans.  They were able to do it together pretty easily but I'm not so sure they could have done it separately so we will be practicing this more often.

The boys did one Math lesson each day using Christian Light Education Math for 2nd grade.  They are working on addition of numbers into the hundreds, with carrying/regrouping, practicing and memorizing their addition and subtraction facts through 20 (6+8, 14-8, etc.), measuring with a yardstick and learning how to calculate the number of inches in a yard and learning how much a pound feels like, versus two, three, five and ten.

I read aloud from School Days with the Millers (the boys love this book and their books always have a good moral/character/Christian lesson) and also from The Saturdays and a couple of books about Israel.  The boys read to themselves from The Paper Dragon, Raisel's Riddle, China's Bravest Girl, Fa Mulan, The Hunter (A Chinese Folktale), Adventures in Ancient China, Aseop's Fables and Christian Liberty Nature Readers.  Nick read a lot more than that in his spare time but this was official school reading.  Ben also read more than that but it was likely about Star Wars or Legos:).  At bedtime, the husband or I read aloud to them from their Bible, a children's devotion book and a book of their choice (they each pick one).

We covered three lessons in our grammar book (First Language Lessons 2).  We reviewed all of the poems they are memorizing (I think there are 5 or 6 of them so far) and we also reviewed the definition of an Adverb and we used them in sentences (orally) and such.  They also had to write sentences from dictation, which included adverbs and also figuring out where the punctuation marks go and which ones to use.  I had planned to cover four lessons in grammar this week but I didn't get around to buying postcards.  Our next lesson is about addressing postcards so I need to get some this weekend so we can do this on Monday.  I could have just used index cards but it is much more fun for them if it is real, it is for someone they know and they actually get to mail it.

For writing we are using Writing With Ease 2, which follows the same pattern each week and I do this with them separately.  Day 1 I read a passage to each of them, ask them some review questions and they answer in complete sentences and then they narrate and I write their narration for them.  Day 2 is copy work from the passage read on Day 1.  Day 3 is dictation; the same sentence(s) they wrote for copy work on Day 2.  Day 4 is narration of another passage of the same story/poem (this week was the Pied Piper of Hamelin), review questions and narration.  I write the narration for them and then I dictate some it back to them and they write that part.  This week, we only finished days 1 through 3 so I hope to make up day 4 either this weekend sometime or double up work one day next week.  I hate it when one week of this work gets divided over multiple weeks so we will try to catch up somewhere.

We finished a chapter in our spelling book (All About Spelling 2) and we were suppose to start a new chapter today but didn't get to it.  We did review open versus closed syllables and vowel-consonent-e type words but that was as far as we got.  We will make this work up when we make up our writing work.  For spelling I reviewed some of the spelling rules we had most recently been studying.  Then we go through some words they are to spell; I tell them a word and they write it on their small white board.  This week they were spelling words like rose and others that have the 'z' sound spelled with an s.  They also wrote 6 short sentences on their small white boards that I dictated to them, which were made up of spelling words from the chapter.

I decided to pick up two cursive books for the boys to have a refresher course.  They had one course of cursive at the beginning of 1st grade so I thought it was time for a refresher.  They do all of their FLL (grammar) and WWE (writing) work in cursive so they are getting regular practice but it is easy for it to become a bit more sloppy or messy over time.  So they started today (using Handwriting without Tears Cursive for 3rd Grade) and did one page.  They will continue to do one page most days and work their way through the book eventually.

The boys went to swimming lessons on Thursday, where they are working on fine tuning some strokes. This is a thirty minute class with 4 kids to 1 instructor.  They were graded and are very close to finishing level 4 but just not quite there on a couple of their strokes.  After level 4, they can join the swim team.

Ben went to violin lesson on Tuesday and Nick went to piano lesson on Wednesday.  Both boys practice their music after we finish school and I try hard to make sure they do this at least 5 days a week.  We don't always hit that; sometimes it is 4 times a week, but we try.  Frankly I am ready for them to quit lessons because I am tired of fighting with them to get them to do their practice (especially Nick).

I think that was about all we did this week, for our first week back to school.  It feels good to be back.  I promised the boys a night out to a fun place around here that has good eats and an arcade so that is on the agenda for tonight.  I was planning to go but lost a lot of sleep again last night due to another thunderstorm so I am hoping to get away with staying home and let the guys go together.  We'll see how the husband feels about that:).

Whew, that picture of the boys on this blog is really old.  I think they were five!  They will be 8 this fall so I really  need to update that sometime.