Weekly Homeschool Review 2/10/11

Going to try something new. Each day I log in a planner what we covered that day; I use the Busy Body Book Academic Year family organizer. As a homeschooler in Massachusetts I don’t have to log this much detail but it helps me stay organized. When I first started I logged each subject, how many minutes we spent, and a sentence or two about what was covered. Boy that got old real fast. I do like to be able to look at my planner and have an “at-a-glance” view of what we accomplished during the week so I still track each subject with a keyword or two about what we covered on that day. It’s helpful to look back at a week or two to see where we’ve been, but if I want to know when we covered something in particular I have to hunt through the book until I find it. I thought it would be helpful to also have a weekly review so when I do need to remind myself when we finished pre-history, for example, I can look through our weekly reviews rather than hunt through the entire planner. I don’t know if I’ll be able to keep up with this but I’m going to try.

EJ’s week:
Math: We finished Right Start Level B and completed the final test on 2/8, then started right in on Level C on 2/9. Level C has been review so we’ve covered two lessons each day. He’s reviewing Venn Diagrams and facts to 10. I have also had him begin supplementing with exercises from the Khan Academy, he seems to like this and it’s a really great free resource so we’ll keep doing that for practice.
History: Continuing with Bringing Up Learners-Mosiac curriculum. We are studying pre-history for the next few weeks. This week we read about sea reptiles, flying reptiles, and of course the dinosaurs. We just started learning about mammals. EJ completed several pages for his notebook on the Devonian, Carboniferous, and Permian periods. We began watching the TV series “Walking With Dinosaurs”.
Language Arts: EJ learned two poems from Caroline Kennedy’s book My Favorite Poetry for Children”. They were both short so we used both of them for dictation practice. He also did some writing when working on his pre-history notebook pages.
Science: We did not cover any lessons in our BFSU book this week. Science is well covered with our study of pre-historic creatures.
Typing: Because EJ doesn’t love to write, I’d like him to get to a point where he can type some of his assignments. I’ve tried a couple of free typing programs but he didn’t seem to get anything from them. This week I downloaded Typing Instructor for Kids 5, he’s done the first couple of lessons and so far is doing well.
Reading: EJ had free reading time for minimum of 30 minutes each day. This week he is still pouring over the Asterix comic books Mr. Hamp picked up from the library. Most of our reading is done together as read-alouds.

JD’s week:
JD is not yet doing much structured work, at this point we work together for only 15 minutes or less a day.
Letter workStarfallReading Eggs, and Poisson Rouge.
Writing: Handwriting without Tears – Pre-K Book. We reviewed the letters he’s learned previously then he learned the sounds, and how to write the letters U and C. He and I colored together for a bit.
Math: We worked through several pages of his Beginning Mathematical Reasoning book.
Science/History: JD sat with EJ and I when we did our history lessons. He engages in our discussions but does not do any of the extra EJ does.

Books for week Ending 2/10

Last week for science were discussing how we categorize living things in the Plant and Animal Kingdoms. We discovered that the primary difference between plants and animals is that plants make their own food through photosynthesis, while animals have to eat to obtain food.

To go along with the plant theme, we read the book Top Secret by John Reynolds Gardiner. Fourth grader, Allen Brewster has a great idea for this years science fair. An idea that might actually win him the Silver Trophy! He wants to discover the secret of Human Photosynthesis, and cure world hunger. Unfortunately none of the adults in his life are particularly supportive except his grand-pop who encourages him to go for it no matter what the others say.

Also for science we read What is a Plant? by Bobbie Kalman, and The Magic School Bus Get’s Planted.

After finishing Top Secret we picked up where we left of in Mallory Loehr’s Elements of Magic quartet with the second book: Earth Magic. This seems like an interesting early chapter book, but I’m finding it a bit boring as a read aloud.

JD picked out a couple of picture books this week. Of course he’s still on a rock and gem kick so we’ve been reading Let’s Go Rock Collecting from the “Let’s-Read-and-Find-Out” series. He also chose If you Find a Rock by Peggy Christian.

So that was our week!

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