Friday, August 30, 2013

Weekly Wrap-up, Week Six (And Details about Hailey's History)

Week six was a bit of a strange week. Week five was cut short, so that work got added to week six. :) So it was a full week, but fun. We were also working on moving, so that added to the busyness. The kids didn't do much nature study this week, actually they didn't do any with me there. Of course, they always do nature study on their own, especially Caiden who is always finding new bugs to inspect. But we were just too busy to do any focused journaling.

Hailey's favorite book this week was a literature story, an ancient Greek legend about Perseus which she just loves. She also enjoys her science book, Explore His Earth, where we have been learning about the layers of the atmosphere.

Caiden's favorite reading was probably the chapter from The Little Duke, a biography about a seven-year-old duke from Normandy. This is the single hardest book for this year, with old time vocabulary and the long, difficult to comprehend sentences. He does great and is captivated by the storyline.

Abby loves all her books, now that we stopped reading Paddington Bear. Her favorite is probably The Seven Little Sisters Who Live on the Round Ball that Floats in the Air. Yes, that's really the title. The longest in the world, I am pretty sure. ;) She loves these stories about little children in other cultures, and this one is a family favorite, not to be missed!

Last time I promised to detail Hailey's history for the coming year. Because we use Ambleside Online, our history is mostly planned out for us. Some things I edit or change, but the foundation is already done for me. It is such a time saver, and so much better planned then I alone could do! These ladies have years of experience, and combine their talents to make the curriculum, which is much more then boxed curriculum, designed by one person, can offer.

Anyhoo, back off that rabbit trail. Hailey's history. 3rd grade in Ambleside Online covers the years after the Middle Ages, to about the time of the American and French revolutions. The renaissance and reformation. from around 1400 to the middle of the 1700s.

Hailey is enjoying it more then last year, which was about the Middle Ages and had a lot of wars, battles that were hard to keep apart, and all the kings had the same three names. This year, the stories are more personal. There are fewer battles and political scenarios, and more personal accounts and stories. As history gets closer to our own time, the records are more personal and more detailed. She likes that.

Our main history book is continuing An Island Story, as most of the renaissance and reformation happened in Europe. This book is our spine, the backbone that carries us along from topic to topic, chronologically. I actually prefer to think of it as a trail.... the book is the trail that leads us through a time period. As we get to interesting stopping places, other books are added in to give more detail. These other books are A Child's History of the World (our favorite) and This Country of Ours. The latter book is very nearly a spine as well, detailing the American events that were coinciding with those across the pond. We read between one and three chapters a week from these books.

Along with all those history books, biographies are used to give details about VIPs from the time period, as well as a better look at what life was actually like. We are currently half done with our biographies of Galileo and Michelangelo. In the next two terms we will be reading biographies about Queen Elizabeth I, Shakespeare, the pilgrims, and Squanto. Hailey doesn't really enjoy the book about Galileo, because the storyline is pretty complicated and includes little tidbits about many other scientists, which get hard to tell apart. What she doesn't know is that even when she says "I don't remember much!" she still gives excellent, detailed narrations, always several paragraphs long.

I think that I will start including typed examples of their narrations each week. It will be fun to read later, and the kids will love knowing their work in going up for everyone to read!

The pictures are of each child with their books for the year. Although they all have several ebooks that I couldn't really include, and I forgot 4 of Caiden's books, it still made for a fun picture. :) 

Tuesday, August 6, 2013

Weekly Wrap Up, Week Four

Yes, I missed a few weeks. Oh well. The memories are still being made. :)

This was a busy week. We went camping (again!), this time with my parents. Jeff had to work so he missed out on the fun.

As for the rest of the week, we rushed a bit to get our school done so we could relax and play over the weekend. Hailey is still enjoying her reading lessons, although they don't hold the novelty that they first did. They still help her with those longer stories and unknown words, so we will keep at it. She is working on reading stories that are several pages long, and is reading words like "indignantly", and "comfortable". I am working to help her start reading those school books which are way over her reading level, but right-on as far as comprehension. They are tough for her, so we work through them together.

Abby is working on learning basic CVC words, in word families. She is studying each word family, and then building and saying them with word tiles. We are also working some with sight words. At this point I am not pushing her to KNOW all the sight words, I just want her to have an association with them. Later, when she starts first grade, she will be learning all the words. This is just an introduction!

Caiden's reading is going exceptionally well. He is working though the last part of his reading program, and although he doesn't enjoy the actual program, he does like reading, especially science books (of course!) on his own. He likes sounding out the names of different animals and plants, although most of the time he has trouble getting them right since they aren't phonetic.

This week we did our usual, biographies and history books are a big part of our curriculum. Hailey likes all of her books except Along Came Galileo, and she said that is because I make her read it herself. Silly girl. :) Caiden likes his books too, especially Pilgrim's Progress! I was surprised because that is one of the hardest books for this year. His other favorite books is also the other hardest book, Little Duke. This is a biography of a young duke of Normandy, written in old-style language with many hard to understand words. He does great with it! I can just see their minds growing.

That is all for now... next week I will explain all about Hailey's history for this year. No pictures for now, maybe I will add them later. They take so long to upload because I insist on editing them. ;)

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