Friday, April 2, 2010

March 29-April 2 Weekly Report and the Piconator

It was a 4 day week for us, but an overall productive one. One noticeable step this week was that when Roo is reading her Bob books, she is not sounding out nearly as much. I also find that she seems sound out some of the words in her head instead of out loud. This is a big step for us and I love being able to witness the growth first hand. This week I received some of my language arts books for next year. New curriculum is so exciting and I can't wait to update my year at a glance spreadsheet with these subjects. I feel a little geeky about how excited I actually am....
This week in Phonics we worked on the short-oo sound as well as the words could, should and would. We also worked on aw and finished the week with a scavenger hunt (lesson 115 in OPGTR) with many of these words used in small sentences.  In the Spelling Workout we completed lesson 14 short vowel a words. We will start out next week with a spelling test to see if she retained these over the long weekend.


Carrying her "Pinconator" which she swears can find pine cones.

On our Nature walk/coffee shop run;) this week Roo decided that a stick she found on the way made a perfect Piconator. She told me this with a serious face before she turned on her heel and went where "the Piconator was taking her". A slight detour, and a purse full of pine cones later  I finally got my coffee.
In math this week we went through 3 lessons that were all focused on doubled +1 facts. Flashcards, fact sheets and problems on the white board were all part of trying to learn these. I read an interesting post on the Well Trained Mind boards this week about a mom wondering if if she should switch from using Saxon.  She got many great responses, most of which agreed in consensus that she should stick with Saxon because it is a great program. I totally agree that it is a great program too, but for us it doesn't fit right. One of the posters said:

     "The most glaring difference between Singapore and Saxon is that Singapore requires the student to *think* whereas Saxon is actively trying to train the student to complete large numbers of problems to the level of automaticity--that is *without* thinking." 

That statement pegged my concerns perfectly. I can see Roo learning her facts, getting the right answers consistently and grasping new concepts, but I feel she is memorizing these. I don't necessarily mind memorization for math facts, but what I would prefer out of our math program is to have the why. This is a big reason why we are changing our math program after we finish Saxon 1. I'm even scared to take off to long a break from school just in case she forgets all she has "memorized". If she understood the why behind the math, then I wouldn't have to worry. I apologize for the rant. Now for the rest of our week.


Relaxing break with a little serenade.

We watched Eyewitness: Prehistoric life which is a DVD by BBC Scienceworld. It was fairly short and kept her attention span for the duration. She has been using the word DNA for the last several days from these movies but never remembers what it is. She will write DNA on some paper and then say, "what's DNA again Mom?". I think she has done that about 7 times now over the last two days. In geography we learned about New Zealand and Australia and she now has a fascination with Dingoes and Bush Babies (although Bush Babies are from Africa, that particular fascination came from our new Kingfisher Animal Encyclopedia).

Both Roo and I are really enjoying the MusIQ Homeschool piano lessons. This week her lessons were about rhythm and rhythm patterns which she totally didn't get at first. What I love about this program is that you can do the lessons over and over until you get it which is much more convenient to us than out of home piano lessons would be. So on Monday she did her lesson, Tuesday and Wednesday were practice days and on Thursday she redid the lesson. At the end of the lesson she had a complete understanding of the concept and was able to apply it.


An example of the rhythm lesson.

I have been slowly working on making a composer study for next year. It is gradual, but I hope the end result is what I intended. I will post it when it is complete.

Today the weather was ridiculously warm for this time of year, so we all went out for a long walk and then to the park.  I thought we would enjoy this warm weekend while we could because starting Sunday it is suppose to rain for most of the week (I personally love rain, but have learned over the years that I am a minority with this feeling) with a gradual decrease of temperature and a chance of snow on Friday. So tomorrow we are off to the zoo!

On the way to the store for icecream
Enjoying the ice-cream in the sun
Sliding down the pole at the park with dad. I had to put a star in front of the guy on the bench, because I didn't realize he was in the shot.


Moonbeam said...

It looks like you had a wonderful week. I hope the weather continues to be beautiful for you. It's been so nice to enjoy being outside!

Sara said...

Thanks! I must have jinxed myself though, because today is cold and rainy. There's supposed to be not much difference for the rest of the week either.