Saturday, October 9, 2010

Weekly Wrap-Up: 10/4/10-10/8/10

We had a much better week this week.  The weather still didn’t cooperate (3 days of rain) but instead of postponing our Fall activities, I just modified them slightly.  To see those activities, check here or continue to read after this post.

We went ahead and began our Geography/Map lessons.  The kids had fun with those but we didn’t get to do the treasure hunt I had planned.  Maybe next week.   More information on what we did get done (including a very interesting map of my living room) is here or continue to read after this post.

Our core subjects are continuing to go very well.  Georgie is racing through Explode the Code and All About Spelling.  He has mastered the short vowel sound card, knows the difference between a vowel and a consonant.  We are up to Lesson 5 in AAS and part of this lesson was picking the correct vowel for a list of words.   He had no trouble doing this and was able to pick out the vowel right away.  He also understood the idea that every word contains at least one vowel.  Lesson 6 introduces our first word list.  I think he’s going to do great and enjoy actually spelling words as part of the lesson.

He’s starting to get into reading real books.  He still doesn’t know every word, or even the majority of words in most books (Hop on Pop and Great Day for Up being two exceptions) but he loves to pick out the words he does know.  This week I caught him sitting in the chair reading The Gingerbread Man to Vicki.  I absolutely LOVE this.
In order to help him read more “real” books, I’m adding a little bit of sight/high-frequency words to what we do.  Nothing heavy, just playing games or doing a few quick flash cards periodically.   I have some wipe-off word search puzzle cards that I found for $1 when a local Office Max was closing down.  Each puzzle has 4 high usage words to find.  He enjoyed doing these (although I’m not completely positive he didn’t look at the answers on the back).  Another set has word family endings.
We also played some Scrabble Jr. and an Alphabet Bingo game I recently found (at Targets $ Spot I think).  I liked the Alphabet game a lot.   The cards ask questions like, “what is the last letter in duck?” and “what is the second letter in cow?”.  I would have Georgie answer the question, then both him and Vicki would look for the letter on their game board.  
We did three lessons of MEP math this week.   We had a couple of lessons that asked for students to stand together.  Since we are not in a classroom and our only other pupil is not likely to cooperate, we utilized the help of some special friends.
Our lesson had one “student” stand in the front of the class.  Another “student” stands next to him and we ask how we can show this (1+1=2).  Have another student stand next to them and show this (1+1+1=3), and so on.  Georgie started out with the suggested arrangements but quickly decided more friends were needed and ended up with nine.  The combinations he came up with were 3+3+3=9, 9-6=3, 3-1=2, 3-2=1 and 3-3=0.  Evidently he likes subtraction better than addition.  He wrote his equations on his personal wipe-board (great find at the Target $ Spot).
A lot of MEP is easy for him right now but it often throws in new ways of thinking about numbers that require him to give it some thought.  I love the mix of easy and challenging that this is providing for him.
I’m trying to incorporate games into our day more and this week he played an addition file folder game (from File Folder Fun) called Dino Bones.
Georgie is doing okay with his handwriting.  I’m finding that I can’t just give him his handwriting sheets and leave him to do them.   I have to watch to make sure he forms the letters correctly (after the first couple, he just traces them any which way) and doesn’t rush through it.  Right now he is pretty good at writing upper case letters but is resistant to writing lower case.   I don’t want to push too much but I do want him to learn proper formation and not pick up any bad habits so we will continue along with our handwriting sheets with slightly more oversight.  I think adding more freehand practice rather than mostly tracing may help.

We did some work on money and time this week.  He completely understands pennies, so we will be moving on to nickels.  He also had no trouble telling time to the hour so we will be moving on in that as well.

Vicki continued working on the Letter B this week.  She did a collage sheet where she used ball stickers to fill in a B.  Unfortunately I didn’t notice that one type of sticker on the sheet was actually a hockey puck and not a ball (the B template is from Confessions of a Homeshooler).
She did a couple of magnet pages from Making Learning Fun.  One she did with multi-colored reinforcements and one using a small butterfly stamp.
I’m trying to mix up how she does these pages since she seems to be losing interest in them.   My main purpose in giving her “school” work is to keep her occupied while I help Georgie so I’m trying to find things that she can do pretty independently (although with close supervision to avoid major messes). 

I cut out pieces and provided pom-poms and jewels for her to make a butterfly.  She absolutely LOVES glue so anything where she can pile it on is usually a hit.   Luckily I have about a dozen bottles of glue so we won’t run out for a while.
Her finished product.  The glue makes it nice and shiny. :-)
I think this actually was a pretty good week.


  1. Looks like a fun week!

  2. It looks like a pretty good week! :)

    Thanks so much for your encouragment, it really means a lot to me right now.