Friday, October 14, 2016

Weekly Wrap-up Week 6: AMNH, Prehistory, and Writing Troubles

I still don't quite feel like we have a good routine going, but I feel like we are on our way so I guess that's progress.

Our big highlight for this week was finishing up our Prehistory/Evolution study with a trip into NYC to the American Museum of Natural History.  Details on that can be seen here (or you can just scroll to the post right before this one).

We had a few struggles this week.

I put aside the Spectrum Writing for both kids, at least for now.  Both levels started with different kinds of paragraphs and how to improve paragraphs by adding more detail.  Unfortunately it seems both kids need more work on how to write a basic paragraph.  I pulled out a couple of composition books, wrote some notes in the beginning about how to write a good sentence and how to write a basic paragraph.  Each day I will provide a writing prompt for them to work from.  In the past, this type of journal writing was not corrected or graded.  These will be reviewed, corrected and discussed with them.  Not every prompt will be a paragraph and some will be fun lists or charts.

Vicki is struggling a little bit with math.  Mostly from not paying attention to what's being asked or trying to rush through it.  When she misses problems in Math Mammoth, I've been giving her an extra page of similar problems to practice.  MM does provide extra practice problems but I've just been writing a few on a blank sheet of paper. She worked on Order of Operations and Bar Graphs this week.  Order of operations, she understands the concept fine but every third or fourth problem, she would just ignore it completely.  Doing bar graphs she got upset over the size of the grid provided in the workbook.  Anything she has trouble with, we work through together.  I am wondering if the busy pages of MM are part of the problem.  She seems to get overwhelmed just looking at them, and I've seen people complain about 4th grade taking a jump in the amount of text per page.   If the problems persist, we may have to look at different options.

She read the last of our Prehistory books - We, Who Discovered Natural Selection, and Billions of Years, Amazing Changes this week, as well as started on Little House on the Prairie after finishing Redwall.

Squidy is doing really well with pre-algebra.  He sailing through Math Mammoth, is really enjoying Zaccaro Challenge, and likes Jousting Armadillos okay.   He's LOVING the Beast Academy logic puzzle sections in 4B the most.  

He finished reading The Secret Garden, as well as the selections for Prehistory, this week.   One I had him read but didn't give to Vicki was DK The Human Story.  He found it disturbing, especially the parts at the end about manipulating DNA.  I thought it might be too much for Vicki.   As I was doing some reorganizing this week, I had put all his and Vicki's upcoming reading selections into one basket.  He went to get something new to read and chose Mr. Popper's Penguins and The Mouse and the Motorcycle.  Both are selections he read a few years ago and were meant to be only on Vicki's list, but I decided to just let him go ahead and reread them to give him a break after some of the heavier books.

One of the writing prompts for this week was "Write a paragraph telling your favorite things about Fall".  His paragraph:

     These are my favorite things about Fall.  Actually, to be honest, it's a bland month.  It gets colder yet no snow, school starts up again, and plants begin to die.  Still, Fall is a pretty....COOL month!  *BaDumTss**

Not exactly what I was looking for but it is a paragraph.

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