This Week in Learning: July 31st, 2015

We began Term 3 strongly and have continued to power along in the two weeks since.  Rather excited as this is the most intense and productive our learning has been all year, lots of terrific learning happening:)

Though admittedly it’s been a little challenging having to compete for their attention with the new chooks as they are checked regularly in case they have yet laid an egg;) Having our adult children still home visiting has also been a slight attention stealer. 

Speech Therapy
Bass is back at weekly speech therapy, therefore speech ‘homework’ is on the ‘must do’ list again, I’m failing miserably here, which doesn’t make the therapist happy, wince. Whilst big brother Einstein has been home, he has kindly taken Bass to his last two appointments and fortunately Anna Maria is available to step into Einstein’s role for the next three lessons.  Weekly speech lessons have been a huge disruption to our learning this year, having assistance and therefore not interruption has already made a massive difference to our learning.

A Realisation
Jelly Bean made it clear that she is keen to be learning independently, except for Language Arts lessons with her brothers, she is happily undertaking her Faith, Science, History and Geography readings on her own. Working towards encouraging her independence in reading we selected books of larger, non-intimidating print. Already within only two weeks of consistently and frequently reading there is a marked improvement in her speed and enjoyment and she has been requesting extra books to read! Thanks to my friend M who encouraged me to expect more, as she said, “they(our children) are capable of more than we sometimes think.” so true.

Faith

Maths

  • All five children have been consistently working at their lessons with Maths Online and making solid progress. Jelly Bean and Princess though are struggling a little with some concepts and Jem’s reading status means he needs assistance with reading questions.

Science 

Geography


History

Logic
Michelangelo is enjoying reading and pondering Critical Thinking 
 
Spanish
Princess is 45% fluent in Spanish!!  She has put so much effort into achieving this and has blown us away! In fact she has inspired her father and a graduated brother who are now also madly trying to compete with her.  34 hours of Duolingo is considered to be equivalent to one semester of College.
Creative Arts
  • The girls attended our local homeschool group and learnt how to make Shambala braclets.
  • Extra curricula of three dance classes for Princess and soccer games for Jelly Bean, Jack Jack and Jem still continuing.


Handwriting
Some of our children have lovely handwriting, for which I deserve no credit and others have atrocious handwriting, for which I feel responsible. I have longed searched for a ‘magic cure’ to solve ‘all ills’ however last week I was struck by another revelation. A ‘magic’ resource isn’t going to fix this situation only consistent vigilance will, actually I’ve long suspected this but last week I owned it.

A couple of times a week I now gather together all children needing handwriting assistance and demonstrate on the blackboard, and the children practice. I circle the table, checking pencil grip, hand slope, letter starting points, neatness etc. The lesson itself isn’t long, probably only a little longer than it takes to gather them all together;) but I’m feeling most hopeful it will be effective.

Dictation/Spelling

  • Princess learning 20 words weekly from ‘Spelling for Secondary Students’ a challenge for our competent speller
  • Placing a big focus on dictation with Spelling Wisdom for our teens. Michelangelo is completing daily exercises, Princess a couple of times weekly. Already seeing a positive result.
  • JB and JJ have begun dictation lessons using one of JB’s readers. They are transitioning better than I expected and I believe will be ready for more challenging passages soon.
Grammar
  • I’m finding grammar most effective to teach in two groups, this generates a synergy which makes grammar popular.  The children naturally fall into; our teens and JB(11) and JJ(9). 
  • I’m using an old text with JB and JJ, Marist Brothers Grade 5, which is a challenge for both. This fortnight we’ve focused on comprehension passages, vocabulary, nouns and their genders. 
  • Our teens have been focusing on participles (and I’ve been learning with them;) and adjectives qualifying nouns. 
Composition/Creative Writing
  • JB and JJ have been writing a creative essay weekly. We begin one day, continue another and polish on the third.
  • Michelangelo and Princess are working through Precis Writing – Ronald Lane with me, this ties in well with teaching note taking. 
  • They are also enjoying some creative writing, this last fortnight we used Story Starters as a jump off point. PC and I are really enjoying reading what the children write, as always an insight into their minds and souls.


Poetry/Short Stories

Enjoying with the younger three, A Child’s Book of Verse
Princess and Michelangelo are both reading poetry from Four Corners, a mix of Australian and English poems.
Michelangelo is reading the short stories of O’Henry.

Reading

  • JJ has the skill set, he just needs consistent practice. Always a challenging time for both the reader and the listener;) He certainly isn’t reading of his own volition, he needs ‘reminding.’
  • Jem has nearly completed AAR Level 1, and it continues to impress me. He is keen to leave lessons, which he isn’t ready to do, and begin reading, in which he surprised me that he can actually do!!
  • After pleading to ‘read’ I handed Jem a selection of Mem Fox and other repetitive books and he surprised me totally by being able to read them, only a little guess work was involved!

Literature

Family Read Aloud: 
Mrs Piggy Wiggle – Huge hit with the younger three, hilarious, they are upset the book is finished.
All The Green Year – Reading to the older two. It’s literally been years since I’ve read to my teens, but I am so determined to begin reading to them again. This is proving to be an interesting read to them both.
Michelangelo Read:
Three Musketeers – Alexandre Dumas
Innocence of Fr Brown – GK Chesterton
Wisdom of Fr Brown – GK Chesterton (1/2)
History
Soldier Boy – Anthony Hill (3/4, then too sad to continue)
Gallipoli Story – Patrick Carlyon
Alexander the Great by Carole Wilkinson

Princess Read: 
Anne of Green Gables – LM Montgomery
Jack and Jill – Louisa May Alcott
History
An Enemy Among ThemJelly Bean Read:
Riding the Pony Express – Clyde Robert Bulla
Courage of Sarah Noble
Geography
Chebet and the Lost Goat (Kenya)
Antoine and the Ancient Coin (Switzerland)
Faith
The Little Boy Jesus by M Redington White
Science
If I Were An Atom – Noel Wilson
Look Out for Turtles – Melvin Berger
Dolphin – Robert A Morris

Jack Jack Read:
Emmett’s Pig

Jem Read:
Where is the Green Sheep? – Mem Fox
I Went Walking – Sue Machin
“Pardon?” said the Giraffe – Colin West

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *