Wrapping Up Week 5 (2014-15)
We’ve fallen into a pretty good routine now that we’ve finished Week 5 of this school year. Even when unexpected things come up, we’ve been able to get through most of what I want to finish in a week. (And I’m learning what to let go, which is huge for me!) Here’s a glimpse at the past week:
This week we officially began going through the New Testament. (Woohoo!) Each evening we’ll be going through chronological readings with the family in Old Story New, but Ian and I will also be using Bible Road Trip: Year Three as part of our schooling. Up until now our time with BRT has only involved matching up weeks from Years One and Two with our family devotions and doing the research (and videos) that went along. Now we’re adding a new component to our morning reading, since BRT will take us through the New Testament book by book.
I’m currently planning to use the Lower Grammar assignments with just Ian. I’ve thought about doing the Preschool/Kindergarten level and including Elijah and Arianna, but we already have so many picture Bible storybooks, I didn’t really want to buy the one that goes along with BRT. If the reading load is overwhelming for Ian, however, I may end up deciding to do that.
It would be nice to include everyone in our morning Bible time. This week I started spending some time in worship with all the children before we started our school day, and it would be easy to add some Bible reading after that before letting the little ones go off to play. I’d like to start encouraging them to stay with us for our devotional time (even if I don’t use the BRT Preschool materials). This week we continued reading Prudence and the Millers (Chapters 7-10) and made it through Proverbs 15:1-20.
Since this was our first official week with BRT, Ian started his new Bible notebook. If you’ve seen any of the Bible lessons I’ve posted over the last couple of years, you know we’ve done Bible notebook pages of some sort or another since he turned 3. This year we’re stepping up to add a slightly more academic component rather than just fun crafts, but hopefully we’ll get some of those in it too.
This week Ian started writing the names of the books of the Bible on the Bible library bookshelf page I created a while back, as well as creating a page on the “Armor of God” to go along with one of our readings for Week 1 – “What is the Bible?”. We did this craft a while back in our Armor of God unit using the picture of the boy given with the armor, but I thought this time it would be fun to use a picture of Ian himself and include text boxes with the passage we had read. Of course, when the others saw his page, they wanted to do their own.
The boys were in their pajamas when I whipped the camera out, which at first Ian didn’t like, but it adds some fun color to their pages so we ended up just going with it. After taking pictures of each kid, I opened them in Paint and selected around their bodies to delete the background (so I wouldn’t waste ink). Then I pasted the images into a Word document so I could adjust what size they would be on the page.
We got through lessons 11-15 of the Mathematics Enhancement Programme (Year 2). So far Ian’s been very comfortable with it, not too challenged, and his confidence has really grown. I’m impressed with how much he is able to do, especially considering how challenging parts of Year 1 were for him. The only area I’m really keeping an eye on is how quick (or slow) he is with his math facts. He’s made some improvement (and we’ve gotten in some extra practice with one of our reviews), but he could get through the practice book pages a lot faster if he knew them, and I could see him getting bogged down soon if MEP moves on and he’s still trying to count out sums for each part of the more complex problems.
Literature (Ambleside Online)
We caught up with our Ambleside Online, Year 1 reading this week, going back to A Child’s Garden of Verses for poetry and enjoying another story in James Herriot’s Treasury for Children. I think that’s Ian’s favorite AO book so far, though he also really enjoys the Aesop’s fables.
This was the first week we’ve deviated from the schedule in Mystery of History, Vol.1, which spent an entire week (3 lessons) on Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob. Since we’ve covered Old Testament history in depth already, I don’t feel a need to linger on the biblical stories in MoH. Rather, I combined those lessons into one day of reviewing the Patriarchs, and then we moved on to Hammurabi.
Since Ian already knows the stories of the Patriarchs, I wanted to focus more on the “big picture” and how they fit into the grand scheme of history. After connecting Abraham to what we’ve read about Sumeria, we talked about his faith and the covenant God made with him. It’s pretty amazing how this one man who lived thousands of years ago has helped shape the world for all of history ever since.
We talked about Abraham’s family line and how important it is to understanding history. We made a family tree for Ian’s history notebook (with pasted pictures from the Homeschool In the Woods’ History Through the Ages-Collection CD with approximate dates) and read Ballad of Matthews Begats, a cute book which takes the reader through the family line from Abraham to Jesus. (The words are even put to music in a fun song on the CD included with the book.) At Ian’s request, we also revisited some of our favorite books and videos from the last time we studied Joseph.
I read Ian the chapter about Hammurabi in Story of the World, Vol. 1 by Susan Wise Bauer. We talked about some of his laws and discussed what was fair about them (or not). I printed the free notebook page on Hammurabi from biblestoryprintables.com to go in the plastic page protector with the Hammurabi figure from Famous Figures of Ancient Times for Ian’s history notebook.
This week in the God’s Design for Life curriculum we learned about fish. In addition to reading lessons 11-13 in The World of Animals, we watched Bill Nye the Science Guy: Fish, Ian made a collage for his notebook, and he read About Fish by Cathryn Sill.
We started to read The Life Cycle of a Salmon by Bobbie Kalman, but Ian wasn’t as into it as he has been with other books in this series. I ended up just leaving it out, along with The Life Cycle of a Shark, and The Life Cycle of a Sea Horse, which he enjoyed going through on his own while the others were napping.
This was our last week in the Salsa unit based on Caperucita Roja (Little Red Riding Hood). All three older kids have learned so much from this program. Although I usually only do the lesson plans with Ian, Elijah has started showing a fascination with using another language, and Arianna often requests to watch a Salsa video. It’s fun to see them all learning together.
We’re currently getting familiar with the following products. Watch for reviews soon!
- Happy Kids Songs
- UberSmart Math Facts
- “Who Created Everything” audio drama (from Wizzy Gizmo)
- Preschoolers and Peace: Homeschooling older kids with success while loving the little ones at your feet (e-book) by Kendra Fletcher