Wrapping Up Week 26 (2014-15)
We’re getting close to the end of Part 1 in Little Pilgrim’s Progress, and I’m going to let Ian finish doing his notebook pages once we reach that point. It’s been a good discipline exercise for him, but we’d both like to move through the book more quickly than it allows. He’s been doing a good job at narrating to me orally, so I’m ready to let him off the hook when it comes to the writing. We just have about 5 more days’ worth of reading to finish up.
I’m really happy with our switch over to doing all Ian’s math online. He has shown significant improvement in his addition facts thanks to xtramath.org, and I think the time on CTC Math and GPALOVEMATH has been really good for him.
One thing that has frustrating me in working with Ian has been how little he cared about getting a good score on a lesson, so I’ve been really pleased to see him repeating lessons on CTC Math to raise his standing (since it takes an average of the last three times). He’s been totally self-motivated to move from “silver” to “gold” or even up to “platinum.” I’m so glad he’s developing a sense of pride in doing his best work.
I think we’re both enjoying the independence that this switch has given him. While I think MEP is a fantastic curriculum, it definitely requires teacher involvement, and with a house full of little ones, I need to prioritize which lessons I’m going to do with Ian. For now (especially with a new baby coming in September), I think it’s more important that Ian can build a solid foundation and make steady progress at grade level than to push ahead with a rigorous program that’s continually challenging him.
This week we finished up the poetry of A.A. Milne and moved on to the Ambleside Online, Year 1 third term selection, A Child’s Book of Poems by Gyo Fujikawa. Ian loved the playful Milne poems and often asked me to go back and read some of his favorites. I like that this new work has a variety of poets, and I’m hoping Ian enjoys them as well. He really liked Wynken, Blynken, and Nod, and I caught him telling Nicholas all about them, pointing out his eyes and head and he said the names. So we’re off to a good start.
The one thing we were still really behind in with was our reading in Tales from Shakespeare. This week we finally read “The Winter’s Tale” (over the course of three days), and then we watched the story in the Shakespeare: The Animated Tales series. The story was new to me, so I enjoyed reading it with Ian. He had an easier time following along than he has with some of the other Shakespeare stories we’ve read, probably because there weren’t a lot of characters.
We’re continuing to focus on the church of the first century. After we finished the Storykeepers series on Monday we watched The Perpetua Story (from the Torchlighters series), as well as Polycarp and Perpetua, which wasn’t necessarily written for children, but contained many dramatizations and kept Ian’s attention. I especially appreciated the section taken directly from Perpetua’s writings. It was powerful to have a primary source and being able to hear the story in Perpetua’s own words (right up to the day before her execution, when someone else took on the task of completing it).
We also started watching the first series of Friends and Heroes, which is set in Alexandria in A.D. 69. It’s about a group of Jews living under Roman rule during a time of unrest in Judea. Each episode also contains Bible stories (from the Old and New Testaments) that the characters share to help each other make wise decisions.
(We’re watching the first series on the JellyTelly Roku channel since we already have a subscription, but for the second and third series we’ll subscribe to gMovies, the only place they’re currently available to watch without buying the DVDs, which is beyond our budget right now.)
We read through lessons 4-6 in The World of Plants (part of God’s Design for Life). We also watched two episodes of Bill Nye the Science Guy: Cells and Plants, and Ian and Elijah enjoyed getting our our microscope and looking at various kids of cells (lesson 4).
We’re currently getting familiar with several products. Watch for reviews soon!