Wrapping Up Week 8 (2015-16)
I debated about going back to Michael Polpurgo’s retelling of Beowulf after these past several weeks off, but Ian didn’t resist at all when I picked it up again, and we finished it in less days than I had planned because he was into it.
I love being able to tie in quality literature with our history studies, especially since Ian is doing all his history lessons online through the Veritas Press Self-Paced History Course (Middle Ages, Renaissance, and Reformation) so I’m not as involved as I was last year. I try to sit in on it most days, but I’m not always able to be there for the whole lesson. I’ve already learned so much, as has Elijah, just from being in the room when Ian’s lessons are displayed on the television as we works! Sharing stories helps me enjoy his history studies even more.
Veritas Press has several literature selections that go along with the lessons, but there are many weeks with nothing assigned or others with books we’ve already read recently, so I’ve put together a list of additional books I’d like to read together on those weeks. Just planning out the rest of our history reading for the year this week got me so excited for the months ahead and the wonderful stories we’ll get to explore together.
In addition to our historical literature, I want to continue reading plenty of chapter books with Ian just for fun. By taking turns picking books, I have a chance to share some of the classic literature I know he wouldn’t pick up on his own as well as some of my childhood favorites while still letting him experience the joy of making his own choices. This week we finished Bunnicula by Deborah and James Howe, and we were so excited to move on to the next book in the series (Howliday Inn) that I forgot it was my turn to choose.
All three kids spent time on Reading Eggs this week. I need to have Arianna repeat lessons more often, because while she does okay online, what she’s learning just doesn’t seem to transfer to reading from real books. We sat down this week to spend time reading together and it proved to be a frustrating experience for us both. I’m not sure whether the problem is that she’s really not understanding or just that she lacks confidence. She still so young I don’t want to push her at all, but it seems odd that she can do things in Reading Eggs but not offline.
Both boys are also working through units in Elementary (K-2) Spanish from Middlebury Interactive Languages. Last year Ian completed the first semester while Elijah watched and occasionally did a few lessons. This time I’m having Elijah work through the first semester on his own while Ian has moved on to the second. I really wish I could give them more opportunities to converse in Spanish, but I barely know more than they do (and I’m sure they’ll surpass me soon), and so far I haven’t found a way to make that happen.
Elijah is almost through the 1st grade lessons on CTCMath.com. I’m not sure what I’m going to have him do after that. I guess he can just move onto 2nd grade, but at some point I think I’m going to want to have him settle a bit more. Maybe I’ll try to supplement with another program so he doesn’t go too quickly through the lessons.
Ian has been plowing away at Teaching Textbooks Math 3, completing 5 lessons (plus any quizzes) each week, but since there are only 118 lessons altogether, I’m going lighten up his weekly load a bit as we start up our music classes on Friday as well as a writing class on Tuesdays. As I was planning for the rest of the year I jotted down some notes to keep us on pace to make sure he does at least get through all the lessons this year, but I think we’ll have lots of wiggle room. I doubt he’ll have any interest in trying to move up to the next grade level a little early.
We’re enjoying several products right now, so watch for these reviews in the next few weeks: