Wrapping Up Week 16 (2015-16)

Weekly Wrap Up 2015-16
 Last week it finally felt like we were back to our routine (though since it’s taken me a couple extra days to write about it, I’m obviously not quite as top of things as I like to think).  Still, I was happy with what we managed to get through, especially since we took a day off for Elijah’s sixth birthday.  He takes great delight in building things, so most of his gifts followed that interest.  I may decide to have him work through the designs in Architecto as part of his school work.

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Preschool

Arianna is back into Reading Eggs and is doing really well as she repeats the first couple dozen lessons.  I’m really glad I set her progress back, because she has so much more confidence this time around and is working much more independently.  She really wants to be doing work on the computer like the boys, so I let her spend time both with Reading Eggs and with La La Logic, which we’d taken a break from when we moved at the beginning of the summer and never started back up again.  Both she and Elijah spent quite a bit of time on it this past week.

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Read Alouds

We finished up our King Arthur stories by reading The Kitchen Knight as retold by Margaret Hodges.  I had planned on reading more, but it just felt like time to stop.  I’m sure at some point in years to come, we’ll go back and read more stories about the knights of the round table, but the weeks we’ve spent on it this year have definitely given Ian (and Elijah, to the extent that he was following along) a good introduction.

  We started reading an adaptation of Sir Walter Scott’s Ivanhoe by Marianna Mayer with beautiful illustrations by John Rush.  This version is highly simplified, but Ian enjoyed the story and spent a long time admiring the pictures.  It fit well with his history lessons as well.

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We also read a few more chapters in Pinocchio by Carlo Collodi, though not as much as Ian would like.  (Since we’re taking turns choosing our non-history related chapter books, he’s anxious to get through my selection and onto his next choice.

Independent (Computer) Lessons

Math

Ian has reached multiplication in his Teaching Textbooks Math 3 lessons.  I’m not quite ready to start him on practicing his multiplication facts on xtramath.org, just because he’s got a few more subtraction facts to master.  Instead I’m slowing down our pace with Teaching Textbooks, doing just a couple lessons a week, and spending time with some fun games to help him (and Elijah) practice the facts as they’re introduced.  (So far aside from learning the rule for 0’s and 1’s he’s done the 10’s, 2’s, 5’s, and 4’s.)

For dessert one night I split the kids into teams: Ian and Nico vs. Elijah and Arianna.  (The little ones love shouting out numbers, even if they have no clue what the point is, but since Ian and Elijah are pretty evenly matched, the teams are as fair as I could make them).  We went through flashcards with all those fact families, giving M&M’s to each member of the team who got the correct answer first.  They got in some good practice and everyone ended up with a handful of candy by the time we finished.

History

I continue to be amazed by how much Ian is enjoying the Veritas Press Self-Paced History Course on the Middle Ages, Renaissance, and Reformation.  We had taken a week off for our road trip, so we’re behind where I had planned to be.  Still, I wanted to enjoy our week on cathedrals.  It was a bit of a review since we discussed them last year during a unit study, so I didn’t go too in depth.  I have Ian a choice of which video he wanted to re-watch, and he chose Building the Great Cathedrals, which my Kindergarten architect enjoyed a lot as well.

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Ian actually finished all the lessons for the week early, and then we I told him he didn’t have any more history to do, he dived into the next week’s lessons on the Crusades.  I’m hoping we’ll get caught up and back on schedule without doing history all the way up to Christmas.  It’s wonderful that he loves the program so much.  Elijah keeps asking me when he’ll be old enough to do history as well.  (He already watches Ian do his lessons every day and has the song memorized.)  I wish there were a way to purchase the Veritas Press online courses to use over and over again, because I just don’t see this being something we can afford every year, especially for multiple students.

A few final thoughts

I can’t believe how quickly this year is flying by.  On Friday the kids had their final music classes with the exception of choir, which will wrap up with a final performance this week.  Before we know it, Christmas will be upon us!

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