Wrapping Up Week 29 (2015-16)
This week we covered the lessons on the sun in Our Planet Earth (from God’s Design for Heaven and Earth). The boys especially liked learning about solar eclipses and were so glad there was a whole page about when and where they could see the next one. They’re planning a road trip for August 2017 to find an optimal viewing position. For now they had to settle for creating their own model.
I’m really impressed with how much the boys have learned this year in their IEW class going through Fables, Myths and Fairy Tales: Writing Lessons in Structure & Style. This week they were finishing up their versions of The Ugly Duckling, and I was amazed at what a smooth process their writing assignments have become. Last year it was like pulling teeth to get more than a sentence or two out of Ian, but the IEW program has made such a difference. Now he not only knows what to write about, he knows how to put together an interesting story with varied stylistic techniques, and it’s a relatively painless process.
As a Kindergartner Elijah is really young for the class, but even he has learned so much and takes delight in finding just the right words to put his stories together. I want this whole process to be a positive one for both boys, so I let them dictate their stories to me for now. They follow the outlines they’ve created in class, and I type (or write, if we’re doing it during Arianna’s ballet class as often happens) their paragraphs as they dictate to me. Then we come back to it another day and put in any “dress-ups” that didn’t already naturally come into their narration. Both boys love sharing the stories with the other kids in the class.
Ian’s still plugging away at his Veritas Press Self-Paced History Course on the Middle Ages, Renaissance, and Reformation. This week he covered Martin Luther, so in addition to his daily computer work I read aloud Martin Luther: A Man Who Changed the World by Paul L. Maier.
On his own, Ian read Martin Luther: What Should I Do? from a series by Catherine MacKenzie. I’ve never read any of the Little Lights books before, but I was impressed with this book and decided to buy more in the series. They’re all biographies of famous Christians, and they’re easy enough books that I didn’t hear any complaints from Ian when I asked him to read. There are several that will easily go along with our history studies over the next couple years, and I might have him read others just for the exposure to great missionary stories.
One thing we spent a lot of time on this week was a Stopmotion Explosion project that Ian’s hoping to share with the IEW class in a few weeks. We’re making a short film telling the story of “Sir Gawain and the Green Knight,” of the the legends about King Arthur’s knights. The whole process of taking the pictures, adding the sound, choosing music, and editing it all together has been educational for all of us, especially Ian. I have a feeling this will just be the first of many such projects.
We’re enjoying several products right now, so watch for these reviews in the next few weeks:
- Math-U-See – Primer level with Digital Pack
- Owlegories: The Ant, The Fruit, The Butterfly
- Essentials 2nd Edition (Multi-level reading, spelling, grammar, and vocabulary
from Logic of English)
- TimesTales (videos teaching the multiplication table)
- Stopmotion Explosion Animation Kit
- A+Interactive Math Mini-Courses
- Plug n’ Play Hub by Securly (helping provide safe wifi for kids)