The local school districts had Spring Break this week, although our district only takes Friday and Monday for the break. Rosie Girl and Wild Man thought that they should have had the week off, even though I reminded them that our trip to Florida last month was their big break for the spring semester. I did offer to give them the week off and end a week later, but they were definitely opposed to anything that might require schoolwork after the public schools are out for the year. So, we did do schoolwork the last couple of weeks. And with less wailing and gnashing of teeth than I might have expected!
History/Social Sciences - He was supposed to be reading from The Arabs In The Golden Age starting a few weeks ago, but we couldn’t find the book, despite my having rearranged and cleaned out bookshelves. We found it at the end of last week – right when it belonged and where I had looked at least three times! Bah! In any case, he’s now reading about the Arabs during the Middle Ages. We’ve also watched some DVDs about Islam, Mecca, etc. And, I threw in a show about the Russian Revolution because I just found it on Netflix this week. We had been listening to Around The World In Eighty Days, so we took out the globe one day and reviewed Phileas Fogg’s journey as well as the countries of the Middle East and North Africa. (As an aside, there was a reference in Around The World In Eighty Days to Chicago rebuilding. I stopped the book and asked Wild Man what they were talking about, why was Chicago rebuilding? And I was thrilled that he looked at me and said (without a pause, and with a little incredulity that I would even have to ask him), “The Great Fire of Chicago!” Yes, he did learn something from that trip to the top of the Hancock Building a few years ago – besides that it’s really, really, really high up!)
Math – Wild Man is doing a great job these days of learning math from ALEKS. He occasionally needs PWM to explain something, but, overall, he’s able to learn from the explanations given. He’s still reviewing math facts because they just don’t stick well in his head, but he’s making progress.
Reading – He has been reading Physick, a book from a series that he had been reading for fun. I thought Around The World In Eighty Days would be hard for him to read by himself (and I think it was scheduled as a read-aloud when Rosie Girl did this Core) so we got it on audio. The other two books that go with his History/Social Sciences are The Shadow Spinner and Seven Sisters And Seven Brothers. I want to do them as read-alouds because I think Wild Man will get more out of them and there are a few sections with things I’d like to make sure we discuss. Right now, we’re reading Surely, You’re Joking, Mr. Feynmann! by Nobel Prize-winning physicist Richard Feynmann. It’s an entertaining book and has provoked some great discussions.
Writing/Spelling/Grammar – Wild Man has really been improving in spelling and writing. I still have him copy a paragraph every few days. And I have dreams of eventually doing the outlining lessons in IEW. One day. . .
Science – We’ve mostly been watching DVDs about science, particular earthquakes. PWM also gave both kids a good explanation of the basics of a nuclear power plant – and the differences between what happened at Three Mile Island, Chernobyl, and Fukushima. No, he’s not a physicist, but he understands this stuff better than I do, and he can explain it in terms the kids can understand. My parents sent the kids each a piece of agatized coral along with an explanation of what it is. Pretty cool!
Music – Last Friday night, the teens did a fund-raising dinner and show. Wild Man’s band played several songs and did a wonderful job! And, they raised a bunch of money! This week, Wild Man and PWM have been busy with helping get everything ready for Easter service (which is held at the high school auditorium) and for EggVenture (also held in the high school, but in the commons). The Youth Band plays today at 11:30am. Wild Man is also learning a xylophone/bells part for one of the songs in the Middle School 7th and 8th grade band. We’re rapidly approaching concert season! (In fact, Wild Man and I did a manic shopping trip to get him dress clothes for Easter and band concert along with some jeans and T-shirts – since the child has insisted on growing something like 6 inches in the last year!!)
First of all, here’s the wonderful news!! Rosie Girl got a 28 on the ACT!! This is a really good score for anyone, but we had Rosie Girl take the ACT this year (in 10th grade) to get a feel for standardized tests, since she doesn’t have to do them at home. We did have her do some review tests, but felt like she should have at least one “practice run”. And she got a 28 on the “practice test”! She definitely could do better in Math and Science. The Math score should be better next year when she’s got some Algebra 2 under her belt. And the Science will improve with time, I think. PWM and I are incredibly proud of her. She’s a bright kid anyway, but she worked through her nerves and inexperience to do very well!
History/Social Sciences – Rosie Girl wrote a nice paper a couple of weeks ago about three women missionaries. She’s up into the twentieth century in her survey of church history. (I really wanted to make sure my kids did this Core because I didn’t learn much about church history until college and beyond. This Core is giving her some insight into why the Church looks the way it does today.)
Literature/Writing – This week’s paper was on Pride And Prejudice. Rosie Girl chose to write about the relationship between Mr. and Mrs. Bennett. I’m thrilled that Rosie Girl enjoys Jane Austen. She’ll have a great time with British Literature her senior year. My dad (Rosie Girl’s grandfather) asked Rosie Girl to type up a letter that my great-aunt had written to my parents that included several pages of memories about my grandfather, who died before I was born. Rosie Girl finished that this week and we talked some about the insights she gained into her grandfather’s family.
Science – Rosie Girl is doing Chemistry with PWM these days. I’m pleased with what I hear from their conversations. I need to get her doing the lab portion over the next few weeks.
Bible – Having Rosie Girl read the prophets makes for interesting journaling.
Music – Next week is Piano Festival! Rosie Girl isn’t all that excited about it, though. She loves music and is very good at it, but doesn’t enjoy performing too much. She’s also been helping our Worship Arts Director every week and has even agreed to play keyboards for worship on occasion.
So that’s our week. What’s up with you? Check out Weird, Unsocialized Homeschoolers to see what others did this week!