Saturday, September 03, 2011

Our Week In Review–September 3, 2011


It’s “Back To School” week here at the Martin School of Joy!!  We started on Monday, while the public schools started on Thursday.  Overall it was a good week, and we only have a few kinks left to work out.

Rosie Girl

  • Bible – She is reading through the New Testament and journaling as she goes.  Right now she’s in Matthew.
  • History/Social Sciences – Core 300 is looking to be pretty interesting.  The one issue that we had is that one of her books (A Visual History of the Modern World) had some pages missing and others duplicated.  Sonlight is sending us a new copy.  We’ve never had any issues with Sonlight, but this year, both of Rosie Girl’s primary history books had problems, one of which might have been an Sonlight issue, while the other was definitely a publishing issue.  In any case, they made the return process very simple and Rosie Girl should have her new book next week.  Rosie Girl is enjoying this Core so far.
  • Literature – Rosie Girl questioned why they had The Great Brain in Core 300 because she thought it was a little “easy”.  I reminded her, though, that she’s going to be reading a lot of “heavy” stuff this year in history and literature.  The 20th century was the most brutal and bloody in history.  Books like The Great Brain are scattered through the Core, not just because they’re good books, but also to provide a little break from all the bad stuff of the 20th century.
  • Writing – In the second quarter, Rosie Girl will take a research paper writing workshop through WriteAtHome in conjunction with her self-directed science course.  Otherwise, I’ve scheduled an essay per week from her, rotating through History, Literature, and Bible.  Next week, she starts with a paper about The Great Brain.  She will also choose which paper she wants to also present as a speech.
  • Science – Honestly, I’ve been a little concerned in the last month how a self-directed science course might work with Rosie Girl, but I’m pleasantly surprised so far.  She is reading a book about how music affects the brain and watched a PBS show about the same topic.  She is thinking that she will do her research paper on something to do with music’s effect on the brain.  Then she wants to do a second semester project using her computer, keyboard, clarinet, guitar, and ocarina in some combination that explores the physics of music.  She’s also excited because I agreed that we would get her the microphone that she needs for second semester if her research paper effort was up to par.
  • Math – Rosie Girl is starting Algebra 2 in ALEKS.  She was very bummed out that her assessment score was very low, but she’s never had Algebra 2, so it’s supposed to be low!!  After this  year, she’s not going to be taking trigonometry as originally planned, but will do a semester of personal finance and a semester of statistics (not AP). 
  • Piano – Lessons start next week, but she is still doing some work from her summer lessons.
  • Community Service – She hasn’t worked at church in the last two weeks, but now that she knows her schedule, she’ll set up times with our Worship Arts Director.
  • Art – This course is taken at the public school.  There is a new teacher this year and Rosie Girl thinks she’ll like him.
  • Japanese – Rosie Girl turned in her last assignment of Semester 1, so she needs to take the final.  This year, she needs to get her semester’s work done in a semester, not a year.
  • Other Music – Rosie Girl has been singing and playing guitar lately – and she’s really good!  She continues to play ocarina.  She’s also practicing clarinet so that she can perhaps have clarinet as her second instrument in college.

Wild Man

  • Wild Man does his schoolwork up at the shop.  He needs reminders to stay focused, etc.
  • Bible – Wild Man is doing a “tour” of the whole Bible.  So far, so good.
  • History/Social Science – He is reading through Weapon and Warrior.  Not only does he tell me about what he is learning, but he journals a few sentences each day.  He’s not fond of journaling, but he needs to get used to writing.  And I usually am around to spell things for him, but when I’m not going to be available, I tell him to guess at the spelling and we’ll check it later.
  • Science – Wild Man is learning a good bit of science from his Weapon and Warrior books, but  I also will have him reading some about the human body.  That will provide a nice basis for understanding how bullets affect the body, etc.
  • Math – He’s working in ALEKS Middle School Year 3.  He’s realizing that he needs to know his math facts better, so he’s been asking me to help him.  He conceptually understands math very well, but still needs to practice his multiplication tables. 
  • Writing – Wild Man’s main source of writing at the moment is his journaling.  Mondays are our days at home since the shop is closed, so I plan to do some work from Institute for Excellence in Writing with him once a week.  We’re going to start this year with outlining.
  • Spelling – I’m still using SpellingCity as a resource this year, but I noticed that Wild Man does better when I drill him than when the computer does.  I’m trying hard not to give feedback until we’ve done the  entire list, but he still spells better working with me.  Hmmmm.  We are still in Book 3 of All About Spelling.  In addition to learning the spelling rules and how to spell the words, I’m also dictating lots of sentences to get him used to writing.
  • Typing – This  is new for Wild Man.  I think we’ll be using TypingMaster.  In any case, he definitely needs some typing practice.
  • Grammar – He is continuing in Easy Grammar 5.  He’s able to be more independent these days, which makes me very happy.
  • Community Service – Still helping at the Senior Nutrition Site.
  • Drums/Percussion – He takes Band at the middle school and plays  percussion.  They have a new band director, and Wild Man likes her.  He will be starting back with his drum lessons (with our Minister to Students) in the next week or two.  He’s also playing drum kit and percussion in our church’s youth band.  They also split into middle school and high school groups every week; when they do that, Wild Man plays bass guitar.
  • Literature – I’m pulling books from previous Cores for him to read this year along with some library books.  Our read alouds are going to be alternating apologetics with novels.

Both kids are also helping out at the shop when we need it, although we haven’t needed much help since we opened now that the yarns are priced and  put out on display.  But, I’m sure there will be more opportunities for them in the future!

Whew!  It looks like more than it is.  Really.  Now  I need to get the books off the dining room floor and find them homes on the school bookshelf (which is already full, even after  I weeded out the books a few months ago).  But, I have a migraine today, so I’ll  just  knit.

How did your week go? See what others have been up to at Weird, Unsocialized Homeschoolers!

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