Religion - As you know we are doing the New Testament this year. It's one of my favorite scripture books to work through. Racer and Chicklette are working at the higher level this year. I wanted to be able to do more discussion with them, but it's not working out that way since I need to manage the younger kids and do writing for them. Racer gets done way before I am and Chicklette takes a very long time to finish her pages. I'm hoping I'm not overloading her with them, but I think she just gets distracted very easily. This week the younger kids and I talked about Jesus' birth, the presentation of Jesus at the temple, and the Wise Men.
Math - Turtle is working on reading a clock and also using the expressions past, till and o'clock. Chicklette finally finished last year's math book and started on the addition review for this new book. She was heartbroken yesterday because she left her binder on the couch where the babies, well, toddlers, were and they took out and mixed up all her math pages. It's taken her a couple hours to put them back in order, but I don't know that she's learned her lesson because her binder and scriptures are currently sitting out even though she is done with them and Kitten is currently awake. (Kitten is much, much less interested in sleep than Chubbers is. He'll probably sleep another hour at least.) I'm on the fence about Racer's math. He was only taking a few minutes to log in and view some videos, but not really get anything done. I finally told him he had to work for an hour or through at least one whole lesson. He's still only taking 20 minutes, but he swears he's doing a whole lesson. I'm going to keep watching him because I'm not sure he's doing as much or as well as he could. Today for our Family Math/Everyday Math section, Racer and I worked through another doubling problem and the younger kids and I read a book about patterns. Then we pulled out our pattern blocks and I left them to do some pattern cards because Kitten and Chubbers were crying and crying upstairs.
All About Reading - I really am loving this program for all the ages I'm using it for. I feel like it is very thorough and each step builds on the next. I love just doing 20 minutes or so which keeps it nice and short. The kids love the new activities and word flippers. The illustrations in the readers are very sweet also. I need to work on a better way of storing the activities that we cut out so that I can reuse them for the following years.
Grammar - I was confused about how I was going to use Following the Plan for Racer this year. I finally decided to make it as independent as possible for him. He reads the lessons himself and comes to me if he doesn't understand something. He has to do the worksheets, which really are supplementary, but he does not have to do the oral drills. I do cut down on some of the written exercises also if there are truly a lot. I think it is pretty easy for him and maybe I could have done with the next level up, but I knew he hadn't done much, if any, grammar at school and figured this would be a good, gentle way to ease him back into it. He seems to like it or, at least, he doesn't object to it. He worked on compound sentences and comma splices this week. Chicklette and I began diagramming two word sentences today and she almost has "Afternoon on a Hill" memorized. Turtle is working on copying a poem and illustrating it for the next several grammar lessons.
Spelling - Spelling is going fine for Racer and Chicklette. Turtle struggles with writing, and reading to some extent. He really has to work on making sure he has all the letters in his words. At least at home I can go at his pace and not have to keep up with some standard or other kids in his class.
History - We've been reading about Constantinople, Justinian, and Theodora this week. I had to introduce them to the song "Istanbul (Not Constantinople)" They all loved it, but I think Racer loved it the most. I have had to skip the last two days because my throat won't allow me to read out loud for very long. I showed the kids pictures of the Hagia Sophia on Wednesday. That is one place I would love to visit some day. They also watched a documentary about Saint Nicholas last night. Turtle asked me if I thought Saint Nicholas was related to Santa Claus. I told him that I thought they probably were.
Science - We started reading about roses a few days ago and the suggested activity for yesterday was to dissect a rose. I found this great, clear diagram from Texas A & M. We also picked flowers from all over our yard to find their different parts. Hibiscus flowers are very easy to see all the parts. We also looked at how squash blossoms can be either male or female. Ladybug and Sunshine explored density last week. We did a really fun experiment where we layered oil, water and molasses in a glass cup. Then we looked at what floated in which level. Pennies go straight to the bottom of everything, grapes float in the water but not the oil, and the cork floats on top of everything. Wednesday, we started on our crystals week. We examined salt and sugar crystals, colored our page, and made some Borax crystals. Unfortunately, the crystal is too large for the mouth of our jar so we are going to have to break it in order to get it out.
Latin - Racer seems to be doing okay in his BYU online Latin class. Chicklette is breezing through her Prima Latina. Turtle is fighting against writing any words and complains that Prima Latina is too hard for him. I told him it was right at his level and he needs to keep working on it.