Thursday, December 17, 2009

Weekly Report 12/13-12/25

We've not done any formal school this week. We are really on break. But learning continues anyway, because life is learning of course!

  • Saturday afternoon we had our family Chanukah celebration over at aunt and uncle's house. They have a new electric piano which caught everyone's attention. W played his Bach piece on the harpsichord mode. Sounded so cool! I love a good harpsichord!
  • Sat. night S had his little birthday celebration with his two best friends. It was lovely. I made tacos (one of S's favorites), everybody sat down to a rousing game of dreidel (math! They were putting in fractions of almonds!), then we had cake and watched Akeelah and the Bee (spelling!). The movie was quite good except for some reason they felt they need to put in about 5 bad words. Ugh. I don't know why movies do that! It would have been absolutely fine without it. But it really fired up S and B in their quests to become spellers! And they loved all the references to Latin and Greek roots. The boys had a great time. S was happy!
  • S informed me that he is becoming a better speller. He said he'd figured out the different between the i-consonant-e words and the -igh words. He said he'd noticed most igh words end in a -t as well.
  • S had his piano jury on Monday afternoon. He did quite well.
  • W had his final in Music Theory I at the CC. He thinks he did well.
  • W had his piano jury on Tuesday afternoon. Since Rick and I attended his recital last weekend and he was playing the same two songs, we didn't go. The jury was at 6:30 and Rick was still at work and I had to retrieve S and B from gymnastics and get some kind of dinner going. W and I did go out and buy him some suitable clothes for a more formal occasion. He got a nice sports coat, shirt, tie and pants. He looked handsome. He just needs a haircut.
  • J has only done 1/2 a chapter of Alg II this week.
  • J still hasn't gone longer than 2 hours in his brace at night. I'm beginning to panic. Don't quite know what to do about that.
  • J also had his passing Mass for the Catholic Life Community on Wed. He is now a 'candidate' and he got a new cross to wear on a chain around his neck.
  • Mostly we've been cleaning the house. J has been wonderful helping with that. But I don't see how I'll have everything ready by Sunday. So far 52 people coming!
  • W, J and I finished up part 1 of the Archeology lecture series. I've got to return it to the library.
  • S is reading! He finished the Louis Sachar book and is now reading It's Like This, Cat. I remember loving that book when I was young.
  • J read the sequel to Abarat.
  • B continues to work on reading Calvin and Hobbes
  • Rick finished reading Samantha books to B, then went on to a Nellie book (apparently a friend of Samantha) and now they are starting into the Josephina books.
  • S and B have taken to playing Connect 4 a lot.
  • B continues to make all kinds of things out of posterboard and cardboard, though I have put a significant damper on it since I'm trying to keep the house clean. She made her own pin the tail on the donkey game, her own pinata (stuffed with popcorn she made) a big drawing of a grandfather clock. She made a wonderful puppet using a wooden bbq skewer as a stick to move the puppy's ear with.
  • W and J have been reading Game Enforcer magazines and Gilbert!
  • Lots of video game playing and more Wordgirl, Fetch, Phineas and Ferb and Bizkids.
  • I've been reading Down to the Bonny Glen to B some more but we are going pretty slowly through that book.
  • I read more Archimedes but it is into the math section of it and we really don't understand what is going on and the kids are losing interest. I probably should do something to inspire them but I'm too distracted by coming events.
  • Read more Freedom Train. I started crying at one of the chapters and the kids were amazed! I couldn't speak I found the story so touching. I'd really like to finish that read aloud this week.
  • H comes home on Friday! Yippee! She has her last final Thursday and flies home the next day. I hope she can help me with the Christmas party. I truly miss her help. She was the one that did all the decorating for me!
  • Update - Friday we did very little! Got our Christmas tree and picked up H from the airport. Huge snowstorm canceled our big family Christmas party for Sunday. Last night we sat and watched It's a Wonderful Life. I cried some more. B learned what a Savings and Loan is. S spent a long time drawing a series of cartoons to give W for a Christmas present.
  • Last night after kissing S good night he informed me that he knew how to spell 'should'. That kid is so into spelling. I never imagined you could unschool spelling like this!


Our Westmoreland School said...

What is your secret for spelling?!?

Sounds like you all had a wonderful week, thank you for sharing!

Merry Christmas!

MissMOE said...

Wow, you fit alot in this week!

Suburban Correspondent said...

I'm glad Hannah got home in time! Too bad about your party, though...or maybe you don't think so?

We save It's A Wonderful Life for Christmas. We've already watched Scrooged, though (well, the older half of the family).

Faith said...

I don't have a secret for spelling! I've never been consistent at teaching it! My kids learn to read late because of vision issues. Each child has learned to spell differently. S is learning because 1)He likes to write cartoon captions for drawings he's making and he is always asking me to spell things for him. I always try to explain the spelling rule/pattern to him as I spell. I talk to him about syllables and how spelling by syllable is a great way to do it. 2) Spellcheck. He likes to write e-mails to his two friends. He relies on spellcheck. I have heard people say that you should turn off spellcheck so that they can learn to spell and not rely on it but that is not how it works for my kids. They'll be typing (pecking!) along, get to a word they don't know, make an attempt to spell it correctly, spellcheck alerts them that they got it wrong, they click and they get an instant Aha!moment! So that's how you spell it!

This particular child just seems to really notice words and patterns and he talks about it a lot so his little sister is following suit.

S did do a little formal spelling this year since September. I have a workbook and he'd do a page or two a couple times a week. We often don't even finish the lesson and there are no spelling tests, but again, just that little touch makes him more aware of words.

One thing about unschooling is, you talk a lot about learning but the talk is usually initiated by the child. This little change in dynamics makes a world of difference!

Karen E. said...

We really enjoyed Akeelah and the Bee too (and I agree with you about the few words.) After we watched it, my kids could not stop spelling "prestidigitation."