Friday, October 21, 2016

Weekly Wrap Up - Academic Updates

We've just wrapped up our ninth week of the new school year, so I thought I'd give you an update on what is and isn't working.

Bible:  We're all enjoying our in depth study of the book of Proverbs.   The girls are getting much better about picking out poor choices vs. wise choices and are memorizing a great deal of scripture too.

Language Arts:  Both girls are still using Learning Language Arts Through Literature, with Lindsey being in the Tan Book and Olivia in the Gray Book.  This program has worked well for us over the last few years and both girls really enjoy the style.  I've finally wised up this year and have started assigning the book study reading several weeks before we get to the book study so that we are ahead of the game.

Spelling:   Thankfully, the spelling has clicked a little better for Lindsey this year.  Her weekly scores are far better than they were in years gone by.  I have to admit that I have been a bit surprised by a few of her spelling words so far, like "cigarette" for example.  Olivia is enjoying her spelling/vocabulary and is especially fond of her creative sentence writing work.  I love reading her sentences, as she reminds me a bit of "Anne Shirley" at times.

Science:   Olivia is really enjoying her Life Science curriculum.  She has been doing a great job with note taking and drawing sketches to go along with what she's studying.  I've decided that since she's putting so much work into her notebook, that it will count for a good portion of her grade this year.   She's also enjoying the labs and experiments.

Lindsey's Introductory Science is not nearly as involved as I'd expected it to be.  She enjoys the short video lessons. Since the lessons are so short, I have her do 3 days worth in one sitting, twice a week, typically Monday and Wednesday. She's already on week 13, and we'll probably finish this one up before the end of the calendar year.   On Tuesday and Thursday she's working through Apologia Astronomy to balance out her time.

Latin:  This really is going well, however with our schedule being a little out of sorts early on, we're about two weeks behind where we should be.  I'm glad, however, that we can take our time and master the lessons even if it's not at the same pace as other subjects.    It's also fun now that the girls are starting to recognize Latin root and derivatives in lots of other subject areas. I can see that they really are "getting it" and not just memorizing the list of words each week.

Math:  I'll be honest here, Algebra has been a real pain in the rear end recently.  The biggest issue has been that the teacher's manual (and answer key) are printed as super small replicas of the student text page with the answers showing.   When the lesson is on graphing and the graphs are so small that I can't see coordinate points or even tell if the graph has numbers it makes it impossible to tell whats right and what's not.  I finally had to call the vendor and ask for assistance.    Thankfully they were able to email me a full size answer key so HOPEFULLY we can get back on track.   I also don't like that the answers are shown, but not the work showing how the answers were achieved, as this makes it a lot harder for me to try to show her where she went wrong.

Lindsey's 6th grade math is moving along pretty smoothly.   She's working through a unit on geometry right now and is really enjoying it.   She's been using geo-solid shapes I picked up a few years ago, and those have helped her be able to get a little more hands on with her math.

History:   Lindsey is studying the Middle Ages using History Portfolio's.   This is putting the time frame into bite size portions for her and making it a bit more interesting than a standard history curriculum, although it's still not turning her into a history lover.
Geography:  As with science, Olivia is putting enormous amounts of time into her notebooking for this year's geography curriculum.   I'm really happy to see her take such initiative, so I'm changing the grading breakdown for this course as well.

This is our last week of volleyball, with the championship tournament scheduled for Saturday morning.  The kids have had a great time, and I've enjoyed coaching this year.  Although, I will admit I'm looking forward to getting Monday and Thursday evenings and Saturday mornings freed back least until basketball starts.

I guess that's about all for this week.  It's been kind of low key and just knocking out a bunch of schoolwork and housework.   Next week we'll have  a shorter school week, and hopefully a cool project to share with you all!

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  1. Looks like a great week full of learning! The history notebook is really nice.

  2. Oh my Algebra and Pre-Calc has been the most difficult subjects for us to teach. I broke down and just hired tutors.

    1. I wish there were money in the budget for a tutor!


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