Saturday, January 7, 2012

Week 17 - 2012 - Back to Work!

It was nice to come back from Christmas break to a week when we had no outside activities other than a math class.  I didn't really feel like starting back to school this week, but this absence of busyness has helped me transition back into school life, I think.

I've been working on my biology plans for next year all week, as well as pulling together workbooks for the other classes I'm planning, so being at home more has given me the flexibility to go through materials; books; add to and rearrange plans, etc.

My son began reading The Good Earth this week.  I had intended for him to start this a little earlier, but changed my mind and just had him read O. Henry through to the break.  I knew he wouldn't finish this lengthier book if he started it a week or even two weeks prior to Christmas break with all the other things we had going on at the time.  He also began reading some from  My Side of the Mountain on Friday.  This is his first selection for his writing through lit class that resumes on Monday.  I wanted him to get a head-start on it.

The Good Earth      My Side of the Mountain

He is continuing with Prayer of Jabez for kids, journaling as he goes.  He has a new youth minister at our little church and I'm very hopeful right now that their group is going to do good things together.  He played piano at our Christmas Eve service.  Mostly youth presented the various parts at that service and we adults thought it was lovely.  I am hopeful that such a tradition will continue.

He completed the geography workbook that he has been slowly working through first semester and I went to the trouble to get my hands on a teacher's manual for it, so I will be pulling extra activities from that for second semester.  We also caught up with all the mapwork (which I tend to add to) from SOTW for all chapters completed during the first semester.  We are talking with several other families about starting a geography club.  I hope that it works out as I think it would be fun for the kids through the winter months....

He got back into Algebra II work with his tutor, and at home we worked on graphing of equations and inequalities.  I've got to get busy and order geometry books for next year!

He continues working through a couple of Easy Grammar books to solidify basic grammar skills.  I am seeing slow improvement in his writing abilities.  He continued working on editing and writing some papers for me at home this week, based on his literary readings from the first semester.  New this week was a paper comparing and contrasting The Screwtape Letters with Pilgrim's Progress.

He is near completing his vocabulary work for the year, then we are going to go back through the work from last year and this as review and reinforcement.

He worked in some Spanish workbooks I have at home since his class did not meet this week.  He continued with his Latin Grammar work, as well. 

We simply caught up in reading for science work this week.  He had so many outside activities through the fall that we were simply behind in the written materials and websites I wanted him to read through on the subjects we've been studying.  I also found an old, old book when I was prowling Half Price Books over the holidays.  It's about scientific expeditions of the early 20th century and that's the time period in history we're reading right now, so I gave that to him to read, as well.

In history, we're still in that time period between the two world wars.  Books we read aloud from and discussed this week:

Usborne Atlas of the 20th Century
Time-Life 20th Century America
Kingfisher History Encyclopedia
DK Millennium Children's History of the 20th Century
(all regarding the stock market crash, dust bowl, worldwide depression, and other events occurring during this time period)

Atlas of 20th Century (Usborne Illustrated Guide to)   20th Century America      The Kingfisher History Encyclopedia

Children's History of the 20th Century

The Disaster of the Hindenburg, Shelley Tanaka

The Disaster of the Hindenburg: The Last Flight of the Greatest Airship Ever Built (Time Quest Book)

Black Tuesday, Barbara Feinberg

Black Tuesday (Spotlight on American History)

Helen Keller: Her Life in Pictures, George Sullivan

Helen Keller: Her Life in Pictures

Oh, and I also went backward a little in time to read The Fort Laramie Treaty, 1868, Jennifer Viegas, because I wanted to talk more about how most treaties were handled during the 20th century....

The Fort Laramie Treaty, 1868: A Primary Source Examination of the Treaty That Established a Sious Reservation in the Black Hills of Dakota in 1868 (Primary Source of American Treaties)

And I began reading from Cobblestone's The Dust Bowl, which we'll conclude next week.  He read several books for his outside writing through lit class last year that related to this time period, and completed several projects related to the time period, so we're discussing that prior work as we go along now....

We hit the memory work hard this week, too, while we have time to be organized!  Hopefully we'll be able to keep it up as we get back into our regularly scheduled programming for this next semester.  I'm excited that there's a drawing class being offered at his co-op when it reconvenes.  I have been casting about looking for some such lessons for him and the teacher has good credentials, so I am hopeful!  I also can't wait to get him back into PE as well as indoor soccer.  I feel as if he doesn't get nearly the amount of physical activity that my older son was getting at this age and it somewhat concerns me....

I'm getting ready to schedule some computer technology classes for him and am still casting about for volunteer opportunities he might participate in regularly without me (I'd like it to be something he can do on his own)....

Hope all is going well for others as they resume their work after a break!


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