Thursday, August 27, 2015

Weekly Wrap-Up: The First Week of School

We've officially started our 2015 school year.  We didn't have a big first day to-do this year.  The kids were aware the change from relaxed and casual summer schooling to regular schedule was coming soon.  I was planning to do a Fun First Day, but the day public schools started here, my 8 year old saw his new Math U see books and asked "Can I just start today?" Sure son.  Who am I to stand in the way of a kid and his math!?  Anyway, I'm hoping to share more weekly wrap-ups this year, because as much as I love going back and reading all those details, I really slacked last year.  I'm already a week behind this year . . . but hey, I'm trying!

3rd Grade
This year I'm hoping to encourage Elliott to become a little more independent in his work.  His morning work includes cursive, spelling and math.  Sometimes I add in some logic/critical thinking, or a puzzle or something from Super Teacher Worksheets (review coming soon) to break up the monotony.

He works through New American Cursive (we're continuing this series, because it was his preference out of the cursive programs we've tried) and that's something he can do independently; I just check the neatness/legibility of his work when he's finished.  He's also flying through the rest of All About Spelling now that we're back into the swing of things, but that is not something he can do independently due the nature of the program.

He worked through the first week of Math U See Gamma without issue.  I usually skim the lesson in the manual, but watch the DVD segment with him.  If I know he understands, he works through the worksheet on his own.  He actually loves to be "graded" so when he's done I literally check and grade his math.

He started Middlebury Interactive Languages, Spanish for 3rd-5th grade, and we're enjoying it again!  Look for a review coming soon!

1st Grade
I've already made one change from my original plans.  I was going to try an eclectic approach to reading, but I changed my mind right at the very last possible second.  I decided to trust my gut instinct and break out Primary Arts of Language (PAL) again and give it a go with him.  I wasn't sure I wanted to take it on right now, but when all is said and done, I really think it's the best choice for him.  We're taking our time and just enjoying the process, and so far he seems to really like it!

After we reviewed Horizons 1st Grade Math, I gave him the choice to continue it or try MUS Alpha, since Elliott uses MUS.  He chose to stick with Horizons because of the colorful workbooks.  I believe his exact words, after looking over his brother's old MUS workbook was "I do NOT want black and white!"  I'm okay with that, and we'll see how it goes this year!

He had all kinds of impromptu nature studies lately too.  Nature Study is his "thing" and he wants to be a paleontologist or zoologist.  We stopped reading lessons one day to watch a turtle cross the yard.

For his birthday, he received some neat little nature tools, including this Bugwatch from his mawmaw.  We've trapped and released a few things so far.  I highly recommend this thing for your young nature lovers.  It's easy to use and all three of the big kids like it.  We're taking all of his cool nature tools that he got on our weekend trip to the state forest!

He also got a venus fly trap.  It was cause for much fascination and excitement!  I didn't realize they sold these all over the place, but he was THRILLED and loved watching it in action.

This girl.  I went shopping for school supplies and the boys needed new backpacks for co-op, so of course I bought her a small one.  "It's for ME!  I can't believe it!  I'm going to school!"  Every now and then she just sings "I'm going to school!" as she dances around the house.  Needless to say, she's excited about being called a preschooler.  She spends most of her day climbing on me, playing with Izzy, or torturing her little sister, but she's so full of spontaneous toddler cuteness that it's hard not to follow her lead.

We'd had a long day . . . but I love this picture of HER!

She also spends a few minutes each day doing some one-on-one Preschool with me, because you know, SH'ES FINALLY GOING TO SCHOOL!  Her first week was Chicka Chicka Boom Boom, but I'll share more about that in another post.

Family Subjects/Activities
We rowed Three Names for our family subjects this week.  We learned about the prairie, tornadoes and dogs!

At the end of the week I got a call from the in-laws that they were harvesting honey (this was their first year with bees) so over a couple days we enjoyed the process.  More to come, because we obviously started our row of The Bee Tree next!

We ended the week by driving out to an Italian Festival, and there were games and rides for the kids.  This was Elliott's favorite.  Emory's favorite was the giant inflatable tubes that you climb inside and run like a hamster wheel, while they float on water.  I don't have pictures of that though.

It was an awesome week, and I'm definitely looking forward to another fun year.

Weekly Wrap-Up

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  1. Yes! I'm with you on getting our third graders to be more independent. My second-grader made progress last year, so I'm hoping he takes off this year.

    1. It's gone well the first couple weeks...hopefully we'll see much improvement this year! :)

  2. Awe, what a great week! My 8 year old still want to be a paleontologist, HA! Thanks for sharing your lovely week at the Weekly Wrap Up.

    1. That's awesome. My 6 year old has always been into natural science, while my other son is very STEM oriented. It's fascinating to watch their interests develop!