Friday, August 31, 2012

Yummy Science and the Not So Tasty Looking Science

While the local schools around here began their first week of school, we completed our fourth.   I'm so glad to have those first few behind us!  We are already one-third of the way through our first term.

C for Cat and D for Dinosaur
Today I met with a team at the local school to go over Cupcake's full evaluation.  It was encouraging that most areas of cognitive development, she is on target or pretty close.  Given her start in life, we feel she will catch up in the ones that were on the low side.  The greatest concern is her speech and language.  Articulation is a big area of concern, as well as some of the receptive language.  She will be getting two speech therapy appointments each week for a year.  The goal is to work on about eight sounds.  Some of her errors are consistent with what they see with previous hearing loss.  Now that she is hearing in normal limits, they must retrain her brain out of the habits set in place when she wasn't hearing the right sounds.    It finally clicked with me during the meeting that her problems with phonics are LARGELY related to the speech, which in turn relates to the hearing.  Another goal will be to increase her vocabulary so she can catch up to her age of peers.  I told her today that she would be getting help with her talking soon, and that the people are excited about helping her.  She said, "Oh, they excited? They jump up and down?"
Learning to work on a task indepedently

We did not do any new letters this week but gave more focused attention to "C" and "D".   Cupcake did much better with letter sound games this week.  I decided to give only three choices of letter cards to pick from for beginning sounds.  She did some very nice upper and lower case D handwriting pages.     For story time, we enjoyed cat stories, her favorites being Tom Kitten and Miss Moppet.  For art, we did a draw-write page on the cat.  Hers turned out so cute.  Aunt C., doesn't it look just like Picasso?  Another project involved cutting out the letter "D", some shapes, and glue for a D is for Dinosaur (see pic above).  For math, we began working with the Math-U-See colored bars, similar to c-rods.  This week she had to match up the bars for each number with the same number of units.  For example six ones (individual green units) to the purple bar that is one piece but the equivalent of six.  This is supposed to be very important concept before we begin adding them.  She's enjoyed continuing to create numbers with the hundreds, tens, and units.  I love that she is finding numbers EVERYWHERE and practicing what she's learned with the tens and hundreds-- in books, street signs, clocks, etc.

The edible cell--MMM mitochondria!
Muffy enjoyed a delicious science lesson this week.  She baked and decorated a cake to show the parts of an animal cell.  She spent a great deal of time making a list of what would best represent each part.  Needless to say, she likes her biology lessons.  For history, she did a very nice timeline notebook page of King Henry VIII, and in case you didn't know he had a tendency to cut off people's heads.  You would not want to have been one of his wives!  In literature, she thoroughly enjoyed The Merchant of Venice in Charles and Mary Lamb's Tales from Shakespeare.  She loves the Princess and the Goblin and wishes she would be allowed to read it faster.  It is scheduled for the whole first term.  I had to convince her dad that it is part of the philosophy and program to not read it straight through.  Charlotte Mason believed that children make more lasting connections with their studies if taken in challenging but small doses over a longer period of time.  Of course, her free reading can be done at whatever pace she chooses!  She is filling up a commonplace book of quotes in her books that strike her fancy-- from school selections and those for fun.

The pre-details before the experiment
S- continued reading in his many AO selections for school this week.  I think he's improving on his reading speed with the school load.  He says Ivanhoe is getting much more interesting and easier to read.  (I've dropped it for me now along with Birth of Britain, as his dad is covering those).  In Brenden Voyage, the ox-hide canoe replica is finished and ready to set sail.  It is amazing the lengths they went to in making the vessel as accurate as possible.  This was experiments week for his physical science module, so some messes were made in the kitchen.  He learned what happens when you use a little bit too much baking soda with your vinegar, oops!  Speaking of vinegar, I really need to put it in a permanent position on the grocery list like milk, or otherwise, buy an enormous bottle.  It seems when I need it to mop the floor, SOMEONE has used it up!  One of his experiments involved showing that a candle lit under a jar will go out due to lack of oxygen, but a balloon filled with oxygen gas pumped under the jar and into it will keep it lit.

E- and I were busy with Shakespeare's historical play, King John.  Thank goodness for Spark Notes on the computer.  At first we read a portion of the play, followed by the Spark Notes.  Then I got wise, and reversed that order.  The history curriculum guide said to read it out loud and that it should only take two sittings.  Well, we did four sittings this week and did not finish it.  Since the play is taking longer than planned for, I had him go ahead and begin Ivanhoe.  Yep, different curriculum from S- but same book.  Beautiful Feet's plan goes through it much quicker, as this counts for literature and history.  For free reading and extra literature, he finished Howard Pyle's Men of Iron.  I do believe that might be one of his most favorite books.  I never asked for narrations for this free-read----He ALWAYS gave them with lots of details.   This has been his experiment week for his module in biology too.  So, he and his dad have been enjoying the microscope (actually everyone wants to use it!).  They set up some yummy looking jars on my kitchen counter--- pond water cultures for bacteria being fed by various things- rice, egg yolk, grass, and dirt.  Hmm, I think my canning jars are going to get a lot of science use this year.  We added an elective that is still in the trial stage, although I'm inclined to keep it.  I found a physical geography e-book online for free.  I think we should be able to get at least a half credit from it.  Then we might do Bible geography for the other half.
The microscope owners-sometimes they share!

Matt and I seem to just manage to keep up the fort.  With two doing high school work, it is definitely becoming a bit more of a team effort to homeschool.  I'm thankful he has taken over S's history, two of S's  literature selections, E's biology, and one of the Muffy girl's literature selections.  I am making the time to run, and am finally starting to see better numbers on the scale.  Little sis encouraged me to time my 2 mile run, and I was pleasantly surprised with a total of 22 minutes!  Just like everything these days, discipline and slow but steady progress eventually pay off.

Happy weekend everyone.

1 comment:

  1. Love all of those precious children. Please tell Ms. Ira that I love her cat and dinasour picture. Tell her that the cat may be a weeee too skinny to look like fat cat Picasso!